South African Mint wins top awards at Coin Constellation Contest

Centurion, South Africa: 28 October 2021: The South African Mint, a wholly owned subsidiary of the South African Reserve Bank (SARB), has walked away with second- and third-place awards in the Silver Coin of the Year and Best Circulation Coin categories respectively at the 2021 Coin Constellation contest in Russia.

The striking and distinctive design on the Big 5 rhino coin earned the Mint a respectable second-place award in the Silver Coin of the Year category. The reverse of this coin depicts two halves of the rhino’s face, detailing its eyes, ears and horn. This inventive design allows for a complete rhino’s face to be formed when two coins are placed next to each other, and a herd of rhinos when multiple coins combine.

The obverse features a breathtaking design of the African rhino, which fills up much of the surface area of the coin, the words ‘South Africa’ and ‘Big 5 2020’ as well as South Africa’s national coat of arms.

The design on the sixth and final SA25 R2 circulation coin issued in 2020 received the Mint’s other accolade: third prize in the Best Circulation Coin category. The R2 coin commemorates the ‘right to freedom and security of the person’ as enshrined in the Bill of Rights, and depicts on its reverse a mother and daughter walking freely in nature. The daughter is holding a sunflower, which is magical in its ability to move its head towards the sun, resonant of the resilience, optimism and hopefulness of the young.

This R2 coin is the result of a national competition held at the end of 2019, which called on all South Africans to submit designs for a new R2 coin featuring a right of their choice from the South African Bill of Rights that had not been featured on the earlier 2019 SA25 commemorative circulation coins. The winning design was submitted by a local graphic designer, Esta Quirk.

Respected around the globe, the Coin Constellation contest is held by the Russian publishing house Water Mark, publisher of the specialised magazine on coins and medals Gold Chervonets and organiser of the International Conference and Exhibition COINS.

Coin Constellation is widely recognised in the industry, by coin manufacturers and coin collectors alike, in its 15 years of existence. In 2021, the competition received entries from 22 countries. The winners of the contest are determined by a professional jury consisting of the largest museums, auction houses, numismatic societies, commercial banks and specialised publishing houses from across the world.