2010 Sierra Leone Silver $10 Born Free Lion w/Crystal

2010 Sierra Leone Silver $10 Born Free Lion w/Crystal

This coin celebrates the life and work of Joy Adamson, famous for her work with lions in Africa.

Coin Highlights:

  • Contains .7539 oz of .925 fine Silver.
  • Comes in a unique presentation box with a certificate of authenticity.
  • Limited mintage of 5,000 coins.
  • Obverse: Features the Sierra Leone Coat of Arms.
  • Reverse: Depicts a design featuring Joy’s beloved lions. What sets this coin apart is the yellow-colored crystal that is set into the center of the coin. The third coin in the world to include real crystal, it features the etched image of a lioness.
  • Issued on behalf of the Sierra Leone.

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Joy Adamson was an Austrian naturalist and author who dedicated her life to the animals of Africa. She is most renowned for her work with Elsa, the lioness she raised from cub to independent female. Elsa was successfully released into the wild and went on to have a family of her own. 2010 also celebrates the 50th anniversary of Joy’s book, Born Free. The profiles of both Joy and her husband George were raised with the release of this book and subsequent film of the same name which was released in 1966. The whole world was enchanted by the story of the orphaned lion cub. The film won two Academy Awards and made celebrities out of Joy and George. Virginia McKenna and Bill Travers, who played Joy and George Adamson in the film were so inspired by their work, they established the "Born Free Foundation" a charity that continues the good work started by the Adamson’s and now looks after the plight of animals across the world. Joy wrote three books about Elsa, all of which were made into successful films.

Following Elsa’s death in 1961, Joy and George went their separate ways, although they remained friends and George continued to work with Lions while Joy went on to work with Cheetahs and Leopards. Joy wrote further books about the others animals she rehabilitated including Pippa the Cheetah and Penny the Leopard and spent the last ten years of her life using her public profile to give speeches raising awareness of animal welfare. She was also an accomplished artist whose work can be seen at the National Museum of Kenya in Nairobi. She was committed to animals until the very end of her life - she was found murdered in Shaba National Reserve, Kenya in 1980.

Sierra Leone (Lion Mountains) is situated on the West coast of Africa, while Kenya is situated on the East. Although miles apart, the habitat between the two countries have similarities; sandy beaches on the coast, rainforest, mountains and dry savannah. Sierra Leone is home to many species of mammals and birds including 11 different species of primate, Elephant and Hippo. The work of Joy Adamson has raised awareness of the conservation of animals all over Africa.

The Pobjoy Mint has been a leader in innovative coin design and craftsmanship for more than 50 years. Derek Pobjoy started the private mint in 1965, coming from a background in jewelry. The first coins minted were commemorative Sterling Silver and Gold coins in memory of former Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill, which launched the mint into becoming a huge success.

The idea that countries, big or small, can and should have their own coinage is what pushed the Pobjoy Mint forward. Pobjoy approached the Isle of Man government to begin a program of collector coins with corresponding values and specifications as British coins. In 1972, the Pobjoy Mint created the first practical set of coins for the Isle of Man including a 1/2 penny and up to 50 pence coins. These coins included historical and cultural elements, such as the Isle of Man’s distinctive three-legged “Triskele” insignia.

Since then, the Pobjoy Mint has issued an array of innovative and artistic coins sought after by some of the choosiest collectors. One particular contribution to numismatics and coin production was the development of the world’s first satisfactory man-made Precious Metal, called Virenium, which has been used in high denomination coinage since 1978. This was hailed worldwide as the first significant breakthrough in coinage from the last century.

The Pobjoy Mint provides circulation and collector coinage for 12 countries and territories, and that number is ever increasing. Pobjoy Mint has been consistently recognized within the numismatic industry for their innovations, including 45 “firsts” such as the first Silver one kilo coin, the first coin in the shape of the Eiffel Tower, the first titanium coin and the world’s highest relief coin. The Pobjoy Mint has demonstrated their ability to push the limits of the coin industry to surprising achievements and new heights.

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