The first South African coins struck, but were never put into circulation are the 1874 Fine and Coarse Beard Burgers Pond coins. South Africa’s first coin struck from gold mined in the Transvaal, the coins came to be known as the “Burgers Pond” and are part of South Africa’s rarest and most sought after coinage.
The 1874 Fine Beard Pond coin can fetch anything from R106,000 to R235,000 on auction. The highest recorded price for the Fine Beard was in 2014 for R2,2million. Some online platforms are advertising these coins for lower prices around R60,000. The 1874 Coarse Beard Pond has fetched as much as R622,000.
Many people wonder about the history of these coins, how many were made, and why there are 2 different types of the same coin. Others would like to know why the coins were never circulated. Read on to find out more about the 1874 Burgers Pond coins.
What is the history of the 1874 “Fine and Coarse Beard” Burgers Pond coins?
Thomas Francois Burgers was the 4th president of the South African Republic. Very eager to introduce coins native to the republic President Burgers purchased gold to have coins made. The gold was mined in Pilgrims Rest. Sending a portrait of himself and the country’s coat of arms, along with a letter to the General Consul of the Republic in London, the president expressed his desire to have coins made that would have his image depicted on them.
The dies were cut and the coins were struck and sent back to South Africa in August 1874.
Why Are There Two Types of Burger Pond Coins?
After the first batch of Burgers Pond coins were struck, the coin die broke and a smaller second batch was minted. As a result of the broken die, the features of the coin ended up looking slightly different. There is a Fine Beard Burgers Pond, and a Coarse Beard Burgers Pond. Both minted in 1874.
What are the main differences between the Fine Beard Burgers Pond and the Coarse Beard Burgers Pond?
- The Fine Beard Burgers Pond
The beard has one thick point in front, then 2 longer, thinner points, followed by 2 shorter points. The beard is wavy in front. The edge of the coin has a double ring and the impression of the face is very sharply defined.
The hair on the lower neck is also much less defined than on the coarse beard coin.
- The Coarse Beard Burgers Pond
The beard has 4 thick points. The 2 in front being
Shorter than the 2 at the back. Beard appears heavier and flatter. The ‘8’ in the date 1874 on some of the pieces appears to be a double 8. As if stamped twice. The lower neck hair is far more defined than on the fine beard coin and is more identifiable.
How many 1874 Burgers Pond coins were minted?
- Fine Beard 1874 Burgers Pond coin – 695 coins were minted
- Coarse Beard 1874 Burgers Pond coin – 142 coins were minted
Why were the 1874 Burger Pond coins never circulated?
When President Burger presented the coins to the Volksraad, the parliament of the South African Republic, they were very upset and the president was strongly criticised for using the country’s money to make coins depicting his own image. They said it was egotistical and done for the president’s own vanity.
Due to the strong negative response to the coins, no new coins were struck and these coins were never allowed to circulate.
Where Can I sell an 1874 Burgers Pond Coin?
Due to how extremely rare, valuable, and sought after these coins are you need to be very careful when attempting to advertise and sell your coin. It is wise to talk to professionals in the field and get the best possible advice and assistance you can. You could be sitting on a small fortune and don’t want anyone taking advantage of you.
Despite the security measures that must be put in place when arranging the sale of such a rare coin, there are many avenues that you can explore to safely sell your coin. The first step would be to get your coin graded by one of our countries most reputable coin grading companies and talk to coin auctioneers locally and overseas.
“When it comes to coins (and South African coins in particular), the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) and the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) are the two most reputable and credible companies in the industry”southcapecoins.co.za
After your coin is graded you could set up your coin on auction and sell to the highest bidder. You may also consider approaching reputable coin dealers who may be interested in purchasing your coin or know of someone that is looking for the coin you are selling.
The 1874 Burgers Ponds, also known as the Fine and Coarse Beard Burgers Ponds are extremely rare and also tell a story about the history of the South African Republic. Having never been circulated, these coins were given as gifts, used as jewelry, and as keepsakes.
Their current value is now well into the millions and a coin to treasure. Selling yours can earn you a pretty penny so be wise in proceeding with finding a buyer for your coin.