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African Coins

African coins are a relatively recent invention, as most ancient African civilizations used bartering as an economic system rather than currency. The Egyptians are a notable exception, possibly due to their proximity to the trade empires of Greece.

Today, many African countries use deviations of the currency originally used by their colonizing countries throughout the European colonial period. For example, Tanzania uses the Tanzanian shilling, descended from the British coin of the same name. Algeria used the franc until 1964, although specifically Algerian francs were only minted for seven years between 1949-1956.

This is not true for all African countries, however. South Africa created the rand in 1961, Nigeria changed to the naira in 1973, and Zambia has used the kwacha since 1968. The rand is the most interesting of these on a global scale. In 1967, South Africa first minted the krugerrand, a 1 oz gold coin that combined their currency with historical figure Paul Kruger, whose bust graces the obverse of the coin. The Krugerrand is used for both bullion and legal tender, and proof editions are also minted specifically for collectors.


Quick Facts

  • Medieval coins from Kilwa, a trade city near modern Tanzania, have been discovered as far away as Oman and Australia
  • The single 9, an 1898 South African pound, is one of the rarest and most expensive coins in existence. It last changed hands in 2010 for just over 20 million rand
  • Several anonymous people have created a Christmas tradition in several parts of the United States to drop Krugerrands into Salvation Army donation pots

