German coin dealership Emporium Hamburg has announced that an error coin has emerged from its own 2014 series of 1/50-ounce ‘Somalia Elephant’ bullion coins. This error coin can only be identified as such when placed on precision scales. The piece does not weigh 0.62 g, but 0.5 g, a difference that is not visible to the naked eye as the diameter of the blanks is absolutely identical. This may be how the minting error happened. The minting technician responsible probably used the wrong blanks.
Emporium Hamburg says:
‘When we first heard about it, we were amazed. We have strict in-house controls for the minting quality of all our pieces. The weight of the coins is also checked through random sampling. But of course, we can’t put every single coin from a batch on the scales individually. So this error coin was sent out to our customers.’
Achim Becker, founder and long-time managing director, says:
‘Of course it’s annoying that this mistake has happened here. On the other hand, a certain trend has developed in recent years, with collectors tending to pay more for error coins from contemporary series than for regular pieces. There’s something reassuring about the idea that, despite all the elaborate control technology, human error is still possible. So it may be the case that the collector’s value exceeds the value of the missing gold weight – about 0.12 g – several times over.
Nevertheless, we take full responsibility for the coins we sell. If you find an underweight error coin, you can contact us at any time and without any time limit, and we’ll exchange it for the originally stated weight and current gold value.’
It is not yet known how many of these error coins were dispersed.
The Somalia Elephant bullion coin, for which Emporium Hamburg is responsible, has been on offer around the world since 2004, in many differing denominations. It is set apart from classic investment products by its changing motif, which depicts new versions of the African elephant each year. This bullion coin has therefore become a popular collector’s item.