May 242013
 

These exciting new coins, featuring ships from legend and literature, are available from today. Just 3,000 of each silver coin will be released.

Flying Dutchman

Flying_Dutchman

According to legend, the Flying Dutchman was doomed to sail the seas for eternity. Hovering above the water and wreathed in spectral light, she was a terrifying prospect that foreshadowed disaster to superstitious sailors.

So powerful was belief in the Flying Dutchman that King George V is said to have seen her while in the Royal Navy. Scientists suggest, however, that an apparent sighting was more likely a mirage that mariners mistook for the phantom ship.

After a stormy passage at sea, German composer Richard Wagner dedicated an opera to the Flying Dutchman (Der fliegende Holländer), based on the unfortunate tale of Vanderdecken. In the teeth of a howling gale, the dogged Captain swore he’d round the Cape of Good Hope even if it took him until Doomsday! (Buy now)

Pequod

Pequod

The Pequod and all but one of her crew were victims of Captain Ahab’s obsession to hunt and kill the white whale in Herman Melville’s literary classic, Moby Dick.

A nineteenth-century three-masted Nantucket whaler, the Pequod set sail on a three-year expedition bound for the Atlantic, Indian and South Pacific Oceans. A savage-looking vessel, she was decorated with the bones and teeth of sperm whales.

Ahab, who lost a leg in his previous encounter with Moby Dick, ultimately fails in his vengeful quest. During their final, ferocious battle, the whale with “the solid white buttress of his forehead smote the ship’s starboard bow”, condemning the Pequod to sink.

When Ahab launches a final harpoon towards his foe, he is entangled by its line and dragged under as Moby Dick dives beneath the waves. (Buy now)

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May 232013
 

Knowing people’s passion for trains, especially steam trains, we were especially keen to uncover the story behind the locomotive portrayed on this medallion in The Perth Mint’s historic collection.

Leschenault_Lady

The quest for information led us to the State Library of Western Australia where we retrieved a typed document written in 1974 by Dr Bernard Rumens entitled History of the Leschenault Lady.

It revealed the story of a hardworking steam locomotive that at the end of its long career was saved from scrap and lovingly restored by enthusiasts for the enjoyment of thousands of tourists in the State’s south-west.

Originally known as G233 “G” Class 2 – 6 – 0, the engine was one of six built by James Martin & Co of Gawler, South Australia in 1898 on behalf of West Australian Government Railways. Initially used as mainline locos on passenger, mixed and goods trains, the “G” class also served as shunting and wharf engines.

Leschenault_Lady_steamtrain1

G233 Leschenault Lady (Credit: Weston Langford)

With WAGR’s acquisition of larger locomotives, many of these adaptable engines found employment on private lines hauling logs in Western Australia’s southern forests. It is recorded that G233 worked on the isolated railway from Hopetoun to Ravensthorpe, a mining district, for a lengthy period commencing in 1909.

With extraordinary durability, G233 was still working as a shunter at Bunbury in the run up to dieselisation in the early 1970s.

Impending modernisation prompted enthusiasts to launch a determined effort to save “The Vintage Train”. With support from local politicians, they acquired the engine and three dilapidated carriages, commencing a restoration project that caught the imagination of the people of Bunbury.

A competition to determine a name for the overhauled loco attracted 487 entries. The winning suggestion came from Bunbury Senior High School student Mark Hutchinson, 15, whose prize included £20. Leschenault Lady, a tribute to the French botanist whose name has been associated with the area since 1803, was formally conferred upon the engine on 9 October 1969 by Railways Minister Ray O’Connor at a ceremony attended by around 100 people.

So began a second life for the engine running highly successful tours through the picturesque Darling Ranges to Collie and further afield throughout the 1970s.

Sadly, regulatory and insurance complexities associated with running a steam train on the mainline made operations increasingly difficult as the decades ensued. She was seen in Geraldton in 1994 during celebrations marking the centenary of the Midland Railway and spent time on the Boulder Loopline at Kalgoorlie. Subsequently confined to the Boyanup Museum as a static exhibit, the proud Lady’s days as a working heritage icon appeared over.

Fantastic news for railway buffs

However, Geoffrey Higham, Vice President of Rail Heritage WA, informed us only today that volunteers will shortly commence a boiler repair project that aims to see Leschenault Lady steam up once again. The long-term hope, he revealed, is to have her steaming regularly between Boyanup and Donnybrook – very exciting news and a magnificent prospect for all those interested in railways.

Leschenault_Lady_steamtrain2G233 Leschenault Lady (Credit: Phil Melling)

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May 162013
 

Share_Your_StoryIt’s great to hear from a young coin collector who really knows his onions. A follower of The Perth Mint on Twitter, @Sharpy96 (aka Daniel) tells us that he’s aiming for the ultimate prize in Australian numismatics – a 1930 penny! There’s no doubting his determination to build a broad-based collection, as he reveals in this terrific reply to our invitation to Write for Us.


“When I tell my friends that I collect coins they all say one thing, what is the point in buying a coin that has a face value of $1.00. But what they refuse to understand is that there is a collectible market for them and they are not just your usual everyday coins.

After showing them some of the magic that the Royal Australian Mint and the Perth Mint has created, they have started to realize the true beauty that was behind the coins and the reason that I spend whatever money I have on enlarging my collection with one goal I’m mind – to eventually get a 1930 Penny, the crown jewel out of all Australian coins.

