The Ministry of Finance and treasury of the Congo Republic — Brazzaville have released the latest gold and silver bullion coins, which are part of their continuing series entitled “Silverback Gorillas,” focusing on the country’s most well-known species of wildlife. Begun in 2015, the series features different designs of Gorillas who possess tremendous strength and remarkable intelligence; they are among the most fascinating creatures on Earth. The largest of the living primates dwell in a vast range of habitats across the tropical forests of equatorial Africa. Despite their intimidating size and power, gorillas have been hunted to near extinction, and wild gorillas inhabit only small patches of territory around the Congo River. Featured for the 2023-dated design is a male Gorilla and his offspring, and aside from their impressive stature, male gorillas are known for their extraordinary relationship with their offspring. In the intricate social structure of gorilla families, the silverback, or dominant male, assumes the vital role of protector and leader. Observed over many decades, male gorillas, whether silverbacks or subordinates, will cuddle infants, play and eat with them, groom and just gently interact with them, a behaviour which has often been described as babysitting. Contrary to the common portrait of male gorillas as aggressive and chest-thumping, they have been observed as being very gentle or even loving. Senior males will let infants climb on their backs or sit under them while eating, almost as a gesture of protection. Gorilla groups include several adult males and although the silverback might sire the majority of infants, subordinates will also sire offspring. Male gorillas have been observed showing care and interaction with infants, whether they are their own offspring or not.
The coins are produced by the Scottsdale Mint, at their facilities in Scottsdale, Arizona, on behalf of the Finance Ministry of the Congo Republic. Each coin is denominated in CFA francs, the legal tender currency in the Congo Republic. The obverse side depicts the front-facing image of a male gorilla gazing straight ahead and closely holding an infant. Above the primary design is a border of leaves arranged in a diagonal direction, along with the specifications of the coin 9999 GOLD or 999 SILVER ONE TROY OUNCE, and the year of issue 2023.
The reverse side is shared on all three options and depicts the official coat of arms featuring other animals native to the Congo region. The lion and two African elephants, as well as a forest crown and a tree trunk, symbolise the rare ecology of the region. At the base of the coat of arms is the national motto of UNITÉ, TRAVAIL, PROGRÈS (“Unity, Work, Progress”) shown on a banner. The Congolese coat of arms was first created in 1960 with Congo’s independence from France and was re-adopted in 1991. Above the crest is text REPUBLIQUE DU CONGO and below is the denomination of 3000 FRANCS CFA (gold ounce), 1000 FRANCS CFA (gold 1/10th-ounce), or 500 FRANCS CFA (silver).
|500 francs CFA||
|31.1 g||39 mm.||Prooflike||
|1,000 francs CFA||
|3.1 g||16.5 mm.||Proof||
|3,000 francs CFA||
|31.1 g||32 mm.||Proof||
Each silver Prooflike coin is available individually or in tubes of 20 coins. The 1/10th-ounce gold coin is encapsulated and enclosed in a coin-card format. The gold Proof ounce coins are encapsulated and presented in a custom case accompanied by a certificate of authenticity. For additional information, please click here.