Mar 252013

Doctor Who holds the Guinness World Record for the world’s longest running science fiction television series. Produced in Great Britain by the BBC, the programme depicts the adventures of the Doctor, a Time Lord whose adventures take him through all of space and time.Dr-Who-silver-coin

He travels in his amazing TARDIS, a space-time machine which, due to a broken chameleon circuit is stuck in the form of a mid-twentieth century British police public call box. Dimensionally transcendental, the TARDIS is bigger on the inside than the outside!

A succession of companions have joined the Doctor on his travels helping him to right wrongs across the universe and confronting some of his most dangerous foes including the Daleks, Cybermen and Weeping Angels.

Forthcoming 1oz Silver Coin

The forthcoming coin depicts an engraved relief of the iconic TARDIS pulsing with energy as it bursts from a time vortex. The coins’ border features the finely engraved words DOCTOR WHO 50TH ANNIVERSARY 1963 – 2013.

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Mar 212013

Browsing through our historic coin and medal collection invariably turns up an interesting looking item we feel compelled to investigate further.

Such a case is this unpretentious medallion produced in 1979 on the occasion of Western Australia’s 150th anniversary.

One side portrays a 19th century building, which at first glance is hard to fathom. On the other is an effigy identified as Lionel Samson. According to the inscription, his business also reached its 150 year milestone in 1979.

On further inquiry it quickly became apparent that Lionel Samson was one of those extraordinary pioneering figures upon whose tenacity and skills modern Australia was built.

Born in England in 1799, he attended Magdalen College, Oxford before becoming a stockbroker. Rather than follow a career at the London Stock Exchange, however, he emigrated to Australia at the dawn of the Swan River Colony.

Samson arrived in Fremantle aboard the Calista in August 1829 and set up a flourishing import and export business. As well as wines and spirits, his many interests included sheep, cattle, horses, dried fish, sandalwood and whaling. From 1830 to 1832 he served as postmaster-general.

Samson was clearly a driving force within the colony, for “with his wit and charm and his commercial integrity he achieved a respected and prominent position in society,” the Australian Dictionary of Autobiography says in tribute.

The first merchants in the colony is today the oldest family business in Australia. Lionel’s descendants have remained closely identified with the commercial and civic life of Fremantle.

The Lionel Samson Building portrayed on the medallion, by the way, was originally built in 1835 and remains a part of the port city’s outstanding heritage streetscape.


Mar 132013

It might not be world domination yet but The Perth Mint has developed a truly global presence. This week our Agents travelled to Perth from around the world with thoughts and ideas about our coins from key overseas regions including Hong Kong and China, North America, Japan and Germany.


Perth Mint Agents from around the world with our Sales & Marketing Director Ron Currie and CEO Ed Harbuz (holding map).

Sales and Marketing Director Ron Currie said the annual summit of overseas Agents had taken on added importance with massive changes in the coin market occurring in recent years.

On the supply side, he said the industry had become fiercely competitive with national and private mints moving into commemoratives, all looking to cash in on the booming sector. Rising precious metal prices and popular themes like the Year of the Dragon had helped drive interest to new heights, he said.

From a demand perspective, much greater choice was having a huge impact on collectors. But it was not all necessarily positive, with some seemingly overwhelmed by the mind-boggling number of alternative programs available.

Many questions face the team this week. Is there the possibility now of collector fatigue setting in? What product strategies are needed to keep collecting fresh and relevant in various world markets? What else can committed, long-term players in the market like The Perth Mint do to preserve enthusiasm among collectors?

If you have views on how the numismatics industry should develop, please join the debate by leaving your comment below.


Mar 112013

A Western Australian coin collector has paid a world record price of $495,000 for a specially-rare Holey Dollar.

Belinda Downie, Managing Director of Coinworks, said, “This Holey Dollar was created from a Spanish silver dollar that had been minted at the Lima Mint in Peru in 1808.

“Only 20 of the 200 specimens held by private collectors have ties to the Lima Mint. And this is the absolute finest of them all.”


