The South African Mint, a wholly owned subsidiary of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB), on Monday released into circulation a new R2 commemorative circulation coin themed ‘Environmental Rights’ as part of its coin programme launched last month to commemorate 25 years of South Africa’s constitutional democracy.
The SA25 themed ‘Celebrating South Africa’ coin series features five commemorative R2 circulation coins, a commemorative R5 coin and three collectable coins in gold, silver and bronze alloy.
Designed by Pretoria-based artist Maaike Bakker, the reverse (tails) of the ‘Environmental Rights’ R2 circulation coin features an illustration representing the environment showing water and a fish, land with plants and the sky with clouds and the sun.
According to Bakker, these symbols highlight the idea of a well-balanced, protected environment that is not harmful to the wellbeing of those inhabiting it.
All featured elements have been simplified to allow for direct communication of the theme of environment.
The close integration of these elements within the composition highlights the aim to protect the environment for future generations.
The design was inspired by the country’s great outdoors, access to which is guaranteed by the South African Constitution.
The obverse (heads) features the national coat of arms together with the date of issue, ‘2019’, and the words ‘South Africa’ written in English and ‘Afrika-Dzonga’ in Xitsonga.
All the SA25 commemorative circulation coins issued by the SARB and the South African Mint, including the collectable range, use a common typeface created by Garth Walker for the Constitutional Court.
The typography, as reflected on the commemorative coinage was created in 2003/4 as a unique wayfinding system font for the Constitutional Court of South Africa. Walker is credited for the layout of the R5 coins using the typeface.
“The coin is emblematic of our natural heritage and every time you receive it as part of change, we hope you are encouraged to contribute towards saving the environment for the future generations,” said South African Mint MD Tumi Tsehlo, unveiling the new coin.
South Africans will soon find these coins in their change and are encouraged to find, collect and keep these special SA25 circulation coins through a specially designed collectors’ folder produced to hold all the six coins.
This folder can be collected, at no cost, from the South African Mint’s retail store in Centurion, as well as various other outlets listed on the SA25 website.
The commemorative coins are introduced in a phased manner – two a month – and this month they feature the themes ‘Environmental Rights’ as well as the ‘Freedom of Movement and Residence’.
The new commemorative circulation coins, like all other circulation coins, are normal circulation coins that are only worth their face value – R2.
The SARB issues commemorative circulation coins as part of its currency production function.