The bullion coins keep coming! Our March roundup includes a wide range of subjects from around the world

Okay, this round-up was planned to come out yesterday, but as usual, I bit off more than I could chew again, and we ended up adding more and more coins to it. The bullion coin market continues to be extremely vibrant, full of new releases, many of which are reaching very high standards of quality and design. There’s another wide variety of offerings here, from national mints and private producers, in both gold and silver.

Our highlights are the KOMSCO Korean pairing, the Royal Mint’s ‘Little John’, and the Bird of Paradise coin, although all of them are decent issues. I hope you continue to like this format of coverage. We simply can’t have separate articles for everything, and a lighter-weight coverage is better than none at all. Please leave your views in the comments. These round ups are a huge amount of work with image editing and collation, as well as tracking down relevant details from multiple sources. Not everyone sends us nice and neat press releases, sadly. It also helps to know what collectors like.

Possibly tomorrow or Thursday, we’ll have a similar round-up of all the latest TV/film themed numismatic issues, and we’ll definitely have at least one photoshoot up this week. I’d hoped to do those superb tank coins, but it seems inappropriate to be showcasing Russian tanks with what is currently going on. The Pobjoy Mint Hippo coin will definitely be up, and we’ve just had Germania Mint’s new ‘Hildegard’ bullion coin in, so we’ll be shooting that one tomorrow. All go here! Enjoy.

2021 SHOEBILL STORK (Scottsdale Mint)

A strange bird, the Shoebill Stork has a stare like no other, and you can almost see the dinosaur DNA in modern avians when you look at one. Growing up to five feet in height, with an eight-foot wingspan, these are aggressive birds, hunting a wide variety of fish and reptiles, even killing their own young, just raising a solitary chick.

Scottsdale Mint’s latest is a cool look at this haunting stork, peering out from the coin like you’ve just spilled its pint, and it’s about to get even! The border lines are a little overdone, but overall, we like this one. Issued for the Democratic Republic of Congo, there’s just a one-ounce silver variant at the moment, although we currently have no idea if gold will follow. It was only launched yesterday, so should be available to order any time now, with shipping in 2-3 weeks.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
1000 Francs CFA (DRC) 0.999 silver 31.1 g 38.6 mm B / UNC 50,000 NO / NO

2021 CHIWOO CHEONWANG (KOMSCO)

A hit series, and one that ties in neatly with the surge in the popularity of South Korean culture, Chiwoo Cheonwang follows the story of the Heavenly King of the Chiwoo Empire, who fought demons plundering the precious Salt-Lake. In conjunction with his ZI: SIN, twelve commanders, each with enhanced skills and powers, along with his Doggaebi Troop, they went to wart with the demons to protect the Chiwoo Empire.

This is the sixth medal (these are undenominated) in the series, and in our view at least, the best to date. These have always been interesting releases, with the designs usually having a formal pose, but the 2021 issue is far more dynamic and full of life. It features Chiwoo pounding his war drums in Chiwoo square, with the ZI: SIN and his troops gathering in the background. A terrific design on both faces, this should keep the series as popular as ever.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
1 CLAY (Nominal) 0.999 silver 31.1 g 40.0 mm B / UNC 40,000 NO / NO
1 CLAY (Nominal) 0.999 gold 31.1 g 40.0 mm B / UNC 700 NO / NO

2022 AUSTRALIAN SWAN (Perth Mint)

The sixth coin in the Australian Swan series. This series launched just as the Perth Mint was diversifying away from its core range, so is seen as a staple of the limited-mintage bullion market these days, helped by a succession of decent designs, and the simple fact that it’s produced by collector favourite, the Perth Mint. As such, they’re specced out the same as the core range, and production values are high.

A two-swan design this time, with the necks of the swans forming a vague heart shape. It’s another coin with a wide border, a pet hate of ours, but this remains an attractive and cohesive series. As always with this mint, there are optional numismatic variants, including a very nice five-ounce high-relief issue.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
$1 (Australia) 0.9999 silver 31.1 g 40.9 mm B / UNC 25,000 NO / NO
$100 (Australia) 0.9999 gold 31.1 g 32.6 mm B / UNC 5,000 NO / NO

2022 GIGANTOPITHECUS (Emporium Hamburg)

One of several ranges from German dealer Emporium Hamburg Prehistoric Life debuted in 2020 with a Tyrannosaurus Rex coin, and is in the process of working its way through a twelve-coin release schedule, with three issues per year. Gigantopithecus is the first of the 2022 trio to launch, and depicts this huge primate, the biggest ape yet described, in its natural habitat.

