The Somalia Elephant gold coin series was first introduced in 2008 and followed the highly successful silver version which was released in 2004. The Somalia Elephant is 99.99% pure gold and produced by the Bavarian State Mint in Munich, Germany. Each edition features a different representation of the African Elephant in its natural habitat.
While the 1 ounce version is the most popular size, the Somalia Gold Elephant is also available in five ounce, one-half ounce, one-quarter ounce, one-tenth ounce, one-twenty-fifth ounce, one-fifth ounce and one-half gram. The series offers investors and collector one of the largest range of sizes of any gold coin on the market today.
These coins have been gaining in popularity with investors and collectors due to the unique and beautiful designs along with the interesting history behind the series. The Somalia elephant is available in gold, silver and platinum.
History of African Wildlife Series
The Somalia Elephant gold coin series is part of the “African Wildlife Series” that was first introduced in 1999. However, from 1999-2003 the Bavarian Mint struck these coins with Zambia as the country of issue. In 2004, Somalia took over the production of the series from Zambia. However, the Bavarian Mint in Munich continued as the manufacturer of the coin series. While the series is called “African Wildlife” the only animal to be featured as the main motif has been the African Elephant.
In 2004, the Somalia elephant bullion coin was first issued in silver. These editions were produced in very limited quantities. Because of the high demand, the Bavarian Mint expanded the series and would eventually introduce the Gold Somalia Elephant.
Design: 2018 Edition (1 oz)
The design of the Somalia Elephant gold coin changes every year, but will always depict an elephant in its natural environment. The 2018 edition features a large elephant raising his trunk in the air. The design comes alive as the elephant’s trunk and tusks extend out to the outer edge of the coin.
The background has a smooth finish and features a desert like setting with birds, branches and grass behind the elephant. The inscriptions around the outer edge read “AFRICAN WILDLIFE” “ELEPHANT” and “1 oz Au 999.9”. The edge bar is reeded and slightly raised which protects the coins surface.
The value side depicts the coat of arms of Somalia. In the center is a shield with a crown. Horizontal lines also appear across the shield. In the center is a star and two leopards hold the shield on either side. Below the shield are spears wrapped in ribbons.
The engravings around the outer edge read the country of origin as “SOMALIA REPUBLIC”. The date of issue, which is separated by the shield and reads as “20” on left and “18” on right. The nominal value can be seen below the shield and reads “1000 SHILLINGS”. There is also an ornamental circle that surrounds the outer edge.
Product Specifications: 1 oz Edition
As mentioned above, the Somalia elephant gold coin is available in a wide range of sizes, which is one of the appealing aspects of the series. We profile the specifications of the 1 oz size as it is the most popular. All the Somalia elephant gold coins have a fineness of 999.9/1000 and are minted by the Bavarian State Mint in Munich.
Weight: 1 oz
Diameter: 39 mm
Thickness: 1.9 mm
Nominal Value: 1000 Shillings
Design: 2017 Edition (1 oz)
The 2017 edition depicts a different motif of the African elephant. In this design a full profile view of a large elephant on the Savanna is pictured. The elephant stands in front of tall grass with a palm tree, a hut and sun in the background. The inscriptions around the outer edge are the same as the other editions and read “AFRICAN WILDLIFE” “ELEPHANT” and “1 oz Au 999.9”.
The value side depicts the coat of arms of Somalia. The country of origin, date of issue and nominal value are all embossed around the outer edge and read “SOMALIA REPUBLIC” “20” to the left and “17” on the right, which represent the date of issue, and the nominal value of “1000 SHILLINGS”. There is also an ornamental circle that surrounds the outer edge.
Somalia elephant gold coins are minted by the Bavarian State Mint, which is one of the oldest and most prestigious mint in Europe.
The annual design changes adds to the appeal of series for both investors and collectors.
