South African central bank urges people to use commemorative coins

Helen Cahill
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Former South African president Nelson Ma
In 2008, the South African central bank issued a five rand coin to commemorate Nelson Mandela's 90th birthday (Source: Getty)

The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has urged people not to hold on to commemorative coins.

The central bank has been forced to encourage people to use certain five rand-coins because it has had "numerous enquiries" about whether or not the commemorative currency is for day-to-day use.

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The South African Mint, a subsidiary of the central bank, also makes coins for the collectors' market, such as the Natura coin series, which depicts South African wildlife. These collectables are often made with precious metals and sold for a higher price than coins issued from the central bank itself, hence the confusion.

The bank said in a statement: "If you receive one of these coins as change, please do no hold onto it. Use it to make a purchase so that the next person can also experience the beauty of the coin.

"The SARB issues commemorative circulation coins as part of its currency production function. These coins are issued to commemorate a person or an event that has had a significant impact on society."

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