Oct 302012

For the month of November, online orders* of $100 or more will be delivered completely free-of-charge courtesy of The Perth Mint.

Beginning 1st November and valid on web purchases until the 30th, this offer coincides with the busy Christmas ordering period, helping buyers make the most of our wide range of coins, jewellery, timepieces and other gift ideas.

Guaranteed Christmas Delivery

For guaranteed delivery before Christmas 2012, please order before the following deadline dates:

  • Australia Standard Delivery – 7 December
  • Australia Express Courier – 17 December
  • International Delivery – 7 December

Final Coin Release of 2012

November’s free shipping offer is also great news for everyone looking forward to our final new product release of the year. Scheduled to take place this Thursday, it includes more wonderfully original coin creations for both collectors and gift-buyers.

*excludes subscription and bullion products.


Oct 262012

There has been some discussion on this blog recently in connection with our numismatic mintages.

Some collectors expressed irritation at the forthcoming release of a 2oz Silver Proof Lunar 12-Coin Collection, which in their eyes doubled the mintage of coins previously only available in an annual Three-Coin Set.

Similar concerns were raised about next month’s 2012 Silver Proof High Relief Four-Coin Set. Writers said that the release increased the mintages of Kangaroo, Kookaburra, Koala and Dragon high reliefs already available in individual presentation packaging.

I’d like to thank everyone who contributed to the discussion and to let you know your comments were considered at a full meeting of the marketing department, as promised.

 Total vs. Certificate Mintages

In response, the maximum number of collectable coins we are permitted to strike is actually established in the Currency Determinations issued by Australian Treasury under the Australian Currency Act 1965. We always state a maximum mintage when we apply for approval of a collectable coin.

In the case of the high relief Dragon, Treasury (as requested by the Mint) gave approval to strike up to 30,000 coins. Subsequently, we decided to release just 7,500 coins in individual presentation packaging – leaving a balance of 22,500 that could still legally be issued.

For obvious reasons of rarity and collectability, it is unlikely that we will ever do this, although we have decided to make an extra 1,000 available in the 2012 High Relief Year Set. In most people’s books, that’s a relatively minor increase in the overall quantity available in the market.

There are many other examples of this practice. Just 1,500 1oz Silver Lunar Typesets are issued annually. Each coin in this collection is also released individually, and this hasn’t previously been raised as a problem.

Australian Nugget 1oz gold proof coin collectors may well recall the many packaging variations on offer in 2005!

Some of the 2005 Australian Nugget packaging variations.

What we’re doing with the new 12 Coin Collection and the High Relief Year Set is entirely consistent with past practice. Not everyone likes it, but we try to make available a variety of combinations of our products to suit the tastes of various collectors.

Where redress is required, perhaps, is in the wording of our Certificates of Authenticity. Consequently, we have agreed to amend the Certificate mintage statement to include the words “in this packaging”.

For example:  The Perth Mint will release no more than 7,500 of these coins in this packaging.

(Some Certificates for future releases have already been printed and this may take a few months to implement fully.)

I’d like to remind readers that Perth Mint collectables remain exceptionally limited by comparison with several other world mints. Combined with superb design and manufacturing quality, these mintages play an important role in explaining why so many have become avid fans of our numismatic pieces.


Oct 222012

A stunning coin celebrating the Tasmanian Devil is available from today on The Perth Mint website.

The Tasmanian Devil is Australia’s largest carnivorous marsupial. To early European settlers, the querulous creature’s black fur and bloodcurdling screeches made it a ‘devil’. Considered a nuisance, it was trapped and poisoned for more than a century.

Today, a devastating condition known as Devil Facial Tumour Disease is threatening the existence of Tasmanian Devils; in some areas more than 90% of the population has been wiped out. Link here to SAVE THE TASMANIAN DEVIL to find out about what’s being done to save this iconic animal

Buy This Coin:

Endangered and Extinct – Tasmanian Devil 2013 1oz Silver Proof Coin – limited mintage 5,000.


Oct 192012

British treasure hunters are on a roll. This week we read that a trove of Roman-era gold coins worth $155,000 had been unearthed near St Albans. It’s one of several similar stories reported in recent months.

Unfortunately, there’s no Roman, Celtic, Saxon or Greek coins hidden in outback Australia. But you may be interested to know that one of the world’s biggest ever coin hoards was found in Queensland!

In 1978, an earthenware jar containing 32,000 Chinese copper, iron and bronze coins was found on the Palmer River gold field, which drew thousands of European and Chinese prospectors during the 1870s. The huge cache included coins dating from 206AD.

A possible explanation for its existence is that it served as an informal bank used by the Chinese and was buried to keep it from being discovered by rival miners.


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Oct 182012

Numismatics is the name given to the study and collecting of coins and medals, and is derived from nomisma, the Greek word for coin. It is probable that coins were prized for their aesthetic qualities in the ancient world, while their importance in socio-economic development was appreciated by Herodotus, the 5th century Greek historian.

According to Herodotus, the Lydians were the first people to introduce the use of gold and silver coins.

There were certainly coin collections during the earliest times – but not in the modern sense. In the era before banking, people stored their surplus wealth in leather bags or earthenware jars, which could be buried in troubled times. Coins from such hoards are undoubtedly the source of much of the material now in the hands of museums and some collectors.

From the Renaissance onwards, it was fashionable for gentlemen to possess a coin cabinet – which in some cases was an entire room, shelved from floor to ceiling to house their treasures!

Outstanding among early collectors were the Italian scholar and poet Petrarch, the Medici rulers of Florence, Pope Paul II, Queen Christina of Sweden and the Habsburg Emperor Charles VI.

In Britain, George III set a fine example, and his interest in coins was shared by his personal surgeon, Dr William Hunter, whose wide-ranging collections, including coins and medals, were the nucleus of the Hunterian Museum in Glasgow, opened in 1807.

King George III shared an interest in coins with his personal surgeon, Dr William Hunter.

The collections formed by his brother, Dr John Hunter and their contemporary, Sir Hans Soane, formed the basis of the numismatic collections in the British Museum.

Britain is unusual in having several great institutional collections, including those in the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford and the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, as well as the Royal Scottish Museum in Edinburgh.

Elsewhere, large and all-embracing collections are housed in the Bibliothèque National in Paris and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington.

Victor Emmanuel III, King of Italy, one of several monarchs
with an abiding passion for coins.

Among more recent monarchs who had an abiding passion for coins were King Carol of Romania and Prince Rainier of Monaco, but King Victor Emmanuel III of Italy was a lifelong numismatist, whose studies and scholarly writings on the subject are still widely respected. His magnificent collection is now in the Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, Rome.

Some of the greatest collectors of more recent times were Americans, such as the pharmaceuticals magnate Eli K Lilly and the Texan tycoon Nelson Bunker Hunt, who famously tried to corner the world silver market back in the 1970s.

The late Mary Norweb was arguably the world’s leading female numismatist. The sale of her incomparable collections in the United States during the 1980s was spread over many auctions.

Significant names in Australia include the Quartermaster, Pratley Nicholson and Vort-Ronald collections, while the Australian coin collection at the Melbourne Museum is decribed as the most important of its kind in the world.



Oct 152012

Looking for an original Christmas gift idea?

Christmas is coming and this limited silver coin with a mintage of just 5,000 would make a lovely gift for family and friends. Portraying a joyful abstract design inspired by snowflakes, the Australian legal tender release also incorporates a transparent locket containing an array of gorgeous semi-precious gemstones.

Click here for full details.