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First introduced February 14, 1961, the 1 Rand coin replaces the South African Half Pound.
To facilitate easier trade, the Rand is available in 1 Rand and 2 rand denomination coins. The Rand is a product of the move towards decimalization in coinage and thus represents 100 South Africa cents. The common symbol for the Rand is the letter R.
The South African 1 Rand coin has the same dimensions as the British Half Sovereign, being 19.43 millimeters in diameter and 1.09 millimeters in thickness. The coin weighs in a 3.99 grams and is made of 22 carat gold. The front face of the coin bears the portrait of Jan van Riebeeck, the founder of Cape Town. The reverse side of the coin displays Coert Steynbergs Springbok design, which was originally created for the South African 5 shilling coin in 1948.
As of March 2002, the 1 Rand and 2 Rand coins are no longer being minted by the South African government. To facilitate this change in available currency, all trade in the Common Monetary Area is rounded to the nearest 5 cents. While the coins are still considered legal tender for trade, they have become less visible in trade as collectors remove them from circulation to add to their collections.
Gold Rand coins were only minted until 1983, when they were completely replaced by the smaller Krugerrand coins in a process that began in 1967.
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