The Nelson Mandela R5 set combines two circulation coins which are both significant in terms of South Africa 's history and numismatic tradition.In keeping with South African numismatic tradition, the outgoing President is depicted on the obverse of the highest denomination circulation coin a year after he has left office. Therefore in the year 2000, former President Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela was featured.
The 2000 R5 coin featured a smiling Nelson Mandela wearing his iconic "Madiba" shirt. This info rmal depiction of a head of state differed from the norm. The coin captures the character of Nelson Mandela. He is portrayed not only as a symbol of the new democratic South Africa , but also as the person people recognize and relate to.
South Africa celebrated Nelson Mandela's 90th birthday on 18 July 2008. A commemorative R5 circulation coin was issued on the day featuring the much loved Nelson Mandela on the reverse of the coin. This is the first time ever that a former President has featured twice on the same denomination and in the same circulation coin series. Again a smiling Nelson Mandela was portrayed wearing a "Madiba" shirt.
The two coins also show the development of security features in modern coinage. The R5 struck in 2000 has a copper core and is nickel plated, it features a standard edge rimming with no security features. The R5 coin struck in 2008 consist of two metal alloys which are pressed together during the minting process. The edge rimming features a line pattern, as well as the miniature letters "SARB" (South African Reserve Bank) and "R5".The miniature lettering "SARB" is repeated on the reverse side of the coin. The word " RAND " and the portrait of Nelson Mandela lie over both metal alloys. Technically this is a far more complex and difficult coin to manufacture.
The surface finish on both coins distinguishes them from standard circulation coins. Unlike proof coins, these coins were struck on a continuous minting press. The proof-like 2000 R5 coin has a polish and satin finish. The 2008 laser frosted R5 coin features detailed texturing lasered on the shirt. When comparing the 2008 laser frosted R5 coin and the 2008 standard R5 coin, a distinct difference in the patterns of the shirt can be seen.-SA Mint
2008 Nelson Mandela Commemorative Coin Set
Metal Content: Ni Cu
Mintage: 14 000
Metal Content: Bi-Metal Alloy
Mintage: 14 000