Multi international award winning series, the Natura, has become one of the South African Mint's most sought after coin series. The Natura's themes are dedicated to South Africa's wildlife and over the years, financial proceeds from the sales of special coin sets have been ploughed back into conservation to preserve endangered species.
The "Nature's Families" theme began in 2011 and featured the meerkat (Suricata suricatta) family. The 2012 coins featured the endangered African painted wolf (Lycoon pictus), also commonly called the African wild dog. The Zebra (Equidae) concludes the "Natures Families" theme. Visually linking the families, the obverse of all the coins in all three themes features seven animals.
There are three live zebra species with several subspecies: Grévy's zebra (Equus grevyi) the largest specimen; Plains Zebra (Equus quagga), the most common zebra and finally, the mountain zebra (Equus zebra), the smallest zebra. Zebras are members of the horse family but unlike donkeys and horses, zebras have not been truly domesticated. Both the Grévy's zebra and the mountain zebra aré listed as endangered on the Red List of Threatened Species due to shrinking grazing lands and environmental hazards.
The zebra's distinctive white and black stripes come in different patterns, unique to each individual. Standing together, their stripes form a camouflage that breaks up the outline of the body making it difficult for predators to single them out.
Zebras live in family groups, or harems, of between 5-20 individuals that consist of one stallion, a few mares and their young. The mares have their own hierarchy within the group. However, when migrating, family groups congregate with other families and bachelor groups forming large herds. During migration the stallion will take charge of his own family, protecting his mares and young from predators or other stallions.
Zebras communicate with each other with sounds and facial expressions and social grooming produces bonds between the males. Although nervous and jumpy, zebras are very sociable animals and graze with other herbivores such as antelopes, wildebeest, giraffe and buffalo. Zebras have excellent hearing and eyesight and are capable of running at speeds of up to 40 miles per hour. They are very courageous and are not afraid to confront predators.
The Prestige Set of the Zebra consists of 4 pure gold coins(1 oz, 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, and 1/10 oz). The gold coins share a common obverse that depicts a herd of Zebra drinking in the foreground. The reverse of the 1 oz coin depicts a pair of Zebras grazing. The reverse of the half oz coin depicts a pair of Zebras. The reverse of the quarter oz coin depicts a mother and a baby Zebra drinking. The reverse of the tenth oz coin depicts a pair of Zebras grazing.
|Mass:||31.107 g, 15.553 g, 7.777 g, 3.110 g|
|Diameter:||32.69mm, 27.00mm, 22.00mm, 16.50mm|
|Metal Content:||Au 999.9|
|Reverse Die-sinker:||C Moses, VL Chipa, MJ Scheepers, MD Mothobela|
|Reverse Artist:||N van Niekerk|
|Obverse Die-sinker:||MJ Scheepers|
|Obverse Artist:||N van Niekerk|
|Purity:||24 carat Gold|
|Estimated Market Value: 2013||R40,615|
|Estimated Market Value: 2014||R41,000|