South African pound

South African pound

Infobox Currency
currency_name_in_local = Suid-Afrikaanse pond af icon
image_1 =
image_title_1 =
iso_code =
using_countries = South Africa
subunit_ratio_1 = 1/20
subunit_name_1 = shilling
subunit_ratio_2 = 1/240
subunit_name_2 = penny
symbol = £
symbol_subunit_1 = s
symbol_subunit_2 = d
plural =
plural = pond (Afrikaans only)
plural_subunit_2 = pence (English only)
frequently_used_coins = ¼d, ½d, 1d, 3d, 6d, 1s, 2s, 2½s
rarely_used_coins = 5s
coin_article = Coins of the South African pound
used_banknotes = 10s, £1, £5, £10, and £100
issuing_authority = South African Reserve Bank
issuing_authority_website =
obsolete_notice = Y

The pound was the currency of South Africa between 1825 and 1961. It was subdivided into 20 shillings, each of 12 pence.


The pound sterling became the standard currency of South Africa in 1825 and British coins and banknotes circulated, replacing the Dutch currency. Before a unified South Africa, many authorities issued coins and banknotes in their own pound, equivalent to sterling.

The Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek (ZAR), a Boer state in Transvaal, issued notes from 1867 to 1902 and coins from 1892 to 1902. The gold coins were denominated in "pond" rather than pounds.

In 1920, the Treasury issued gold certificate notes. The following year, the South African Reserve Bank was established as the sole note issuing authority. Coins were issued from 1923. The South African pound remained equal to the pound sterling throughout its existence. It was replaced by the rand in 1961 at a rate of 2 rand = 1 pound.


In 1892, the ZAR introduced coins in denominations of 1, 3 and 6 pence, 1, 2, 2½ and 5 shillings, ½ and 1 pond. The last of these coins were issued in 1900, except for siege 1 pond coins issued in 1902.

The Union of South Africa issued coins from 1923, in denominations of ¼, ½, 1, 3 and 6 pence, 1, 2 (initially denominated as a "florin") and 2½ shillings, ½ and 1 sovereign. The coins were the same weights as the corresponding British coins but the silver coins (3 pence up to 2½ shillings) were struck in .800 fineness silver. Gold coins were struck until 1932.

In 1947, 5 shilling coins were introduced, with occasional commemorative variants. In 1951, the silver coinage switched to .500 fineness. Gold bullion ½ and 1 pound coins were issued from 1952 in the same specifications as the ½ and 1 sovereign.

All the coins had the British monarch on the observe, with the titles in Latin, while the reverse had the denomination and "South Africa" written in English and Afrikaans.


The government of the Cape of Good Hope issued a 1 pound note in 1835 and a 20 pound note in 1834. Between 1869 and 1872, the ZAR in Transvaal issued notes for 6 pence, 1, 2½, 5 and 10 shillings, 1, 5 and 10 pond. The National Bank of the ZAR issued 1 pond notes between 1892 and 1893. During the Second Boer War, government notes were issued in denominations of 1, 5, 10, 20, 50 and 100 pond.

In 1920, Treasury gold certificate notes were issued in denominations of 1, 5, 100, 1000 and 10,000 pounds. From 1921, the South African Reserve Bank took over the issuance of paper money, introducing notes for 10 shillings, 1, 5, 20 and 100 pounds. 20 pound notes were last issued in 1933, with 10 pound notes added in 1943.

All banknotes were bilingual in English and Afrikaans. From 1948, two variants of each note were issued, one with English written first and the other with Afrikaans written first.

ee also

* Economy of South Africa
* South African Republic pond
* Transvaal pound


*numis cite SCWPM|date=1960.8
*numis cite SCWC|date=1900.4
*numis cite SCWC|date=1991
*numis cite SCWPM|date=1994

External links

Standard numismatics external links
world_coin_gallery_1_url = Safrica
world_coin_gallery_1_name = South Africa
banknote_world_1_url = south_africa
banknote_world_1_name = South Africa
dollarization_1_url = za
dollarization_1_name = South Africa
gfd_1_url = South_Africa
gfd_1_name = South Africa
gfd_data_1_url =
gfd_data_1_name =
show_gfd_excel = Y

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