African Wildlife Series Gold coins are of interest to collectors and investors for their limited mintage, .999 purity and beautiful, annually changing design. It's the unusual evolution of this popular series that enhances their appeal. Although branded a series, only one animal has ever appeared on Gold African Wildlife coins – the majestic African elephant. The most famous coin is manufactured by the Bavarian State Mint in Munich, Germany. Somalia Gold Elephant coins made their debut in 2008 following the success of the Silver Somalia Elephant. However, the African Wildlife Series originally began in 1999 and from then until 2003 had all the same characteristics but featured Zambia as the nation of issue.
Minted in Germany, the African Wildlife bullion is a popular investment among collectors for the unique motifs and their .999 gold content. Among the favourites is the Somalian Elephant which is minted to the highest standards and fully insured by the Bavarian Mint. The African Wildlife gold bullion coin series is admittedly the most remarkable coin series we have come across. Bearing the name and armorial achievement of the Somali Republic, but struck in Munich’s Bavaria Mint, these beautiful coins are something of a mystery and a hidden treasure. In the civil war, Somalia was gripped by misery, illness and poverty, it is impossible to determine whether or not these coins were commissioned by the country’s government. This very confusion, of course, makes the coins more intriguing and increases their demand by many collectors.
The coins are undoubtedly manufactures to very high standards of quality and aesthetic value, with exciting yearly changes to the design which features the elephant’s life in the Somali savannahs. They contain.999 fineness of gold content and carry legal tender in the country officially known as The Republic of Somalia. The silver African Wildlife Series has existed since 1999, while the gold African Wildlife series probably started in 2004, although none of the coins issued previously to 2009 seem to be available on the market. They are struck to the highest modern standards, with a beautiful proof-like finish, and crisp, extremely detailed imagery of majestic elephant motifs. There seems to be an inexhaustible variety of 1 oz bullion coins: there are gold-plated and colour-plated coins, while gold bullion uncirculated coins are issued in 1 oz and sometimes denominations of ½ oz and ¼ oz. More preciously rare are the proof issues (whose edges are not reeded). In 2011, for example, along with the uncirculated 1 oz. version, we find a unique 1/50 oz. (62 g.) proof version together with the 1/25 oz. version and the spectacular 5 oz. gold proof coin presented in a luxury wooden box and capsule together with a certificate. Only 99 such coins were minted.
African Wildlife coins are available only through secondary dealers such as CoinInvest GmbH, but given the reliability and effectiveness of all reputable dealers, this is really a plus as you can find a great variety of excellent pieces.
African Elephants are issued annually in the same manner as other bullion coins, and feature unique designs each year to make them even more appealing to collectors. All this, together with their attractiveness, makes them probably the most unusual bullion coins available today, and ensures that they command a high premium over spot price if they are sold. African Wildlife coins are a brilliant investment both as a store of value, and as a moderate collectible, and they are most likely to appreciate in value further, especially if the series comes to an end and makes the existing coins even scarcer than they are.
The reverse side of the coins depicts bush elephants native to Somalia. Along a fine circular edge, the words “AFRICAN WILDLIFE ELEPHANT” are inscribed together with the weight and the purity (Au. for gold, Ag. for silver) of the coins. The African bush elephant is the largest land animal on Earth, weighing between 4,000 and 8,000 kilos and standing up to 4 meters high. It will eat 150 kilos of grass and leaves and drink up to 50 gallons of water per day. A very intelligent, social and sensitive creature, the elephant has been observed showing love and affection, and even grieving for lost family members. In the wild the elephant will live 60 to 70 years and has no natural predators. The obverse of the African Wildlife coins bears the armorial achievement of Somalia: a horizontally striped crowned shield bearing a single star supported by two leopards rampant. Below the emblem we find two crossed lances, together with two crossed palm fronds draped with a ribbon. The words “SOMALI REPUPLIC” appear in English at the top of the coin, the date, broken into two parts of two digits each, flanks the central design, and the face values (1,000 Shillings for 1 oz gold) are shown at the bottom of the coin. The edges of all the coins are reeded. The coins are 39mm in diameter.
The production of the African Wildlife coins
Regardless of their strange provenance, the Somalian Gold African Wildlife Series are in every way top quality bullion coins minted with the latest techniques and feature magnificent artwork as well as a formidable variety of issues. The coins are struck to order of the Emporium Gruppe, one of the world's leading coin trading houses, that acts as an exclusive distributor. They are produced at the Bavarian State Mint, a state owned enterprise of the Free State of Bavaria that utilizes state-of-the-art technologies following appropriate standards in quality and ecology, and provides successful certification. Founded in 1158 under Emperor Ludwig dem Frommen in Regensburg, the mint was responsible for the production of the 1972 Olympic Games medals in Munich, and started the production of the German Euro in 1997. Following the impressively automated procedure of minting, the coins undergo a most meticulous inspection and leave the factory flawless.
Based on a continuous improvement process, the production, inspection and security systems are permanently tested and developed. Objectively speaking, such quality of craftsmanship is impossible to duplicate. Nevertheless, in many issues of African Wildlife Elephants there are privy marks taken from the Chinese zodiac for extra safety.