Feb 262013

The incredible phenomenon known as the Aurora Borealis in the Northern Hemisphere and the Aurora Australis in the Southern Hemisphere occurs when charged particles from the Sun collide with gases in the upper atmosphere, resulting in dancing ribbons of mesmerising light.

We’re offering you the chance to celebrate the Aurora Australis with our first ever ‘glow in the dark’ silver coin, scheduled for release this Friday.

Aurora Australis is visible from Antarctica and parts of Australia, New Zealand and Patagonia. To whet your appetite further for the spectacular forthcoming release, here’s an amazing sped-up view of the lights from space, captured by the International Space Station as it crossed over the southern Indian Ocean.

(Credit: NASA)


Feb 192013

Today, Crowns are usually struck to celebrate royal anniversaries and coronations. But Crowns were not always purely commemorative pieces.

King Edward VI issued a silver Crown valued at five shillings in 1551. It was one of many similarly sized coins that emerged in Europe around the time of the Thaler, which became useful in international trade.

At almost an ounce in weight and approximately 38 millimetres in diameter, the Crown was a large coin, which essentially explains why people came to dislike it in circulation. It was simply too big and cumbersome, and its role as a means of exchange declined from the 18th century.

On the other hand, its large format was tailor made for commemorative designs.

Australian Crown Coins

The Perth Mint historic coin and medal collection features two interesting examples, including the Commonwealth of Australia’s only commemorative Crown design.

Issued in honour of King George VI’s coronation in 1937, it depicts a royal crown on the reverse designed by George Kruger Gray, and a portrait of the King on the obverse by Thomas H Paget.

Due to its initial success, more than a million of these coins were struck at the Melbourne Mint. However, enthusiasm waned when the supposed single year-date was issued again in 1938. Production was terminated after a further 101,600 had been made.

As you’d expect, the rarer 1938 release is the most sough-after today, particularly if it is a high-grade example.

1953 UK Coronation Crown

Given that it is 60 years since Queen Elizabeth II was crowned, it’s timely to peruse the 1953 UK Coronation Crown, also in our collection. Almost 6 million of these coins were struck, reflecting the enormous worldwide interest in this historic event.

The obverse features Gilbert Ledward’s equestrian effigy of The Queen dressed in the uniform of Colonel-in-Chief, the Grenadier Guards, as worn during the ceremony of Trooping the Colour.

The reverse is by Edgar Fuller and Cecil Thomas. As revealed in February’s Australasian Coin & Banknote magazine, The Queen considered their original design too “busy”. As a result, they simplified considerably the floral motifs – England’s rose, Ireland’s shamrock, Wales’ leek and Scotland’s thistle – seen between the shields of arms.

It’s an interesting story and one that is pertinent to our own 60th anniversary of HM Queen Elizabeth’s Coronation coin designs, which were, of course, also subject to the approval of Buckingham Palace.

More information: Guide to Crown Commemoratives.


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Feb 122013

The following coin releases are sold out at The Perth Mint.

Australian Kookaburra 2012 1oz Silver Proof High Relief Coin
Issue Limit: 10,000 sold out


Australian Lunar Series II 2oz Silver Proof Coin Collection
Issue Limit: 1,000 sold out


Near Sell Out

Australian Holey Dollar and Dump 2013 1oz Silver Proof Coin Set

Less than 200 remaining


Australian Lunar II 2013 Year of the Snake 1 Kilo Silver Proof Coin

Less than 80 remaining



Feb 122013

Perhaps no one has ever captured the sights, sounds and abundance of autumn so beautifully than Romantic poet John Keats. Composed in 1819 when he was 23, To Autumn is regarded as one of the most perfect short poems in the English language (1st stanza reproduced below).

This month we pay tribute to Autumn with the second coin in our Australian Seasons series. Depicting a native possum against a background of seasonal colours, we think it’s another wonderful depiction of Autumn, from a uniquely Australian perspective.

Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness!
Close bosom-friend of the maturing sun;
Conspiring with him how to load and bless
With fruit the vines that round the thatch-eaves run;
To bend with apples the mossed cottage-trees,
And fill all fruit with ripeness to the core;
To swell the gourd, and plump the hazel shells
With a sweet kernel; to set budding more,
And still more, later flowers for the bees,
Until they think warm days will never cease,
For Summer has o’erbrimmed their clammy cells.


What's your favourite season?

Vote now to see if your choice is winning the poll.


Feb 112013

You’ve heard the myth about a stork delivering babies to their doting parents. In a unique Aussie twist on the story, this coin portrays a cute kookaburra carrying a sleeping newborn in swaddling cloth.

A perfect gift to mark the arrival of an infant in 2013, the 1/2oz silver proof Australian issue is housed in a presentation gift-card. The coin’s official mintage will be declared 12 months after release.

Buy now: Newborn Baby 2013 1/2oz Silver Proof Coin


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Gong Xi Fa Cai

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Feb 102013
Year of the Snake – 10 February 2013 to 30 January 2014

Today is the start of the Year of the Snake, the sixth sign of the Chinese zodiac. Just as a snake sheds its skin, snake years are said to bring rebirth and renewal, as well as the potential for great prosperity!

Those born under the influence of this sign are said to be wise, soft-spoken, compassionate, analytical and charming. They are natural leaders, known for their courage and determination.

Famous people born in the year of the snake include Abraham Lincoln (1809), Mohandas Gandhi (1869), Pablo Picasso (1881), John F Kennedy (1917), Martin Luther King (1929), and Bob Dylan (1941).

Chinese Lunar Calendar Infographic

Find out which animal you were born under and which famous people share your Lunar zodiac sign in our fascinating Chinese New Year infographic.