Natures most beautiful beast, slaughtered by its ugliest, is remembered on Cameroonian silver coin

We’ve all got our views on hunting and I don’t think many would complain about hunting for food when done in a humane and sustainable way, but there are times when it raises a level of disgust in people that is hard to argue with. Rich idiots travelling to foreign climes to slaughter some truly magnificent animals in the name of fun, ranks about as low on the decency index as it’s possible to get in our view. Cecil the Lion was one such case.

This beautiful 13-year old male lion was a beloved tourist icon, viewed by countless people wanting to see a true apex predator in its natural environment. In mid 2015, an American dentist decided that a few hours of fun was more important than the complex life of this creature, it’s interactions with its ecosystem, and the respect of the many that came to see him, and shot him with a bow and then, after 40 tortuous hours, with a rifle. The contempt I have for this selfish individual, and those like him who feel they have the right to go to an alien environment and kill for nothing more than fleeting fun, is boundless.

The Mint of Poland have chosen to remember this famous lion with a two-ounce antiqued silver coin. High-relief and with a rimless finish, the reverse face depicts Cecil running towards the viewer while a lioness sits prone behind him. It’s a great looking piece with some well realised flora placed around it. The obverse is another fine design, depicting a lion and elephant in a savannah scene, alongside which is a hand print with the word ‘STOP’ inscribed within it. The coin comes packaged in the latex-skin floating frame that the Mint of Poland increasingly uses for its mid and high-end offerings. The coin is a decent size at 45 mm in diameter and the mintage is set at 999 pieces.

 While we applaud the mint for raising more awareness of the plight of animals like these, we’re displeased that nothing is donated from the sale of the coin to the organisations that fight for their future. This isn’t just a Mint of Poland issue to be fair, and one we’ve raised before. A large number of mints and producers issue endangered wildlife coins, yet virtually none of them make any donation to the causes involved. Only Numiscom with its DNA series and the Perth Mint with one of theirs has made any effort. We’d love to know what coin collectors and the mints feel about this subject, so feel free to leave comments. Would you like to see a small sum from the proceeds of coins like this go to animal charities, even if it meant the coin was a couple of dollars more expensive?

MINTS DESCRIPTION: Cecil the Lion, the world’s most famous lion and the symbol of Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe, was killed at the age of 13. Cruel fate befell Cecil when he was shot dead by an enthusiast of the big game hunting, a dentist from Minnesota. The lion was lured from the Park, wounded with a bow and finally killed with the use of a riffle. Cecil’s killing created an outrage among ecological conservationists and lovers of animals around the world.

We irreversibly loose the biodiversity and resources of the natural world. Every fourth mammal, every eighth bird and every third amphibian may soon disappear from the face of the earth. The gloomy fact is that we are the main threat to the survival of many animals. Every day we contribute to the silent drama of many species through barbarous poaching, destruction of natural habitats, excessive emission of carbon dioxide and illegal wildlife trade.

REVERSE: In the central part of the coin – stylized image of Cecil the Lion. In the background – lioness, stylized decorative surface: landscape of African savanna. In the upper part of the coin, along the rim – name of the coin in English: CECIL THE LION.

OBVERSE: In the central part of the coin – image of an elephant and a lion. Left-hand – paw print with an inscription ‘STOP’. In the background – stylized decorative surface: landscape of African savanna. In the bottom part of the coin and along the rim –insriptions: 2000 FRANCS CFA (face value), REPUBLIQUE DU CAMEROUN (issuer), 2018 (year of issue), m/w (mint mark), Ag 999 (hallmark).

SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION 2,000 Francs CFA
COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 62.2 grams
DIMENSIONS 45.0 mm
FINISH Antique
MODIFICATIONS High relief
MINTAGE 999
BOX / COA Yes / Yes
MINT OF POLAND
By | 2018-05-11T21:03:28+00:00 May 11th, 2018|Categories: Nature, Silver, Cameroon, Mint of Poland|6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Harry P. May 12, 2018 at 01:20 - Reply

    I share your contempt for the killing of this beautiful lion. I also agree that Mints that profit from depicting these animals should give back some of these proceeds to protecting them-it’s only fair.

  2. Harry P. May 12, 2018 at 01:22 - Reply

    And I would pay a few more dollars if it was earmarked for this purpose.

  3. Bob May 12, 2018 at 17:25 - Reply

    No question, the Mints and/or the Consignors of coins depicting Endangered Animals should donate some of the proceeds from their sales to legitimate organizations fighting these atrocities.
    And yes, I would pay an additional premium in this case.
    Also, It needs to be spelled out what % or amount will be donated by the mint and what organization they are using.

  4. Ian May 13, 2018 at 01:37 - Reply

    Don’t see why anyone requires a mint to add even more to the cost of a coin in order to make a donation. Make one as individuals right now if you are inclined, as well. Encourage, instead, the mints to change their overall thinking, and make arrangements for these donations of a few dollars per coin from their current retail prices.
    Otherwise, it’s a meaningless gesture from the mint if they get the message the donation will be covered by you by increasing the prices, rather than affect their balance sheets. Then at some future point they get to proudly announce what a proactive mint they are donating “X”? Really? The mint is giving something back….. is it?

    • Mik Woodgate
      Mik Woodgate May 13, 2018 at 09:53 - Reply

      Plenty of merits there. It would be easier for mints that sell directly to the public, the big ones in particular who get a double bite of the pie with profit from the wholesale and retail markups. Harder for those that don’t without the cooperation of the dealer network, however.
      I certainly don’t favour the cost being shouldered by the collector unless voluntarily, perhaps with a cert inside that if the buyer donates $2 to the cause, the mint must match it. You are right though, the primary onus is on the mints to step up and give a little back. A single dollar/pound/euro per coin would soon add up if all the mints were on board.

  5. Harry P May 21, 2018 at 01:58 - Reply

    Ian-good points.

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