Recommended Items at Auction

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Hoard of South Africa Crown-Sized Silver Coinage
Mar 09, 11:00 AM EST
Hoard of South Africa Crown-Sized Silver Coinage
by Mitchell Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$3409 Bids
1/10 OZ 2022 GOLD KRUGERRAND
Mar 05, 11:00 AM EST
1/10 OZ 2022 GOLD KRUGERRAND
by Silver City Auctions
Est: $300- $350
$1407 Bids
South Africa 1947 Proof Silver 5 Shillings
Mar 09, 11:00 AM EST
South Africa 1947 Proof Silver 5 Shillings
by Mitchell Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$907 Bids
South Africa 1892 Silver 5 Shillings. Single Shaft on Wagon Tongue (KM-8.1, .8409 oz ASW).
Mar 09, 11:00 AM EST
South Africa 1892 Silver 5 Shillings. Single Shaft on Wagon Tongue (KM-8.1, .8409 oz ASW).
by Mitchell Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$102 Bids
South Africa 1954 Nine-Piece Proof Set (KM-PS30)
Mar 09, 11:00 AM EST
South Africa 1954 Nine-Piece Proof Set (KM-PS30)
by Mitchell Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$242 Bids
Uganda 1969 Silver Six-Piece Proof Set (KM-PS3, 5.9098 oz cumulative ASW).
Mar 09, 11:00 AM EST
Uganda 1969 Silver Six-Piece Proof Set (KM-PS3, 5.9098 oz cumulative ASW).
by Mitchell Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$262 Bids
A Complete Run of South Africa Seven-Piece Proof Sets
Mar 09, 11:00 AM EST
A Complete Run of South Africa Seven-Piece Proof Sets
by Mitchell Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$21 Bid
A South African Coin
Mar 08, 10:00 AM GMT
A South African Coin
by Martel Maides
Est: £300- £400
£2801 Bid
22ct South African 1930 Gold Sovereign. Pretoria Mint (Dia.21.5mm W7.98g)
Mar 10, 11:00 AM AEDT
22ct South African 1930 Gold Sovereign. Pretoria Mint (Dia.21.5mm W7.98g)
by Davidson Auctions
Est: AUD500- AUD700
AUD5001 Bid
(2) 1 OZ .999 SILVER 2022 KRUGERRAND DESIGN ROUNDS
Mar 05, 11:00 AM EST
(2) 1 OZ .999 SILVER 2022 KRUGERRAND DESIGN ROUNDS
by Silver City Auctions
Est: $100- $150
$101 Bid
Collectible 2021 Republic of Ghana Fine Silver 2 Two Cedis Alien coin BU
Mar 05, 7:00 PM EST
Collectible 2021 Republic of Ghana Fine Silver 2 Two Cedis Alien coin BU
by Omni Auction Corp
Est: $50- $70
$201 Bid
2010 Malawi 10 Kwacha. Endangered Frogs. Darwin Frog.
Mar 06, 5:00 PM EST
2010 Malawi 10 Kwacha. Endangered Frogs. Darwin Frog.
by Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer
Est: $1- $5,000
$11 Bid
2010 Malawi 10 Kwacha. Endangered Frogs. Golden Harlequin.
Mar 06, 5:00 PM EST
2010 Malawi 10 Kwacha. Endangered Frogs. Golden Harlequin.
by Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer
Est: $1- $5,000
$11 Bid
South Africa 2017 Premium Uncirculated Silver Krugerrand (1 oz ASW, .999 Fine).
Mar 09, 11:00 AM EST
South Africa 2017 Premium Uncirculated Silver Krugerrand (1 oz ASW, .999 Fine).
by Mitchell Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$21 Bid
GRADED 1 OZT FOREIGN SILVER BULLION COIN LOT OF 5
Mar 15, 9:00 AM EDT
GRADED 1 OZT FOREIGN SILVER BULLION COIN LOT OF 5
by Affiliated Auctions & Realty LLC
Est: $200- $300
$501 Bid
2010 Malawi 10 Kwacha. Endangered Frogs. Malagasy Rainbow.
Mar 06, 5:00 PM EST
2010 Malawi 10 Kwacha. Endangered Frogs. Malagasy Rainbow.
by Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer
Est: $1- $5,000
$11 Bid
24k Gold Electroplate On Sterling Silver Round
Mar 07, 10:00 AM EST
24k Gold Electroplate On Sterling Silver Round
by Berner's Auction Gallery
Est: $10- $1,000
$11 Bid
1983 S. Africa 1oz Gold Kruggerrand GEM BU
Mar 06, 5:00 PM CST
1983 S. Africa 1oz Gold Kruggerrand GEM BU
by Gold Standard Auctions
Est: $1,705- $10,000
$1,7001 Bid
1980 S. Africa 1oz Gold Kruggerrand GEM BU
Mar 09, 10:00 AM CST
1980 S. Africa 1oz Gold Kruggerrand GEM BU
by Gold Standard Auctions
Est: $1,705- $10,000
$1,7001 Bid
1993 PROOF George Bush - Republic of Liberia $20 Silver Coin w/ COA
Mar 09, 7:00 PM EST
1993 PROOF George Bush - Republic of Liberia $20 Silver Coin w/ COA
by Big Dog Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$11 Bid
1965 "SAM" SOUTH AFRICA SET OF 2 22kt (91.7%) COINS (2R + 1R)
Mar 05, 7:00 PM EST
1965 "SAM" SOUTH AFRICA SET OF 2 22kt (91.7%) COINS (2R + 1R)
by Omni Auction Corp
Est: $1,650- $2,200
$9501 Bid
(2) 1 OZ .999 SILVER 2022 KRUGERRAND DESIGN ROUNDS
Mar 05, 11:00 AM EST
(2) 1 OZ .999 SILVER 2022 KRUGERRAND DESIGN ROUNDS
by Silver City Auctions
Est: $80- $120
$101 Bid
(2) 1 OZ .999 SILVER 2022 KRUGERRAND ROUNDS
Mar 05, 11:00 AM EST
(2) 1 OZ .999 SILVER 2022 KRUGERRAND ROUNDS
by Silver City Auctions
Est: $100- $150
$101 Bid

Sellers Who Sell African Coins


BK Auctions

BK Auctions

Nomisma S.p.a

Nomisma S.p.a

Carroll's Auctioneers & Appraisers

Carroll's Auctioneers & Appraisers