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Burgers Pond - Fine Beard

Year: 1874
Coin: Burgers Pond ( Fine Beard )
Diameter: 22mm
Mass: 7,988 grammes
Edge: Milled
Designer: L.C.Wyon
Metal Content: Gold 916,67 /Copper 83,33
Mintage Figure: 695

Obverse

Design: President Thomas F. Burgers
Inscription: THOMAS FRANCOIS BURGERS
Remarks: This was the first truly South African coin. They were minted by Ralph Heaton and Sons, Birmingham, England from alluvial gold mined in the Pilgrims Rest area. This coin, known as the ‘Fine Beard’ Pond, differs from coins struck from the second obverse die. In the latter the points of the beard were coarser.

Reverse

Design: Z.A.R. Coat of Arms in oval shape, with eagle & flags
Inscription: ZUID AFRIKAANSCHE REPUBLIEK
Remarks: N/A

A Brief History

In 1874 the South African government, under President Thomas Francois Burgers, decided to have coins minted to the same value as the English sovereign. Ralph Heaton & Sons of Birmingham coined 837 Ponde/Pounds using alluvial gold from the Lydenburg district. The first 695 pieces were struck with a single pair of dies, after which the obverse die broke, and the final 142 pieces were struck with a new obverse die, but with the same reverse die. The first person to notice a difference in striking was Mr. A.J. Ellis of Johannesburg in 1944. The two types are the fine beard and the coarse beard. The most important differences between the obverses of these two varieties are that the coarse beard has coarser points to the beard, and that the 8 of the date 1874 appears to have been double struck. This double struck effect is due to a flaw on the die itself.

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