Somalia Silver Elephant Coins

Home » Somalia Silver Elephant Coins

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

Somalia Silver Elephant Coins are a striking reminder of and tribute to the mighty African Elephant. A member of the fascinating African wildlife series of coins, this bullion silver issue contains an impressive .999 purity level of silver. They were first produced for the African country Zambia. Starting in 2004, the country Somalia took over the issue and design and has been the coin's state sponsor ever since then.


Somalia Silver Elephant Coins Background and History

Somalia Silver Elephant Coins are almost unique in the world of silver bullion as issues that change their designs every year. This helps to drive investors and collectors alike to the series which has become renowned for its high silver content and striking designs. The obverse of the coins always includes at least one elephant living in its native African habitat. The reverse has showcased the seal of the Republic of Somalia since 2004 when they took over the series from former sponsor Zambia.

The actual maker of the Somalia Silver Elephant Coin series is not a Somalian- or even African-based mint at all. Instead, the German Bavarian State Mint strikes them annually on behalf of Somalia. This mint is known as the oldest continuously operating firm in Munich. The Bavarian State Mint started striking coins way back in 1158 under the authority of Heinrich dem Löwen. This mint has earned a hard-won reputation for its exacting standards in producing not only collectible coins, but also medals, medallions, and seals.


The Somalia Silver Elephant Coin has a contentious history which proves to be as interesting as it is controversial. This originated in its first years under the auspices of African nation Zambia. In 2004, the Bavarian State Mint claims that Zambia authorized the transitioning of the coin series over to the Republic of Somalia. There are numerous analysts and experts who have expressed doubts over such a claim and its legal authority. Somalia's central bank and the government together have never accepted the Somalia Silver Elephant Coins as their own legal tender issues. Neither has their central bank in fact ever distributed such beautiful pieces or vouched for their supposed face value.

The confusion stems from the civil wars and political turmoil that envelop this East African Horn nation more often than not. Though the nation has been staggering towards a parliamentary federal system, progress has been far from on a direct path. These factors combine to explain why the Bavarian State Mint can not obtain any official looking documentation to conclusively prove their claims that Somalia authorizes them to produce the coin on their behalf. Probably because of the ongoing controversy surrounding the coins, their value and demand from both collectors and investors is all the higher.

Somalia Silver Elephant Coins Physical Characteristics

Somalia Silver Elephant Coins are annually struck in Munich, Bavarian Free State, Germany by the Bavaria State Mint. This institution which predates the nation of Germany by around 700 years remains an entirely state-owned and -controlled entity within the Free State of Bavaria.

Coin Design

The “obverse” is the name of the front side of a coin. The 2017 Somalia Silver Elephant Coins feature a lordly African elephant with his trunk high in the air as he strides over the Serengeti. The background displays his surroundings, which include a native grass hut that stands beside a coconut tree. You can catch a glimpse of the rising sun at the top of the obverse of the coin.

Coin numismatics refers to the rear side of coins by the name of “reverse.” Somalia Silver Elephant Coins have the national seal of Somalia on their reverse. This displays two striking leopards which together jointly support the national shield and coat of arms that contains a five pointed star. Underneath them lies a ribbon draped atop two crossed lances along with two crossed palm fronds. This design replaced the former Zambia national seal which adorned the series' reverse through 2004. The coin's supposed face value of 100 Shillings is specified on this side of the coins as well, along with the date of mintage and the phrase “SOMALI REPUBLIC.” Coins come in 20 quantity packs in mint tubes. You can order them in quantities of 500 in so-called “monster boxes.”


Somalia Silver Elephant Coins come available in a range of sizes, such as 1 kilogram, ten ounces, 1 ounce, and fractional ounce sizes (which began in the year 2017). The specifications of the most heavily produced and most popular one ounce size are:

  • Mass: 31.1 grams
  • Diameter: 39 mm
  • Thickness:  3 mm
  • Content: 1 troy oz. silver
  • Purity: 99.99% silver

Somalia Silver Elephant Coins Pricing

Somalia Silver Elephant Coins boast a face value of 100 Somalia Shillings. This may sound like a large amount of legal tender, but the entire issue remains clouded by the Central Bank of Somalia refusing to honor it. Not that it matters in practice as the silver value of one ounce is substantially higher than the face value. This is exactly the reason that coins with intrinsic value based on the spot price of silver such as this one are far superior to those with only the good faith and trust of the issuing government behind them. The full value of these coins has nothing to do with the country of Somalia in any way or form. Instead it comes straight from the daily spot price of silver and the underlying factors of supply and demand for these German mint struck pieces.

Intrinsic value for the Somalia Silver Elephant Coins is derived from the actual market value of the coins as specified by the world silver markets. Market prices matter immensely for the portfolios which contain bullion issues such as these. Market values of such striking silver coins vary every market trading day along with the shifting value of their underlying silver prices. You can simply ascertain the current live price of silver just by going over to our official homepage.

Can IRA Accounts Contain Somalia Silver Elephant Coins?

Somalia Silver Elephant Coins are beautiful pieces that do great justice to a magnificent animal in its natural habitat, but are they eligible for inclusion in American IRA retirement accounts? The answer to this question is never straight forward, thanks to the machinations of the U.S. taxing authority known as the Internal Revenue Service. They are the ones who come up with and enforce their own standards of coin purity and collectibility. In order to open such a precious metals IRA account in which to place physical silver and gold bullion coins, you must first pre-fund it with minimally $5,000 worth of sanctioned silver or gold bullion in some combination. After this, you can later add more silver and gold with only $1,000 or higher minimum purchases. Should you already possess a traditional form of IRA, it is not difficult to roll it over into a self directed IRA account. Once your bullion has been obtained by your agent and administrator of your IRA, they will have to deliver it into the safe keeping of a third party approved depository. This group which the IRS must approve is responsible for guarding and inventorying your precious metals holdings until such a time as you either take them out via a distribution or have them sold back into cash.

Sadly for lovers of elephants and nature themes in general, the IRS does not at all permit you to include these Somalia Silver Elephant Coins within your IRA account. The reason has everything to do with the collectible nature of these coins. They do meet the exacting purity standards of .999 silver fineness. Yet the IRS does not like their significant premiums over spot silver prices. For this reason alone, you may not purchase them with IRA retirement funds ever. They are still highly desirable and beautiful examples of bullion coinage that make attractive and smart investment and retirement choices for other types of portfolios. To buy them, you simply contact a reputable world coin or silver bullion dealer, and ask if they inventory them or can order some of these lovely pieces for you.

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