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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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LOT OF 2 1980 22K GOLD KRUGERRAND MINIATURE COINS
Jun 23, 9:00 AM MST
LOT OF 2 1980 22K GOLD KRUGERRAND MINIATURE COINS
by Bradford's
Est: $0- $0
$7011 Bids
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LOT OF 10 2023 SOMALIA 1 TROY OZ. .9999 SILVER ELEPHANT ROUNDS
Jun 23, 9:00 AM MST
LOT OF 10 2023 SOMALIA 1 TROY OZ. .9999 SILVER ELEPHANT ROUNDS
by Bradford's
Est: $0- $0
$2208 Bids
2017 S. Africa 50th Anniversary 1oz. Silver Krugerrand NGC SP-70
Jun 23, 6:00 PM EDT
2017 S. Africa 50th Anniversary 1oz. Silver Krugerrand NGC SP-70
by Caswell Prewitt Realty, INC
Est: $0- $0
$457 Bids
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1978 SOUTH AFRICA KRUGERRAND 1OZ OF FINE GOLD COIN
Jun 22, 1:00 PM EDT
1978 SOUTH AFRICA KRUGERRAND 1OZ OF FINE GOLD COIN
by Florida Estate Sales Inc.
Est: $2,400- $10,000
$1,1005 Bids
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1983 SOUTH AFRICAN KRUGERRAND 1 OZ OF FINE GOLD
Jun 22, 1:00 PM EDT
1983 SOUTH AFRICAN KRUGERRAND 1 OZ OF FINE GOLD
by Florida Estate Sales Inc.
Est: $2,400- $10,000
$1,2504 Bids
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1983 SOUTH AFRICAN KRUGERRAND 1 OZ OF FINE GOLD
Jun 22, 1:00 PM EDT
1983 SOUTH AFRICAN KRUGERRAND 1 OZ OF FINE GOLD
by Florida Estate Sales Inc.
Est: $2,400- $10,000
$1,1504 Bids
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1979 SOUTH AFRICAN KRUGERRAND 1 OZ OF FINE GOLD
Jun 22, 1:00 PM EDT
1979 SOUTH AFRICAN KRUGERRAND 1 OZ OF FINE GOLD
by Florida Estate Sales Inc.
Est: $2,400- $10,000
$1,1004 Bids
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FINE GOLD 1 OZ 1978 SOUTH AFRICA KRUGERRAND MS
Jun 22, 1:00 PM EDT
FINE GOLD 1 OZ 1978 SOUTH AFRICA KRUGERRAND MS
by Florida Estate Sales Inc.
Est: $2,400- $10,000
$1,1004 Bids
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1978 SOUTH AFRICA KRUGERRAND 1OZ OF FINE GOLD COIN
Jun 22, 1:00 PM EDT
1978 SOUTH AFRICA KRUGERRAND 1OZ OF FINE GOLD COIN
by Florida Estate Sales Inc.
Est: $2,400- $10,000
$1,1504 Bids
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SET 6 SOUTH AFRICA SILVER SHILLINGS 1892-1897
Jun 20, 9:00 AM AEST
SET 6 SOUTH AFRICA SILVER SHILLINGS 1892-1897
by Albion Antique Auction Centre
Est: AUD60- AUD100
AUD803 Bids
1 OZ GOLD SOUTH AFRICAN KRUGERRAND COIN
Jun 25, 9:00 AM EDT
1 OZ GOLD SOUTH AFRICAN KRUGERRAND COIN
by Affiliated Auctions & Realty LLC
Est: $1,900- $2,200
$5252 Bids
1 OZ GOLD SOUTH AFRICAN KRUGERRAND COIN
Jun 25, 9:00 AM EDT
1 OZ GOLD SOUTH AFRICAN KRUGERRAND COIN
by Affiliated Auctions & Realty LLC
Est: $1,900- $2,200
$5252 Bids
2023 South Africa Gold Krugerrand 1oz SUPERB GEM B
Jun 22, 10:00 AM CDT
2023 South Africa Gold Krugerrand 1oz SUPERB GEM B
by Gold Standard Auctions
Est: $1,905- $10,000
$1,9001 Bid
Goldmünze 1 Krügerrand, Südafrika 1974
Jul 13, 10:00 AM CEST
Goldmünze 1 Krügerrand, Südafrika 1974
by K&K – Auktionen in Heidelberg
Est: €2,000- €2,200
€1,2001 Bid
2023 1 Ounce .999 Fine Silver South Africa Krugerrand
Jul 02, 5:00 PM EDT
2023 1 Ounce .999 Fine Silver South Africa Krugerrand
by Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer
Est: $1- $5,000
$11 Bid
2023 1 Ounce .999 Fine Silver South Africa Krugerrand
Jul 02, 5:00 PM EDT
2023 1 Ounce .999 Fine Silver South Africa Krugerrand
by Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer
Est: $1- $5,000
$11 Bid
1 OZ GOLD SOUTH AFRICAN KRUGERRAND COIN
Jun 25, 9:00 AM EDT
1 OZ GOLD SOUTH AFRICAN KRUGERRAND COIN
by Affiliated Auctions & Realty LLC
Est: $1,900- $2,200
$4751 Bid
1895 1/2 Pond .12oz S. Africa Gold NGC XF45
Jul 10, 5:00 PM CDT
1895 1/2 Pond .12oz S. Africa Gold NGC XF45
by Gold Standard Auctions
Est: $405- $10,000
$4000 Bids
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Six gold coins 40 mm each, "Rare African Animals" Republique Togolaise, American Mint, 2022
Jun 22, 11:00 AM EDT
Six gold coins 40 mm each, "Rare African Animals" Republique Togolaise, American Mint, 2022
by Eternity Gallery
Est: $1,000- $2,000
$1,5000 Bids
Liberia, Republic, 25 Cents, 1896h (KM. 8). Cleaned, otherwise very fine £60-£80
Jun 20, 2:00 PM BST
Liberia, Republic, 25 Cents, 1896h (KM. 8). Cleaned, otherwise very fine £60-£80
by Noonans Mayfair
Est: £60- £80
£300 Bids

Sellers Who Sell African Coins


Nomisma S.p.a

Nomisma S.p.a

Noonans Mayfair

Noonans Mayfair

Gold Standard Auctions

Gold Standard Auctions

Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer

Richard L. Edwards Auctioneer