The Natura pure-gold coin series was launched in 1994. Over the past 20 years, it has become one of the South African Mint’s most sought-after coin collections, winning many international awards. A new theme, ‘Nocturnal Hunters’, was introduced in 2014; the first predator to features is the leopard.
Part of the famous Big Five, the leopard (Panthera pardus) is one of Africa’s most beautiful yet fearsome creatures. The portrait of a snarling leopard features on the obverse of all four Natura coins, together with the year’2014′ and the words ‘South Africa’. A mint mark depicting a leopard paw print and the abbreviation ‘CLT’ which stands for the ‘Cape Leopard Trust; is over struck on the obverse of the 1 oz Natura coin.
The CLT is a predator conservation organization which uses scientific research and educational programmes to find solutions to human-wildlife conflict and to inspire interest in the environment. This organization is a leading authority on predator conservation in South Africa.
The 1 oz Natura coins were over struck in the Bakkrans Nature Reserve, a remote wilderness area situated in the Cederberg mountain range of the Western Cape. Home to the rare Cape leopard, the reserve was the CLT’s first leopard-research site.
Various aspects of this elusive feline’s life are captured on the reverse of each Natura coin. A leopard lies lazily on a tree branch on the 1 oz (Rl 00) coin. The 112oz (RS0) coin portrays a male and a female leopard together, representing a mating pair. Leopards in a collage of tree branches, one dragging its kill up the tree, are shown on the 1 /4oz (R20) coin while the l /10oz (Rl 0) coin depicts a pair of curious cubs.
The silhouette of a leopard on stylized branches in front of the moon represents the ‘Nocturnal Hunters’ theme, repeated on each coin. The word ‘Natura’ unifies the four coins into a set. This pure-gold coin seri pays tribute to a remarkable nocturnal hunter.