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    African Elephant Silver Coins

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    The Somalian Silver Elephant from the African Wildlife Series

    The Somalian Silver Elephant coins from the Bavarian State Mint are among the most diverse in the market today. What originated as a 1 oz silver coin program for the nation of Zambia is today a robust offering that includes gold, silver, and platinum options for investors to choose from when buying precious metals. The silver coins in this series have experienced some of the most tremendous growth. Below you’ll find and an overview of the available options in the Somalian Silver Elephant collection.

    Background on the Somalian Silver Elephants

    The Silver Elephant coin originated as an option in the Bavarian State Mint’s African Wildlife Series for the nation of Zambia. From 1999 to 2003, the Bavarian State Mint offered the coins only in a 1 oz silver option. Beginning in 2004, the collection was suddenly offered for the nation of Somalia instead. Though the coin has always been referred to as part of the African Wildlife Series, it is the only known coin to feature this official name on the coin itself.

    As of 2017, the Somalian Elephant Series includes multiple fractional weights, 1 oz coins, and coins greater than 1 oz in weight in both the silver and gold options, with a platinum coin also available for purchase in the series.

    Additionally, the Somalian Silver Elephant coins started with an original face value of 1,000 Shillings and 1 Troy oz of .999 pure silver content. In the mid-2000s, the face value was adjusted downward to 100 Shillings for the 1 oz coin. As of 2016, the Silver Elephants have a purity level of .9999 instead.

    2017 Expansion of Somalian Silver Elephants

    The Somalian Silver Elephant Coin was the first specimen offered in this collection, but the Somalian Gold Elephant was actually the first to feature a variety of weights. In 2017, the Bavarian State Mint not only expanded the offering of Gold Elephant coins, but it also significantly expanded the Somalian Silver Elephant. Added to the collection in 2017 were the following weights as common options going forward:

    • 1/10 oz
    • 1/4 oz
    • 1/2 oz
    • 2 oz
    • 5 oz
    • 10 oz

    Prior to 2017, the Somalian Silver Elephant was commonly offered only as a 1 oz coin and a 1 Kilo coin. The expansion of weights didn’t extend into the proof collection, though the collectible version of the coin already had popular three- and four-coin sets that included limited-issue fractional weights specifically for collectors.

    Design of the Somalian Silver Elephants

    The Somalian Elephant Series stands alongside the Chinese Panda and the silver bullion coins of the Perth Mint in Australia to use a rotating design element for one side of the coin. In the case of the Somalian Silver Elephants, it is the obverse design of the African elephant which is changed each year. The Bavarian State Mint has only once repeated a design since the 1999 introduction of the Zambian coins. This occurred in 2010 when the mint reused the 2009 design.

    On the obverse of Somalian Silver Elephant Coins, you’ll always find the image of an African elephant. Many recent releases have alternated between showing a single African elephant and depicting multiples. In some cases, the design field includes an entire familial herd with bull, mother, and a young calf, while others will depict only a mother and its calf. The background elements often incorporate scenes from the savannas of Africa into the overall landscape.

    The reverse of Somalian Silver Elephant Coins is the same each year. In the center of the design field is the image of the coat of arms for Somalia. This distinctive badge includes a shield with three points at the top, each one marked with a cross. The background of the shield bears horizontal lines with a singular flag in the middle of the field. Each side of the shield is supported by a leopard, with the creatures standing on a set of crossed spears at the bottom. There are also crossed fern leaves with a ribbon draped along the spears.

    Engravings on the reverse of each coin include “Somali Republic,” the year of issue split with two digits to the left and two to the right of the shield, and the face value below. The base 1 oz silver coin has a value of 100 Shillings. On the obverse, engravings include “African Wildlife,” “Elephant,” and the individual coin’s weight, metal content, and purity.

