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 and metals, such as a platinum one-ounce (1 oz) format. These include platinum 1 oz Krugerrands, other series, as well as one-year types that do not fall into a particular series.
This coin is part of the Big Five coin series by the South African Mint, which celebrates Africa’s unique natural heritage by embodying the strength and beauty of the Big Five animals on legal tender coins.
The coins in the series are issued every 6 months, starting with the Elephant and the Lion in 2019, then the Rhino in 2020. The Leopard is the fourth of the ferocious five to be featured in this series. They are the most mysterious and subtle of all the big cats, and their strength enables them to easily drag the body of a large kill onto a tree to protect the carcass from scavengers like hyenas. Their diet sometimes includes fish as they are good swimmers.
Most leopards are light, golden coloured and covered in dark spots referred to as rosettes because of their shape. They are solitary animals; males and females only spend a brief time together while mating, and thereafter go their separate ways again leaving the female to raise the cubs on her own.
The “Big Five” term originated when big game hunters visited the shores of Africa to shoot for trophies, and locals warned them about the five most dangerous animals in Africa: the Elephant, Lion, Leopard, Rhino, and Buffalo.
For the creation of this coin, the South African Mint credits: Paul Botes (die-sinker), JA Geldenhuys (artist) and RC Stone (designer).