South Africa: 5 Shillings 1948-1951 George VI


Quick Coinage Facts

Years Minted: 1948-1951
Composition: 80% Silver (1948-51), 50% Silver (1951)
Diameter: 38.8 mm
Weight: 28.28 grams (.7273 oz of silver 1948-50, .4546 ounces 1951)
Total Series Mintage: 1,761,000
Obverse Design: Bust Design
Reverse Design: Animal


The obverse, designed by T.H. Paget, features a bust image of King George VI facing left. On the outer periphery is the Latin phrase “GEORGIVS SEXTVS REX”, the “V” is actually a stylized U so the proper phrase is “GEORGIUS SEXTUS REX” or as translated to “GEORGE SIXTH KING”. Located just below the back of the neck are the designer’s initials “HP”.

The reverse, designed by Coert L. Steynberg, features a springbok in full stride. On the outer periphery is the phrase “SOUTH AFRICA SUID AFRIKA” and the denomination “5 SHILLINGS”. Just above the last “S” in shillings are the designer’s initials “CLS”.

The springbok is a gazelle native to the southern Africa region and has been a long standing national symbol for South Africa. Besides being used as a national symbol, its likeness also appears on military units, major sport teams and even the airline South African Airways.

Obverse Reverse

Major Varieties

In 1951, silver was reduced from .7273 ounces to .4546 ounces.

Variety 1 - .7273 ounces of silver
Variety 2 – Reduced silver content

General Market Notes

Excluding proofs and errors, there are no rarities to the series.

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