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).

COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 62.2 grams
FINISH Antique
BOX / COA Yes / Yes