May 262016

Continuing his research into the Western Australian Centenary medal of 1929, Glenn Burghall uncovers the story of a special gold version made for King George V.

Midway through the Western Australian Centenary Year of 1929, the Deputy-Master of the Royal Mint, Perth Branch, Major Hugh Corbet, suggested that a gift of a gold replica of the Centenary Medal should be sent to King George V.

This idea was taken up by the Western Australian Historical Society, which set up a Shilling Fund for the purpose, and sought donations from the descendants of pioneer families. A ‘pioneer family’ was deemed to have been one who had arrived in the Swan River Colony before 1850.

In the following weeks there was a steady flow of small donations, and in the first week of December there was £12/1/ in the fund. Convener Vern Hamersley had concerns that they wouldn’t get much of a medal with that amount. The cost of a W.A. Centenary Medal weighing 2.2 ounces, struck from locally mined and refined gold, was quoted at £11.

On Tuesday 17th of December, 1929, a Vice-President of the W.A. Historical Society, Edith Cowan, performed the ceremonial ribbon-cutting to strike the King’s medal. By this time about £17 had been collected, and local manufacturing jeweller, J.C. Taylor, was given the task of creating an artistic presentation of the medal.

Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016

Image credit: Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2016

The medal was embedded into a round wooden base made from local timbers, and surrounded by an inscribed circlet of gold which featured cut outs of gum leaves. The message engraved onto the circlet is quite lengthy, and the workmanship is outstanding.

The finished work was put on display in Taylor’s premises in Forrest Place, Perth, in the second week of the New Year, before it was then despatched to King George on January 20.

On April 22 the Governor of W.A., Sir William Campion received a despatch from the Secretary of State for the Dominions (Lord Passfield) acknowledging the King’s appreciation and pleasure at receiving such a beautiful gift and sentiments of affection.

From records held at the Royal Western Australian Historical Society, at the time of sending in her donation Maude Sanderson of Lesmurdie, had concerns that the medal would get lost in amongst the other curiosities she had seen in the corridors of Windsor Castle.

In 2014 the Royal Collection Trust placed an image of the gift in its online catalogue, and even though it is catalogued as “Box and Cover 1929” its historical significance is no less diminished. By publishing the image, concerns that the item had been misplaced, or even worse, damaged in the Windsor Castle fire of 1992, were dispelled.

The gold Centenary Medal is mounted with the obverse showing, which is quite unusual, because the main reason for providing the present was to commemorate Western Australia’s Centenary. The medal cannot be removed from its mounting.
Trust staff were also able to provide an answer to that question, finding on inspection that a bronze Western Australia Centenary 1929 Medal showing the reverse “rampant swan” is embedded on the underneath side of the mounting block.

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May 232016

We are currently working on how we can best organise and shape the content on our website, to make it easier for our customers to find what they need.  And we’d like you to help us, by taking part in a short online survey called a Treejack study.


By clicking the following link, you’ll be taken to a series of questions which should take no more than 10 minutes to complete.  Your input will help guide what we do, so many thanks in advance for your responses.

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May 232016

The following collector coin releases are now sold out at The Perth Mint.

2ozAntSilKan16 Australian Kangaroo
2016 2oz Silver High Relief Antiqued Coin
Maximum Mintage: 3,000
 QEII2ozGold90th H.M. Queen Elizabeth II 90th Birthday
2016 2oz Gold Proof High Relief Coin
Maximum Mintage: 300


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May 202016

It’s estimated that there are 1,025,109 words in the English language and that ‘love’ ranks inside the top 400 most commonly used. It comes from the Anglo Saxon lufu, which in turn is derived from the early Germanic lubō.

In Chinese, the world’s most widely spoken language, love is pronounced “ai”. It’s represented by a composite character comprising a number of traditional symbols, including representations of a man, a woman and a heart.

With over 400 million speakers, Spanish lies between Chinese and English as the second most popular language in the world. Amor comes directly from Latin, sharing its origin with similar French (amour) and Italian (amore) words for love.

Of course, with between 6,000 and 7,000 languages in the world, different cultures have invented countless other words to express the idea of love. Despite our language and many other differences, we are united in our innate understanding of love’s power.


The Perth Mint has released a spectacular 2oz silver proof coin portraying the word love in more than 30 languages, including English, Greek, Arabic, French, Korean, Filipino, Hindi, and Vietnamese. The design is interspersed with universally recognised love symbols, including Cupid, doves and a red-coloured heart.

A delightful gift for weddings, Valentine’s and anniversaries, or a beautiful way to make a spontaneous declaration of love, just 3,000 of these Language of Love 2016 2oz Silver Proof Coins will be released.


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May 192016

The fourth release in the Remarkable Reptiles series features the Australian goanna. Goannas are large, carnivorous reptiles also known as monitor lizards.

Goannas are capable of swimming, and can also climb trees. They will move quickly when pressed, often sprinting short distances to escape harm. Goannas will rear up when threatened, and also inflate flaps of skin around their throats and emit a harsh hissing noise.

Here’s seven more remarkable facts about the Australian goanna:

  1. Colonial settlers in Australia christened these large, carnivorous lizards ‘goanna’ – a corruption of the word iguana, a separate South American species.
  2. Like snakes, to which they are distantly related, goannas are venomous – but they lack their slithering rival’s injecting fangs.
  3. Despite the family association, goannas eat snakes – a choice that led people to conclude they were immune to snake venom (although this has never been proved).
  4. Some goannas lay their eggs inside termite mounds, which provide their young with an instant meal just after they hatch.
  5. At 5 metres in length, a gigantic goanna called Megalania – the largest the world has ever seen – stomped across Australia during the Pleistocene epoch.
  6. A surprisingly small member of the species, the pygmy goanna defies expectations at only 20 centimetres in length!
  7. But the majority of today’s goannas are hefty animals, and if cornered one can swing its tail like a crocodile with enough force to knock down a human!


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