Jul 272015
 

In line with our earlier announcement, the 2015 Australia Sovereign and Half Sovereign 22-carat gold proof coins were withdrawn from sale on Friday 17 July. While each release originally had a permitted maximum mintage of 1,500 coins, the closure of sales means the following declared (final) mintage figures apply.

2015AusSov Australia Sovereign
2015 Gold Proof Coin

Declared Mintage: 1,398
2015HalfAusSov Australia Half Sovereign
2015 Gold Proof Coin

Declared Mintage: 958

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Jul 272015
 

In Chinese culture the dragon is said to have nine sons. Prominent figures in popular Chinese stories and often portrayed in architectural ornamentation, each one is believed to possess a unique supernatural power. Limited to a mintage of just 1,000, this spectacular 5oz silver proof release portrays the dragon’s nine sons in colour.

Dragon & His Nine Sons 5oz Silver Proof Coin

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1 Qiu Niu With a head resembling a yellow dragon, Qiu Niu is often depicted on the head or bridge of traditional Chinese instruments. The eldest of the nine dragon sons, the Qiu Niu, is generally considered the patron of musicians and a protector of homes.
2 Ya Zi Ya Zi is highly aggressive and loves to fight. His bad temper and powerful nature sees him frequenting battlefields, and his appearance signifies victory in battle while enhancing the morale and strength of soldiers. His image is often carved on edged weapons to make them more powerful and accurate.
3 Suan Ni Suan Ni resembles a lion, loves fire and smoke, and can be found on incense burners and as a guardian in front of doorways. Associated with Chinese Buddhism, his profile can also be seen on the seats of the Buddha statues.
4 Bi Xi The Bi Xi dragon has the body and shell of a tortoise with the head of a dragon. Capable of carrying very heavy objects, his image is usually carved at the base of heavy stone steles, pillars and gravestones.
5 Bi An Bi An is known for his fairness and impartiality. Resembling a tiger, he is wise and can differentiate between good and evil, and honesty and lies. He is usually featured as part of the decoration of courts and prisons in ancient China. His images are ferocious and he has the appearance of a tiger with very large fangs.
6 Chi Wen Chi Wen lives in the sea and is said to control rainfall. He resembles a fish. The Chi Wen dragon image is often placed on the ridges of palaces and buildings to protect the building from fire.
7 Chao Feng The fearless risk taker, Chao Feng has the head of a phoenix with the body of a dragon. His image is often used as embellishments on roof corners, particularly in ancient palace architecture.
8 Pu Lao Known for his loud crying, Pu Lao lives by the sea and is often cast as the handles on the top of a bell. He was afraid of cetaceous creatures such as dolphins and whales, and upon seeing a cetacean he would shout loudly in fear. It became a tradition for people to put his likeness on clocks with a carved wooden cetacean as the bell-striker in order to increase the vibration of the toll.
9 Fu Xi Fu Xi has the head of a lion with a dragon’s body. Known for his love of literature, his image is often found in libraries and on book bindings, and depicted on graves and monuments.
10 Dragon Father
The legendary Dragon is said to be the most potent symbol of good fortune in the pantheon of Chinese symbols. A benevolent creature with power over water, rainfall, hurricanes and floods, it also signifies power and strength. Nine is noble number in Chinese culture which also symbolizes harmony.

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Jul 232015
 

For such a young nation, Australia is responsible for some seriously sought-after coins. The 1813 holey dollar & dump and the 1930 penny are two of our most desirable rarities. With an equally illustrious status in Australian numismatics, the 1920 Sydney sovereign is another legendary collectable.

Portraying Pistrucci’s famous St George design with a ‘S’ mintmark in the exergue (above the year-date), only three examples of the 1920 Sydney sovereign are known to exist in private hands. It’s Australia’s rarest collectable gold coin and, unsurprisingly, commands a price tag to suit!

£650,000 was needed to secure one of these elusive treasures when it came to auction in London in 2012. A new world-record price for any Australian or Commonwealth coin, the A$1million sum procured it on behalf of a determined Australian collector.

It’s a pure pleasure to gaze upon the 1920 Sydney sovereign in these exquisite images courtesy of rare coin dealer Jaggard’s. In providing one of just three possible opportunities to achieve a complete series of sovereigns made at Australia’s mints between 1855 and 1931, its significance cannot possibly be overstated.

Credit: Images courtesy of © Jaggard’s.

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Jul 142015
 

Princess_JasmineReleased in 1992, Aladdin was Disney’s 31st animated feature.

It’s based on a Middle Eastern folk tale found in The Book of One Thousand and One Nights (aka The Arabian Nights).

The plot unfolds in the fictional Arabian city of Agrabah, where the title character is an impoverished but kind-hearted thief who is entranced by the Sultan’s daughter, Princess Jasmine.

Obliged by law to choose a suitor of noble blood, the determined and daring young beauty wishes only to marry for love. Falling for Aladdin during a visit to the market, she’s later left distraught when the evil sorcerer Jafar deceives her into thinking that he’s been executed.