Picture courtesy Coinworks.

The Spanish silver dollar was the world’s greatest trading coin in the late 18th and 19th centuries and was struck at the Spanish mints in Mexico, Peru, Bolivia, Spain, Guatemala, Santiago in Chile and Santa Fe de Bogota in Colombia.

Governor Macquarie famously purchased 40,000 silver dollars to help ease the currency crisis in the colony of New South Wales. It is 200 years since they were converted into Holey Dollars and Dumps – becoming Australia’s first domestic currency.

The original shipment covered a range of dates depicting the Spanish monarchs of Ferdinand VI, Charles III, Charles IIII and Ferdinand VII.

Between 1826 and 1829, the Holey Dollar and Dump were officially withdrawn from circulation. The recalled specie were shipped to London to be melted down and sold off as bullion silver. Of those that survived the smelter, there are now around 200 Holey Dollars and perhaps 800 Dumps in private hands.


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Mar 082013

Platinum is a precious metal that many would love to add to their coin collections. This month we’re offering the Australian Koala 25th Anniversary 2013 1/2oz Platinum Proof Coin, a rare collectable providing the perfect opportunity to collect platinum.

Why Platinum?

Platinum is widely recognised as the most precious of the three ‘noble’ metals. Since the inception of the Australian Precious Metals Coin Program, The Perth Mint has endeavoured to offer coins in all three metals – gold, platinum and silver.

In 1988, the Australian Koala became the first legal tender platinum bullion coin to be launched by a major nation. Offered in four sizes as an investment coin, a 1/2oz Proof Issue with a limited mintage of 12,000 was also released for collectors (sold out).

The 99.95% pure platinum coin depicted a koala design by sculptor and artist Michael Tracey, whose distinctive portrayal has been painstakingly reproduced on the 2013 anniversary issue which is subject to a tiny mintage of just 1,200.

Featuring a ‘P25’ mintmark, the 2013 anniversary release is accompanied by an numbered silver medallion.

Quick Guide

With interest in platinum currently riding high, here’s our quick guide to this beautiful metal:

  • Platinum is one of the rarest elements in the Earth’s crust – roughly 30 times scarcer than gold.
  • Pure platinum is a lustrous, silvery-white metal that’s also ductile, malleable and resistant to tarnish.
  • It is said that all the platinum ever mined in history would fit inside a 25 x 25 x 25 foot room.
  • Ancient Egyptians used platinum for decorating important objects as long ago as 700BC.
  • It was used by pre-Columbian Americans to produce artefacts of a white gold-platinum alloy.
  • The name platinum is derived from the Spanish term platina, which is literally translated into “little silver”.
  • Believe it or not, Spanish conquistadors thought it was a nuisance, being difficult to separate from gold nuggets!
  • In the 1920s, two platinum deposits, each around 100 kilometres in length, were discovered in the Transvaal.
  • Today, South Africa has 80% of the world’s platinum reserve.
  • Approximately 10 tons of ore are needed to produce a single ounce of platinum.
  • About half of world demand is for use in autocatalysts, where it destroys pollutants in vehicle exhaust fumes.
  • There’s also significant demand for modern platinum jewellery, which is primarily made and sold in China, Japan and the USA.


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Mar 072013

Final mintages for all Perth Mint modern numismatic coin programs issued between 1986 and 2010 are now available online.

When you visit the mintage page on our collector website, click the year-date in which you are interested for a complete display of this vital data.

Maximum Mintage

For each limited coin you will find its Maximum Mintage – the total number of coins authorised for production. If sales match the Maximum Mintage figure, the coin is labelled SOLD OUT.

Declared Mintage

Alternatively, the coin’s Declared Mintage is displayed – that is the final production figure for a coin that has been closed-off before its Maximum Mintage is reached.

Declared Mintages will never change and are therefore useful in determining the rarity of your coins.

Sales Update

Collectable coins issued in 2011 and 2012 are still available and this latest update presents sales as at 30/12/12.