26 May 2005
On 23 May 2005 the SA Mint launched a gold coin in Mapungubwe National Park.
The "R2" coin, consisting of 24ct oz gold , bears the well known Golden Rhino. It is known as the Mapungubwe commemorative coin, and is part of a series celebrating the World Heritage Sites of South Africa.
300 medallions were struck on top of the mountain, and will be sold as part of a limited edition set. Only a 1000 more coins were made at the SA Mint, making these coins rare even before they are sold!
Preparations for the launch started well in advance. The day before the official launch the steel press was carried up Mapungubwe mountain- no small task considering it weighs close to 300kg! Gedion Mukwena, a Caretaker in the park, proved as strong as a rhino.
The remainder of the day was spent coining the 300 medallions. At evening everyone enjoyed sundowners in the middle of the river.On the day of the official launch one of the Mapungubwe guides, Moses Baloyi, entertained the official guests with the interpretation of the history of Mapungubwe.
Then it was the turn of Mr Paul Daphne (Executive Director: Parks) to officially strike a medallion. All went smoothly, and a perfect medallion came off the press.
The medallions are sold together with a coin in a sleeperwood box, shaped in the form of the ancient Marabara game- examples which are found on the hill. The event was well attended by the media, once again showing the national interest in Mapungubwe.
Park Manager: Mapungubwe National ParkBernard van Lente