Giants of Africa - The Elephant
The African Elephant (Loxodonta africana) features on the 2008 pure gold Natura coin series as the last of the "Giants of Africa". This coin series began in 2005 depicting "The Hippopotamus" as the first African giant. The second giant was "The Giraffe" in 2006 and the third in 2007 was "The Eland".
On the reverse of the R100 (1 oz) Natura a lone bull is featured. After leaving their family groups young bulls form bachelor herds, while mature bulls of 25 years and older often lead solitary lives. Bulls compete with other bulls for mating opportunities. However, it is the bull in musth (a state of heightened aggression and sexual activity),
which are preferred by the cows in heat. On the obverse a portrait of a matriarch is depicted. Elephant herds consist of related females and their offspring and the welfare of these family groups depends on the experienced leadership of the matriarch. A silhouette of a family group is featured on both sides of the coin.
The mintmark on the obverse of the coin depicts a 100 year old fly-press and the letters "SAM" (South African Mint). A mintmark Natura coin was ceremoniously struck on the fly-press by a tame African elephant. This is the only coin that has ever been struck by an elephant to celebrate its own species.
Throughout the world the elephant is a symbol of strength, power and wisdom, as well as kingship and loyalty. These intelligent animals are venerated by many people as they exhibit characteristics which we as humans can identify with.
|Metal Content:||Au 999.9|
|Reverse Die-sinker:||A Minnie|
|Reverse Artist:||N van Niekerk|
|Obverse Die-sinker:||C Moses|
|Obverse Artist:||N van Niekerk|
|Purity:||24 carat Gold|