The South African Mint has officially launched a new coin range featuring the buffalo, providing a fitting culmination of the Big 5 Series II range. Series II coins, like Series I, are available in gold, platinum, and silver.
"Series II made its mark in 2021 with a significant design refresh while maintaining the high craftsmanship associated with the Big 5 series, and the Buffalo coin exemplifies this exceptional design aesthetic," said SA Mint managing director Honey Mamabolo.
The SA Mint explained that the buffalo, also known as the warrior, is a symbol of fertility and aggression.
Mamabolo said the impact is evident through the transformational effect that the buffalo has on the African environment.
Mamabolo said the Big 5 Series II was launched in 2021, following the successful introduction of the award-winning Series I in 2019. Series II mirrors the reverse design seen on Series I, in which two halves of the featured animal’s face are shown, forming a full face only when two or more coins are placed side-by-side.
The obverse highlights a striking new rendition of the buffalo’s head, facing the right with its head and horn prominent. By contrast, in Series I, the animal is facing the left, and a part of the body can be seen. The obverse also includes the South African coat of arms, indicating the coin’s status as legal tender.
"The platinum offering consists of a single 1oz coin, while the silver range comprises a 1oz Brilliant Uncirculated (BU) coin, a 1oz double capsule set containing two silver proof coins, and a special Big 5 and Krugerrand buffalo privy mark combination set," the SARB said.
Mamabolo said the gold range includes a 1oz gold proof, a 1/4oz gold proof, and a 1/4oz gold proof double capsule set, containing two identical gold proof coins. The gold coins are complemented by a Big 5 and Krugerrand buffalo privy mark combination set consisting of a 1oz gold proof Big 5 coin and a 1oz gold proof Krugerrand coin.
In May, the SA Reserve Bank launched upgraded banknotes and coins.