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Whether you’re a seasoned collector or just starting out, we’ve got you covered with valuable insights and advice from our team of expert specialists. Explore the fascinating world of numismatics and precious metals – from understanding the nuances of grading to uncovering hidden treasures, let us share our passion for the industry and our knowledge with you.

Learn All About Banknote Grading

Like with coins, there is a grading system in place to determine the condition, the quality and therefore helping to determine the value. Below is the full list of grades starting from UNC – uncirculated to P -poor. These grades and grading method are used throughout the banknote world. It is often easy to judge the condition of a note i.e. the grade from adhering to the list of characteristics about the condition of the note.

Grading Guide – Definitions of terms 

UNC Uncirculated: A perfectly preserved note, never mishandled by the issuing authority, a bank teller, the public or a collector. Paper is clean and firm, without discoloration. Corners are sharp and square, without any evidence of rounding. (Rounded corners are often tell-tale sign of a cleaned or “doctored” note.) An uncirculated note will have its original, natural sheen. 

AUNC About uncirculated: A virtually perfect note, with some minor handling. May show evidence of bank counting folds at a corner or one light fold through the centre, but not both. An AU note cannot be creased, a crease being a hard fold which has usually “broken” the surface of the note. Paper is clean and bright with original sheen. Corners are not rounded.

EF Extremely fine: A very attractive note, with light handling. May have a maximum of three light folds or one strong crease. Paper is clean and bright with original sheen. Corners may show only the slightest evidence of rounding. There may also be the slightest sign of wear where a fold meets the edge.

VF Very fine: An attractive note, but with more evidence of handling and wear. May have a number of folds both vertically and horizontally. Paper may have minimal dirt, or possible colour smudging. Paper itself is still relatively crisp and not floppy. There are no tears in the border, edges do show slight wear. Corners also show wear but not full rounding.

F Fine: A note which shows considerable circulation, with many folds, creases and wrinkling. Paper is not excessively dirty but may have some softness. Edges may show more handling with minor tears in the border area. Tears may not extend into the design. There will be no centre hole because of excessive folding. Colours are clear but not very bright. A staple hole or two would not be considered unusual wear in a fine note. Overall appearance is still on the desirable side.

VG Very good: A well used note, abused but still intact. Corners may have much wear and rounding, tiny nicks, tears may extend into the design, some discoloration may be present, staining may have occurred, and a small hole may be seen at centre from excessive folding. Staple and pinholes are usually present, and the note itself is quite limp but NO pieces of the note can be missing. A note in VG condition may still have an overall not unattractive appearance.

G Good: A well worn and heavily used note. Normal damage from prolonged circulation will include strong multiple folds and creases, stains, pinholes and/or staple holes, dirt, discoloration, edge tears, centre hole, rounded corners and an overall unattractive appearance. No large pieces of the note may be missing. Graffiti is commonly seen on notes in G condition.

F Fair: A totally limp, dirty and very well used note. Larger pieces may be half torn off or missing besides the defects mentioned under the Good category. Tears will be larger, obscured portions of the note will be bigger.

P Poor: A “rag” with severe damage because of wear, staining, pieces missing, graffiti, large holes. May have tape holding pieces of the note together. Trimming may have taken place to remove rough edges. A poor note is desirable only as a “filler” or when such a note is the only one known of that particular issue.

About the Author

Sharon has grown up in City Coins, accompanying her mom Natalie to the shop on Saturday mornings and later on business trips. She has an in depth knowledge of the industry, and is always on hand to answer your questions and offer expert advice.

Learn All About Banknote Grading

Learn all about the different banknote grades and grading which contributes to determining the value of the banknote grade with grading from starting from UNC – uncirculated. These grades and grading method are used throughout the banknote world. It is often easy to judge the condition of a note i.e. the grade from adhering to the list of characteristics about the condition of the note.

Read More »

FAQs

Please take a look through our FAQs before getting in touch.

Whether normal or commemorative, the circulation R5 coin is worth its face value only, which is R5.

Whether normal or commemorative, the circulation R5 coin is worth its face value only, which is R5.

We work by appointment only.  Please contact us via telephone or email to arrange.

This question is asked numerous times a day.

If you are referring to old SA / foreign circulated currency, the following applies.

Provide us with a list of each of your coins via email.

The list should consist of country, year and face value (the value which appears on the face of the coin).  Include two photographs (obverse and reverse) of five of your coins.  If your collection contains coins of value to us, we will contact you to arrange an appointment.

Since banknotes are made of paper and not precious metal, we very much focus on the condition of the banknote. If it’s been crumbled, torn, used or stuck and is a modern note, then unfortunately it is of no interest to us. Sometimes very used old notes still have a value due to their rarity. If you’re not sure, then get in touch.

Yes we can.  Based on a list of your medals and the accompanying documentation (referred to as provenance) we can determine whether these are suitable for our upcoming medal auction or perhaps are more suitably sold on auction with our UK partner, Noonans.

