Feb 082013

Birds of Australia continues this month with a superb 1/2oz silver proof coin dedicated to the Regent Bowerbird.

Of elegant appearance with handsome black and gold plumage, the Regent Bowerbird is named after the Prince Regent, who in 1820 became King George IV.

Renowned for his mistresses and the exotic decoration of the Royal Pavilion at Brighton, the Regent was an apt choice for this charming inhabitant of the Australian rainforest.

The decorated bower

When a male bowerbird is looking for a mate he is compelled to build a bower on the forest floor to impress her.

At their most ingenious, bowers are sophisticated constructions that may take many months to build. Woven from twigs and leaves, they take shape as an ‘avenue’ – two parallel, vertical walls of twigs;  or a ‘maypole’, which varies in complexity from a single spire of sticks to elaborate roofed huts.

But his building skills alone are not enough. Just as important to a female are the colourful adornments her prospective partner has arranged artistically throughout the bower site.

To this end, bowerbirds are insatiable collectors of flowers, feathers, shells, stones, berries and even man-made shiny trinkets.

Regent Bowerbird’s style

The Regent Bowerbird builds an avenue style of bower, in which he places mainly red, brown and yellow adornments. To this princely pleasure palace he may add further splashes of colour by ‘painting’ the walls with a mixture of saliva and the juice of crushed leaves.

On top of all this effort, the Regent Bowerbird must also perform an elaborate dance to finally attract a female to his bower for mating! And when it’s over, the female goes off to build a nest and raise the young by herself, leaving the male to continue once more his “wicked wooing way”.


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Feb 062013

Our stand at World Money Fair in Berlin attracted plenty of attention last weekend, as did this year’s Coin Show Special. Struck from 1oz of 99.9% pure silver, no more than 5,000 of these Coloured Snake coins are available in exclusive WMF 2013 presentation packaging. Remaining stocks of this special release can now be purchased via our online collector coin shop.


Feb 052013

Thanks everyone for entering the World Famous Squares coin set competition. More than 150 of you submitted correct entries to @perthmint on Twitter.

For the record, the four coins depict St Peter’s Square (Vatican City), Trafalgar Square (London, England), Red Square (Moscow, Russia) and Tiananmen Square (Beijing, China).

Eligible entries were entered into the draw and the winner, picked at random, comes from Queensland!

Congratulations Karlene Forrest (@Karlene75). We sincerely hope you enjoy the beautiful four-coin set.


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Feb 052013

Richard III

There was fiercely-contested auction last December for a gold coin found near the site of the Battle of Bosworth, Leicestershire. At £36,000 ($54,000), the final bid was way above the pre-sale estimate of £12 – £15,000 for the rare find dating from 1484.

How good must the owner feel today with news that a skeleton found beneath a Leicester car park has been confirmed as that of Richard III, the English king for whom the coin was struck?

The much-maligned monarch, whose reputation is being pondered by historians, was killed at Bosworth on 22 August 1485 while fighting Henry Tudor, who became Henry VII.  (Read more at SMH: Gasps as archaeologists reveal brutal death of Richard III.)

Image courtesy Spink.

The coin is known as an angel because of its reverse depiction of St Michael, who is seen spearing a dragon. The obverse shows a ship on the waves with a crucifix above a shield. Worth 6 shillings and 8 pence at the time of issue, it was made at the Tower Mint in London.

In pristine condition, it seems almost certain that the coin was lost during the famous battle that settled The Wars of the Roses.

Often cited as one of the key reasons for starting a collection, coins can offer glimpses into history and provide a better understanding of the past. What a fantastic example this amazing story provides.


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Feb 042013

NEW: A truly beautiful coin, this magnificent pure gold creation is a stand-out for anyone celebrating the Year of the Snake. Depicting the sixth animal of the Chinese zodiac, its special ‘high relief’ strike makes an amazing impression! Incredible rarity is assured with a maximum mintage of just 388.

Buy now while stocks last: Australian Lunar Series II 2013 Year of the Snake 1oz Gold Proof High Relief Coin