South African Mint collectible coins

4.4. Hand-signed issues of the Big Five coins with NGC grading

Overview: The Big Five coin series from the South African Mint

The Big Five coin series issued by the South African Mint is an attraction for coin collectors around the world. Depicting Africa’s majestic “Big Five” animals – lion, elephant, buffalo, rhino and leopard – these coins are praised for their stunning designs and fine craftsmanship. One particular aspect that has attracted a lot of attention, making them even more sought after by collectors, is the availability of autographed NGC-graded editions.

NGC grading and its influence on the value of coins

The NGC is a reputable, independent coin grading service that assesses condition and authenticity to increase value and collectability. Hand-signed labels from designers or important personalities make the valued coins special collector’s items.

Authentically hand signed – What does that mean?

When a coin is labeled “Authentic Hand-Signed,” it means that a significant figure who made a significant contribution to the design or manufacturing process of the coin has personally signed that coin. This could be, for example, the designer, the engraver or another key figure from the coin world. Coins with this special designation are extremely popular with collectors because they provide a tangible connection to the coin’s history and craftsmanship.

Issued by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC), “Authentic Hand Signed” labels provide collectors with the assurance that the signature on the coin is genuine and comes from the person named on the label.

Examples of autographed coins

The “ South Africa Big Five 2020 – Rhino – Series I – 1 oz Gold ” coin is an exclusive collector’s item that stands out for its NGC grade of PF69 UCAM (Ultra Cameo) and the special “First Day of Issue” designation. Another special feature of this coin is the handwritten signature of Tumi Tsehlo, which gives it a personal touch and reinforces the connection to the history and craftsmanship of this unique coin. Mr Tumi Tsehlo served as Managing Director of SA Mint (Pty) Ltd from 2012 to 2020.

The coin ” South Africa Big Five 2019 – Elephant – Series I – 1 oz Platinum – NGC PF70 UCAM ” is also characterized by the original signature (Authentic Hand Signed), also by Tumi Tsehlo.

Market trends and popularity of autographed coins

The hand-signed editions of the Big Five coins offer much more than just an additional aesthetic dimension. Rather, they are impressive evidence of the authenticity of the coin and give it a personal touch from the artist. This connection between the collector and the history and cultural significance of the coin represents an essential attraction. Because it gives the coin a unique and valuable character that goes far beyond its material value.

The popularity of these hand-signed coins is also reflected in current market trends. The demand for these special coins has increased among both collectors and investors alike. They particularly appreciate the additional value created by the NGC grading and hand-signed labels, which make the coins stand out from other collector coins on the market. This makes these coins not only a sought-after item for collectors, but also a solid investment. Due to their rarity and unique features, their value is expected to continue to increase over time.


In summary, the autographed NGC -graded Big Five coins have significantly increased the popularity of these coins in the collecting community. Their aesthetic beauty, authenticity and personal touch make them an indispensable part of any collection. These coins are particularly attractive to collectors and investors who want to expand their collection with valuable and unique pieces. The positive market trends and growing interest in these coins demonstrate their success and potential for the future.

Additional resources :

FAQ on some designations used on NGC holders, such as First Day of Issue, First Releases, Authentic Hand-Signed, etc.

Exclusive First Day of Issue, First Releases and Authentic Hand Signed editions graded by NGC

Our currently available “Big Five” coins from the South African Mint for you: