South African Mint’s ‘Big Five’ silver bullion coin series continues with the Rhino, the animal kingdoms tank

Home of the ubiquitous Krugerrand, South Africa has a long tradition of gold bullion coins, but o shorter history with silver. That iconic Krugerrand made the jump just a few years ago to great demand, but it has also been a pleasure to see the South African Mint dip into its extensive nature experience with a pair of new series. Both of them are far more limited in mintage than the Kruger, and are priced a bit above those coins as well.

Part of the reason is clearly the reduced mintage of just 15,000-50,000 pieces per design, but it also comes from the custom individualised packaging that the coins are sold in – quite at odds with the wider market, although the Perth Mint has had some success with small runs of more populous coins when attached to cardboard blisterpacks. One of the two ranges, ‘Big Five’ (the other is Rise of the Dinosaurs), is now getting its third entrant.

Last year brought the Elephant and the Lion to market, and now it’s the turn of the Rhino, the animal equivalent of letting Mr Magoo drive a tank. There were initial indicators that this was to be a series released on a one-per-month basis, but that was clearly a little ambitious given it’s taken a year to get three out. Nevertheless, these are worth the wait and the spaced out release schedule is more practical for collectors swamped for choice.

No changes to the design ethos. One face depicts a close-up of the beast, while the other features a repeating pattern of half-rhino images that forms a chain when placed side by side. In fact, the mint issues a proof version that contains two identical coins just to show this off. The uncirculated coin we’re looking at here comes mounted in a fact-packed blistercard again. I personally love them, although stackers may be less enamoured.

Available to order now, the mintage of this 1oz silver coin remains at 15,000 pieces, with the proof set likely to stay capped at 1,000 units, and we’d also expect to see a gold version eventually. Prices are a bit above the usual bullion coin, as you would expect, but remain very affordable in collectable coin terms. Check out our sponsors if you want one, as many of them sell these. Shipping mid-February.


The Big Five is synonymous with South African wildlife. These magnificent animals have been intrinsically linked to South African currency since 1988 when they were first used on the South African banknote range.

Starting in 2019 the South African Mint releases for the first time a series of coins which have the Big Five as it’s theme. The so called “Big 5” are the African Elephant, the Lion, the Rhino, the Leopard and the Buffalo.

REVERSE: The reverse of the coin features two halves of a rhino portrait. When two of the coins are placed next to each other, a complete close-up portrait of a rhino can be seen. By placing many of these coins next to each other, a whole herd of rhinos can be seen.

OBVERSE: The obverse design features the impressive head of a Rhino, under it the South Africa‘s coat of arms and the inscriptions‚ SOUTH AFRICA‘, and‚ BIG FIVE 2020‘.

COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 31.103 grams
DIMENSIONS 38.725 mm
FINISH Bullion
MINTAGE 15,000
BOX / C.O.A. Blistercard