Congo Silverback Gorilla Coins
Even though the collection of exotic precious metal coins such as the Congo Silverback Gorilla coins that are introduced in this article is a popular hobby among coin collectors, it does not come without its risk. For one, it is often difficult to ascertain the genuineness of such coins that are usually produced by mints that do not yet possess the technology to implement the latest anti-counterfeiting measures. Another reason is that the precious metals needed to produce these coins were often mined under harsh conditions, perhaps even involving slave and/or child labor.
The Congo Silverback Gorilla coins are issued by the Ministry of Finance and Treasury of the Congo Republic, one of the most corrupt countries in the world, since 2015. The 99.99% pure gold coins and 99.9% pure silver coins of this series depict different designs of gorillas that still live in small patches of territory around the Congo River. The gorilla design on the obverse changes every year and for 2023 depicts a male gorilla that is holding an infant. The reverse side of the Congo Silverback Gorilla coins depicts the official coat of arms of the Congo Republic which was re-adopted in 1991 after having first been created in 1960 when the country gained its independence from France.
As is customary with collectible precious metal coins, the 1 oz silver version of the coins which is issued with a prooflike finish is much more readily available due to its current maximum mintage of 75,000 pieces per issue. The gold version of the coins is issued in the two denominations of 1 oz (maximum mintage: 100 pieces) and 1/10 oz (1,000 pieces). Both denominations are only issued with a proof finish. The coins are minted by the private Scottsdale Mint in the United States which also sells them directly on its website.