Jan 072014
 

In a major development that will have profound significance for numismatists on two continents, The Perth Mint is delighted to announce that the 12th Chief Engraver of the U.S. Mint has created the magnificent reverse for our new Australian Wedge-Tailed Eagle gold and silver high-relief proofs.

John_Mercanti

John Mercanti

One of America’s most respected coin sculptor-engravers, John Mercanti joined the U.S. Mint in 1974, holding the position of Chief Engraver from 2006 until his retirement in 2010. His achievements are remarkable – with the coin and medal design process traditionally a competition between members of the in-house team, John is responsible for more successful designs than any other employee in the history of the U.S. Mint.

Among them is the American Eagle silver coin, first issued in 1986. Featuring John’s re-interpretation of ‘Walking Liberty’ and a stunning heraldic eagle on the reverse, “the coin that started it all” was a landmark release in U.S. history.

JMercant_plasterJohn brought his extraordinary talents to bear on the Australian Wedge-Tailed Eagle project on behalf of The Perth Mint. Despite being honoured for so many outstanding achievements in American coin design, he is kind enough to describe the opportunity to sculpt the image for an Australian legal tender issue as “one of the highlights of my career.”

The eagle is traditionally a symbol of freedom, spirit, vision and strength, one which still inspires him from a design perspective. His immediate thought was to present it in an original way: “I asked myself, how could I use the same subject that’s been used before but depict it differently and make it interesting?”

The Wedge-Tailed Eagle is Australia’s largest bird of prey and one of the biggest eagles in the world. Defining characteristics include its huge wingspan, fully feathered legs (in contrast to its North American cousin, the Bald Eagle) and, of course, its wedge-shaped tail.

There is no doubting the power and splendour of this mighty bird from John’s superb portrayal. To satisfy the requirement for a unique viewpoint, he chose to capture an eagle preparing to land on the branch of a dead tree. “I decided to show the eagle in flight, approaching the stump, wings spread so that the viewer could see the majesty of the wings,” he elaborates.

The beauty of the design is enhanced by John’s stunning representation of the eagle’s intricately layered feathers. Conspicuous against an uncluttered, mirror-like table, the crisp, high-relief strike maximises an onlooker’s appreciation of this immense detailing.

WTE_Gold_Silver_blog
With a limited mintage of just 1,000 gold and 10,000 silver coins, the appeal and desirability of this classic design is all but assured.

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  31 Responses to “Former Chief U.S. Mint engraver designs Australian eagle high-relief coin”

  1. Hello Blogteam,
    is the 1 oz eagle high relief silver coin as series planned?
    Thx

     
  2. Hello Perth Mint,

    Would you happen to know when the 5 oz HR may be release? Ballpark guestimate?

    And can you confirm if all of the 1 oz HR coins have been minted and released for distribution? Any chance of more showing up?

    Thanks much! Rich

     
  3. Hello Perth,
    Can you confirm if the regular Proof, 40mm, version is sold out and what was the mintage limit on it? Also, will this be an on going coin? And will there be any bullion offerings in gold or silver?

    Cheers,
    FM

     
    • Hi FM

      The 40.5mm coin is not sold out. At this stage we are unable to confirm whether the series is ongoing or whether bullion versions will be available.

      Please stay tuned!

      regards

      Blog Team

       
      • Hi Blog Team,
        If the 5oz HR is planned to be released in June then when is the 1oz regular silver proof planned to be released?

        Mzzl,
        Mokum

         
        • Hi Mokum

          The current schedule will see this coin released in May.

          Regards

          Blog Team

           
          • Hi Blog Team,
            Many thanks for the update.

            Please can you provide some info on the mintage of the 5oz silver proof HR and the 1oz regular silver proof?

            Mzzl,
            Mokum

             
          • Hi Mokum

            No problem. Each coin has a Maximum Mintage of 5,000.

            Regards

            Blog Team

             
          • The 1 oz Proof is for sale now at govmint.com

             
          • Hi Blog Team,
            It’s a bit of a shock to see that the regular 1oz silver proof is already in circulation and even appearing on eBay whilst you have just confirmed a release date of May.

            An explanation from your side would be appreciated…

            Thx & mzzl,
            Mokum

             
          • Hi Mokum

            The New York Mint initiated the Wedge Tailed Eagle project and under the agreement they are already selling the 1oz silver proof coin. The Perth Mint will be releasing the coin later in the year and as we said before, this is scheduled to take place in May. Sorry for any confusion,

            Kind regards

            Blog Team

             
  4. Hi Blog Team,

    Thanks for all the insight! Can estimate when we may see the Bullion version of the Wedge Tail Eagle be released? Thanks!

