World Coins

South Africa begins second Big 5 precious metal series

South Africa has begun its Series II of the Big Five animal coins. The new series brings new sizes, including the quarter-ounce gold coin, left.

Coin image courtesy of the South African Mint; elephant image © Tamsindove |

The South African Mint, a subsidiary of the South African Reserve Bank, has launched the long-awaited Big Five Series II collectable coin collection, a sequel to the award-winning first series which was introduced in 2019.

Following the issuing sequence of the first series, this latest collection will also follow a staggered release approach that will see the elephant lead the introduction of the series, followed by the lion, rhino, leopard and buffalo, every six months.

The second edition of the Big 5 boasts a subtle revision to the obverse design, while the reverse design remains the same as that of the previous series, with the two halves of the animal’s face.

The obverse of the first edition of the elephant coins depicted both the face and part of the majestic creature’s body, facing towards the left-hand side.

In the new series, the obverse of the coins is dominated by the face of the animal, without any depiction of the rest of its body. The long, downward-pointing tusks of the Series I elephant obverse are replaced by shorter, upward-pointing tusks, and the Series II elephant faces the right-hand side of the coin.

Additional sizes for Series II

The launch of the new series coincides with the addition of new sizes of the coins.

The coins will once again be available in three metals: silver, gold and platinum.

The platinum coin offering remains a single 1-ounce coin.

The silver range comprises 1-ounce Brilliant Uncirculated and Proof editions, with the BU coin packaged in a blister folder. Additionally, two-coin sets including a Krugerrand are being issued, and additional silver sizes are being considered.

All gold coins have a Proof finish.

Joining the standard 1-ounce size is a quarter-ounce size, though more gold sizes are being explored for release later.

Multi-coin sets paired with the Krugerrand will also be issued.

The Big 5 series are the second-most popular coins from South Africa, according to Managing Director of the Mint Honey Mamabolo. Krugerrands are most popular.

For more information or to order the Elephant coins, visit

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