Sierra Leone Gold Lion Head Coins

Home » Sierra Leone Gold Lion Head Coins

Disclosure: Our content does not constitute financial advice. Speak to your financial advisor. We may earn money from companies reviewed.  Learn more

Sierra Leone Gold Gold Lion Head Coins were struck in honor of the fifth anniversary of the independence of Sierra Leone from the British Empire. They were minted in extremely tiny quantities and mostly distributed to customers of the British Royal Mint which struck them on the West African country's behalf. Few of them remain today, making them extremely valuable and highly sought after by collectors and investors of world gold bullion coins alike.

Sierra Leone Gold Lion Head Coins Background and History

Sierra Leone Gold Gold Lion Head Coins pre-dated the event for which modern Sierra Leone is most famous— its destructive and lengthy civil war. The war brought in a neighboring warlord of Liberia because of the lucrative diamond fields within the country. In the end, even the West Africa United Nations' Peacekeeping forces could not effectively restore order and keep the peace. The British long time colonial masters returned with their troops to evacuate all foreigners from the carnage. Fortunately for all concerned, they remained behind to take on the rebels' military. British forces of arms prevailed, and the country has enjoyed a stable and sustained period of quiet ever since them. Some British troops remain to this day to enforce the hard-won peace for the sake of the citizens. Elections have been held several times since 2002 and a stable and prosperous economy and nation has at last returned.

Modern day Sierra Leone coinage began in 1964. The late and great leader Sir Milton Margai, father of the nation, was honored on these bronze half cents to copper-nickel clad leones. The coins were similarly struck in a beautiful silver proof edition. Most notable and valuable of these were the gold leones minted in quantities of only a few thousand. In 1966, a few unusual coins were struck in the denomination of “goldes” in not only gold bullion but also palladium and platinum. Several were given away as diplomatic keepsakes, while the rest were sold to customers of the British Royal Mint in an effort to garner some foreign exchange for the Sierra Leone government. No more than 2,500 of these Goldes were struck in brilliant uncirculated condition, while only 600 were minted in proof form.

Sierra Leone Gold Lion Head Coins Physical Characteristics

Sierra Leone Gold Lion Head Coins were minted in the full Golde denomination with 54.5 grams of gold, in half Golde format with 27.2 grams of gold, and in a quarter Golde version with 13.6 grams of gold.

Coin Design

The front side of coins is referred to by the name of “obverse” around the world. Sierra Leone Gold Lion Head coins all have the same design on them. On the obverse, the coins depict the head of a lion, the national symbol of the nation. The words “Fifth Anniversary of Independence” appear around the lion's head. At the bottom is written “1961-1966” to commemorate the five years of independence to that point.

The coin “reverse” refers to the rear side of coins. Sierra Leone Gold Lion Head coins depict a map of the country Sierra Leone with the relevant denomination struck in the coin's center. Below the country's name is the appealing sounding nickname, “Land of Iron and Diamonds.”


Sierra Leone Gold Lion Heads come in three available sizes and denomination.  The dimensions of the popular half Golde are as follows:

  • Mass: 0.7891 troy oz
  • Diameter: 31 mm
  • Thickness: 1.5 mm
  • Purity: 90.0% gold

Sierra Leone Gold Lion Heads Pricing

Sierra Leone Gold Lion Head coins are legal tender within the Republic of Sierra Leone. Their face values are either one Golde, a half Golde, or a quarter Golde, which does not tell you much regarding their relative worth. In any case, the value of the gold which they contain is vastly greater than any of their face values. Such intrinsic value is derived heavily from the world spot gold prices. There is also a substantial premium on any of the remaining coins as they are extremely rare and highly sought after by collectors and investors of world gold coins.

It is actually this intrinsic value which comprises the coins' market value. You use the market value of such coins to determine their contribution to a retirement or investment portfolio's overall worth. These coins command a significant premium over the spot gold values. Part of this is explained by the expense of having the Royal Mint in Britain strike and issue them. The true market value of these gems rises and falls on a weekday trading basis alongside world gold market prices. You are able to follow these live gold prices right now simply by navigating over to our homepage.

Can IRA Accounts Contain Sierra Leone Gold Lion Heads?

Sierra Leone Gold Lion Head coins are exotic enough to make you wonder if the Internal Revenue Service would actually consent to you purchasing and holding them in your government-sponsored precious metals IRA retirement account. It is actually entirely up to their discretion as to whether or not any individual bullion coin may be a part of these retirement vehicles. They base these decisions on a non- arbitrary dual system of gold purity and coin collectability to determine which are eligible for inclusion in self directed precious metals IRAs.

Before you can fully open up such an account, you must order at least a $5,000 opening purchase of gold or silver bullion coins which the IRS sanction. Once you have begun this process and established the account, you can always choose later to add subsequent amounts of as little as $1,000 in additional bullion coin or bar purchases of precious metals. If you already own a more traditional form of IRA, you can relatively easily transfer it over to one of these precious metals IRAs by pursuing an IRA account rollover. To do this, you will have to pick out an IRA account administrator who specializes in not just self directed IRAs, but also in precious metals IRA accounts. They will take care of all coin purchasing, selling, shipping, and storage as required by the IRS rules and regulations on the subject. They will also ensure that the coins make it safely to the third party depository of your choice. This company will be responsible for the maintenance and safekeeping of your precious metals treasure until such a time as you either sell them for cash or take them as a distribution when you retire (or earlier for a substantial penalty in taxes).

The IRS has its minimum gold fineness requirements of .995 for inclusion of precious metals gold in such an IRA account. As these Sierra Leone Gold Lion Heads only have .900 gold fineness, they are not eligible. It would not change matters if they had the requisite purity, as the IRS considers them to be too highly collectable and therefore also ineligible for precious metals IRAs. While these exotic and beautiful world gold coins may not be held as part of your self directed IRA account, they make fine choices for other forms of investment and retirement accounts which are not regulated by the IRS. You can purchase them from any world gold bullion or coin dealer who happens to have one of the few thousand of them which were minted and remain in total in stock.

Sign up to learn more. It's free!

If you're worried about the economy and want to learn tips on how to protect your retirement savings in case of another systemic collapse, sign up to our monthly newsletter now for free! We cover topics such as: precious metals investing, inflation, currency devaluation, national debt, the Fed's financial policies, world politics, and much more. Join now and we'll send you a free PDF report entitled “5 scams to avoid when investing in bullion gold & silver”

FTC Disclosure: We are an independent blog that aims at providing useful information for retirement account owners interested in alternative assets like precious metals. However, our content does NOT constitute financial advice. Please speak to your financial advisor before making any investment decision. Also, the data quoted on this website represents past performance and does not guarantee future results.


Copyright © 2024 Gold IRA Guide