The booty from Djibouti! Super-sized Silverback Gorilla coin leaves none of the beast uncovered

One of those animals that seems to be hugely popular on modern numismatics, the Silverback Gorilla even has its own bullion coin series from Scottsdale Mint which is now in its fourth year of issue. There are the usual coloured coins as well, so lovers of this quite incredible creature have plenty to choose from, but there’s always room for something a little more ambitious and German producer MDM have duly obliged.

Not the first Silverback Gorilla coin that weighs in at a kilo (Scottsdale did a kilo bullion version of one of their issues), this is certainly the biggest true commemorative we’ve seen to date. It’s an impressive enough piece of work. There’s tons of high-relief, not just on the reverse face, but on the obverse as well. Indeed, the high relief reaches an impressive 5 mm in places. What inscriptions are present on both sides are well placed and relatively unobtrusive, so it’s all down to the artwork.

Fortunately, the artist has done a great job with the pose, and the framing of the subject with lashings of jungle foliage is a great touch – so much better than having the gorilla isolated against a mirrored background. It’s a reverse-proof finish, so the main raised elements have a polished finish. This often results in a touch less detail in the strike, but it doesn’t seem to be evident here.

Unusually, the obverse of the coin carries the same scene, but from behind. That’s right, gorilla butt-crack on a silver coin… It actually works very well and makes a great change from the usual obverse design of a national emblem or Queen Elizabeth II’s mugshot. The emblem has to be present of course, so it’s placed in a small coin-within-a-coin over to one side.

The coin is a chunky beast and the thick edge carries an engraved serial number. There’s also a certificate of authenticity in the themed box, which has a gatefold-style lid and some good artwork. The mintage is limited to 250 pieces, but coming in at circa €2,000, that should be plenty. It’s scheduled to be shipping around the end of October and be available from selected dealers. We note that Powercoin have it up for sale at the moment, but it should appear elsewhere soon.

DENOMINATION 2,000 Francs (Djibouti)
COMPOSITION 0.999 silver
WEIGHT 1,000.0 grams
FINISH Reverse proof
MODIFICATIONS Double High-relief
BOX / COA Yes / Yes