New commemorative Nelson Mandela coins focus on education

By Staff Writer
A new set of three coins has been released by the South African Mint Company (SA Mint) as part of the Protea Life of Legend series on Nelson Mandela, which is being run from 2013 to 2024, honouring his life and work.
The SA Mint website explains: “The Life of Legend: Nelson Mandela shall run for 12 years with three coins released in April each year - each set of coins shall showcase notable aspects of Mandela’s life.”
The latest coins in the collection are a tribute to Mandela’s “education and dedication to lifelong learning.” The coins were launched in April 2015, are part of the 2014 Protea Life of a Legend coins collection.
As Mandela had applied to study for an LLB at the University of South Africa (UNISA), the institution is being acknowledged on the coins, with the word “Unisaon” being minted on the coins.
Protea Life of a Legend: Nelson Mandela
In an article published in the Cape Times on 21 April, it explained: “The three coins and the commemorative medallion are set in a black engraved Alcantara base, housed in a hand-crafted oak box.”
The set contains a R25 coin and a R5 coin of pure gold, along with a sterling silver R1 coin. Each coin represents an aspect of Mandela’s education, accompanied by a quote from him.
The R25 coin:This is 24 carat gold and weighs one ounce (28.35 grams) and shows a young Mr Mandela proudly wearing his new double-breasted suit given to him by the Chief Regent, Jongintaba. The background gable design represents the Methodist High School, Clarkesbury.
“The foreground displays the University of Fort Hare.”
The coin also has a quote from Mandela: “Everywhere in the world it is accepted that students, as a thinking and independent-minded section of the population, have the right to freedom of thought and expression of opinion.”
The R5 coin:This coin is also 24 carat gold, but weighs one tenth of an ounce (2.83 grams). The focus of this coin is on Mandela’s “belief that education is the key to changing lives.” It features the quote: “Education is the most powerful weapon we can use to change the world.”
The R1 coin:This coin is sterling silver and “depicts Mr Mandela as a child practising how to write ‘Nelson’ on a slate board.”
The quote on this coin says: “Children of today are the leaders of tomorrow and education is a very important weapon to prepare children for their future roles as leaders of the community.”
Investing in coins
According to Glenn Schoeman, a representative from Gold Reef City Mint and the South African Numismatic Grading Service (SANGS) pointed out that coins such as the Protea Life of Legend: Nelson Mandela coin series could be a long term investment.
“If we have a look at the last number of years there have been coins that have been very valuable. These are made in limited quantities, and at the end of the day I think they will be [an investment]. What I have to immediately add however, is that right now the investment coin market is very depressed, it’s a very tough market to be dealing in at the moment. So there are not a lot of people buying these coins at the moment, but I would say long term an investment in this is definitely well done. If you do invest in this you are going to do alright, but it is a long term investment, that has to be understood.”
Schoeman added: “From 1994 there have been coins with Nelson Mandela’s image on, and a lot of them have been worthwhile, most definitely, especially the earlier gold coins. However, right now the market is so depressed people say to me as an investment right now it is doubtful. The market is in such dire straits at the moment.”
The coins are available for sale, for more information visit the SA Mint website.

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