The 1898 “Single 9” Pond is considered South Africa’s rare coin. While greatly desired throughout South Africa, this rare South African gold coin is hardly known outside of the country. Part of South Africa’s Gold Coins like the Krugerrand South Africa.
Single 9 Ponds were first created during the Anglo-Boer War, a period during the latter 19th Century when the British and Afrikaans Dutch waged a bloody war against one another to seize control of the Boer republics, The Orange Free State and the South African Republic (Transvaal Republic). Many speculate the driving force behind wanting control over the area and its people had to do with the discovery of gold in the Witwatersrand region, though this theory was never proven. These historic occurrences have led minting South Africa’s rarest coin.
While struggling to maintain the independence of the South African Republic, President Paul Kruger ordered the minting of new gold coins. Without access to new dies and the shipment ordered from Germany being intercepted, The Boer republics decided to proceed with their plan for new coinage by taking their preexisting dies from 1898 and punching a “9” on the obverse, signifying 1899. Sadly, when the first of 130 coins were struck, the Boer government officials noticed the “9” was too large for the chosen area to bear the number. Because the area was far too small, the “9” significantly protruded onto the lower portion of the bust of President Kruger. South Africa Krugerrand was inspired by the presidency of Mr Paul Kruger as a larger part of South African Gold Coins collection which was made into circulation immediately. To date, Krugerrand prices/ Krugerrand value is estimated to be at the top gold bullion values in the country.
Should someone wish to invest in Kruger rands/ Kruger rand or South Africa’s rare coin chances are in the long run the investment will have profitable returns. Investing in Kruger rand coins is like buying gold which its market share cannot be affected by local politics and or global market fluctuations.
Upon realizing the new design flaw, the Boer government decided to abandon their effort to mint coinage featuring their new design and redirect efforts towards the remaining 129 coins. The created second design that called for the remainder of the batch to be struck with two smaller 9’s, and the result was subsequently deemed “Double 99.”
What happened to the first coin with the single 9? It was set aside and became known as the “Single 9”. Eventually this coin was presented to the United States Consul General C.E. Macrum in a ceremony establishing the Boer Republic’s independence.
For over 50 years the whereabouts of this one-of-a-kind coin went unknown until it resurfaced in Egypt in 1954. Presented as an item in King Farouk’s coin collection, the “Palace Collections of Egypt,” the gold coin sold for 655 Egyptian pounds to a wealthy resident of Port Arthur, South Africa.
After returning to its place of origin, the Single 9 Pond changed hands of ownership another five times. In the final sale in 2010, a private buyer became the proud owner of this South African Dutch coin for R20 million.
Rare coins such as the Single 9 Pond, are significant, historical artefacts. Their existence is representative of social and political struggles, as well as a testament to a peoples will to survive and persevere through a period of oppression.