When I was eight years old I started to get interested in coins. My dad had a few sets including the 1991 Proof Set and the 1991 Masterpieces In Silver, and when I started to see the shininess of the proof coins I started to act like a magpie. I was attracted to the lustre, but not the true art that was pressed into the coin. As I got older I started to see that there was an art to creating such a perfect coin.

In 2009 I really got interested in collecting and that’s where my hobby really kicked off. I started saving up and buying 1oz silver proofs and a couple of uncirculated coins and now four years on I’m still enlarging my collection at the age of 16.

1996_Kookaburra

Daniel nominated this 1996 Australian Kookaburra as one of his favourite Perth Mint coins.

I also recently got introduced to professionally graded pre-decimal coins which although expensive are truly magnificent, and I recently started a collection of Florins which will take me a fair amount of time to complete. But I know that the end result will end in satisfaction and I will have a piece of history which will last me a lifetime.

As I have gotten older I have started to not only think of them as a collectible items but as pieces of history, knowing that some of my coins which have a very limited mintage may never be on the market again for me to try to collect.

And for pre-decimal coins, due to time and age damaging the precious coins that once would have been the necessary coins for a family to get food onto the table for their family, they start to become harder and harder to collect in high grades.

My number one piece of advice for young collectors would have to be don’t give up; other people may think you’re silly for buying some old coins but really you’re buying a piece of history that they will never see and will never know existed. So go out there and have a great time collecting your own unique collection.”

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May 092013
 

A new chapter has begun for The Perth Mint Gold Proof Australian Sovereign.

Previously portraying the Australian Coat of Arms, the annual release now pays tribute to an historic colonial design.

1855 – 1870 Sydney Mint Sovereign

With the discovery of payable gold in New South Wales, permission was granted to open a branch of the Royal Mint in Sydney.

Sydney_Sovereign

Original Sydney Mint sovereign.

In 1855, the new mint began converting locally-mined gold into a universally accepted form – sovereigns and half-sovereigns of the same weight and fineness as those made in London.

The design, however, was not the imperial type. Instead, Leonard Charles Wyon created a colonial alternative that broke with a number of traditions.

 

Design Motifs

  • The design’s principal motifs consisted of a crown and laurel wreath.
  • It identified the place of manufacture with the inscription SYDNEY MINT and bore a notation of value – ONE SOVEREIGN – absent on imperial types.
  • Of even more interest, it included the name AUSTRALIA, which did not become a political entity until almost half a century later.

According to Rennicks, it was the first and last time the Royal Mint ever assented to break from traditional designs in any of the colonies.

The Sydney sovereigns were at first legal tender only in Australasia. Had they proved inferior, this and their distinctive design would have minimised potential damage to the reputation of Britain’s gold coinage.

But as Andrew Crellin has pointed out, it didn’t take long for it to become “clear to even the greatest sceptic in Britain that these attractive coins deserved every confidence they enjoyed.”

2013 Australian Sovereign

2013 Australian Sovereign

Ironically, this success was their undoing. In 1870 Wyon’s unique colonial design was revoked and henceforward standard British designs appeared on Australia-made sovereigns.

A source of considerable colonial pride for 15 years, the original Sydney Mint sovereign is the inspiration for our sumptuous 2013 Australian Sovereign gold proof coin.

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May 082013
 

It is exactly 100 years since the issue of Australia’s first banknote. In conjunction with Australia Post, we’re delighted to mark this momentous event with a superb commemorative set including this stunning rectangular coin.

First_banknote100th Anniversary of Australia’s First Banknote
1oz Silver Proof Coin and Stamp Set

14 Interesting Banknote Facts

  1. Up to 1910, notes issued by the private banks and the Queensland Government circulate as Australia’s paper currency.
  2. The passing of the Australian Notes Act of 1910 assigns responsibility for the issue of banknotes to the Commonwealth Treasury.
  3. Treasury invites the public to submit designs for a unique Australian currency, but entries are judged to be unsuitable.
  4. In 1912, Englishman Thomas Samuel Harrison, who has extensive experience in the field of security printing, is appointed Australia’s first banknote printer.
  5. A new printing works is established in Kings Warehouse at the western end of Flinders Street in Melbourne.
  6. The first banknote of the Commonwealth of Australia is worth 10 shillings.
  7. Included on the note are depictions of the Australian Coat of Arms and the Goulburn Weir in Victoria.
  8. A ceremony to number the first batch takes place on 1 May 1913.
  9. Judith Denman, the five year-old daughter of Governor-General Lord Thomas Denman, prints the serial number M000001 on the initial note.
  10. Prime Minister, Andrew Fisher officially presents her with the note.
  11. It is discovered in the UK in Judith Denman’s belongings in 1999, 12 years after she passes away.
  12. The note returns to Australia when a collector purchases it for around $1 million.
  13. The note sells for a second time in 2008 for $1.9 million.
  14. The note is offered for sale in May 2013 (via Coinworks), 100 years after it was issued.
Can I see Australia’s first banknote?

If you are in Melbourne between 10 and 15 May, the historic note is on display at the World Stamp Expo 2013, Royal Exhibition Building.

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May 082013
 

Remaining stock of these popular Stamp & Coin Covers can now be purchased at the discounted price of just $9.95 – a significant saving of up to $6.00.

Stamp_Coin_Cover_Sale

Issued by Australia Post, each Stamp and Coin Cover includes a commemorative Australian coin designed and struck by The Perth Mint.

Don’t miss this opportunity to secure your choice of these superbly designed Stamp and Coin Covers while stock last!

This promotion is available exclusively from The Perth Mint between 7 and 24 May 2013.

Full list:

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