     
  5. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIFIC DATE FOR RELEASE OF THE FIVE OZ SILVER WEDGED EAGLE FOR JUNE YET ? IF NOT CAN YOU YOU NOTIFY WHEN BEFORE IT HAPPENS, ALSO THE SAME FOR THE ONE OZ COIN IN MAY .

    THANK YOU!

    JOE

     
  6. Hi Blog team,
    The keen collectors have already noticed that even the 5oz HR is offered on eBay and probably elsewhere.

    If the govmint.com (former NY Mint) is already allowed to release their portion of the 1oz (regular) proof (and currently selling as ‘in-stock’) and the 5oz HR proof is also available then how many of the mintages of 5000 each is left for the Perth Mint internet site and the rest of the world?

    Thanks & mzzl,
    Mokum

     
    • Hi Mokum

      We are unable to release information on allocations for the forthcoming 1oz Proof and 5oz High Relief Wedge Tailed Eagle coins. However, we have an update for you on the release dates. They will now both be available from the Mint on 6 May. As a heads up, they will be for sale on our website at just after midnight (12.01am) AWST on the 6th.

      Kind regards

      Blog Team

       
      • Hi Blog team,
        I am not so sure whether to be happy with your ‘heads up’ not being able to provide a simple answer on a simple question like the remaining mintage for the rest of the world.

        It would be too simple to refer to other (recent) releases where the PM remained unclear what actually is the company’s release policy but as long PM is keeping doing this although it is known to all of us, then why are you not able to provide such figures?

        Don’t get me wrong but what’s the big secret of mentioning market figures while you are already putting them into the market via the backdoor?

        No offence, but aren’t you guys doing this already with e.g. the coloured bullion Lunar coins which are now offered as disputable ANDA ‘specimen’ in your latest blog?

        Any way, that’s another discussion, but you guys can not go around the fact that various types of this coin are already going through the whole grading cycle of PCGS way-way before the supposed ‘official’ release and in my view clarity from your side would be much appreciated.

        And please do not repeat your previous answer…

        Looking forward to you response.

        Mzzl,
        Mokum

         
        • Hi Mokum

          Our Wedge-Tailed Eagle coins have been designed by U.S. engraver, John Mercanti for the United States market. This was a great opportunity for us to get Australian coins into an international market. As the coins are Australian legal tender we have the opportunity to reserve a small part of the mintage for Australian sales which is what we have done for the 1oz coins (now unavailable due to sell out) and the upcoming 5oz coin.

          Grading through PCGS does not affect the official release date of these coins.

          In 2012 due to high customer demand and in an effort to be more transparent, we adjusted our mintage policy to reflect the total mintage of each coin. We will not be disclosing individual allocations.

          Regards

          Ron Currie
          Sales and Marketing Director
          The Perth Mint

           
          • Hi Ron,
            A response coming from you is very much appreciated!

            Many thanks from your clarification; all clear for me.

            All the best & mzzl,
            Mokum

             
  7. Hi – thanks for all of your help over the years!

    When the 5oz Wedge Tailed Eagles are released in early May, will they be available to the United States Customers or will they be excluded?

    Thanks!

     
    • Hi JagFan

      We have an exclusive arrangement with GovMint.com for the 5oz Wedge Tailed Eagle coin in the USA and therefore they will not be available via The Perth Mint website to US customers come May.

      Regards

      Blog Team

       
      • Thank you very much… Two more questions: Do you know if there are still plans to mint a bullion version of this coin or has that been scrapped and is it to early to determine if this series will continue next year?

        Thanks for all of your assistance!

         
        • Hi JagFan

          Sorry, we’re unable to confirm whether the bullion coin is going ahead at this stage. However, the program is scheduled to be repeated next year.

          Kind regards

          Blog Team

           
  8. Hello Blog Team – thanks for all your informative post!

    Quick question, can you confirm if US purchasers of the 5 oz Wedge Tail will be able to purchase directly from the Perth Mint, or will have to buy from retailers?

    Thanks much! Rich

     
    • Hi Rich

      We have an exclusive arrangement with GovMint.com for the 5oz Wedge Tailed Eagle coin in the USA and therefore they will not be available via The Perth Mint website to US customers come May.

      Regards

      Blog Team

       
  9. Greetings Blog Team,

    Just checking back with you guys to see if a decision has been made to produce a Bullion 1 oz version of the Wedge-Tail?

    Also, is GovMint expected to sale a RAW 5 oz version or will they be receiving any additional for US distribution?

    Thanks so much! Rich

     
    • Hi Rich

      Please stay tuned for forthcoming information about a 1oz silver bullion coin featuring the Wedge Tailed Eagle. For more about the 5oz version, could you please contact GovMint direct.

      Thanks for your interest,

      Blog Team

       
  10. Something stinks about your answers
    It appears this is an exclusive with World Mint
    Your answers to most questions are vague to say the least
    Also, exclusive to pcgs? Please be kind

     

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