The Union of South Africa is the historic predecessor to the present-day Republic of South Africa. It came into being on 31 May 1910 with the unification of four previously separate British colonies: the Cape, Natal, Transvaal and Orange River colonies. It included the territories formerly part of the Boer republics annexed in 1902, the South African Republic and the Orange Free State.

The Union of South Africa was a self-governing autonomous dominion of the British Empire. It was governed under a form of constitutional monarchy, with the Crown represented by a governor-general. The Union came to an end with the enactment of a new constitution on 31 May 1961, by which it became a republic and temporarily left the Commonwealth, under the new name Republic of South Africa.


Bare head of the King George VI facing left, surrounded by the abbreviated translation of “George VI King and Emperor”.

George VI (1895–1952) was King of the United Kingdom and the Dominions of the British Commonwealth from 11 December 1936 until his death. He was the last Emperor of India and the first Head of the Commonwealth.

As the second son of King George V, he was not expected to inherit the throne and spent his early life in the shadow of his elder brother, Edward. George's elder brother ascended the throne as Edward VIII upon the death of their father in 1936. However, later that year Edward revealed his desire to marry divorced American socialite Wallis Simpson. British Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin advised Edward that for political and religious reasons he could not marry a divorced woman and remain king. Edward abdicated in order to marry, and George ascended the throne as the third monarch of the House of Windsor.

Engraver: Thomas Humphrey Paget



A ship Dromedaris sailing to right, legend in English and Afrikaans either side, with date above and denomination below.

The Dromedaris is one of the three vessels which brought Jan van Riebeeck and his small group of settlers to South Africa from Holland in 1652 in order to establish a refreshment station on behalf of the Dutch East India Company.

Johan Anthoniszoon "Jan" van Riebeeck (1619–1677) was a Dutch navigator and colonial administrator who founded Cape Town in what then became the Dutch Cape Colony of the Dutch East India Company.

The symbol 'D' for pence derives from the Latin denarius used in the Middle Ages.

Variations for 1940 and 1942: with or without star (diamond) after date.

Engraver: George Kruger Gray



1 Penny

British Dominion
KM# 25 Hern# S97-107
Material Copper
Weight 9.45 g
Diameter 31 mm
Thickness 2.04 mm
Shape round
Alignment Medal
Alt # Hern# S97, Hern# S103, Hern# S107, Hern# S106, Hern# S105, Hern# S104, Hern# S102, Hern# S101, Hern# S100, Hern# S99, Hern# S98

Related coins

1st portrait, British Dominion

Copper, 9.45 g, ⌀ 31 mm