Feb 292016

Among the many excellent First World War centenary coin programs currently available, here’s one you won’t want to miss.

Straightforward to collect with one issue per year between 2014 and 2018, it features five beautifully produced silver releases with colour. Unusual in coin collecting, each one is rectangle-shaped, a format ideally suited to the program’s fascinating theme – Australian Posters of World War I.

Huge numbers of posters were produced during the War to satisfy a wide variety of advertising and communication needs. War bond drives and recruitment for different services were two of the primary objectives of the many campaigns publicised through posters.

Many Australian war posters were remarkable works of art. The tradition of superb artistry in posters was established during the 19th century when famous European artists, including the great Toulouse-Lautrec, produced legendary pieces that could transform streets into colourful art galleries.

Australian poster art of World War I reflected these standards in bold, visually striking depictions with distinctive cultural pointers. Positioned around stations, hotels and other busy locations during the war years, they played on ideas of national peril, personal anxiety and even shame to spur men into enlisting in the Australian Imperial Force, give money for the war effort, or vote either in favour or against conscription. Today they are evocative reminders of the awful realities faced by ordinary citizens at that time.

Australian Posters of World War I Coin Series


The image shows the first three (of five) coins to be released in the Australian Posters of World War I series:

Future releases

  • Home Front 2017 1oz Silver Proof Rectangle Coin
  • Peace Bonds 2018 Silver Proof Rectangle Coin

This year’s coin portrays a War Loan Bonds poster. Offered to the Australian public by the Government between 1915 and 1918, War Loan Bonds were promoted as having the ability to ‘save lives’, to ‘shorten the war’, and to ‘ensure victory and peace’.

The overtly emotive poster features a young boy and girl both dressed in white holding hands and flags. The Commonwealth Blue Ensign in the girl’s left hand distinguishes it as an Australian poster, while the Union Jack clasped by the boy reflects Australia’s determination to ‘rally to the Mother Country’. Beneath the pair is text reading


Appealing to patriotism and a notion of responsibility, it aimed to inspire Australians to do their part to financially support the War.

Limited Mintage

Produced by The Perth Mint in association with the Australian War Memorial, each coin in this remarkable First World War series is struck from 1oz of 99.9% pure silver. Issued as Australian legal tender, each encapsulated coin is housed in a latex case which allows the design on both sides to be displayed.

No more than 5,000 of each coin in the series will be released worldwide.


The Australian War Memorial logo is a registered trade mark of the Australian War Memorial TM © 2016.

The red cross emblem is an internationally recognised symbol used to identify those providing impartial humanitarian assistance and protect them from harm in times of armed conflict. The use of the emblem is restricted under both international and Australian law in order to ensure that this meaning continues to be understood. In Australia, the use of the emblem without the authorisation of the Minister of Defence is a criminal offence.


Feb 222016

British subject William Joyce was the most notorious broadcaster of Nazi propaganda during World War II. Nicknamed Lord Haw Haw, he opened his weekly radio programme with the words “Germany calling, Germany calling” in an upper-class English accent.

Joyce issued threats and misinformation while deriding the Allied war effort. One of his most famous taunts occurred during the 1941 Siege of Tobruk when the Allied garrison, including 14,000 Australian troops, held out against Axis forces besieging the Libyan city and its strategically important port.

Joyce scoffed that the men were caught like “rats in a trap”. But the troops embraced the term, taking great pride in calling themselves the ‘Rats of Tobruk’.


Image courtesy of Australian War Memorial | 041840

Enduring heat, dust and flies while living in desert caves with little food, they withstood tank attacks, artillery barrages and daily bombings for eight months between April and November. Against all the odds, they repulsed each attack until being relieved by the 8th Army.

Admired and respected for refusing to surrender, their tenacity, and their mutual support for each other, the Rats of Tobruk became a source of inspiration during some of the War’s darkest days. Their survivors eventually returned home as heroes.

William Joyce made his last broadcast on the night of 30 April 1945. The man who unintentionally coined one of the most memorable epithets in military history was soon captured and returned to Britain, where he was later hanged for treason.

75th Anniversary of WW II
The Rats of Tobruk – 2016 Silver Proof Coin


Struck from 1oz of 99.9% pure silver, this 2016 Australian coin marks the Siege of Tobruk with a design portraying two Australian troops in trenches surrounding the city. Housed in presentation packaging, no more than 5,000 of these coins will be released.


Feb 162016

This year marks the 100th anniversary of May Gibbs’ Gumnut Babies, the Australian children’s classic featuring a much-loved cast of fantasy bush characters. The success of the tale encouraged May to write and illustrate more short-stories inspired by Australian native flora, and in quick succession the Gum Blossom Babies, Flannel Flower Babies, Boronia Babies, Wattle Babies and others had captivated children’s hearts.

100th Anniversary of the Gumnut Babies 1oz Silver Proof Coin & Book


In celebration of the Gumnut Babies‘ centenary, The Perth Mint has released a superb commemorative coin featuring an original May Gibbs illustration of her tiny, cherub-like heroes.

