The Bank of Sierra Leone has issued (17th April) the third double silver crown coin which forms part of an ongoing series entitled the “Big Five.” This term refers to the gorgeous animals who freely inhabit the African continent and whose presence in the wild is both breathtaking and reassuring. The Big Five includes the African elephant and the Lion — which have already been featured in this series — are now joined by the rhinoceros, while the leopard and the water buffalo will be featured later in the year.
Africa’s Big Five are the undisputed superstars of any safari. The opportunity to see any of the Big Five living in their natural habitats will be at the top of most travellers ultimate list of places to see. The term “the Big Five” was initially created by game hunters to represent the most challenging game to hunt. Thankfully, due to the constant efforts of conservationists and governments, going on safari these days means the only item you should be pointing at these magnificent animals is a camera.
The third coin in the series features the rhinoceros, one of the most distinctive inhabitants on the Southern African plain. These mammals have existed for millions of years, and, in a particular way, have a prehistoric look about them since they are easily recognisable by the horns in the middle of their forehead towards the end of their snout. Being classed as the largest land mammals after the elephant, rhinos can be very bold, as they have been seen grazing right next to lions.
Sadly, due to the continuous actions of poaching by unscrupulous criminal dealers of rhino horn, rhinoceros are now among the most endangered species on Earth. Rhino horns are sought after in the Far East and China for use in traditional potions that have no medicinal value, and it this continual practise which has placed rhinos under the threat of extinction. Though their numbers are decreasing rapidly, thanks to many countries that are cooperating with conservationists and local law enforcement officials, the trade in rhino horn has been made a serious crime, with punishment ranging from substantial fines to long sentences of incarceration.
The coins are produced by the Pobjoy Mint, UK, at their facilities in Surrey, on behalf of the Bank of Sierra Leone. They are specially minted in high relief on two-ounce-weighted fine silver polished blanks. The obverse side of the coins features the front-facing head of a rhino styled as an African mask. The special incused rim displays an African pattern and includes the denomination of 20 DOLLARS.
The reverse of the coins features the crest of the Republic of Sierra Leone, which is centred in the middle of the coin, with the text REPUBLIC OF SIERRA LEONE placed above the crest. The year of issue, 2019, is shown beneath the crest.
|20 dollars||.999 Silver||62.2 g||50 mm||High-relief Proof||500|
This is the third coin in the series and a further two coin designs will be released featuring the remaining animals known as the “Big Five’” during the year. Each two-ounce fine silver coin has been produced in high relief and is encased in a creative Perspex container in the shape of a square which frames the coin, allowing for easy display. The frame is packaged in an outer printed sleeve and includes the certificate of authenticity. For additional information about this coin and others issued by the Bank of Sierra Leone, please visit the website of the Pobjoy Mint UK.
UK Easter holiday: Pobjoy Mint offices will be closed for Easter holiday and therefore all orders placed between April 18th through to April 23rd will be processed on April 24th.