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A tale of paper and gold: the material history of money in South Africa

Feingold, Ellen, Fourie, Johan and Gardner, Leigh (2021) A tale of paper and gold: the material history of money in South Africa. Economic History of Developing Regions, 36 (2). 264 - 281. ISSN 2078-0389

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Identification Number: 10.1080/20780389.2021.1926232


This paper uses the South African objects in the National Numismatic Collection of the Smithsonian to tell a new material history of money in South Africa. In other parts of the continent, research about the currencies in use and how these changed over time have offered a new perspective on the impact of colonialism, commercialization, and the rise of state capacity. South Africa, and southern Africa more generally, has remained on the periphery of these debates. This paper begins to fill this gap. It shows that even in Africa’s most financially developed region, the process of establishing a stable national currency was long and halting, reflecting struggles over South Africa’s relationship with the global economy and the rise and fall of apartheid.

Item Type: Article
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Additional Information: © 2021 The Authors
Divisions: Economic History
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
D History General and Old World > DT Africa
H Social Sciences > HG Finance
JEL classification: N - Economic History > N4 - Government, War, Law, and Regulation > N47 - Africa; Oceania
N - Economic History > N1 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics; Growth and Fluctuations > N17 - Africa; Oceania
Date Deposited: 06 May 2021 13:39
Last Modified: 17 Nov 2021 01:06

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