Scottsdale Mint’s popular Congo Gorilla bullion coin is back with a seventh annual design and a gold proof in tow

Back for 2021 is one of Scottsdale Mint’s most popular and long-running bullion coin series – the Congo Silverback Gorilla. The seventh release since it debuted in 2015 has launched today and it’s with a distinctive change of style. Each of the first six designs was adorned with a natural depiction of this magnificent animal, often with mouth open and baring its teeth.

For 2021, this has gone, to be replaced by a prismatic representation. Whether this foreshadows a change in design ethos or not, we don’t know at present. We could see more like this, another new style, or a return to the realistic look, so we’ll have to wait and see. We like the look of this, but can imagine some won’t, especially if you display them as a set, where this one will jar in contrast to the others.

There’s much to like with this one, however. Prismatic design is hard to do well, but Scottsdale has pulled it off, helped by the jungle foliage framing the animal and a Kong-like pose. If this is a move to more experimental art for the following issues, it’s a decent start, but we’re a little torn on whether they should have started a companion animal series in this style rather than change a stalwart of their catalogue after six years of consistency.

The one-ounce silver coin is the big seller and returns with the same 75,000 mintage as before. It has the equally familiar common obverse with the Congo coat of arms on it and is sold encapsulated, or in strips of five. Joining the range is a very limited one-ounce gold proof coin, which comes boxed with a certificate, and is capped at just 100 pieces. Both should be available to order any time now. We’ve added this to our Bullion Coin Profile of the series.

DENOMINATION 500 Francs CFA 3,000 Francs CFA
COMPOSITION 0.999 silver 0.9999 gold
WEIGHT 31.1 grams 31.1 grams
DIMENSIONS 37.0 mm 32.0 mm
FINISH Prooflike Proof
MINTAGE 75,000 100
BOX / C.O.A. No / No Yes / Yes