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20 Rand 2009, South Africa

in Krause book Number: 129
Years of issue: 2005 - 2012
Edition: --
Signatures: Governor: Mr. Gill Marcus (09.11.2009 - present)
Serie: 2005 Fourth Issue "English & Other Official Languages"
Specimen of: 2005
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 2009

Description

Watermark:

watermark

African elephant and denomination 20.

Avers:

20 Rand 2009

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

Loxodonta africanaThe 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.

Top left is the coat of arms of South Africa.

"Or, representations of two San human figures of red ochre, statant respectant, the hands of the innermost arms clasped, with upper arm, inner wrist, waist and knee bands Argent, and a narrow border of red ochre; the shield ensigned of a spear and knobkierie in saltire, Sable. There above a demi-secretary bird displayed Or, charged on the breast with a stylized representation of a protea flower with outer petals Vert, inner petals Or and seeded of nine triangles conjoined in three rows, the upper triangle Gules, the second row Vert, Or inverted and Vert, and the third row Vert, Or inverted, Sable, Or inverted and Vert. Above the head of the secretary bird an arc of seven rays facetted Or and Orange, the two outer rays conjoined to the elevated wings.

Upon a riband Vert, the motto in letters Argent. Issuant from the ends of the riband two pairs of elephant tusks curving inwards, the tips conjoined to the wings of the secretary bird, Or, there within and flanking the shields, two ears of wheat Brunatré".

The first element is the motto, in a green semicircle. Completing the semicircle are two symmetrically placed pairs of elephant tusks pointing upwards. Within the oval shape formed by the tusks are two symmetrical ears of wheat, that in turn frame a centrally placed gold shield.

The shape of the shield makes reference to the drum, and contains two human figures from Khoisan rock art. The figures are depicted facing one another in greeting and in unity.

Above the shield are a spear and a knobkierie, crossed in a single unit. These elements are arranged harmoniously to give focus to the shield and complete the lower oval shape of foundation.

The motto

The motto is written in the Khoisan language of the Xam people, literally meaning "diverse people unite". It addresses each individual effort to harness the unity between thought and action. On a collective scale it calls for the nation to unite in a common sense of belonging and national pride - unity in diversity.

The ears of wheat

An emblem of fertility, it also symbolizes the idea of germination, growth and the feasible development of any potential. It relates to the nourishment of the people and signifies: the agricultural aspects of the Earth.

Elephant tusks

Elephants symbolize wisdom, strength, moderation and eternity.

The shield

It has a dual function as a vehicle for the display of identity and of spiritual defence. It contains the primary symbol of our nation.

The human figures

The figures are depicted in an attitude of greeting, symbolizing unity. This also represents the beginning of the individual’s transformation into the greater sense of :belonging to the nation and by extension, collective humanity.

The spear and knobkierie

Dual symbols of defence and authority, they in turn represent the powerful legs of the secretary bird. The spear and knobkierie are lying down, symbolizing peace.

Immediately above the oval shape of foundation, is the visual center of the coat of arms, a protea. The petals of the protea are rendered in a triangular pattern reminiscent of the crafts of Africa.

The secretary bird is placed above the protea and the flower forms the chest of the bird. The secretary bird stands with its wings uplifted in a regal and uprising gesture. The distinctive head feathers of the secretary bird crown a strong and vigilant head. The rising sun above the horizon is placed between the wings of the secretary bird and completes the oval shape of ascendance.

The combination of the upper and lower oval shapes intersect to form an unbroken infinite course, and the great harmony between the basic elements result in a dynamic, elegant and thoroughly distinctive design. Yet it clearly retains the stability, gravity and immediacy that a coat of arms demands.

The King protea

ProteaProtea

The protea is an emblem of the beauty of our land and the flowering of our potential as a nation in pursuit of the African Renaissance. The protea symbolizes the holistic :integration of forces that grow from the Earth and are nurtured from above. The most popular colors of Africa have been assigned to the protea - green, gold, red and black.

The secretary bird

The secretary bird is characterized in flight, the natural consequence of growth and speed. It is the equivalent of the lion on Earth. A powerful bird whose legs - depicted as the :spear and knobkierie - serve it well in its hunt for snakes, symbolizing protection of the nation against its enemies. It is a messenger of the heavens and conducts its grace upon :the Earth. In this sense it is a symbol of divine majesty. Its uplifted wings are an emblem of the ascendance of our nation, while simultaneously offering us its protection. It is :depicted in gold, which clearly symbolizes its association with the sun and the highest power.

The rising sun

An emblem of brightness, splendour and the supreme principle of the nature of energy. It symbolizes the promise of rebirth, the active faculties of reflection, knowledge, good judgement and willpower. It is the symbol of the source of life, of light and the ultimate wholeness of humanity.

Lower left is a coincides image, as security measure.

Below, centered, are two diamonds for the visually impaired.

Denominations in numerals are in top left and lower right corners, in words in top right corner.

Revers:

20 Rand 2009

Round brilliant cutOn 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.

MiningMining 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.

Four denominations are in numerals, one in words.

Comments:

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.

The 2005 series has the same principal design, but with additional security features such as color shifting ink on the 50 rand and higher and the EURion constellation. The obverses of all denominations are printed in English, while two other languages are printed on the reverses, thus making use of all eleven official languages of South Africa.

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.