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Single Shaft Pond

Year: 1892
Coin: Single Shaft Pond
Diameter: 22,0mm
Mass: 7,988 grammes
Edge: Milled
Designer: Otto Schultz
Metal Content: Gold 916,92 / Copper 83,08
Mintage Figure: Not known

Obverse

Design: President Paul Kruger
Inscription: ZUID AFRIKAANSCHE REPUBLIEK
Remarks: The initials of the engraver ‘OS’ appear on the truncation of the President’s bust. About to face another election, the President found the initials ‘OS’, meaning ‘OX’ in Afrikaans, in bad taste and every effort was made to recover the coins already in circulation. All coins not yet issued were melted down. All subsequent mintages were without the engravers initials.

Reverse

Design: Z.A.R. Coat of Arms in a circle, with eagle and flags
Inscription: 1 POND 1892
Remarks: This variety is known as the single shaft pond and was minted at the Pretoria Mint. Unlike the double shaft pond, the wagon in the design is correct. This coin is called the single shaft pond.

A Brief History

In 1891, with the election coming up and with President Kruger facing strong opposition, he was anxious to bring the Republics new coins into circulation. The new Mint was not yet operating so the President placed an order for coins dated 1892 with the Kaisermunt in Berlin. The first consignment of pounds, half pounds and crowns arrived with two shafts on the wagon and similar size front and rear wheels in the coat of arms. (The traditional Voortrekker wagon had a single shaft and rear wheels larger than the front wheels.) To add insult to injury the designer, Otto Schultz, had followed custom and placed his initials below Kruger’s’ bust – which is Afrikaans for ox. This mistake almost cost Kruger the election. Subsequently, new coins with the appropriate correction were brought into circulation. The ‘offensive’ coins had received so much publicity that many were kept as mementos. This is why they can still be found in mint condition, though very scarce.