The commemorative coin market relies heavily on smaller countries around the world allowing them to be issued in their name. It’s a mutually beneficial agreement that brings in much needed income in many cases (Niue Island has a population of less than 2,000, for example) and on the flipside allows a greater selection of numismatic art to exist, away from the confines of state-controlled mints.
The main region for this has centred around the oceanic states of the West Pacific, states like the aforementioned Niue, along with Tokelau, Tuvalu and Fiji. Over the last couple of years we’ve seen a surge in coins issued for African states as well. With wild animals being such a popular subject for modern coins, it seems a natural fit in many cases. Countries like Burkina Faso, Benin, Congo and Somalia all play host to some superb coins.
European coin producer AllCollect have taken the concept to the next level by issuing a new proof silver coin for not one, but FIVE countries. The reverse face doesn’t push any boundaries. It’s a well realised lion image surrounded by inscriptions carrying the date, composition, and the very appropriate coin title, ‘AFRICA UNITED’. The big news for a change is on the obverse. A geometric background pattern plays host to five circular areas, each containing the emblem of one of the five states this is being issued for; Ivory Coast, Benin, Congo, Mali and Niger.