May 232017
 

This medallion in The Perth Mint’s historic collection celebrates Earl Grey, who fought hard for the reform of the British House of Commons in the 19th century, paving the way for the form of parliamentary democracy enjoyed in Britain and emulated in nations around the world, including Australia.

Charles Grey is popularly known for the tea named in his honour. Believed to have been introduced to the Whig politician by a Chinese government envoy, ‘Earl Grey’ is a blend of tea flavoured with bergamot oil.

Grey became Prime Minister in 1831 following the resignation of the Duke of Wellington on the question of parliamentary reform. At the time, few people had the vote and rapidly growing industrial towns had little or no representation.

One of the most astonishing inequities was the existence of ‘rotten’ boroughs. Once a flourishing port on the Suffolk coast, Dunwich had long been submerged by the encroaching sea – and yet still returned two Members of Parliament! Another notorious constituency, Old Sarum in Wiltshire, was little more than an uninhabited hill, yet it too returned two MPs.

In the face of strong Tory opposition, the passage of the Reform Bill required all Grey’s determination and guile to ensure that the public’s widespread anger was placated. The Act swept away more than 50 rotten boroughs, created dozens of new constituencies, and increased the number of people eligible to vote. Even though these achievements turned out to be relatively modest, it proved that change was possible, paving the way for further reform in the future.

Grey’s other reforming measures included restrictions on the employment of children, and the abolition of slavery in the British Empire. A respected figure, this likeness was created by Birmingham medallist Joseph Davis, who was noted for his reform and anti-slavery medals.

The symbolic composition on the reverse comprises a British lion sejant (on its haunches) with shield; fasces (from a Roman bodyguard’s bundle of rods surrounding an axe); cap of Liberty (an emblem of the French revolution); and the cornucopia (horn of plenty).

Quite how this fascinating medallion ended up in Western Australia remains something of a mystery. The most probable explanation is that it once belonged to A. M. Le Souef, deputy master of the Melbourne Mint. A passionate collector, he donated 36 medals to The Perth Mint in 1926 as the basis of a historic collection which subsequently thrived.

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May 172017
 

Two of the most potent animal symbols in Chinese mythology appear in stunning high relief on these new gold and silver proof coins from The Perth Mint.

Seen as wise and benevolent, the Oriental dragon represents nobility and good fortune in a culture where people believed their Emperor to have been the son of a dragon.

Another ancient symbol of good fortune, the Phoenix is considered to be an immortal bird whose rare appearance foreshadowed harmony at the ascent to the throne of a new Emperor.

In Feng Shui, the dragon and phoenix are said to be perfect matches for one another. The phoenix is ‘yin’ while the dragon is ‘yang’ according to the Chinese philosophical account of natural balance and interdependence. Their portrayal together is also recognised as a symbol of everlasting love.

This design includes a third significant Chinese symbol – a flaming pearl. Viewed as a metaphor for wisdom, enlightenment and spiritual essence, it is also said to rid a person of their troubles, bringing career success, as well as fortune and good health.

Abundant in Chinese symbolism, both these releases will be rare. Just 5,000 coins struck from 1oz of 99.99% pure silver, and a minuscule 500 coins made from 2oz of 99.99% pure gold, will be released.

Available in Australia exclusively from The Perth Mint. For information on how to acquire these coins outside Australia, please contact Hong Kong based LPM.

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May 052017
 

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

10th Anniversary Australian Koala
2017 10oz Silver Proof Coin
Maximum Mintage: 750
Norse Goddesses – Freya
2017 2oz Silver Antiqued High Relief Coin
Maximum Mintage: 2,000
Lunar Good Fortune Series – Wealth and Wisdom
2017 1oz Silver Proof Two-Coin Set
Maximum Mintage: 1,500


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May 042017
 

Mirror, Mirror was one of the most memorable and influential episodes from Star Trek: The Original Series.

Its fascination lay in the provocative concept of parallel universes. After all, many of us have wondered at one time or another whether humans can co-exist in parallel worlds. Half a century after Mirror, Mirror aired for the first time in 1967, Australian scientists proposed that parallel universes really exist, and that they interact!

The iconic episode opened with Kirk, McCoy, Uhura and Scott failing to secure a supply of dilithium crystals, essential for warp drive engines, from a humanoid race known as the Halkans. As they beam back aboard the U.S.S. Enterprise, the transporter is affected by an ion storm, hurling the four officers into a mirror universe in which the Imperial Starship Enterprise is run on the basis of fear, torture, and assassination.

