Oct 192015

The Mint has won the top prize in the 2015 WA Industry and Export Awards, securing the Premier’s Award for Excellence, as well as the Marketing and Design Excellence Industry Award.

Paying tribute, Premier Colin Barnett, said: “The Perth Mint is a leading example of excellence with its reputation for product innovation, advanced manufacturing capabilities and marketing excellence through traditional and digital promotion of its products in a highly competitive global industry.”


Premier of Western Australia Colin Barnett (right) with The Perth Mint’s Neil Vance.

Now in its 27th year, the WA Industry and Export Awards promote and acknowledge the achievements of the State’s business community across sectors that include agriculture, manufacturing, medical research, information technology, education and creative industries.

Neil Vance, Group Manager Minted Products, accepted the award on behalf of the Mint, at the presentation dinner which was held on Friday 16 October at the Grand Hyatt Regency in East Perth.

The 2015 Marketing and Design Excellence Award recognises the Mint’s dedication to the production, promotion and sale of trusted pure gold, silver and platinum investment offerings and highly collectable legal tender coin programs, thus acknowledging our contribution to the State’s economic and social development, prosperity and growth.



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Oct 132015

Much like dragons, bats have contrasting significance in Eastern and Western cultures. While people of European descent generally associate bats with evil, darkness and demonic creatures, the Chinese view them as auspicious.

For centuries, images of bats have been used to decorate Oriental art and daily wares, from furniture, paintings and embroideries, to vases and eating utensils. Bats are also depicted in architectural decorations on doors, windows and roofs.

An explanation lies in Chinese ‘homonyms’ – written or printed characters which differ in appearance and meaning but share the same pronunciation. In this case, the Chinese for bat (fu 蝠) sounds identical to the word for good fortune (fu 福). Thus the bat became synonymous with luck and happiness.

Five Blessings

A very popular design found in many traditional Chinese houses consists of five bats surrounding the Chinese character for longevity (shou 壽). In this portrayal, the bats are said to represent the ‘five blessings’ – long life, wealth, health, love of virtue and a peaceful death.

Honouring the five blessings, this new 1oz silver coin features symbolic imagery comprising five bats surrounding the Chinese character for fú, together with a mix of peach motifs, symbolising immortality, and peonies, symbolising royalty and virtue.

Aimed at the large Chinese community in Australia, the 2016-dated coin is issued as Australian legal tender with a maximum mintage of just 10,000.


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Oct 092015

It was during our first visit to Australia back in the 90s that we travelled to Cairns in Tropical North Queensland. The hotel location provided easy access to Mount Whitefield Regional Park and its walking tracks through the rainforest. As visitors from overseas we were particularly intrigued by a sign indicating the area was home to Southern Cassowaries, and eager to experience unique Aussie wildlife, set off in determined mood to see the mystery bird.

Sweating all day in the oppressive heat (later described as “unusually cool” for the time of year), we covered many kilometres in search of the apparently aloof creature. Despite being stopped in our tracks by a giant lizard, we headed home disappointed that our much anticipated meeting had failed to materialise.


What had we been thinking!! That night, over a well-deserved ice-cold beer (or two), we read hair-raising tales about the dangers of spooking a Cassowary. According to the info at hand, a bird that feels threatened may defend itself by charging and kicking with dagger-like claws, literally opening us up to the possibility of disembowelment!

(If you ever get yourself into a face-off with an irritable Cassowary, the literature advised holding a backpack between your torso and the bird while slowly backing away).

Having subsequently witnessed a Southern Cassowary at the zoo, this is a truly striking animal. Related to other flightless birds like the emu, ostrich and kiwi, it can tower up to two metres tall and weigh as much as 70kg – making it Australia’s heaviest bird. Possessing a vivid blue head, drooping red wattles and a ‘casque’, or horn-like structure on top of its head, the species’ extraordinary appearance is strongly suggestive of its dinosaur ancestry.

Unfortunately, the Southern Cassowary is now in serious difficulty. Degradation and fragmentation of its habitat as well as vehicle strikes and dog attacks mean that it’s a threatened species at State and Federal levels, and also listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. What many probably don’t realise is that Queensland numbers have fallen to only two or three thousand.

