Five million bi-metallic coins featuring a smiling Mandela have already been minted and will be released into circulation as part of his official birthday cerebration on Friday, July 18. The R5 coins are legal tender and have a circulating value of about 65 cents (US) each.
Reserve Bank Governor Tito Mboweni indicated the coin’s portrait includes Mandela wearing his signature pattern shirt, which "differentiates him from other portrayals of states persons on coins."
At a ceremonial minting for one of the coins, Reuters news quoted Mandela as smiling and jokingly saying,
“I am a bit richer this morning and I am not going to associate with poor people any more … This is very nice.”
Many South Africans affectionately use the former president’s clan name of Madiba, resulting in the commemorative coin often being called the "Madiba R5".
In 2007, the South African Mint also launched a pure gold and silver Protea Coin Series honoring former Presidents, Mr Nelson Mandela and Mr FW de Klerk who jointly won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1993.