Silver Half Ounce 2016 African Penguin, Coin from South Africa - detailed information

Silver Half Ounce 2016 African Penguin, Coin from South Africa
CoinSilver Half Ounce 2016 African Penguin

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 silver half-ounce (1/2 oz) format. The coins are made of Sterling silver (92.5% silver, 7.5% copper) and are slightly heavier than half ounce, so as to have exactly 0.500 oz ASW (Absolute Silver Weight). They are denominated with a face value of 10 cents.

This coin featuring an African Penguin is part of the 2016 Marine Protected Areas coin series by the South African Mint, consisting of four sterling-silver bullion coins of different sizes, with composition of 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper.

South Africa has an intricate network of marine protected areas (MPAs), designed to conserve the country’s offshore biodiversity. To this end, the South African Mint created the Marine Protected Areas collectable coin series in 2013.

The 2016 collection celebrates the beauty and diversity of the MPA within the South-Western Cape Bioregion (West Coast Bioregion) by showcasing its most iconic species.

The endangered African penguin (Spheniscus demersus) is portrayed on the 10c (half-ounce) coin, sitting on its nest. Protected after centuries of persecution, mainly from guano scraping and egg collecting, it was hoped that their numbers would increase. But recent studies show a rapid population decline, probably as a result of commercial fisheries competing for sardines and anchovies which form the bulk of the penguins’ diet. It is thought that protecting the feeding grounds around the breeding colonies should sustain the penguins while minimising the impact on the fishing industry.

The 50c (2 oz) coin portrays the eight-tentacled master of camouflage: the common octopus. The iconic great white shark propels itself out of the water on the 20c (1 oz) coin, and the West Coast rock lobster is featured on the 5c (quarter-ounce) coin.

MintSouth African Mint Mint MarkNo mint mark Total Mintageunknown
South Africa / Silver Half Ounce 2016 African Penguin - obverse photo

The obverse shows the Coat of Arms of South Africa at centre; around above that, the legend SOUTH AFRICA in English.

Around below, the date of issue 2016.

The designer's initials ALS (for Arthur L. Sutherland) are to the left of the Coat of Arms.

Obverse Inscription SOUTH AFRICA 2016
South Africa / Silver Half Ounce 2016 African Penguin - reverse photo

The reverse of the half-ounce silver coin features an African penguin (Spheniscus demersus), sitting on its nest.

Around above, the inscription AFRICAN PENGUIN. Below the penguin, the face value and denomination 10c (Ten Cents).

To the left, the initials of the reverse die-sinker MD (for MD Mothobela); the reverse artist is L Guerra.

Reverse Inscription 10c AFRICAN PENGUIN
EdgeMilledEdge InscriptionNone

The coins were issued individually (SA Mint Part-No SIL-PC-MPA1016, mintage limited to 1,000, issue price R 500), and in a four-coin set.

Included in Set
South Africa's Marine Protected Areas Prestige Set 2016, mintage unknown, limited to 700
4 coins: 2 oz Silver - Octopus, 1 oz Silver - Great White Shark, 1/2 oz Silver - African Penguin, 1/4 oz Silver - Rock Lobster
Silver Half Ounce 2016 African Penguin: References to Information Used
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Silver Half Ounce 2016 African Penguin: Details
CountrySouth Africa
Coin TypeSilver Half Ounce (1/2 oz)
SymbolCoat of Arms of South Africa
Face Value10 (x Rand)
Total Mintageunknown
Material0.925 Silver
DesignerL Guerra
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
OrientationMedal Alignment (Axis 0)
Size32.7000 mm
Mass16.8130 g
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Silver Half Ounce 2016 African Penguin: Photos
Silver Half Ounce 2016 African Penguin: Photo 1/2oz Silver - African Penguin / thumbnail 1/2oz Silver - African Penguin
Copyright: South African Mint