Driving the storyline is the giant-blue Genie of the lamp, who grants Aladdin three wishes. Using his first wish to become Prince Ali-Ababwa, he visits Jasmine and whisks her around the world on a magic carpet.

But Jafar reveals Aladdin’s true identity to Jasmine and banishes him to a frozen wasteland. Aladdin uses the magic carpet to return to the kingdom where he saves his beloved princess, and in so doing proves that even as a commoner he has the bravery, honesty and intelligence to secure her heart.

Acclaimed for her strong-willed and free-spirited personality, Princess Jasmine was central to the box-office success enjoyed by Disney’s Aladdin. With a long swirl of jet black hair and lovely hazel eyes, she’s undoubtedly one of Disney’s most cherished Princesses.

Disney Princess: Jasmine

Struck in proof quality from 1oz of 99.9% pure silver and 1/4oz of 99.99% pure gold, the coins portray Princess Jasmine surrounded by relief engraved flowers. Issued as legal tender of Niue, no more than 10,000 silver coins and 1,000 gold coins will be released.

Each silver coin is presented in delightful fairy-tale book style packaging incorporating a Certificate of Authenticity. Each gold coin comes in a timber display case and illustrated shipper accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity.

Jasmine-Coin_presentation

Issued by NZ Mint and Struck by The Perth Mint.

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Jul 102015
 

MeninGate_LestWeForget

The Perth Mint’s ANZAC Spirit Lest We Forget 1 kilo silver proof coin was presented to the Last Post Association by the Returned and Services League at a memorial event at Menin Gate in Ypres, Belgium, on 9 July 2015. The ceremony, which has taken place daily since 1928, included the playing of the Last Post for the 30,000th time. It is the intention of the Last Post Association to perform this traditional final salute to the fallen as an act of homage to Allied soldiers killed during the Great War in perpetuity.

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Jul 092015
 

On 1 July 1915, the Commonwealth of Australia officially accepted responsibility from the State Governments for all landfall and coastal lights around Australia.

Lighthouses have played a vital role in coastal navigation and safety since the earliest years of settlement. Within just a few years of the colony’s founding in 1788, convicts built Australia’s first marine light on South Head at the entrance to Sydney Harbour – a simple iron brazier suspended from a tripod.

A few years later, convict architect Francis Greenway designed Australia’s first proper lighthouse for the site. Named after the influential fifth Governor of New South Wales, it was an imposing design known as Macquarie Tower.

Macquarie-and-Lighthouse

The ‘Macquarie Tower’ Holey Dollar
On 11 July 1816, Governor Lachlan Macquarie placed a prime example of Australia’s first coinage – the Holey Dollar – under the foundation stone of his tower, which was completed two years later. Alas, due to poor quality of the locally mined sandstone from which it was built, Macquarie Tower had to be replaced by a similar lighthouse (above) in 1883. Its untimely demolition revealed the existence of the famous coin, which now reside in the collection of the Australian National Maritime Museum at Darling Harbour.

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More lighthouses were subsequently built around the Australian coast in direct response to shipwrecks in the treacherous waters of the Southern Ocean and the Tasman Sea. The King Island coastline in the Bass Strait, for example, claimed at least 60 vessels and 800 lives before the construction of lighthouses during the nineteenth century.

Prior to Federation in 1901, the six Australian colonies were responsible for the design and construction of their own lighthouses. Resulting in a variety of styles built from local materials such as granite, limestone and sandstone as well as concrete, the new Australian nation had a rich heritage of lighthouse architecture by the time the Commonwealth Lighthouse Service took over responsibility for the lights in 1915.

Today, Australia has more than 350 lighthouses along its coastline. On behalf of the Commonwealth Government, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority maintains more than 300 operational lighthouses and a further 200 other aids to navigation. In addition, AMSA seeks to preserve historic lighthouses and related marine artefacts for the community’s benefit.

100 Years of Commonwealth Management of Lighthouses – Stamp and Coin Cover

Issued by Australia Post, this superb Stamp and Coin Cover marks the centenary of the Commonwealth’s responsibility for lighthouses. Including an uncirculated Australian $1 coin struck by The Perth Mint, it features four official 70c stamps depicting historic and architecturally diverse Australian lighthouses.

Lighthouses_PNC

  • Cape Byron Lighthouse, NSW – constructed in 1901 from concrete blocks; Australia’s most easterly lighthouse and also its most powerful.
  • Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse, WA – constructed 1895-1896 from limestone; situated on the most south-westerly point on the mainland.
  • North Reef Lighthouse, QLD – completed 1878 from timber sheathed in galvanised iron; situated on a shifting sand bar.
  • Tasman Island Lighthouse, TAS – built in 1906 from cast iron plates; at 276 metres above high water, one of Australia’s highest lighthouses.

The coin’s reverse depicts a lighthouse set on a rocky cliff with waves lapping beneath it. From the lighthouse, a beam of light shines into the night sky. The design also includes the inscription CENTENARY OF THE AUSTRALIAN LIGHTHOUSE SERVICE and The Perth Mint’s ‘P’ mintmark.

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