Money - Distinct Shapes & Raised Patterns On Our Coins & Notes

In South Africa and in many other countries around the world, both Coins and Bank Notes have been designed and made to include distinct features so Bank Notes that Persons who are Blind are able to tell the different coins and notes apart. The South African National Council for the Blind was fully consulted by the South African Reserve Bank in the process for creating the new Mandela Series bank notes to ensure that the notes were made to be accessible to persons with Visual Impairments. A team from the Reserve Bank also held a workshop to ensure that all sectors of the visually impaired community received training and information regarding the new notes. The new notes are the same size and colouring as the old notes (just brighter) , so the Money Sticks which are used by some persons with Visual Impairments, will still work accurately.


Bank Notes

The South African Bank Notes are different lengths and have: one, two, three, four or five raised diamond shapes in the middle of the bottom half of the notes to enable blind people to identify them as R10, R20, R50, R100 and R200 respectively. For the benefit of the partially sighted, the Reserve Bank has also introduced geometric shapes on the front of the banknotes. The R10 note features a diamond, the R20 a square, the R50.00 a circle, the R100.00 a 'flat' hexagon and the R200.00 a 'honey comb' hexagon.


For quick and easy reference money templates are also used to measure banknotes, these money templates come in various styles, including an aluminium device and a cardboard one, which can also be used to store the banknotes. Money templates are available to purchase from organizations such as the Guide Dogs Association of South African, Blind SA, or the South African National Council for the Blind. Contact them to receive a quote, or visit Blind SA to see how to use the Cardboard Template.


CoinsCoins - distinct features

A coin for example has six distinct features by which it can be identified. These include the: size; thickness; shape, as they are not all are entirely round; pattern of grooves round the edge; the sound it makes when dropped onto a table and the raised picture on the face.


We have 9 coins in South Africa:


The 1; 2; 5 and 10 Cents are almost never used now.

The 20 cent  and 50 cents are all identifiable by continuous  serration on the edges. These are called “copper”  coins and have a different feel from the “silver rand value coins.

There are two types of 5 Rand coins, the latest and preferable one is unique in that it is thicker and has an interesting edging which includes complete serration as well as a groove running around it; it feels like two coins joined together.

The 1 Rand, 2 Rand and the old 5 Rand coins are distinguishable from Cent coins in that  their serration around the edge is broken by smooth edging as well.

Size  is also important:


The 10 Cent and 1 Cent are the smallest while the 5 Rand coin is the largest

The 50 cent coin is slightly larger than the 1 Rand but can easily be told apart by the difference in serration, which has been mentioned above.

Equipment is also available to help persons who are Blind to store their coins and distinguish between them, this equipment includes:Coin Selector


Plastic Coin Selectors: are also used for quick and easy reference, as the plastic unit has places for South African coins which enables you to handily store your coins in one unit. These plastic coin selectors are available from organizations such as South African National Council for the Blind. You can contact them to find out more or to receive a quote.

Source: Disability Info