Feb 282017
 

The polar bear evolved about 200,000 years ago from its brown bear ancestors. Alternatively known as the sea bear, ice bear, or white bear, it’s superbly adapted for survival in the Arctic.

Courtship and mating take place in April and May after which the female polar bear digs a maternity den in the snow in which to birth and subsequently protect her young from extreme weather. On average she has two cubs which are born blind between November and February.

Newborn cubs are totally dependent on their mother’s milk for nourishment. During spring she breaks open the den to enable them to play outside. Shortly afterwards they begin the long walk to the sea ice, where she teaches the cubs how to stalk seals on the surface.

The cubs are generally weaned at a little over two years old, when their mother chases them away or abandons them. Adorable in appearance during their developing years, polar bears become apex predators and some of the most dangerous animals in the world.

Polar Babies – Polar Bear 2017 1/2oz Silver Proof Coin

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The first coin from our new Polar Babies Series portrays a polar bear during the cutest phase of its life. The innocent-faced cub, which appears on a struck design featuring Arctic motifs, is coloured white.

💡 Did you know? A polar bear’s fur is actually pigment-free. Each hair shaft is transparent with a hollow core that scatters and reflects visible light, much like what happens with ice and snow.

Made from 1/2oz of 99.99% pure silver, the coin precedes future releases portraying equally endearing representations of a young emperor penguin, Arctic fox, harp seal, and sea otter.

No more than 5,000 of each coin in the Series will be released by The Perth Mint in individual presentation packaging with a numbered Certificate of Authenticity.

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Feb 272017
 

If you’re interested in pre-decimals, you may have noticed the presence of the letters ‘PL’ on some Australian sixpence, threepence, penny and half-penny coins issued in 1951.

It’s a mintmark associated with the Londinium mint, which stood on Tower Hill during the Roman occupation of Britain. As an officially constituted branch of the Mint of Rome, its coins bore the letters ‘PL’, ‘PLN’, ‘PLO’, or ‘PLON’, likely abbreviations of the Latin words Percussa Londinio – “struck in London”.

So why does it appear on these Australian coins?

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The post-War period was one of significant economic growth and Australian prosperity was reflected in burgeoning demand for coinage. With the Perth and Melbourne Mints working at full capacity, the Royal Mint at Tower Hill was asked to assist with Australian coin production for the first time since World War One. And with the request for additional coins from London, came the revival of the historic Roman mintmark.

A sudden downturn in the economy, however, meant Australian ‘PL’ coinage was only ever produced for 1951. Today, these coins are of interest to collectors: while choice grades are readily available, guide prices for high quality and extremely rare proof versions extend into the thousands of dollars!

Perhaps you’re an unwitting owner of a 1951 PL coin which proclaims its place of manufacture in a manner invented some 1,700 years ago?

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Feb 202017
 

Australia has a profound association with Ypres in Belgium. Through this walled medieval city Australian soldiers and thousands of other allied troops marched towards the front line during some of the most costly fighting of the First World War.

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Reconstructed Cloth Hall, Ieper.

At the centre of the city, they would have passed the historic Cloth Hall, first constructed around 1200. By 1917, this proud symbol of the region’s famous textile trade had been virtually destroyed by German artillery fire.

As they made their way towards the battlefields of the Ypres Salient, the troops passed through the Menin Gate, at which two stone lions, also heavily battle scarred, stood astride the road on silent guard.

Originally commissioned for the ancient Cloth Hall, these magnificent carved blue stone beasts had been relocated to the city’s eastern gateway in 1862. At the end of the war they were pulled from the rubble, and in an important symbolic gesture, the Burgomaster of Ypres presented them to the Australian Government in 1936 as a token of friendship and an acknowledgement of Australia’s sacrifice.

It is estimated that Australia suffered 38,000 casualties in the fighting around Ypres. The names of 6,000 Australians are included among those recorded on the Menin Gate Memorial to the Missing dedicated to the 55,000 British and Empire troops who died in Belgium during the First World War and have no known grave.

The Menin Gate Lions now have a permanent home inside the entrance to the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. There, they stand in abiding honour of those who never returned from Flanders.

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Image courtesy of the Australian War Memorial – ART12510.001

The ANZAC Spirit 100th Anniversary Coin Series – Many Never Returned
2017 1oz Silver Proof Coin

Inscribed with the words ‘1917 Many Never Returned’, this addition to The Perth Mint’s five year ANZAC Spirit Coin Series bears a design representing war weary Australian soldiers walking near the ruins of the Cloth Hall in Ypres. Expressing the nation’s indebtedness to the men and their fallen comrades, the word GRATITUDE is included on the coin’s serrated edge.

