A new silver bullion coin offers a close look at a hefty animal, and
when it comes to size, the coin is no slouch either.
The 2017 Water Buffalo silver 50-franc coin is issued by the
Democratic Republic of the Congo in conjunction with the Scottsdale
Mint. At 100 grams, it appears to be the world’s first silver bullion
coin of this size.
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Each example of the .999 fine silver coins contains 3.21 ounces of
The obverse concave design depicts a detailed frontal view of the
right half of a water buffalo’s face, showing one crescent-shaped horn
and a ragged ear, and another herd member in the distance, on the horizon.
This coin features crisp, reeded edges and, on the reverse, a smooth
river rock pattern embedded underneath the Democratic Republic of the
Congo’s coat of arms along with the denomination of 50 FRANCS CFA.
The water buffalo, or Asian buffalo, as it’s often called, is the
largest member of the Bovini tribe and has been domesticated for more
than 5,000 years. Standing 5 to 6 feet tall, with long crescent-shaped
horns and sparse gray-black coat, water buffalo are an integral part
in humanity’s survival, providing meat, horns, hides, and power.
Water buffalo live in the tropical and subtropical forests of Asia.
They are aptly named, for they spend most of their time in water.
Their hooves are extra wide and prevent them from sinking into mud at
the bottom of ponds, swamps and rivers. They can live in grasslands,
savannas, swamps, lowland floodplains, mixed forest and glades, but
they never roam farther than 12 miles from a body of water. Water
buffalo are also widely regarded as very dangerous animals, as they
have been reported to attack people in some situations. Protective of
each other, they take great care of sick and old members of the herd,
shielding them from predators.
The coins measure 38.6 millimeters in diameter and are 9.5
millimeters thick, about one-third of an inch.
The complete mintage is limited to only 30,000 pieces. Single coins
come in a protective plastic bag and a tube contains seven coins, for
22.5 ounces of pure silver.
Scottsdale and bullion distributors offer the coin for purchase at
prices about 15 to 20 percent above the precious metal or
"spot" value, depending on quantity purchased and payment method.