What a dime to be alive

Date:10 June 2019 Author: Sam Spiller Tags:, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

With the help of local artists, the South African Mint has put a creative, thought-provoking spin on our current coins

Normally, you would not spare a second glance at the handful of coins used to buy your morning coffee and muffin. Look again, and you will discover that those R2 and R5 coins sport some unique and interesting designs. Each of them depicting a certain aspect of South African pride and liberty.

The new currency forms part of the 25th anniversary celebration of the country’s constitutional democracy. To create these mini works of art, the South African Mint (coin manufacturers) teamed up with a host of local artists to illustrate the achievements of the democratically-elected government. There are six new coins in total: Five R2 pieces and one R5.

One of the leading artists on the currency is Neo Mahlangu – an art student and rising star in the local scene. As winner of the annual Arnold Africa Art competition, she designed two of the R2 coins that illustrate the rights of children and the right to basic education. Pretoria artist, Maaike Bakker, included fish and plants in her ‘Environmental Rights’ R2 coin, while Rasty Knayles used a minibus taxi to depict the freedom of movement. The final R2 was created by Peter Mammes, whose imagery of raised hands illustrates the freedom of religion, belief, and opinion.

The lone R5 coin has a special design. People should recognize the image of a long line of people, patiently waiting to cast their vote during the 1994 general elections. This design illustrates the work of Lady Skollie – a young Capetonian artist who usually explores concepts of desire and sexuality in her other work.

These creative new coins will go into circulation during the months of July and August. Keep an eye out as one might suddenly appear in your pocket.

Source: South African Mint

Images: Pixabay

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