German coin producer MCI-Mint have debuted a new set of nature coins that start off a new series called Spirit of Africa. The first set of these Burkina Faso issued coins (MCI-Mint has rights to issue for the African nation) feature the world’s largest land animal, the African Elephant. As you’d expect from a producer with a long history of the finish, these are antiqued silver.
The artwork on these five, one-ounce designs is quite unique and unusual. Moving away from a scientifically detailed look, or reproduction of an image, these have a quite sculpted look that’s very distinctive, reflecting their hand-drawn origin. Each coin has some common elements to the design. To the right, curling around the rim is an Umbrella Thorn Acacia, without doubt the most distinctive flora in the African savanna. The date is struck into it. To the left is a circle meant to represent the sun. Radiating from this are rays of light, that quite cleverly wrap around the central artwork differently on every coin. The series title ‘SPIRIT OF AFRICA’ is incorporated into this very effectively. At the bottom is a grassline that grounds the elephants beautifully.
The main design element depicts elephants in different poses, mainly in groups of two or three, although one has a single beast on it. A couple are quite similar, but in general a fine mix for the collector that wants a set, although we’d imagine many might purchase one or two of their favourites as they stand alone well in their own right.
The obverse features the Burkina Faso rearing horses emblem with the issuers name above and the denomination below. It’s a design we’re seeing more of due to MCI. Packaging looks decent. We really like the acrylic display frames, although the metal studs on the MCI one aren’t as subtle as the fine ones popularised by the NZ Mint. The image in them, along with a sixth for a silver medallion that will round out the series, will join together to form one larger picture. Each coin comes with a CoA and a box in a coloured shipper. Best of all, there are only 499 of each design being minted. Selling for €89.00 each, these are very distinctive coins which we think will have great appeal.