The coins have a high fineness of 999.9/1000 gold
Legal Tender Status
In 2004, the Bavarian State Mint claims it was authorized to transfer the series from Zambia to the Republic of Somalia. Although the Somalia elephant has a nominal value imprinted on the coin, there is some confusion as to whether these coins are regarded as official legal tender in Somalia, as they are not distributed by Somalia’s central bank.
Most bullion coins are struck by the official mint of the issuing country. However, there are a small handful of countries that will have gold and silver bullion coins produced by private mints or government mints that reside outside the issuing country.
Investors and collectors who are interested in Somalia elephant gold coins should understand that the Bavarian State Mint in Germany is one of the highest quality mints in Europe. It is said to be the oldest company in Munich and has been minting bullion coins and metals since 1158, during the reign of Heinrich dem Lowen.
The Somalia elephant gold coin has a high purity level and the series has global appeal. So, while the coin may not be legal tender in Somalia, it does contain 1 ounce of pure gold and will therefore retain its value over time.
Bavarian State Mint
The Bavarian State Mint was founded in 1158 and is the oldest operating company in Munich. The mint is responsible for the production of general issue euro coins and commemorative German coins. In addition, the mint produces a wide range of gold, silver and platinum bullion and proof coins.
The Bavarian State Mint is one of five mints in Germany. The others include Berlin, Stuttgart, Karlsruhe and Hamburg. The Bavarian Mint in Munich produces approximately 21 percent of all the German euro circulation coins. The coins are recognized by the mint mark “D”
The original location of the mint was in Schrannenplatz, in Munich’s city center. In the early years of the Bavarian Mint, it was creating coins for the local towns and economies. However, its production of coins was criticized due to the low silver content.
In the early 1700’s Austrian and Bavarian coins were produced in Munich during the Austrian occupation following the war of Spanish succession. In 1809, the mint changed its name to the Bavarian State Mint and a number of Bavarian Mints were consolidated into one location at Hofgraben and Pfisterbach.
In 1871, the German Empire was founded and consisted of 25 states of the German Confederation. Two years later the Gold Mark replaced all of the states currencies and coins. The new currency was minted by the Bavarian Mint as well the other mints across the German Empire. A mint mark was given to each mint, and the letter “D” stood for the Bavarian Mint.
The mint suffered physical damage during World War II and the allied forces would take control of the German mints until the late 1940’s. After the war, Germany was divided into East (German Democratic Republic) and West (Federal Republic of Germany) and Bavaria became part of West Germany. The Bavarian Mint was responsible for issuing coin and currency for West Germany.
The Bavarian Mint was one of the first mints to produce euro coins in 2002, with the creation of the European Union.
Understanding the Gold Market
The price of Somalia gold coins is made up of the gold price, also referred to as the “spot price” and the premium. The spot price for gold changes minute by minute and is set by the global markets. The listed spot price is the price for one troy ounce of gold.
The premium is the cost and margin of the mint and bullion dealer. For modern day bullion coins there are several factors that can influence the premium:
Fractional gold coins (weights below one ounce) will typically trade at a higher premium because they are more expensive to mint.
The one ounce coin is the most popular size for investors who are looking for a high quality well designed bullion product like the Somalia elephant gold coin. The one ounce version will usually trade for a lower premium than fractional coins.
Supply and demand can play a major role in the premium. When gold or a gold coin series is in high demand than the premium will also be higher.
The condition of the coin. Newly minted coins that are of the most current yearly issue will sometimes have a higher premium than prior year editions.
Regardless of which type of bullion product you choose, investors today look at gold as a hedge against economic and geopolitical uncertainty. For thousands of years gold has been one of the best forms of wealth protection and preservation.
Manufacturer: Bavarian State Mint
Country of Origin: Somalia
Series Name: Somalia Elephant
Weights: 1 oz, 5 oz, ½ oz, ¼ oz, 1/10 oz, 1/25 oz, 1/50 oz and ½ g
Scratch resistance: Poor