We are often listed in wills to look at estates due to our involvement in building up the collections in the first place. This has established a foundation of trust and we are then most familiar with the items in the collection. However, even if we do not know the collection we can give the required valuation at the time of death.

No we do not, but we do work with esteemed partners in the industry who we recommend. We do on occasion take in jewellery and watches but on a case-by-case basis.

The gold price fluctuates constantly.  We fix our buying in and selling prices by 9:30am Monday to Friday.

Request, via email, our selling price. We will provide you, via email, with the price and our banking details.  Should you accept our price, proof of payment must be emailed to us by close of business the same day.  Once your payment is reflected in our account, we will contact you to arrange an appointment to collect your Krugerrands.  You will be required to produce your SA ID / driver’s licence or International passport on collection.

An appointment will need to be arranged.  You will need to bring along the Krugerrands, your SA ID / driver’s licence or foreign passport as well as your banking details.  We will process an Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) and provide you with proof thereof, before leaving.  Should you require an immediate transfer, let us know before the payment is processed.

There is NO VAT on Gold Krugerrands.  According to SARS “gold coins issued by the South African Reserve Bank in accordance with section 14 of the South African Reserve Bank Act 90 of 1989 (or that remain in circulation per provision (1) of that section) will not be regarded as second-hand goods. These coins include Kruger Rands and gold coins in the National Geographic, Natura, Protea and R1 series as well as any other gold coins declared by the Ministry of Finance to be legal tender”

There is VAT on silver Krugerrands. However, silver is still a worthwhile investment, especially where smaller investment amounts are available.

There is no difference in value as the value is determined by the content of the gold. Sometimes, if the coin is in an excellent condition in a box, it makes a nice gift and especially if the date is a birth date.

Get in Touch

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Medals

City Coins has achieved global recognition for  South African war medals with a worldwide customer base eagerly following our medal auctions.

The market for war medals and decorations has been popular for decades. Medals can be collected according to a specific battle, rebellion or conflict. Sometimes people simply prefer to collect medals that appeal to them aesthetically. 

A lot of the time, however, people keep medals because they form emotional attachments to them. This is especially true for South Africans and Britons with family members who received the Queens South Africa (QSA) medal for fighting in the Boer War. Although some might feel attached to medals and want to hang onto them, sometimes the memory of the recipient is better served in the collection of someone who will really cherish the medal and appreciate its history.

Perhaps you have war medals or decorations that have been passed down from generation to generation through your family? If you would like to find out more about your medals or how much they are worth, please get in touch. If you have medals for sale, we can give you all the advice you need in order to evaluate and sell them.

Bank Notes

While the world of money transitions into an era devoid of paper with cryptocurrency and NFT, banknotes have become even more rare and popular. 

 

Our banknotes range from the famous Siege of Mafeking to the South African notes from Governors of The Reserve Bank. We have rare notes and specimens.

The American Gold Eagle and South African Krugerrand bullion coins, for instance, are made up of .9167 fine gold, thus making them 22-karat. But they still contain one troy ounce of gold – which is why they weigh 1.0909 troy ounces overall. The added alloy creates a more durable coin.

The spot gold price is simply the current market price of gold at which traders can perform over-the-counter trades with each other. It is the cost of one troy ounce of gold, and the greater the price, the higher the demand.

We are an authorised dealer of The Rand Refinery and The South African Mint. We deal in all types of gold and silver Krugerrands as well as special Krugerrand sets and commemorative Krugerrands. We have a large collection of the “Natura” sets issued over the years by the SA Mint and no longer in production (so very rare!).

Krugerrands

Gold purity tends to be measured by karats – abbreviated “kt” – with 24-karat gold designated as 0.999 fine or above. Pure gold fineness would be 1.000; however, the softness of gold would make such coins impractical to use, so 0.999 fine and above is considered pure gold. These coins contain only the most minuscule amount of another metal – or ‘alloy’ – needed to make them tradable. 

The American Gold Eagle and South African Krugerrand bullion coins, for instance, are made up of .9167 fine gold, thus making them 22-karat. But they still contain one troy ounce of gold – which is why they weigh 1.0909 troy ounces overall. The added alloy creates a more durable coin.

The spot gold price is simply the current market price of gold at which traders can perform over-the-counter trades with each other. It is the cost of one troy ounce of gold, and the greater the price, the higher the demand.

We are an authorised dealer of The Rand Refinery and The South African Mint. We deal in all types of gold and silver Krugerrands as well as special Krugerrand sets and commemorative Krugerrands. We have a large collection of the “Natura” sets issued over the years by the SA Mint and no longer in production (so very rare!).

Coins

We specialise in South African coins either of rarity (graded or potential)  or commemorative value. Many old South African coins contain gold/silver and are rare, like the famous Veld pond and 1931 Tickey.  

We also deal with international coins, and have a global clientele and network through Noonans Mayfair which we can leverage for our customers.