    Availability and Packaging of Somalian Silver Elephants

    From 2004 to 2013, the Bavarian State Mint typically set a mintage cap for the silver bullion coins in this series. In fact, the 2004 to 2008 issues of the coin each had a mintage of just 5,000 coins for the year. Responding to rising demand for silver during the Great Recession, the Bavarian State Mint lifted the cap higher in 2009 to 13,000 coins. The highest reported mintage to date came in 2011 when 170,000 coins were struck. Since the end of the Great Recession, the mint has typically issued the coins to meet demand.

    When buying the Proof Somalian Silver Elephant or other special variations on the coin, you can expect to receive your products inside of a protective display case. Proof coins are also available with a Certificate of Authenticity. Special issues of the coin, such as gilded or colorized versions, also come in commemorative display boxes and may or may not, include a Certificate of Authenticity.

    For the Somalian Silver Elephant bullion coins, the individual coin typically ships in either a protective capsule or protective flip. Beyond that, the various weights are available with the following packaging options:

    • 1/10 oz coins – protective flips or tubes of 50 coins
    • 1/4 oz coins – protective flips or tubes of 25 coins
    • 1/2 oz coins – protective flips or tubes of 25 coins
    • 1 oz coins – protective plastic, tubes of 20 coins, or Monster Boxes of 500 coins (25 tubes)
    • 2 oz coins – protective capsule
    • 5 oz coins – protective packaging or Monster Boxes of 50 coins
    • 10 oz coins – protective capsules
    • 1 Kilo coins – protective plastic capsules

    Variations on the Silver Elephant Bullion Coins

    As mentioned earlier, the Somalian Silver Elephant is one of the most diverse coins. This extends beyond the optional eight weights to choose from in the bullion range. The Somalian Silver Elephant is annually offered with the following, unique variations on the design:

    • Gilded Elephants: The Gilded Silver Elephants are a popular choice among collectors. Each gilded design includes a thin layer of 24-karat gold on that year’s special African elephant design. The amount of gold doesn’t change the value of the coin as a precious metal choice, but it does add collectible value and visual brilliance.
    • Colorized Elephants: The Colorized Silver Elephant is completed annually with vibrant lacquers that bring the colors of the animal and its environment on the African savanna to life on the obverse of the coins.
    • Day/Night Sets: A special add-on to the colorized coin, a very low mintage of Day/Night Sets are offered each year that include two colorized coins. One is the typical colorized coin with daytime colors, while the other has muted, softer tones and captures the same scene at night with a moon up above, dark skies, and twinkling stars.
    • Antique: Another popular option is the Antique Silver Elephant. The application of an antique polish helps to highlight the intricate elements of the design field while adding a sense of old-world coinage to the visual appearance.
    • High Relief: Proof Silver Elephants are often struck with a high-relief design. These coins tend to have slightly sunken surfaces and beautiful designs resulting from a slow, high-pressure striking process that generates a greater 3D visual for the African elephant artwork.
    • Lunar Privy Silver Elephants – The Bavarian State Mint has followed the lead of other major mints by introduced lunar-themed design elements to its main product lines. For the Somalia Silver Elephant coins, this includes issues with a small privy mark on the African elephant design matching the date mark to the animal on the Chinese lunar calendar for that year. Examples include the 2013 Lunar Snake with the image of a cobra as a small privy, the 2017 Lunar Rooster with a rooster’s head for the privy, and the 2018 Lunar Dog with a German shepherd’s head as the privy.
    • Commemorative Privy Mark Silver Elephants – There are also one-time issues of Somalia Silver Elephant coins with other distinctive privy marks. In most cases, these releases mark a specific occasion. For example, the 2015 Somalia Silver Elephant was available with a mintage of just 2,100 coins featuring a privy mark of the iconic Willis Tower in downtown Chicago. The city hosted the 2015 World’s Fair of Money sponsored by the American Numismatic Association.

    Buy the Silver Elephant Today from JM Bullion

    The Somalian Silver Elephant is provided annually by JM Bullion and is a top-selling product. If you have any questions, please contact our customer service team at 800-276-6508. You can also connect with us online through our live chat and email address.