Based in London; Formerly of New York, Buenos Aires, Fife, and the Western Cape. Saoránach d'Éirinn.
A writer, blogger, historian, and web designer born in New York, educated in Argentina, Scotland, and South Africa, and now based in London. read more

From Realm to Republic

South Africa’s transition from a monarchy to a republic coincided with a change of currency. Out went the old South African pound (with its shillings and pence) and in came the decimilised rand.

Luckily the republican government had the good taste to commission George Kruger Gray, responsible for the country’s most beautiful coinage, to design the new coins. HM the Queen was replaced by old Jan van Riebeeck, and the country’s arms were deprived of their crown.

This post was published on Wednesday, May 3rd, 2017 2:30 pm. It has been categorised under Arts & Culture Design History Monarchy South Africa and been tagged under , , , .
3 May 2017 8:36 pm

Wikipedia states that Gray died in 1943. Had the van Riebeeck portrait first been used on a different coin or medal?

Dave Cooper
4 May 2017 11:01 pm

Cusack et al …

And for those of us who were within reach of Springbok Radio during those times, how can we forget the encouraging refrains of “Daan Desimaal die rand-sent man” …

« … Daan Desimaal, die rand-sent-man,
Gee jou sente vir pennies net waar hy kan,
Een sent vir ‘n pennie, en twee vir twee,
En twee-en-‘n-half vir ‘n tiekie.

‘n note of silwer bly wat dit was
Ons het net die ander naam daar aan vas

Daan Desimaal, die rand-sent-man,
Gee jou sente vir pennies net waar hy kan,
Drie sent vir twee pennies en vier vir vyf
En vyf sent beteken ‘n sixpence … »

Before decimalisation …

“oortjie” was a “kwartpennie”
A “stuiwer” was a “halfpennie”
A “oulap” was slang for a penny
A “twalap” was slang for two pennies
A “daalder” was one shilling and six pennies or “one & six”

The term “daalder” came from the old riksdaalder, introduced by the Dutch at the Cape.

A “riksdaalder” was worth 15 cents.

In the Afrikaans lyrics, “tiekie” was a thrupenny bit, or “ticky” in South African English.

5 May 2017 3:16 am

Dave, thanks for the link!
I would point out that in the Netherlands ‘daalder’ used to refer to f1.50 (one and a half guilder), while a ‘rijksdaalder’ was a f2.50 piece. Since you say in South Africa, ‘daalder’ referred to 1/6 I think ‘daalder’ and ‘rijksdaalder’ must have come to South Africa separately as well. Was the latter ever a term used for half-a-crown, by any chance?

Dave Cooper
7 May 2017 9:55 am

JD …

I do not remember anything but « half-kroon » being used for 2/6 (two shillings and sixpence — half-a-crown). But my environment was always a very English-dominant culture … first Johannesburg and then the Copperbelt of Northern Rhodesia (even though in the latter the white population was nearing 40% Afrikaner!). Perhaps in the Cape, the Orange Free State and parts of the Transvaal outside of the Johannesburg area there may have been other terms for a half-a-crown).

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