The South African Mint has issued two silver coins to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the world’s first heart transplant in 1967. The pair of Proof .925 fine silver coins showcases the complex procedure of the whole operation, with a 2.5-cent tickey coin, representing a healthy heart, fitting on top of a 2-rand coin depicting a heart that needs replacement.
The obverse of the 2-Rand coin was developed by Arthur Sutherland in the year 2000. The 2R coin design centers the standard coat of arms of the Republic of South Africa in frosted relief on a mirrored field, flanked on either side by the first two and last two digits in the year of issue, 2017. Surrounding the coat of arms in a pentagon formation are the name of South Africa in each of the country’s 11 official languages. The reverse of the larger, 2-Rand coin illustrates in great detail the skeleton, epidermis, veins, and organs of the torso area of the human body including those connecting the heart and the liver, and even the puffy pillowlike tubing of the large and small intestines.
The obverse of the 2.5-cent tickey has the standard depiction of the king protea, South Africa’s national flower, as designed by Kruger Gray in frosted relief on a mirrored field, with SOUTH AFRICA above and the designer’s initials. The reverse of the 2.5-cent shows a healthy heart with the healthy aorta coming out of the top, blood vessels and textured heart wall. On this side are the metal fineness, the initials CNB of the chief surgeon from 1967 Dr. Chris N Barnard and the denomination of 2 ½ c.
The 2.5-cent tickey contains 1.3 grams of pure silver and the 2-rand coin contains a full ounce of pure silver (the coins’ total weights are heavier because the fineness of each is .925 fine).The coins may be purchased separately or as a pair housed in a hand-crafted wooden box made of walnut with a glossy, piano finish varnish. In total, 1,000 coins of each denomination are available for individual sales. A maximum of 700 sets are available.
|2-1/2 cents||.925 silver||1.3 g||16.30 mm||1,700|
|2 Rand||.925 silver||31.1 g||38.725 mm||1,700|