?Czech Lions join world bullion family
As reported on Sept. 25 by Coin World senior editor Jeff Starck, the Czech Mint has started issuing its own silver and gold bullion coins, the Czech Lion, in the U.S. being sold exclusively by APMEX.
I first heard about the new Lion coins from a discussion on the silverstackers.com online coin forum, where someone posted about them on September 15. Some other posters noted that they found it odd that the coin is issued under the authority of Niue, which means it carries the Ian-Rank Broadley effigy of Queen Elizabeth II.
The coin is the first of a series called Czech Nationhood designed to showcase the various symbols and artifacts of the Czech nation. For the first issue, the design includes a “two-tailed lion (coat of arms of the Czech Republic), burning eagle on a shield (attribute of Saint Wenceslas, patron saint of the Czech state), Crown of Saint Wenceslas (part of the Bohemian Crown Jewels) and linden branch (Czech national tree),” notes the Mint, which refers to the series as “investment coins.”
The work of famous Czech artist Jaroslav Bejvl, it is being issued in a range of sizes, including these according to the Czech Mint:
Au 999.9 / 1000 g (1 kg) / 85 mm / 8000 NZD
Au 999.9 / 311 g (10 oz) / 65 mm / 500 NZD
Au 999.9 / 155.5 g (5 oz) / 50 mm / 250 NZD
Au 999.9 / 31.1 g (1 oz) / 37 mm / 50 NZD
Au 999.9 / 1.24 g (1/25 oz) / 13 mm / 5 NZD
Ag 999 / 1000 g (1 kg) / 90 mm / 80 NZD
Ag 999 / 311 g (10 oz) / 75 mm / 25 NZD
Ag 999 / 31.1 g (1 oz) / 37 mm / 1 NZD [NZD is New Zealand Dollar]
Jeff contacted the Czech Mint regarding the reason for the Niue connection, and the Mint responded that the main reason for having them issued under a Niue/New Zealand license is because the Czech Mint did not yet have its own legally-authorized bullion coin program.
The Mint sold the first 500 coins in the type of blister packs familiar to those who purchase coins from European and other world mints that usually include a picture of the coin and details about it. Those coins sold quickly, and the mint also sold a portion of the mintage of the other 9,500 1-ounce silver coins and some of the other versions as well.
As of Sept. 25, the Mint said only some silver kilos and 1/25-oz. gold coins were left.
APMEX has the 10-ounce silver with a mintage of 200 coins, and had 131 of the 1-ounce silver left at the time of writing.
The Czech Lions are an interesting edition to the ever-growing panoply of world bullion coins notable for their classic design, low mintages, and status as the first bullion release from this mint.
I expect them to acquire some good premiums going forward, but it remains to be seen if they do as well as say the Perth Mint’s new silver Swan series. The Swans were a sort of stealth release that did not get publicity in advance of their release, and Perth’s bullion coins are global leaders in the field.
Nonetheless, the lions should hold their own and help the Czech Mint to establish its own reputation in the bullion field.