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!
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.