Struck from 1oz of 99.9% pure silver, the Australian legal tender coin is housed in the hard-cover of a special limited edition, fully illustrated book featuring the Gumnut Babies short stories. More than 250 pages long, it also includes longer adventures featuring Nuttybub and Nittersing, and Chucklebud and Wunkydoo, as well as a numbered Certificate of Authenticity.

A nostalgic collectable for those who grew up adoring May Gibbs’ work and a delightful gift for new generations of her fans, no more than 2,500 of these exclusive coin and book compilations will be released.




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Feb 122016

The Battle of the Somme refers to a series of battles that took place between 1 July and 18 November 1916, during the First World War, in which more than 1 million men from both sides of No Man’s Land were wounded or killed. During the battles, the British and French armies fought against German troops alongside in the Somme region of northern France in an effort to break the deadlock of trench warfare and restore the fighting to fluid, mobile warfare.


The gun crew of an Australian Howitzer Battery, in an emplacement behind a steep bank near Lavieville in the Somme area. Image courtesy Australian War Memorial.

The first day of fighting on 1 July was the most costly day in the history of the British army with almost 60,000 casualties, a third of whom were killed. Despite enormous losses, the offensive continued on for another four and a half months. Australian troops consisting of men who had fought at Gallipoli, as well as new volunteers from home, arriving on the Somme to take part in the fighting from late July.


King George V, holding telescope, observing the fighting at Pozières from captured ground. The Prince of Wales is behind the King talking to two officers. Image courtesy Australian War Memorial.

The Australian contribution to the Somme was the capture and defence of the fighting around Pozières and Mouquet Farm between 23 July and 3 September. Like their British allies, the Australians also suffered great losses with 24,000 casualties, including 6,741 who were killed. Such heavy losses on an all-volunteer army put pressure on the recruiting system and resulted in a referendum for the government to try and introduce conscription. Narrowly defeated at the polls in October 1916, the issue polarized the Australian nation along political, sectarian and class lines. A similar strain was felt in Britain, which was forced to rely on conscription after the bloody battles of 1916.


Troops of the 24th Battalion gathered at a memorial erected in memory of members killed at Pozières and Mouquet Farm. Image courtesy Australian War memorial.

The Battle of the Somme resulted in 430,000 British and Dominion causalities, plus 200,000 French troops. Heavy losses were also felt by the German army with 650,000 casualties resulting in a tired and dispirited force that would never fully recover.

The ANZAC Spirit 100th Anniversary Coin Series
Be Worthy Of Them – 2016 1oz Silver Proof Coin

This significant addition to The ANZAC Spirit 100th Anniversary Coin Series depicts a group of soldiers as they charge out of the trenches along the Somme Valley in France and the inscription ‘Be Worthy of Them’.


The Perth Mint will release no more than 7,500 of these coins, each accompanied by a numbered Certificate of Authenticity.

Australian-War-Memorial-logoThe Australian War Memorial logo is a registered trademark of the
Australian War Memorial TM & © 2016


Feb 092016

The Perth Mint is inviting hopeless romantics to visit its Gold Exhibition this Valentine’s Day to watch molten gold transform into a solid gold heart!

Starry-eyed lovers can witness this amazing spectacle in the Mint’s original 1899 Melting House, where two hundred ounces of pure gold will be heated to the searing temperature of 1,200 degrees Celsius, before being hand-poured into a graphite mould in which the molten metal will cool to form a gleaming heart of gold.

This special love-themed gold pour will be performed at The Perth Mint on Sunday 14 February only, on the hour from 10am to 4pm.

Valentine visitors can also book a Devonshire Tea to enjoy in the Mint’s inner courtyard café which is surrounded by turn of the century buildings.

To further express our devotion on this popular day, The Perth Mint is giving each visitor the chance to win one of six silver hearts medallions on which they can engrave a message of love. At the end of each gold pour, the demonstrator will simply pick a row number from the audience at random to determine the winner! Best of luck!

Admissions are priced at $19 per adult, $8 per child (aged 4 to 15 years), with concessions also available.

The Perth Mint is located at 310 Hay Street (cnr Hill Street), within walking distance of the CBD, and is accessible via the free Red CAT bus route (Stop No. R06).

For enquiries and bookings, telephone 9421 7223 or visit perthmint.com.au/visit

Check out a sneak peak of the Valentine’s Gold Pour here:

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Feb 082016

Each year The Perth Mint prepares an exclusive release to mark its attendance at World Money Fair, one of the most significant events of the numismatic calendar.

Our latest WMF coin show special is a meticulously coloured version of the 2016 Australian Kookaburra 1oz silver coin, which features a classic design portraying Australia’s iconic bush bird on a barbed wire fence post.

Available worldwide from today, this special coin is housed in a display case which comes in a boldly illustrated blue shipper bearing the official World Money Fair logo.

An extremely limited release, no more than 2,000 of these coins will be struck.