South African Mint launches unique rhino coin in Big Five series two

The South African Mint Company, owned by the Reserve Bank, will launch a unique rhino coin collection following that of the elephant and lion in the Big Five series two range.

Honey Mamabolo, managing director of the South African Mint, said the company is delighted that there is a concerted effort on many fronts to fight for survival of the rhino.

“The rhino coins are particularly poignant because these animals offer us a unique link to our common prehistoric past,” said Mamabolo.

“The African rhinos originated during the Miocene period, around 14.2-million years ago, with the black and white rhino diverging around five-million years ago. In their current form, they date back beyond the Stone Age and have not evolved significantly since then.”

The South African Mint’s Big Five series was launched in 2019 and features a variety of coin ranges depicting the lion, elephant, rhino, leopard and buffalo in various precious metals. The popularity of the first series led to the launch of the second series in 2021, which features a subtle design change on the obverse of the coin.

The obverse of the series two rhino coins depicts the head of the rhino facing the right-hand side, with only a little of the body showing, compared with series one which showed the full animal facing to the left.

“The rhino’s distinctive horns are the focus of the series two coins, filling up more than half the surface, a bittersweet detail as it’s the supposed medicinal qualities of its horn that have led to the poaching that threatens this magnificent animal’s very survival.”

The rhino coins are available in gold, silver, and platinum in various configurations. Series two also introduces new coin sizes.

The platinum offering consists of a single 1oz coin, while the silver range comprises a 1oz brilliant uncirculated coin, and a 1oz silver-proof double capsule containing two identical series two silver-proof coins.

The gold range includes a 1oz gold proof, a 1/4oz gold proof, and a 1/4oz gold-proof double capsule containing two identical series two gold-proof coins.

Two sets made up of the iconic Krugerrand and the Big Five are available featuring a 1oz Big Five series two rhino coin and a 1oz Krugerrand with a rhino mint mark, one in gold and one in silver. The silver set is limited to 1 000 while only 100 of the gold sets will be available.

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