Endangered and Extinct – Southern Cassowary 2016 1oz Silver Proof Coin

That memorable day in the tropical rainforest makes this new release from the Endangered and Extinct Series one of significant personal interest. Depicting a vivid portrait of a Southern Cassowary with a chick, its low mintage of just 5,000 means more of these coins exist than there are birds in the wild – alarming!

Looking back, it’s a relief our paths never crossed. Today it seems more appropriate to appreciate Australia’s rare Southern Cassowary through the medium of this stunning silver coin.


Endangered and Extinct – Southern Cassowary 2016 1oz Silver Proof Coin

written by Stephen Ward


Oct 072015

The list of Australia’s most hazardous inhabitants invariably includes the Redback spider.

A relative of the Black Widow, this angry arachnid was responsible for at least 14 human deaths before the availability of anti-venom.


The problem with Redbacks is that unlike deadly sharks, crocs and brown snakes, they prefer the comforts of urban living. The average suburban block provides plenty of nooks and crannies just perfect for a Redback residency.

Around sheds, under garden furniture, in the letterbox – you name it, a Redback is probably sizing up its potential new abode. So happy are they to dwell in dilapidated dunnies that Redbacks are sometimes dubbed toilet spiders!

In possession of potent neuro-toxic venom, the female is by far the most dangerous of the species. Fortunately, camouflage is not her strong suit, emblazoned as she is with a bright red abdominal stripe or splotch.

A scruffy web is another tell-tale sign of her presence. Unlike the classic orb web, it’s a disheveled-looking but actually highly sophisticated construction of tangled catching lines designed to trap prey.

It’s into this sticky den that the much smaller and less colourful male must venture in order to mate with his dominant partner. Regrettably, the outcome is rarely great for such a fearless fellow, as in a macabre ritual, the female bites and devours him during copulation. You might say he’s required to make the supreme sacrifice for the sake of love!

Australian Map Shaped Coin Series — 2015 Redback Spider 1oz Silver Coin

RedbackSpider_ShipperThe seventh release in the extremely popular Australian Map-Shaped Series of 1oz pure silver coins features a Redback spider. No more than 6,000 of these remarkable coins will be released in presentation packaging.


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Oct 062015

Christmas-backgroundAs the year draws towards its conclusion, we hope you’ll enjoy some festive fun with our 2015 Christmas Competition!

Commencing Tuesday 20 October, nine weekly prizes will be up for grabs with an exciting Grand Draw in Week 10. Everybody who enters between Weeks 1 and 9 will automatically be in the draw for the chance to win an amazing Australian Koala 2015 1/4oz gold proof coin.

More details of each weekly prize and how you can increase your chance of winning the Koala gold coin coming soon!!

View our 2015 Christmas Gift Guide


Last month’s Anagram contest winner: Congratulations Robyn Ongheen of Queensland for the correct answer of ‘Latrobe Tasmania’.

The Anagram will return in January 2016.


Oct 062015

This month’s new coin bulletin introduces superb coloured versions from the 2016 Year of the Monkey coin program and the stunning Lunar Typeset Collection featuring proof, bullion coloured and gilded Monkey coins each made from 1oz of pure silver.

Continuing with the Chinese theme, Five Blessings is an intricate silver release portraying five bats, culturally symbolic of longevity, wealth, health, virtue and the desire to die a natural death in old age!

Among the latest releases depicting our iconic Australian fauna is a new addition to the Australian Wedge-tailed Eagle suite of coins. Crafted from 99.95% pure platinum, it is exceptionally rare with a maximum mintage of just 500.

Sure to be a winner, the latest Australian Map Shaped Coin portrays the infamous Redback spider, while Endangered and Extinct now features the extraordinary-looking Southern Cassowary.

For those who like to get organised early, this month’s bulletin also features our 2015 Christmas coin. Portraying a traditional image of a festively decked tree, the unique star-shaped release can also be used as a hanging decoration.

**Look out for the official Back to the Future coin program which will launch on 21 OCTOBER. These exceptional releases are perfect for fans celebrating the 30th anniversary of the hugely successful 1985 movie starring Michael J. Fox.