The African continent is quickly becoming a powerhouse when it comes to variety and impressive designs in the precious metals industry. There are a total of 54 countries on the African continent, and though local sovereign mints do not produce the growing range of African silver coins you’ll find detailed below, private mints around the world do work with local central banks to issue coins with the backing of African nations. Now is your chance to not only starting investing in African silver coins, but also to learn more about the growing number of coins available.
The leading silver bullion coin program on the African continent is the Somalia Silver Elephant. This collection was among the first in the world to adopt the concept of fresh designs on one face of the coin with each release. The Somalia Silver Elephant coin series is unique in two other ways. First and foremost, the coins were originally issued by the Bavarian State Mint as the Zambian Silver Elephant coins from 1999 to 2003. During this period, the mint also used new designs of the African elephant each year.
Another unique facet of the Somalia Silver Elephant is the new nation of issue. Since 2004, the coins have been released by the mint on behalf of Somalia. However, in a strange twist, the Somali Republic has not acknowledged that it supports the coins. Nevertheless, the series is immensely popular with collectors and investors.
The Silver Elephants were originally available only as a 1 oz silver coin with limited mintages, 1 Troy oz of .999 pure silver, and a face value of 1,000 Shillings. In 2007, the face value of the coins was adjusted to 100 Shillings. Along the way, a 1 Kilo silver coin was added to the collection. The most substantial changes came to the collection in 2016.
Starting in 2016, the Somalia Silver Elephant Series saw the purity of the coins increase from .999 to .9999 pure silver content. On top of that, the collection grew to include fractional-ounce coins for the first time ever. The Bavarian State Mint added a 1/2 oz, 1/4 oz, and 1/10 oz silver coin, and introduced 2 oz and 5 oz coins between the 1 oz and 1 Kilo options.
On the obverse each year is the Somalia coat of arms. The national shield of Somalia includes a crowned shield design with leopards supporting it from either side. There is a field of horizontal lines on the shield with a single star in the foreground. Inscriptions of “Somali Republic,” the date mark, and the face value are found on this side. This design element does not change from year to year.
The reverse field of the Somalia Silver Elephant Coins is where the fun starts. Each year, the Bavarian State Mint shifts the design to focus on the African bush elephant in a different light. The African bush elephant is the largest land mammal in the world today and is one of three living elephant species along with the African forest elephant and the Asian elephant.
Finally, the Somalia Silver Elephant Series is a hit with collectors because low-mintage proof coin sets, gilded coins, colorized coins, and unique Day-and-Night 2-Coin Sets are released each year. Each one of these examples captures the attention of collectors with distinctive visuals. Proof coins have frosted fields contrasting mirrored backgrounds. The gilded coin combines a thin layer of 24-karat gold on select reverse design elements with the existing silver content for contrast. Lastly, the colorized coin and Day-and-Night sets use different colorizations to bring each new design to life.
The Somalia Silver Elephants might be the most visible coins from the African continent outside of South Africa, but Rwandan silver coins are much more diverse and offer a whole new variety of silver bullion products for investors and collectors alike. The variety of Rwandan silver coins available is so impressive that it would be too much to discuss the full details of each series here, but we can breakdown the important details of the many existing plans from Rwanda:
Each of the coin programs mentioned above features 1 Troy oz of .999 pure silver per coin. The face value of the coins is set at 50 Rwandan Francs (RWF) backed by the Bank of Rwanda. Further, each coin shares the same obverse design element in the form of the national coat of arms for the Republic of Rwanda.
Finally, the Silverback Gorilla Series from the Republic of Congo and the Scottsdale Mint is a distinctive series with the same focus each year, but fresh designs. To date, many of the details of each release in this series have remained the same. The coins are predominantly available in 1 Troy oz of .999 pure silver with individual protective plastic capsules and multiples of 5 sealed in plastic sheets. The face value is set at 5,000 Francs (CFA) backed by the government of the Republic of Congo.
On the obverse of the coins each year, you will find a new image of the Silverback gorilla. The term Silverback gorilla refers to the alpha male in a family troop and can be from one of the four primary subspecies of gorilla living in the wild today. Over the course of time, the gorilla imagery has changed in both its primary visual and its attitude. Starting with the 2015 design of an aggressive, howling gorilla, the designs have gone back and forth between aggressive and timid images.
The reverse face of the coins always features the coat of arms for the Republic of Congo. The seal includes a shield with a lion in a rampant pose holding a torch. The shield is supported by elephants on either side. Inscriptions include “Republique du Congo” and “5000 Francs CFA.”
Like other collections, the Congo Silverback Gorillas have been released over time as Brilliant Uncirculated specimens that are often capped at just 50,000 coins. Other releases with lower mintages include a proof-like version of the coin and also colorized designs. In the case of the colorized coin, the colorization is limited only to the Silverback gorilla on the obverse.
Only issued once for the Republic of Congo, the 2016 release of the Silver African Lion Series was issued on behalf of the Republic of Congo. The coin series actually debuted in 2015 for the nation of Burundi and has seen its nation of issue change several times. The 2016 Congo Silver African Lion had a mintage cap of 50,000 silver coins available in either individual flips or mint tubes of 20 coins.
These Brilliant Uncirculated coins were issued with a face value of 5,000 Francs (CFA) and had the same Republic of Congo shield on the reverse. The obverse side of the coins includes two members of a lion pride on the move. You will notice a male lion walking with a female from the pride.
If you have any questions about the silver coins for sale from the African continent, JM Bullion customer service is available to help. You can call us on the phone at 800-276-6508, chat with us live online, or simply send us an email with your inquiries.