Accompanied by a numbered Certificate of Authenticity, no more than 7,500 of these solemn coins will be released in individual presentation packaging comprising a red and black display case and superbly illustrated shipper.

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Australian-War-Memorial-logoThe Australian War Memorial logo is a registered trademark of the
Australian War Memorial TM & © 2017

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Feb 142017
 

In a return to tradition, The Perth Mint is delighted to announce the re-introduction of the Australian Kangaroo Gold Proof Five-Coin Set as our most prestigious collectable offering.

Showcasing the Mint’s acclaimed expertise in the production of flawless gold proof coins, the set will be issued annually for the first time since a run of 16 consecutive five-coin sets were released between 1989 and 2005.

Australia’s signature gold coins, iconic Kangaroos are struck from 99.99% pure gold. Depicting Australia’s most famous marsupial, bullion versions are sought widely around the world as trusted investments.

Exquisitely finished Proof Kangaroos, featuring mirror-like reflective tables and delicately frosted reliefs, exemplify the pinnacle of precious metal coining skills available from only a select group of leading mints worldwide.

The superb 2017 Australian Kangaroo Gold Proof Five-Coin Set comprises 1oz, 1/2oz, 1/4oz, 1/10oz and 1/20oz releases portraying a kangaroo bounding across an outback plain. Accompanied by a numbered Certificate of Authenticity, each set is housed in a luxury timber case.

With rarity assured by an annual issue limit of just 500, the new generation of five-coin proof sets is set to become Australia’s most desirable numismatic collectable.

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Feb 102017
 

As many school kids know, if a magnetised needle is floated on a piece of cork it will line up with the Earth’s magnetic field.

Manuscripts dating from the 11th century indicate that it was the Chinese who first understood that by rubbing an iron bar with a lodestone (a naturally occurring magnetic mineral) it would point ‘north – south’ when allowed to rotate freely.

This discovery was enormously beneficial to early mariners who were constantly in danger of getting lost at sea. Featuring a needle on a pin over a card marked with the four cardinal points – north, south, east, and west – the ship’s compass was an important navigational tool by the 14th century.

In today’s era of GPS and other sophisticated electronic equipment, the magnetic compass remains a key feature aboard many modern ships. Simple to use, reliable and requiring no power, it’s a vital back up that could prove invaluable in an emergency.

2017 Compass 2oz Silver Antiqued Coin

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With a design featuring elements of an ancient world map, mythical sea creatures and other nautical motifs, this spectacular antiqued silver coin evokes the olden days of maritime exploration. A unique collectable, it has a decorative metallic compass inserted in the middle, celebrating the humble instrument’s huge contribution to navigation and orientation for hundreds of years.

Meticulously crafted and hand-finished for the appearance of an ancient artefact, no more than 2,500 of these magnificent coins will be released worldwide. Accompanied by a numbered Certificate of Authenticity, each coin is housed in a presentation case and superbly illustrated shipper.

Developing Trend

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Both highly original, the 150th Anniversary of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland 2015 2oz Silver Antiqued Clock Coin [Sold out at The Perth Mint] and the Yin Yang Rotating Charm 2016 1oz Silver Antiqued Coin make intriguing coins for collectors.

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Feb 092017
 

Building on the excitement created by last year’s 2oz Silver High Relief Antiqued Kangaroo Coin, this year’s release, which features a koala, is even more spectacular in terms of superbly  detailed design.

The stunning coin portrays a slumbering koala lying on a tree branch. The iconic Australian native’s habitat high up in the forest is exquisitely represented in a dense display of eucalyptus leaves and floral motifs.

The coin plaster

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As part of the traditional minting methods used in the production of this coin, the design was painstakingly sculpted in 3D. From this oversized plaster model, a hardened mould was taken as part of a process that saw the relief reproduced in steel via a reduction machine, and ultimately into a high relief coin die. As can be seen from the result, the coin sculptor must demonstrate an amazing eye for detail and superb skills to accurately interpret the original artist’s drawing.

The finished coin

Just 3,000 of these amazing Australian Koala 2017 2oz Silver High Relief Antiqued Coins will be released. The obverse and reverse of each coin are both ‘antiqued’ – a hand-applied finish that adds deep tone with a unique grained effect for an aged appearance.

Collectors will receive the coin in a classic grey display case within a stylised shipper, accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity.

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