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 one-ounce (1 oz) format. These include silver 1 oz Krugerrands, the Protea series, the Natura series, as well as one-year types that do not fall into a particular series. Some are made of Sterling silver (92.5%) alloyed with copper, just like the British pre-decimal Crown coins, and some are 99.9% silver. The Sterling versions are overall heavier though, so they also contain exactly one ounce of pure silver or 1oz Absolute Silver Weight (1.000 oz ASW); they are called "Crowns" in the "Crown and Tickey" coin sets in which some of them are issued, and are officially denominated as two, five or ten Rands.
This coin, denominated as Ten Rand (R 10) is part of the second series of South African coloured coins by the South African Mint, which celebrates Africa’s unique natural heritage and depicts various colourful birds and plants. It features a Caspian tern (a species of South African birds).
The 2017 colour coin range celebrates the rich diversity and astounding beauty of the Cape West Coast Biosphere, situated in the coastal zone north of Cape Town. The reserve is known for its diverse ecosystems and habitats which include marine, beach and frontal dune environments, pans, wetlands and rocky outcrops. This range is made up of four coins; two R10 sterling-silver coins depicting the fauna and two R5 sterling-silver 1 oz coins depicting the flora of the Cape West Coast Biosphere Reserve.
The Caspian tern, the largest of its kind, has a heavy coral-coloured bill that makes it easily identifiable and a fitting inclusion in the 2017 colour coin range. The R10 coin portrays the bird flapping its wings on the reverse.
The obverse features a map of South Africa, with the Western Cape province in the South-West of the country marked on the map, and the Cape West Coast Biosphere Reserve within the province enlarged, bordering the ATLANTIC OCEAN.
Vertically in three lines in the left part of the obverse, the legend SOUTH AFRICA and the date of issue 2017, over a compass rose showing the cardinal directions on the map.
Under the S of South Africa, the initials of the die-sinker MD (MD Mothobela); the artist was L Guerra.
The reverse of this sterling-silver coin shows a colourised Caspian tern in flight over the sea, with coastal hills in the background.
The value and denomination R 10 (Ten Rand) are to the right and below the bird, below which on two lines the species name in Latin: HYDROPROGNE CASPIA.
Below right, in small letters, the initials of the die-sinker VLC (for VL Chipa); the artist was JA Geldenhuys.
The content: 1 OZ Ag925 Cu75 is around below (Ag is abbreviated from Argentum, which means "silver" in Latin and is used internationally on silver bullion coinage; Cu is for copper).