Jun 212012

This week we got the chance to take a close look at the Australian Kookaburra 2012 1oz Silver Proof High Relief Coin with our video camera. It’s a remarkable release with extraordinary high profile detailing on a mirror-like table, as this clip attests:

The first Kookaburra ever offered in the high relief format, no more than 10,000 of these silver coins will be made. Each coin comes in a display case accompanied by a numbered Certificate of Authenticity. More.

Jun 202012

Under a collaborative project that’s been operational for several years, The Perth Mint produces Australian coins for inclusion in special commemoratives issued by Australia Post. Some of the best-known offerings are their extremely popular postal numismatic covers (aka stamp and coin covers) featuring dollar coins struck by the Mint.

Over the past five years, we have also been the exclusive maker of ground-breaking stamp-shaped 1/2oz silver proof coins for Australia Post – the most recent example forming part of the 2012 Australian Olympic Team 1/2oz Silver Proof Stamp-Shaped Coin & Stamp Set.

Australia’s first official stamp-shaped silver coin was made by The Perth Mint for issue by Australia Post in 2008. A spectacular hit with collectors, it celebrated the participation of the then Australian Olympic Team at Beijing with a design dominated by a vividly coloured image of a traditional Chinese dragon.

Australia Post chose the stamp-shaped format to celebrate its 200th anniversary in 2009. The Home Delivery and Early Post Box Stamp-Shaped Coin & Stamp Sets both included stunning examples of the genre – which remain available from The Perth Mint at their original issue prices if you’re interested in adding them to your collection.

In 2010, another tremendously successful set included a stamp-shaped silver coin celebrating the canonization of Mary MacKillop, Australia’s first saint.

To our knowledge, these five releases are the world’s only official stamp-shaped coins (let us know if you have come across any others) currently being enjoyed by collectors.

Jun 182012

One’s a stamp-shaped coin, the other’s a stamp; together they make a unique Australian commemorative of the London 2012 Olympics.Available from The Perth Mint from today, the 2012 Australian Olympic Team 1/2oz Silver Proof Stamp-Shaped Coin & Stamp Set includes a remarkable coin and an Australia Post 60c stamp portraying iconic symbols of London. No more than 8,000 will be issued.

Please note that our allocation is for customers ordering from within Australia only.

Click here for full details.

Jun 182012

Silver coin pays tribute to America’s ‘Ship of State’

On 18 June 1812, the young United States declared war on the greatest power in the world – Great Britain. The two and a half year War of 1812, also referred to as the United States’ “Second War of Independence”, forged the destiny of the continent for 200 years.

One of the most remarkable stories of the War was that of the three-masted wooden frigate USS Constitution. To the surprise of both the Americans and the British she defeated four English warships, earning each of her three captains a congressional gold medal.

Shot rebounded harmlessly off Constitution's hull during her exchange with Guerriere in August 1812.

Although historians judge these victories to have had minimal impact on the eventual outcome, they ended the myth of invincibility surrounding the Royal Navy. Returning to Boston after each successful encounter, USS Constitution and her crew were publicly extolled, and her reputation grew into the American national icon that she remains to this day.

In August 1812, during a 35-minute duel with HMS Guerriere off the coast of Nova Scotia, USS Constitution won her famous moniker. Observing cannonballs fired by the British ship bouncing harmlessly off her 25-inch oak hull, an incredulous sailor cried out, “Huzza! Her sides are made of iron!

Less than five months later, “Old Ironsides” sank a smaller and faster adversary, HMS Java, off the coast of Brazil.

Her final quarries of the War were HMS Cyane and HMS Levant, defeated near Madeira in February 1815.

Despite numerous subsequent victories, Old Ironsides never fired a round in combat again. Today, she holds the honour of being the oldest commissioned naval vessel afloat and was designated America’s ‘Ship of State’ in 2009.

(Source and further reading: Constitution: America’s Ship of State)

Ships That Changed The World - USS Constitution 2012 1oz Silver Proof Coin

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Jun 142012

The rapid rate at which collectors have snapped up our retail allocation of Australian Map Shaped Kookaburra coins is an encouraging sign that it’s well on the way to a sell out.

The 1oz silver proof coin is the first in a new series featuring native Australian animals. We’re planning to issue two coins per year, with the second 2012-dated coin portraying an Emu due in October.

The map-shaped concept was pioneered by The Perth Mint in conjunction with coin dealer Downies. The very limited number of examples released to date, however, provides collectors with a great opportunity to get in at the ground floor with this genre.

The first-ever Australian map shaped silver coins were issued in 2002 to mark the bicentenary of Matthew Flinders’ circumnavigation of Terra Australis. Issued as legal tender of Uganda, the four-coin set included colour designs celebrating Flinders’ ship, HMS Investigator, and his historic meeting with French explorer Nicolas Baudin at Encounter Bay in April 1802.

The following year saw the release of a Tuvalu four-coin set, this time in honour of Australian pioneers of aviation including Charles Kingsford Smith, Charles Ulm, Bert Hinkler and Rev John Flynn’s Royal Flying Doctor Service.

A revived version of the map-shaped coin concept made by The Perth Mint in 2010 was a surprise success that pointed to further potential interest among collectors. Designed as a ‘display’ piece for the Shanghai World Expo, the majority of the 30,000 Australian legal tender coins were sold in China under an exclusive distribution agreement.

The Perth Mint secured 1,000 Shanghai coins for sale to retail customers at home. The coin’s subsequent quick sell out encouraged our plans for a future series, which has now commenced with the Kookaburra release from the native animal program.

NB: The Australian Map Shaped Kookaburra coin is near to sell out and unavailable from The Perth Mint website. Please check with Australia Post or your local Perth Mint dealer for remaining availability.