As South Africa celebrates its twenty years of democracy, SA Mint has paralleled this remarkable journey by documenting the most significant milestones of the country's cultural and natural heritage through the circulation of legal tender coins, as well as the timeless craftmanship of collectible gold coins that are highly sought after commemorative and investment pieces. Now in its twenty first year, the 'Natura Series' introduces its latest collection entitled 'Nocturnal Hunters' with the debut of 'The Leopard Coin Collection'.
A dedicated launch event was recently held at the Hemelhuijs restaurant in Cape Town with a leopard inspired menu by chef Jacques Erasmus drawing on locally sourced produce indigenous to the Cederberg and the terroir of the Cape mountain leopard.
The advent of 'The Leopard Coin' Series will continue a longstanding tradition by SA Mint to support wildlife conservation through a portion of the proceeds generated from sales, and has a long history of conservation involvement since the iconic 'Big 5' collection was released in 1994. To give further credence to its conservation legacy, SA Mint elected to partner with The Cape Leopard Trust to support work being done to research leopard activity in the remote mountains of the Cederberg, the Cape farmlands of the Boland and the Karoo region of Gouritz where their habitat is increasingly fragmented. The Cape Leopard Trust has been instrumental in engaging local farmers and communities to seek out collaborative solutions to human-animal conflict over the last ten years. More than 30 individual leopards have now been successfully collared in the Cederberg and Boland regions, allowing researchers to track their movements with over 300 camera traps that have captured evidence of these stealthy and elusive creatures.
It is therefore appropriate that the minting of this unique collection took place in the Cederberg, the mountain stronghold of the Cape leopard, a place of solace where they have roamed for thousands of years and still remain free.
The very first Limited Edition 1oz 'Leopard Coin Colection' numbered 001/300 is currently available for purchase. Join the online auction at www.legacylive.co.za. The proceeds of the sale of set 001 will go in its entirety to The Cape Leopard Trust Environmental Education Project, as will limited contributions from all subsequent coin sales. Closing date 14 November 2014.