All of the coins in this series follow a similar layout, with the animal depicted in its environment, and it’s worked well to date, with some excellent looking releases. Indeed, we have a full profile of this series up if you’d like to see earlier coins. As before, there are one-ounce silver coins in clean and coloured variants, as well as a half-gram minigold. All have tight mintages, and the prehistoric world is always a popular subject. The next two coins feature an aquatic beastie, and then another dinosaur.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
20 Francs (DR Congo) 0.999 silver 31.1 g 38.61 mm B / UNC 10,000 NO / NO
20 Francs (DR Congo) 0.999 silver 31.1 g 38.61 mm B / UNC 2,000 NO / NO
100 Francs (DR Congo) 0.9999 gold 0.5 g 11.0 mm B / UNC 2,000 NO / NO

2022 BIRD OF PARADISE (APMEX)

Last year, the Commonwealth Mint issued a modernised version of the old German New Guinea Mark, that was legal tender in the colony around the turn of the 20th century. It was a gorgeous coin, with the modernised obverse surpassing the original. APMEX are now issuing a sequel of sorts, and it’s another very pretty coin.

The obverse is similar, but has a busier, more stylistic approach to the New Guinea national emblem than before, but the reverse face is completely different. The original 1895 went with a glorious natural look, but here again, we’re very much in stylised territory. Nevertheless, it’s a good-looking depiction, which fills the coin well, unencumbered by excessive borders.

A pair of one-ounce variants make up the range, one in silver with a 10k mintage, and a considerably rarer gold coin that tops out at just 100 pieces.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
1 KINA (Papua New Guinea) 0.999 silver 31.1 g 39.0 mm B / UNC 10,000 NO / NO
10 KINA (Papua New Guinea) 0.999 gold 31.1 g 32.0 mm B / UNC 100 YES / YES

2022 ZI SUN 05: TAURUS (KOMSCO)

The other big KOMSCO bullion round series, and a companion to the Chiwoo Cheonwang, ZI:SIN is now on its fifth issue as it works its way through the twelve guardians of Korean legend. It’s another super design, and features Taurus, a blacksmith who made all the weapons of the Chiwoo Empire. He also made the massive drum that Chiwoo can be seen pounding on the face of that 2021 issue,

KOMSCO have really knocked it out of the park for 2021, as both designs seem to be a step-up in the aesthetic department from earlier issues. As with Chiwoo, there are gold and silver one-ounce variants. Great stuff.

As a quick note, the image we got of the gold coin was a bright yellow render, so we’ve modded the colour to match the Chiwoo gold, which is far more realistic.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
1 CLAY (Nominal) 0.999 silver 31.1 g 40.0 mm B / UNC 20,000 NO / NO
1 CLAY (Nominal) 0.999 gold 31.1 g 40.0 mm B / UNC 500 NO / NO

2022 WEDGE-TAILED EAGLE (Perth Mint)

It was big news when the Perth Mint announced this series back in 2014, not for the design, although new series were rarer back then, than they are today, but because the artist responsible was United States Mint legend, John Mercanti. The former Chief Engraver is still doing the honours for this ninth year of issue with his seventh design – the first two being used for two years each.

This year’s sees a closer portrait of this elegant, and rather large bird of prey, rather than the behavioural poses we’ve seen in the past. It looks good, aided by the bird’s not so pointed beak. We’d still like to see the border go, but maybe that’s just us. Expect a raft of numismatic variants to join this one-ounce silver bullion coin, many of which can be quite stunning.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
$1 (Australia) 0.9999 silver 31.1 g 40.9 mm B/UNC 50,000 NO / NO

2022 GIANTS OF THE ICE AGE: REINDEER (Auragentum)

The Ghanaian-issued and Auragentum produced ‘Giants of the Ice Age’ continues its eight-coin journey through the recent prehistoric fauna of the Pleistocene age, with the release of the Reindeer. This coin is the seventh to debut, with the final launch due later in 2022. Each release, and you can see all of them to date in our Bullion Coin Profile to the range, depicts the animal against a backdrop of its habitat.

The Reindeer coin looks decent enough, although you don’t really get a sense of its size from the design. The silhouetted symbols in the border, one for each of the eight animals in the series, remains. Struck in Germany by Leipziger Edelmetallverarbeitung, there are one-ounce silver and gold variants, as well as a chunky one-kilo silver. We haven’t actually had any of this series in hand yet, so we’ll try to get one for an AgAuShoot. Available to order now, it will ship from the beginning of May.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
5 Cedis (Ghana) 0.999 silver 31.1 g 38.6 mm B / UNC 15,000 NO / NO
500 Cedis (Ghana) 0.9999 gold 31.1 g 38.6 mm PROOF 1,000 NO / NO

2022 FIJI DOGS (Muenzen Engel)

Late last year, Muenzen Engel issued its first Fiji Cats bullion coin, an attractive piece, and recently they’ve added a Dogs series to run alongside it. Rather than just depict a dog in isolation, as is often the case, like the cat coin, the animal is shown as part of a full scene, and is all the better for it, in our view. A charming design, we can see it being very popular with the countless canine lovers around the world, especially with a mintage of just 12,000 pieces.

