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20 Rand 1999, South Africa

in Krause book Number: 124b
Years of issue: 1999
Edition: --
Signatures: Governor: Mr. Tito Mboweni (08.08.1999 - 08.11.2009).
Serie: Fourth issue 1992-1994 "Big five"
Specimen of: 1994
Material: Cotton fiber
Size (mm): 134 x 70
Printer: South African Bank Note Company (Pty) Ltd, Pretoria

* All pictures marked magnify are increased partially by magnifying glass, the remaining open in full size by clicking on the image.

** The word "Specimen" is present only on some of electronic pictures, in accordance with banknote images publication rules of appropriate banks.

20 Rand 1999




African elephant.


20 Rand 1999

Closeup of the African bush elephant head. On background are, again, elephants.

Loxodonta africana

The African bush elephant (Loxodonta africana) is the larger of the two species of African elephant.

Both it and the African forest elephant have usually been classified as a single species, known simply as the African elephant, but recent preliminary evidence has seen the forest elephant classified as a distinct species (although this status is not conclusively accepted due to concerns over conservation strategies until the reclassication is formalised).

The African bush elephant is the largest and heaviest land animal on earth. On average, males are 3.2 meters (10.5 ft.) tall at the shoulder and 6 tonnes (13,230 lb.) in weight, while females are much smaller at 2.6 meters (8.5 ft.) tall at the shoulder and 3 tonnes (6,610 lb.) in weight. The most characteristic features of African elephants are their very large ears, which they use to radiate excess heat, and their trunk, a nose and an extension of the upper lip with two opposing extensions, or "fingers" at the end of it (in contrast to the Asian elephant, which only has one). The trunk is used for communication and handling objects and food. African elephants also have bigger tusks, large modified incisors that grow about 7 inches a year throughout an elephant's life. They occur in both males and females and are used in fights and for marking, feeding, and digging.

The populations in Southern Africa are thought to be increasing at 4% per annum whilst other populations are decreasing.

At bottom are geometric figures.

Lower left is a coincides image, as security measure.

Denomination in numeral is centered, in words are on right and left sides.


20 Rand 1999

Round brilliant cut

On top are three graphic image of round brilliant cut (top view).

A brilliant is a diamond or other gemstone, cut in a particular form with numerous facets so as to have exceptional brilliance. The shape resembles that of a cone and provides maximized light return through the top of the diamond.

Even with modern techniques, the cutting and polishing of a diamond crystal always result in a dramatic loss of weight; rarely is it less than 50%. The round brilliant cut is preferred when the crystal is an octahedron, as often two stones may be cut from one such crystal. Oddly shaped crystals, such as macles, are more likely to be cut in a fancy cut - that is, a cut other than the round brilliant, which the particular crystal shape lends itself to.

The original round brilliant-cut was developed by Marcel Tolkowsky in 1919. The modern round brilliant consists of 58 facets (or 57 if the culet is excluded), ordinarily today cut in two pyramids placed base to base: 33 on the crown (the top half above the middle or girdle of the stone), truncated comparatively near its base by the table, and 25 on the pavilion (the lower half below the girdle), which has only the apex cut off to form the culet, around which 8 extra facets are sometimes added. In recent decades, most girdles are faceted. Many girdles have 32, 64, 80, or 96 facets; these facets are not counted in the total. While the facet count is standard, the actual proportions (crown height and angle, pavilion depth, etc.) are not universally agreed upon.



Mining in South Africa has been the main driving force behind the history and development of Africa's most advanced and richest economy, after Nigeria. Large scale and profitable mining started with the discovery of a diamond on the banks of the Orange River in 1867 by Erasmus Jacobs and the subsequent discovery and exploitation of the Kimberley pipes a few years later. Gold rushes to Pilgrim's Rest and Barberton were precursors to the biggest discovery of all, the Main Reef/Main Reef Leader on Gerhardus Oosthuizen's farm Langlaagte, Portion C, in 1886, the Witwatersrand Gold Rush and the subsequent rapid development of the gold field there, the biggest of them all.

Diamond and gold production may now be well down from their peaks, though South Africa is still number 5 in gold but South Africa remains a cornucopia of mineral riches. It is the world's largest producer of chrome, manganese, platinum, vanadium and vermiculite. It is the second largest producer of ilmenite, palladium, rutile and zirconium. It is also the world's third largest coal exporter. South Africa is also a huge producer of iron ore; in 2012, it overtook India to become the world third biggest iron ore supplier to China, who are the world’s largest consumers of iron ore.

Due to a history of corruption and maladministration in the South African mining sector, ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe announced at the beginning of 2013, that mining companies misrepresenting their intentions could have their licenses revoked.

Denomination in numeral is centered, in words and in numerals are on right and left sides.


In Afrikaans and English.

In the 1990s, the notes were redesigned with images of the Big Five wildlife species. 10, 20 and 50 rand notes were introduced in 1992, retaining the color scheme of the previous issue. Coins were introduced for 2 rand and 5 rand, replacing the notes of the previous series, mainly because of the severe wear and tear experienced with low denomination notes in circulation. In 1994 notes were introduced for 100 and 200 rand.

In Africa, the big five game animals are the African lion, African elephant, Cape buffalo, African leopard, and White/Black rhinoceros.

The term big five game (sometimes capitalized or quoted as "Big Five") was coined by big-game hunters and refers to the five most difficult animals in Africa to hunt on foot. Subsequently the term was adopted by safari tour operators for marketing purposes. The term is used in most tourist and wildlife guides that discuss African wildlife safaris. The members of the Big Five were chosen for the difficulty in hunting them and the degree of danger involved, rather than their size.