South Africa pioneered modern bullion coinage when it first issued the Krugerrand on 3 July 1967 to help market South African gold; it is the first modern bullion coin and is still issued today.
Gradually, the South African Mint started diversifying the range, first by issuing fractional Krugerrands, then by introducing different designs. The gold twentieth-ounce (1/20th oz) format is a mini-coin introduced in 2017 to mark the 50th anniversary of the range. The format has been subsequently used for other coins, such as the Natura series. The twentieth-Krugerrands retain their specifications (22-carat gold) while the other coins are 99.99% gold; just as the 1/20 Krugerrand though, they contain exactly one twentieth of an ounce of pure gold or 1/20 oz Absolute Gold Weight (0.050 oz AGW).
This coin - featuring a Homo sapiens fossil - is part of the South African Natura gold bullion coin series celebrating the rich natural heritage of the country.
The South African Mint says about the 2019 edition:
"The second instalment of the palaeontology theme features the Cradle of Humankind - hominids. Hominin species refer to any member of the family tree that split from the common ancestor we share with chimpanzees and ultimately ended with the appearance of humans, while the term hominid is used to include humankind and the chimpanzee, bonobo, gorilla and orangutan.
These species are represented by the hundreds of thousands of fossils that have been discovered in virtually every province in South Africa, which are far more than the hominin fossils that have been discovered in the rest of the world put together. These fossils also represent more hominin species than those found in any other country in the world.
Thus Africa can be regarded as the birthplace of humankind and therefore everyone on earth can trace their ancestry back to Africa. Of all the countries in the world, no one can tell the story of human origins better than South Africa. The title Cradle of Humankind is well deserved because more hominin species have been discovered in South Africa than any other country in the world.
Every coin in this series is a miniature ambassador that tells the story of the origin of humans and South Africa as the birthplace of humankind."