The cat coin recently saw the addition of a coloured variant, as well as a gold one-ounce, and an antique-finished five-ounce silver. Whether those formats make the jump to the doggies remains to be seen.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
$0.5 (Fiji) 0.999 silver 31.1 g 40.0 mm PROOFLIKE 12,000 NO / NO

2022 CALICO JACK (European Mint)

One of the five coins recently released by Latvian dealer, European Mint, Calico Jack is a pirate-themed silver bullion coin, carrying that most iconic of pirate symbols – the skull and crossed swords ‘Jolly Roger’. A simple affair, it’s lifted somewhat by a wave background field pattern that also extends to the QEII-effigy adorned obverse.

This is the first in a series of Jolly Roger coins, each to feature a different pirate’s flag. Jack Rackham is the first of the many famous nautical criminals to roam the Caribbean Sea to get a coin, and there are plenty of others to choose from as the series progresses. It’s a rich and exciting period in history. There’s a single one-0ounce silver version with a 15,000 mintage.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
$2 NZD (Niue) 0.9999 silver 31.1 g 38 mm B/UNC 15,000 NO / NO

2022 LITTLE JOHN (Royal Mint)

Launching last year, the Myths and Legends Collection from the Royal Mint was delving into the rich tapestry of stories emanating from the British Isles, and what better place to start than Robin Hood? The mint has already released Robin Hood and Maid Marion coins, and we expected them to slowly work their way through the Merry Men, but it seems like this one is the third and last in this series.

That doesn’t mean that the Myths and Legends Collection is done, more likely it will just move onto a different legend for the next run, but that remains to be seen. Unfortunately, we didn’t get a press release for the Little John coin. Whatever the future holds, this is a great design to go out on. Jody Clark has done a fantastic job putting the character in context, and giving us a sense of the power of this big man. No criticisms here on this one, or indeed either of the previous pair of designs. If the series does continue as we suspect, it’s certainly started off in the best possible way.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
£2 UKP 0.999 silver 31.1 g 38.61 mm B / UNC 50,000 NO / NO
£100 UKP 0.9999 gold 31.1 g 32.69 mm B / UNC 5,000 NO / NO

2022 BITCOIN (European Mint)

The last of the five coins the European Mint released recently that we’ve covered, this one taps into the current cryptocurrency trend with a Bitcoin-themed design. Covered in circuit board tracks and a big Bitcoin logo, it isn’t subtle, but crypto-nuts will know exactly what it is.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
$2 NZD (Niue) 0.999 silver 31.1 g 38 mm B/UNC 15,000 NO / NO

2022 OWLS 03: WHISKERED SCREECH OWL (APMEX)

The third in the ‘Tokelau Owls’ series, the Whiskered Screech Owl is another highly stylistic depiction of these nocturnal predators. The art looks to be of the Polynesian style, almost custom-made for a tattoo, perhaps, and is very distinctive. A pretty series with a very small mintage, we can see why this one seems to be popular. Just a single, one-ounce silver coin in the range.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
$5 NZD (Tokelau) 0.999 silver 31.1 g 38.6 mm B / UNC 5,000 NO / NO

2022 APEX PREDATORS: BEAR V COUGAR (APMEX)

We were very impressed with the first issue in APMEX’s ‘Apex Predators’ series, depicting a lion in conflict with hyenas, and liked the focus on predator vs predator. The series is now back with a second coin featuring a bear in combat with a cougar. It isn’t quite as epic as the first coin, but still looks great, full of action, and with a faint, and probably unintentional, yin-yang vibe to it.

Especially appealing is the complete absence of any borders or inscriptions on the reverse face, and we do wish more producers went this route. It allows the whole coin face to be filled with art, and the obverse always has some inscribed details on it anyway, so why not just place them all there? The one-ounce silver coin is the extent of the bullion range, but there’s also a very pretty, part-gilded, five-ounce proof coin rocking a 65 mm diameter and a 500 mintage.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION WEIGHT DIAMETER FINISH MINTAGE BOX / COA
$1 NZD (Niue) 0.999 silver 31.1 g 39.0 mm B / UNC 10,000 NO / NO
AURAGENTUM
MUENZEN ENGEL
SCOTSDALE MINT
EUROPEAN MINT
EMPORIUM HAMBURG
EMPORIUM HAMBURG