In Mirror, Mirror, a classic episode of Star Trek first seen in 1967, Captain James T. Kirk and three fellow officers are thrown into an alternative universe in which Spock has become a ruthless and malevolent character who wears an intimidating goatee beard. Picture courtesy of CBS Studios Inc.

Aboard the alternative starship they’re greeted by a malevolent incarnation of First Officer Spock, a servant of the repressive and violent Terran Empire. Spock’s striking makeover, in the form of a goatee beard, instantly alerts Kirk and company of their arrival in a strange and hostile world.

Nominated for a Hugo Award in 1968 as Best Dramatic Presentation, Mirror, Mirror inspired episodes of  Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and Star Trek: Enterprise, and has been referenced and parodied in many other works. Although Spock’s beard provoked a range of views from die-hard fans of the show, it was so unforgettable that the episode is often recalled as “the one with Spock’s beard”.

Described as blending action, suspense, and Star Trek idealism, Mirror, Mirror was hailed for the performances of its lead actors. Needless to say, the heroes engineered a means of returning to their own universe, but not before challenging Mirror Spock about the futility of his role in the brutal Terran Empire. In one of his most memorable lines, he insists: “Terror must be maintained or the Empire is doomed.”

Nothing if not thought provoking, Mirror, Mirror is rightly considered to be one of the finest instalments from The Original Series.

2017 Star Trek: The Original Series – Mirror, Mirror 1oz Silver Proof Coin

In tribute to Mirror, Mirror, this new coin from our Star Trek coin program features a design portraying characterisations of Spock in both worlds. Between his profiles are Starfleet Command‘s famous Delta Badge featuring a sciences insignia, and the symbol of the Terran Empire represented by planet Earth bisected by a sword.

No more than 3,000 of these special collector releases will be issued, each housed in presentation packaging featuring a ring of blue light around the coin which illuminates when the lid is open.

TM & © 2017 CBS Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved

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May 022017
 

Fossilized bones from a Diamantinasaurus, a large titanosaurian sauropod, were discovered a few years ago at an ancient billabong near Winton in Queensland. Between 15 and 16 metres in length, and 15 to 20 tonnes in weight, the remarkable creature lived about 94 million years ago.

For your chance to win a Diamantinasaurus 2015 1oz Silver Proof Coloured Coin from our Australian Age of Dinosaurs series, try solving this month’s anagram puzzle.

Clue: It was definitely one of these!

How to enter: Email your answer to anagram@perthmint.com.au marking your reply ‘May 2017 Anagram Competition’ in the subject line. Please include your name, address and telephone number. Entries close on 5 June 2017. Eligible entrants will be included in the free draw and the winner will be notified by telephone or email. Terms and conditions.

See us on Facebook and Twitter for notification of anagrams and other great coin competitions.

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Last month’s winner: Congratulations David Leivesley of NSW for the correct answer of ‘Deciduous trees’.

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May 022017
 

Each month The Perth Mint has pleasure in offering an exclusive new range of modern numismatic coins for collectors and gift buyers.

For the many fans of Australian high reliefs coins, this May presents an opportunity to add to your collection with outstanding versions of the 2017 Australian Kookaburra in 1oz and 5oz of pure silver.

Classic Australian coin design featuring our most famous animal icon can also be acquired in the shape of the 2017 Australian Kangaroo 1oz Silver Gilded Edition, which features a meticulously applied layer of 24 carat gold over the representation of a bounding ’roo.

For collectors of less traditional coins, there’s some exciting releases from the ‘pop culture’ genre.

First Officer Spock, mainstay from the sci-fi classic Star Trek, appears as himself and also his alter ego on a CBS authorised 1oz silver memento celebrating Mirror, Mirror – one of the most memorable episodes from The Original Series.

Younger fans of space adventures will be delighted by the availability of a five coloured coin collection featuring Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – which comes in spectacular packaging along with a number of bonus gifts.

If you’d like something else to get your teeth into, then don’t miss the spectacular new T-REX dinosaur coin, or the latest addition to Deadly and Dangerous, the Bull Shark!

Click on the electronic bulletin above to discover this month’s complete line-up of new releases or visit Recent Releases on The Perth Mint web page.

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