Feb 102012

Recently we were given more insight into how our Australian collector coins are received in the United States – the world’s biggest coin market.

Mint News Blog is largely dedicated to coins issued by the United States Mint. But in response to more and more discussion within comments about various non-U.S. coins, writer Michael Zielinski dedicated a post to the tactics, strategies, or innovations that mints around the world have employed within their coin offerings.”

His post emphasises there is currently plenty of innovation in numismatics – but it is largely at the instigation of world mints. One senses that this is frustrating to collectors of U.S. coins, hence a growing interest in what The Perth Mint and others are offering.

Michael highlights non-traditional materials (like gemstones and crystals); very small coins (reflecting higher precious metal prices); limited mintage bullion coins; extremely low mintage releases; and individually numbered certificates of authenticity as points of difference for collectors in the U.S. to look out for.

Innovation proves popular: The Perth Mint's new Australian Opal Series.

The response from readers was expansive and illuminating. We are certainly pleased to be prominent in the discussion about product innovation.

“…With that being said, I do think Perth does some things better. I think they produce better quality coin designs for one (the Red Welsh is very impressive looking). They also tend to be on the leading edge of experimental coins, such as the opal koalas or the holographic (sic) coins they released a couple years ago.” [from Captain Overkill].

And this:

“You’re right that Perth Mint is ahead of US in innovative designs (Canada is too, as many others), but there are other things. For example Young Collectors program. When was the last time the mint produced a product specifically for children? I’m pretty sure the correct answer is “never”.” [from Shutter]

The ability to buy coins over the internet is another factor prompting interest in world coins within the U.S. One correspondent has a salutary tale related to the release of an extremely limited coin:

“The Perth mint recently produced a 2 Oz Elizabeth II gold Diamond jubilee coin – with a mintage of only 60 coins! I happened to be on the site when the coin was launched. The moment the coin appeared on the website, I saw the mintage limit. I had it in my shopping basket and checked out immediately. I was so fast I thought that I had coin number one – it turned out to be coin #34. This coin was sold for AUS $ 5400 (more or less) – it now appears sometimes on auctions in excess of $10,000!” [from Schalk].

It’s a fascinating read. (This being the internet, of course, there are a few mint-bashing comments too!) We’d like to thank Michael for airing this debate and giving us in Australia an insight into shifting interests in the U.S. where coin collecting and investing are simply enormous.

If you’d like to read it for yourself, go directly to Some Things That Other World Mints Are Doing.

Michael’s website Coin Update News provides extensive coverage of new world coin releases in the World Coins category.


  5 Responses to “Australia’s role in America’s shifting coin interests”

  1. The thing is that you guys should upgrade your ordering system, so we the people at the other side of the earth will have a fair chance to grab those 5000-mintage coins.

    • Hi Samuel

      Thanks for commenting. We recently began a project to upgrade our systems and address issues like the one you raise. Unfortunately there is no ‘quick fix’ and due to the complexity of our business it’s going to take some time to plan and implement. However, we hear what you are saying and are definitely working to improve service for all customers – wherever they are in the world.

      Kind regards


  2. Blog Team, could you please show us how these coins are made?

    How does the mint go about such a task? We’ve seen how the artists put the gems in the 1kilo gem-eye dragon coin but…………..surely there isn’t hundreds of employees placing together little pieces of opal; or is there?:)

    Also, do you have a really good image you could share; ther’s been a lot of people asking about the coin; aappaarently it’s a very difficult coin to photograph.

    Any info or pictures would be appreciated.


    Billy Black Smith

  3. Blog Team,

    I’ve viewed your Perth Mint video for the 2012 Koala Opal coin which is very good. If possible, could you please view this video of the Opal coin and if appropriate add it to this blog.


    Kind regards

    Billy Black Smith


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