When you think of bullion coins, it’s fair to say a large number of people will look to the iconic Krugerrand as the definitive example. Launched back in 1967 in gold form, it took half a century before the iconic Otto Schultz and Coert Steynberg penned original made the jump to silver. Not a producer that has played around with its bullion coins much, it’s good to see the South African Mint draw on its extensive experience to finally bring out something new.
One of the mints most famous series is its Natura wildlife-themed proof coins, that have been issued since 1994. Only ever available in gold, the 2018 set headed into prehistory for the first time with a very nice five-coin Archosaurs set. It’s from this that the inspiration for the this new 2019 silver bullion coin has been drawn – specifically the small 1/20 oz gold coin. Depicting a small archosaur called Euparkeria, it has immediately jumped to being one of our very favourite bullion coins of the year.
The obverse is common to the whole series and quite outstanding. It depicts the fossilised skull, neck and shoulder of an Erythrosuchus africanus – at around 5 metres, the largest predator of its time. Inscribed here is the series title ‘RISE OF THE DINOSAURS’. the issuer ‘SOUTH AFRICA’, the date in Roman numerals ‘MMXIX’ and the sub-title, ‘ARCHOSAURIA’. The reverse face is even better. Euparkeria leaping for an insect and in full motion is hugely dynamic and far removed from the usual lumbering depiction of prehistoric life that we’re used to. It’s simple and different – a fine change from the usual wildlife bullion coin we’re all used to. The program name ‘NATURA’, the denomination ’25 RAND’, the specific coin title ‘EUPARKERIA’ and the composition ‘1oz Ag999’ are inscribed here and don’t infringe too much on the main image.
While the mintage is a reasonable size at 50,000 pieces, this is more of a semi-numismatic bullion coin than one for the hardcore stacker. Each coin comes packaged in a cardboard blisterpack that’s packed with information and carries a certificate of authenticity. Selling for around €29.50 at the time of writing, it’s clearly a little pricier than the mass market silver bullion coins, but certainly not excessively so. The upside of course, is that it makes a fine value buy/gift for the collector. Only available as a one-ounce 0.999 silver coin, we love this one a lot and it’s great to round out the year with a bullion coin like this. Available to order now, we’ve seen it at EMK, Aurinum and APMEX, as well as site sponsors LPM HK, so you should have no trouble picking one up.