|Coin||Gold Ounce 2022 African Elephant|
The Australian one-ounce gold piece (abbreviated as 1 oz and designated with Au for "gold") is a bullion coin format. Uniquely, in Australia there are two mints authorised to strike legal tender: the Royal Australian Mint (which also makes the country's circulating coinage) and the Perth Mint which only makes collector and bullion coins, as well as other bullion products.
Both mints endeavour to create coins with attractive designs, and to introduce new designs and themes often, in order to raise the numismatic value of the coins over the value of previous metal used.
The 2022 African Elephant one-ounce gold bullion coin is the third release in a new Australia Zoo coin series and features the African elephant.
The Mint says about it:
"The sheer size and might of Sumatran and African elephants are conveyed on this attractive Gold Investment Coin, the third release in the Royal Australian Mint’s Australia Zoo series. Struck to a brilliant uncirculated finish, these coins pay tribute to these incredible creatures and their fragile existence in the wild."
A distinction is made between two subspecies - the African forest elephant and the African savanna elephant. Both species are now listed as critically endangered.
The obverse of the coin depicts the crowned old bust of Queen Elizabeth II facing right, wearing the Royal Diamond Diadem crown worn for her Coronation (effigy known as the "Fifth Portrait" worldwide but "Sixth Portrait" in Australia, where the Queen's portrait by Vladimir Gottwald was fifth).
The Queen also wears the Coronation Necklace; originally made for Queen Victoria in 1858, it was also worn at the coronations (as Queen's Consort) of Queen Alexandra in 1902, Queen Mary in 1911 and Queen Elizabeth (the Queen mother) in 1937.
Unlike on British coinage, the effigy is "uncouped" (includes the Queen's shoulders). In small letters on the left, the artist's initials JC (for Jody Clark).
Running continuously around the rim is the monarch's legend, the date of issue and the face value: ELIZABETH II · AUSTRALIA 2022 · 100 DOLLARS ·.
Within a plain rim, the reverse of the coin depicts an elephant in the foreground and typical African vegetation in the background. The design was inspired by a photograph taken in Africa in 2019 by Robert Irwin, son of the famous documentary filmmaker Steve Irwin.
Diagonally above left, the inscription AUSTRALIA ZOO, below which on two linesAFRICAN ELEPHANT.
In smaller letters below that, the precious metal content: 1 OZ .9999 Ag (one troy ounce of 99.99% gold; Au is abbreviated from the Latin word for gold, Aurum).
In the exergue below right, the initials of the designer, AWB (for Adam William Ball).
||AUSTRALIA ZOO AFRICAN ELEPHANT 1 OZ .9999 Ag
Finish: Brilliant Uncirculated.
Packaging: boxed, with a numbered Certificate of Authenticity.
RAM Product Code: 11070
Date of issue: 23 June 2022.
Coins in the Australia Zoo premium bullion coin series include:
- 1 oz Gold, Sumatran Tiger, 2020
- 1 oz Silver, Sumatran Tiger, 2020
- 1 oz Gold, Cheetah, 2021
- 1 oz Silver, Cheetah, 2021
- 1 oz Gold, African Elephant, 2022
- 1 oz Silver, Sumatran Elephant, 2022
Unlike other coins issued by the Royal Australian Mint, the gold and the silver versions of the Elephant bullion coin have different designs (the silver features the Sumatran Elephant).