The South African Mint has long been a major player in the gold bullion coin world with its ultra-iconic Krugerrand, but they had little presence in the equivalent silver market until recently. A silver Krugerrand, a new Big Five series of animal designs, and back in October 2018, a dinosaur coin. Called Rise of the Dinosaurs, the first coin in this new series depicted a leaping Euparkeria, and became one of our favourite bullion coins of 2018.
This year carries on the design style with a pair of Coelophysis, of which you can read more about below. This isn’t an original design, as last year the mint issued a very pretty, five-coin, proof gold Natura set. The 2018 silver coin was a copy of the design on the 5 Rand 1/20oz coin from that set – the smallest coin in it – while this new coin is a reproduction of the 100 Rand 1oz issue – the biggest.
It’s another very nice design, although lacking that extra ‘spark’ that imbued the first issue. It’s great to see a subject as popular as the dinosaur world finally have some representation in the bullion world, after what seems an endless list of modern animals, and to see it done so well. Unlike the ancient mythology, meteorite and art-architectural genres, all of which have an almost uniform high standard, dinosaur coins have been quite variable in quality by comparison. The obverse remains the common one for the series. Depicting the fossilised skull, neck and shoulder of an Erythrosuchus africanus, the largest predator of its time, in fossilised form.
About the only negative of this series is the cost of it. It isn’t overpriced, per se, but is marketed as a semi-numismatic. The coin is presented in an info-packed and themed blister pack with an incorporated certificate of authenticity, and we’d certainly consider it great value for what it is, but it isn’t one for the stackers, despite the 50k mintage. Available to order shortly, it’s available from a good selection of dealers worldwide, including several of our sponsors.