South African Mint wins ‘Best Circulating Coin’ at 2022 ‘Coin of the Year’ awards

The South African Mint has won the “Best Circulating Coin” category at the 2022 “Coin of the Year” (COTY) competition for an issue commemorating the right to individual freedom as enshrined in the South African Bill of Rights.

The commemorative circulation coin depicts on its reverse a mother and daughter walking in nature. The daughter is holding a sunflower, symbolizing the resilience, optimism and hopefulness of the young.

The coin’s design resulted from a national competition held at the end of 2019. The contest called on all South Africans to submit designs for a new coin featuring a right of their choice from the Bill of Rights that had not been featured on the country’s earlier commemorative circulation coins. The winning design was submitted by local graphic designer Esta Quirk.


The COTY competition is an international awards program recognizing excellence and ingenuity in the world of coin design and celebrating the accomplishments of mints, central banks and contractors in numismatic design, artistic vision, craftsmanship and marketing efforts.

The Best Circulating Coin category recognizes coins made of non-precious metals and possessing all-around appeal, both from aesthetic and commercial viewpoints, and meeting the basic considerations of actual circulating monetary units.

The South African Mint was also nominated among the best pieces in the “Best Gold Coin” category for its one-ounce rhino coin and in the “Most Inspirational Coin” category for its “South African Inventions Tickey” showcasing a South African invention that revolutionized cataract surgery—the retinal cryoprobe.

The commemorative circulation coin depicts on its reverse a mother and daughter walking in nature.

This win follows a few others received by the South African Mint at the COTY Awards in recent years, namely Best Gold Coin (2009) for the 1oz (R100) Natura featuring the ‘White Rhino Safari Through Africa’, the coveted Coin of the Year (2012) for the 1/2oz (R50) Natura featuring the ‘Nature’s Family – The Meerkat’, and most recently the Best Contemporary Event (2019) for the (R2) Crown depicting the world’s first successful human-to-human heart transplant. The South African Mint is proud to continue its long-standing tradition of crafting coins that not only tell the story of South Africa but inspire the world as well. The SA25 R2 coin commemorating the ‘right to freedom and security of the person’ coin honours the most significant book in the history of South Africa, the Bill of Rights, contained in Chapter 2 of the Constitution of South Africa, which itself is one of the most influential documents of its kind in contemporary history.

“This award allows us to see, through our SA25 circulation coins which commemorated the 25th anniversary of our democracy, the visible and tangible icons of our constitutional legacy,” said South African Mint Managing Director Honey Mamabolo.

It is important to note that the value of a regular, non-collectable, commemorative circulation coin that is not proof quality or encapsulated, is that which is depicted on the coin. Thus, a commemorative circulation R2 is only worth R2. The public is urged to make use of all commemorative currency coins as they would any other currency coin, as these commemorative coins do not hold any intrinsic value other than that depicted on the face of the coin.

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