SOUTH AFRICA, Paul Kruger medal, 1890s


SOUTH AFRICA, medal, no date (1890s), Obverse: bust facing, S. J. P. KRUGER, Reverse: ZAR arms, EENDRACHT MAAKT MACHT, Edge: plain, silvered brass, 28.5mm, 7.8g, VG

1 in stock

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This patriotic medallet is poorly designed and locally made. The wear on it shows us that it passed through many hands. Did it circulate as money or as ardent propaganda (“Unity Makes Strength, pass it on”)?

The coins of the 1890s South African Republic are generally not hard to find. Medals are rare.

There are two kinds of things that are called “medals.” One is things that look like coins but don’t express a value. Sometimes those medals are considerably larger than most coins. The other kind of medal is a metal thing designed to be displayed on one’s chest, often a reward for something, often in a military context. If the medal is small enough it is sometimes called a “medallet.”

The word “exonumia” is used to describe all kinds of things that are “like” coins but are not coins. I wrote a blog post on that subject. Basic categories: 1. used like a coin but not issued by a national government, 2. looks like a coin but not made for spending, 3. other things that we are interested in.