Aug 312012

The origin of the Dollar can be traced back to Joachimsthal or ‘Saint Joachim’s Valley’ in Bohemia, where silver was discovered in 1519.

The local ruler, Count of Schlick, coined the metal into large coins nicknamed Joachimsthalers.

The coin became the basic currency of the district and neighbouring areas also adopted and imitated the Joachimsthaler – which was abbreviated to the shorter and neater Thaler.

Joachimsthaler of 1525 (courtesy

Within a comparatively short time, many European regions had a large silver coin resembling the Thaler, among them the Talar (Saxony), Tallero (Italy), Daalder (Holland) and the Daler (Scandinavia). The equivalent English word was Dollar.

A 30-shilling silver coin known as the Sword Dollar was issued in Scotland under King James VI between 1567-71. Thistle Dollars were used in Scotland during the 16th and 17th centuries.

Spanish Dollars (eight-real coins aka  ‘pieces-of-eight’) were minted by Spain’s colonial mints in the Americas.

Widely accepted as international currency, Spanish Dollars found their way to Britain’s North American colonies where pounds, shillings, and pence were scarce.

Portrayed on Spanish Dollars, the Pillars of Hercules and their spiralling banners are reputedly the origin of the ‘$’ sign.

The design on Spanish ‘Pillar’ Dollars may explain the ‘$’ symbol.

The first Dollar coins issued by the United States Mint (founded 1792) were similar in size and composition to the Spanish Dollar.

In New South Wales, 40,000 Spanish Dollars were converted into the colony’s first official coinage – the famous Holey Dollar and Dump – issued in 1813.

Australia’s decimal currency was originally going to be called the Royal. But a public outcry at the prospect compelled to Government to adopt the name Dollar.


Aug 292012

The Australian Ballet is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

The first work it performed back in 1962 was Swan Lake – which reminds us that this celebrated ballet was featured on one of the coins in our 2010 Famous Ballets Silver Proof Coin Set.

Amazingly, Pyotr Tchaikovsky’s first ballet was a disappointment when it opened in Moscow in 1877. But two years after its composer’s death, the 1895 revival at the Marynsky Theatre in St Petersburg met with critical acclaim.

Today, the tragic love story of Prince Siegfried and Princess Odette is “the world’s most beloved ballet”.

Celebrating Don Quixote, The Sleeping Beauty, The Nutcracker, Cinderella and Swan Lake, designs for our Famous Ballets coin set were created by Aleysha Howarth: “I love ballet and the theatre and I was lucky enough to be able to conduct field research by watching the Western Australian Ballet rehearse,” she said. “I studied their movements and took sketches to assist with my designs. This product was extremely beautiful and I am honoured to have been a part of its creation.”

Fans who may be interested in the limited coin set will also be delighted to know that the Australian Ballet has a beautiful new production of Swan Lake, while the Western Australian Ballet will shortly be performing another favourite, The Nutcracker.


Aug 272012

The Complete Perth Mint Gold Sovereign Collection offers a stunning opportunity to acquire every Perth Mint sovereign date between 1899 and 1931. The 33 historic gold coins are housed in a sumptuous timber presentation case which includes a drawer for the Certificate of Authenticity. Hurry, this is an extremely rare chance to achieve such a coveted collection in one fell swoop!


Aug 222012

Many thanks to the avid collector who sent us this picture from Alberta in Canada of his own hand-crafted Map-Shaped coin display. Being so distant from Australia, it was a bit of a problem finding a seven-pointed Commonwealth Star and our collector is still looking for a pin featuring the Australian flag. Even so, we think it’s a fantastic result which will present the first four Map-Shaped releases to perfection!

Anyone else created an interesting display of Perth Mint coins? Send us your photos for the blog!

Aug 202012

The balance of these Sydney ANDA Coin Show specials are available online from today.

Australian Lunar Series II – 2012 Year of the Dragon
1oz Silver Coloured (Blue) Edition

  • Specimen quality 99.9% pure silver coloured coin
  • Australian legal tender
  • Extremely limited edition – 5,000
  • Sydney ANDA Coin Show packaging
  • Numbered Certificate of Authenticity