SOUTH AFRICA 2 1/2 shillings 1954 Proof


SOUTH AFRICA, UNION, 2 1/2 shillings, 1954, silver, 0.2273 ozT, KM51, some toning, Proof

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South Africa was the subject of colonial settlement by the Dutch and then by the English from the 17th century. The Dutch fought the British at the end of the 19th century, lost, but increasingly set government policy until 1948, when they took over the government and made apartheid government policy. They gave up on that in 1994 in a deal that had them give up their formal racism but they could keep most of their money.

It has been habitual, on the collecting side of numismatics, for “Africa” to exclude the Mediterranean coastal states, which are typically lumped in with the other Arab states in the category “Middle East.” Generally speaking, there was a colonial period and an independent period.

By “Modern World Coins” we mean here, generally, the round, flat, shiny metal objects that people have used for money and still do. “Modern,” though, varies by location. There was some other way they were doing their economies, and then they switched over to “modern coins,” then they went toward paper money, now we’re all going toward digital, a future in which kids look at a coin and say “What’s that?” We’ll say: “We used to use those to buy things.” Kids will ask “How?” The main catalog reference is the Standard Catalog of World Coins, to which the KM numbers refer.