African Ounce silver and gold bullion coins are back for the 12th issue with the ‘Big Bird’ Shoebill


Now heading into its second decade of production, the Rwandan African Ounce sees its twelfth issue with the launch of the Shoebill. Also called the Whalehead, this very large and unusual-looking bird is found all over tropical East Africa. Standing as tall as 1.5 metres and weighing up to a hefty 7 kg, the Shoebill retains the full ability of flight, although it rarely flies for more than 500 metres at a time, and its wing-flap rate of 150 per minute is one of the slowest of any bird.

Its depiction on the coin follows the pattern of previous years and occupies just a quarter of the area of the reverse face. As before, the bulk of the face is filled with a topographical representation of the African continent. Even the inscriptions on this side remain unchanged outside of the date. The obverse remains the same one that has adorned the series since it began – the National Seal of Rwanda.

There’s a 1 oz silver bullion coin with an undetermined mintage, and a gold variant capped at just 100. The gold does seem to carry a hefty premium, however, so we’re not surprised. A proof silver coin with a 1,000 mintage is also on offer and comes boxed with a certificate. The silver bullion coin is a decent buy, with premiums a little higher than the usual mass-market items, but not excessively so. Available to pre-order now, they are pretty easy to pick up and site sponsor LPM has all the variants up on their site.

DENOMINATION 50 RWF (Rwanda) 100 RWF (Rwanda)
COMPOSITION 0.999 silver 31.103 g 0.999 silver 31.103 g
DIMENSIONS 40.0 mm 40.0 mm
FINISH Bullion Bullion
BOX / COA No / No No / No