Sep 182012

This quite gorgeous 37mm bronze medal from the Mint’s historic collection is notable on several fronts, not least the remarkable depth of its design which instantly brings to mind our modern-day high relief coins.

It was originally commissioned from The Perth Mint in 1932 by the Royal Australian Institute of Architects WA. Although the organisation was officially founded in 1896, its medal bears the year-date 1892. On investigation we discovered that an earlier attempt to establish RAIAWA took place four years earlier – and presumably that was considered its foundation date for the purposes of the medal.

It was customary for the Perth branch of the Royal Mint to send examples of its work to England and we discovered archived correspondence dated 19th December 1932 from the Keeper at the British Museum’s Department of Coins and Medals acknowledging receipt of this and several other medals “which you have been so good as to present to the Trustees.”

The collection database on the Museum’s website offers the following concise description:

(obverse) Female nude (Architecture) seated in pilastered apse.
(reverse) Laurel wreath.

In addition to the obverse inscription THE ROYAL INSTITUTE OF ARCHITECTS OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA is AD ALTIORA – meaning “towards higher things”.

Modern high-relief coins are minted on concave surfaces, which our die-making colleagues say ensures the most effective flow of metal during the striking process. On the medal, the hemispherical apse occupies a similarly indented shape.

Most amazing, however, is the dramatically raised figure, which is so prominent above the rim that it is impossible to describe it in any way other than “ultra” high relief.


Sep 142012

Sales figures for 2011 proof and specimen collector coins to 31 December 2011 were released today.

The Perth Mint also updated sales figures for coins issued in previous years.

To review all mintage and current sales figures for collector coins issued between 1986 and 2011, please visit our Numismatic Mintages page.


Sep 122012

This striking bronze medallion was delivered to the safekeeping of The Perth Mint’s historic coin and medallion collection on closure of the Sydney Mint in 1926.

It exists because of a terrible maritime tragedy that occurred at Newcastle, NSW on the 15 July 1877.

The 337 tons paddle steamer SS Yarra left harbour that day in strengthening winds that soon turned gale force. Attempting to re-enter port, she was wrecked with the loss of all hands.

Four days later, a public meeting of citizens under the chairmanship of the Reverend Dr Lang at the Royal Exchange, Pitt Street, Sydney, decided to form a Society “for the relief of the widows, orphans and others dependent upon men lost in the marine service of our coast, or elsewhere.

Known originally as the National Shipwreck Relief Society of New South Wales, it became the Royal Humane Society of New South Wales in 1968.

Designed by J.W. Sayer for production by the Sydney Mint, the medal was first struck in 1879. The portrayal includes a sailor wearing an early life-jacket examining a ship-wrecked man who has been cast ashore holding a piece of wreckage. Behind, an angel consoles a woman weeping and holding a child while crowning the sailor with a wreath.

On a broad rim appears SUNT LACRYMAE RERUM SUNT ET SUA PRAEMIA LAUDI – The tears of misfortunes will be assuaged and praised.

On the reverse, the Society’s name appears on a lifebouy around space for engraving details of an award.


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Sep 102012

We had loads of creative entries to our recent Discover Australia ‘Twitter’ competition. Thanks to everyone who had a go – we really enjoyed reading your descriptions of beautiful destinations all over Australia.

The competition judges @TraveltalkMag have now adjudicated and we’re delighted to announce the winner of the Discover Australia 2012 Silver Five-Coin Set as well as five runners up who will each receive a Celebrate Australia – World Heritage Sites 2012 $1 Coin Collection





Congratulation everyone!

Don’t forget to follow @perthmint on Twitter for more exclusive content from The Perth Mint.

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Sep 052012

Our new Birds of Australia coin series was unveiled last week in the aptly titled ‘The Nest’ rooftop venue at The Aviary in Perth’s city centre.

The Right Honourable Lord Mayor of Perth, Lisa Scaffidi  joined Ron Johnstone, Curator of Ornithology at the Western Australian Museum, to reveal the Red-tailed Black-Cockatoo coin to an audience of State and local government representatives, academics, avian interest groups, and collectors of fauna-themed commemoratives.

Perth Mint CEO Ed Harbuz and Ron Currie, Sales and Marketing Director, addressed guests, giving them an overview of the Mint’s history and the inspiration behind the new program.

In keeping with the theme, live Red-tailed Black-Cockatoos were in attendance, courtesy of the Kaarakin Black Cockatoo Rehabilitation Centre. Chairman Glenn Dewhurst introduced us to ‘Missy’, a beautiful bird nursed back to health by the Centre’s dedicated staff  – see video.

Future releases:
  • Budgerigar
  • Regent Bowerbird
  • Rainbow Lorikeet
  • Splendid Fairy-wren.