The Scottsdale Mint have been increasing their presence in the limited run bullion coin market over the last couple of years, primarily with a series of Silverback Gorilla one-ounce silver coins. Two of these coins have been released to date, a fine 2015 design with a 50,000 mintage and a follow on in 2016 carrying an enlarged 75,000 production number. Both were issued for the mid-western African state, the Republic of the Congo.
Fast forward to 2017 and the first coin of the year has undergone a few changes, if not to the format but to the design. Congo is out for this one and replaced by the beautiful British Overseas Territory, the Cayman Islands. These Caribbean islands are famed as an offshore tax haven and is actually home to more companies than people. It isn’t a place with much of a modern numismatic footprint, so this is a nice change and the presence of the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse does instill a degree of extra confidence in the coins.
The reverse artwork is quite a dynamic piece, the prooflike finish giving a good account of itself with regards to detail. The fine wavy line border near the rim is a nod to a design feature becoming increasingly common in modern bullion coins as it makes it harder for the counterfeit mobs to make a copy that would pass muster as an original. The rope motif for the border and the ER emblem also help lift the design above the norm. The coin date, title and composuition are inscribed in the border area. The obverse also has the lined border and this time carries inscriptions of the date, the Queens name, the denomination and the issuer.
Available very soon, we believe the coin will be packaged as per the Silverback Gorilla’s, but we’ll confirm later. Launched in Berlin at the World Money Fair (where we took these images), mintage should be 50,000. All in, this is a nice addition to the market and joins a growing selection of good quality designs. Premiums will likely be higher than the big bulk coins, the Silverbacks tending to sit in the $5-8 over spot range.