South African Natura series celebrates Krugerrand artist Steynberg and his early Springbok designs

Along with the Sovereign and the American Eagle, the Krugerrand has attained an iconic status amongst coin collectors greater than just about anything else in the modern coin world. Released in 1967 and just now celebrating half a century on sale with a hugely popular silver variant and new tooling, it’s easy to forget that the design wasn’t an original one.

In 1947, artist Coert Steynberg produced the Springbok design for use on a 5 Shilling coin with an effigy of British king, George VI on the obverse so it was already twenty years old before it appeared on the Krugerrand. Of more interest are the variety of alternative designs produced from which the famous Springbok work was chosen and the South African Mint has dipped into the archives to produce a quite beautiful new set of gold coins in its long-running Natura programme.

Five 0.9999 gold coins make up this new set, running from one-ounce down to a first ever 1/20 oz variant and encompassing the regular 1/2, 1/4 and 1/10 oz fractional sizes. Each of the five coins depicts one of Steynbergs rejected designs for the 5 shilling coin. It’s easy to imagine that a ‘rejected’ design is inferior, but that’s far from the case here. Each of the five alternative designs present here are clearly from the same family as that employed on the Krugerrand, and each of them is a superb depiction of this beautiful animal. The common obverse shows a close-up of the Springbok from the one-ounce variant.

The coins can be purchased individually, each in a box with a certificate of authenticity and a mintage of 500 each, or as a presentation set for which the mintage is limited to just 800 pieces. Given how popular the Krugerrand has been over the years, that isn’t a lot of coins to satisfy hard-core collectors and we can’t imagine a Krugerrand fan not wanting this set. One of the finest gold sets we’ve seen so far this year.

2017 COERT STEYNBERG SPRINGBOK GOLD COIN SERIES

MINTS DESCRIPTION

The pure-gold Natura series, having ended the ‘Nocturnal Hunters’ theme in 2016, honours the golden jubilee of the Krugerrand with original springbok designs created by South African sculptor Coert Steynberg (7 January 1905 – 28 July 1982) in 1946/47. Steynberg’s springbok designs were used for the final – and current – design we have come to associate with the springbok.

The reverses of the 2017 Natura coins bear conceptual drawings which were originally submitted for the 5 shilling coin from 1947, over five coins. The full springbok- South Africa’s national animal- is depicted in various states of motion, while a pair of springboks are depicted on the ½ oz coin. The Natura, traditionally a series of four gold coins, for the first time in 2017 boasts a new size in the form of the 1/20 oz coin.

The common obverse of the 2017 Natura coins bears a close-up depiction of this agile antelope’s head and body, without the legs. Get yourself or a loved one any of these beautiful commemoration coins celebrating the beginnings of the Krugerrand, the gold coin regarded by many as the coin that started modern gold coin collecting.

SPECIFICATION

Bold Precious Metals
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COIN 1 oz 1/2 oz 1/4 oz 1/10 oz 1/20 oz
VALUE 100 Rand 50 Rand 20 Rand 10 Rand 5 Rand
ALLOY 0.9999 gold 0.9999 gold 0.9999 gold 0.9999 gold 0.9999 gold
WEIGHT 31.1 grams 15.5 grams 7.78 grams 3.11 grams 1.55 grams
DIAMETER 32.69 mm 27.00 mm 22.00 mm 16.50 mm 12.00 mm
FINISH Proof Proof Proof Proof Proof
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SOUTH AFRICAN MINT