1892 South Africa Five Shillings - Single Shaft - EF
Grade: Extra Fine
The initial production run of the 1892 Five Shillings was highly controversial for two reasons. Firstly, the reverse depicted a European style wagon with two shafts and both sets of wheels the same size whereas the South African "Voortrekker wagon" exhibits a larger rear wheel and a single shaft.
Secondly, the designer Otto Schultz' initials "OS" appeared below Kruger's bust on the obverse of the gold coins issued in this period (it is not uncommon to find a designers initials on a coin.) Unfortunately, his initials translated in Afrikaans to "ox" which wasn't terribly flattering for the President.
These two seemingly minor issues resulted in major political uproar and allegedly, almost cost Kruger the presidency!
Kruger promptly made the necessary adjustments to accurately represent the South African wagon and removed the designers initials from the obverse design. Mintages of the Single Shaft 5 Shilling are as follows: 4,327 (Berlin, Germany) Double Shaft 14,000 (Pretoria, South Africa) Single Shaft
Double Shaft image courtesy of Photographer: Justine Philip Museums Victoria https://collections.museumvictoria.com.au/items/72244