Oct 252017
 

Chinese culture has no shortage of symbols of luck and good fortune. Bringing a number together in an ingenious pattern, the design on this colourful silver coin deserves further explanation.

The Chinese dragon is one of the best known and auspicious symbols in Chinese culture. A kindly and generous creature, it embodies the Emperor’s power and strength while being seen as lucky and good.

In this portrayal on our new Blessing 2018 1oz Silver Proof Coin, the dragon faces a stylised representation of a bat.

The bat is a ‘rebus’ – a picture that can be used to represent a word or part of a word because of its spoken sound. In this case, the Chinese word for bat is ‘fu’, which sounds identical to the Chinese for ‘good fortune’.

‘Fu’ has added significance as the name of the god of fortune and prosperity – one of three ‘Sanxing’ thought to date back to the Ming dynasty.

The position and shape of coloured symbols on this coin reflect the Chinese character ‘fu’ which is represented in gold brushstrokes on its presentation sleeve.

The bat hovers above an ancient Chinese coin, a potent symbol of wealth. These circular coins featured a square hole in the middle to reflect the Chinese view of the earth as a square and the heavens as a circle.

A pink peony, a flower widely used to represent wealth and honour, appears behind a gold boat-shaped ‘sycee’. Made in a variety of shapes, sycee ingots were acceptable as currency in imperial China. Today, sycees remain a symbol of wealth and prosperity and are commonly depicted during the Lunar New Year festivities.

In a nod towards parallel symbolism in western culture, the gold sycee is decorated with a four-leafed clover whose constituent parts are said to represent hope, faith, love and luck.

Collectively, all these elements are arranged in a way that reflects the outline of the Chinese character for ‘fu’ which appears on the coin’s presentation folder in Chinese calligraphy style.

Struck from 99.99% pure silver, this talismanic release is limited to maximum mintage of just 3,000 coins.

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 Comments Off on Lucky symbols fashioned to form ‘fu’ on Chinese fortune coin
Oct 202017
 

The original and most enduring precious metal coin program celebrating the ancient Chinese lunar calendar has retained an ardent following since a mouse appeared on the very first Australian Lunar proof coin back in 1995.

As the saying goes, ‘imitation is the sincerest form of flattery’, and while other lunar coin series have appeared on the market, the Australian Lunar has maintained its premier position over two Series since the program’s inception.

According to Neil Vance, the Mint’s Group Manager – Minted Products, there are several key reasons for the popularity of Lunar coins.

“There’s a natural fascination with something as unique as the Chinese lunar calendar which dates back for thousands of years,” he said. “It’s based on a 12-year cycle of the moon with each year named after a different animal. Having 12 coins to collect is a very realistic objective for many collectors who enjoy building a complete collection over time.”

People are also intrigued by their personal animal and the alleged personality traits that defines it. “So we also see many collectors purchasing individual year coins because the animal portrayed is special to them,” he added.

As well as being the world’s first major coin program to tap into this interest, the Australian Lunar has long been renowned for the quality of its designs and finishes. Ahead of their time, proof coins from Series I were a revelation to collectors of popular themes when they appeared in the 1990s. Today, the Mint continues to lead the field with a range of special finishes, including beautifully coloured mini-masterpieces.

Australian Lunar Silver Coin Series II 2018 Year of the Dog Gold and Silver Proof Coloured Edition

Launched this month, these Series II coloured proofs celebrate the Year of the Dog with lifelike representations of German shepherds and a labrador retriever. The penultimate design in the current lunar cycle, they will be followed by the concluding Year of the Pig coins in 2019 – when many collectors will reap the satisfaction of completing a cherished 12-coin set.

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Oct 182017
 

The popular festival of Diwali celebrates the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair. Known as the festival of lights, the occasion is marked by millions of people from India as well as Hindu communities all over the world with candles and fireworks.

This year we’re marking Diwali with two spectacular releases portraying Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth and prosperity. Hindus believe that by worshipping Lakshmi sincerely, but not through greed, they will be blessed with fortune and success.

Diwali represents a special time to honour Lakshmi as the colour and lights of the festivities are said to make her very happy!

Diwali Festival 2017 1oz Silver Coin

Struck from 1oz of 99.99% pure silver, the coin represents Lakshmi sitting on a lotus flower with gold coins pouring out of her hands, symbolising material and spiritual wealth.

No more than 5,000 of these vividly coloured releases will be issued, each housed in a latex display frame that showcases both sides of the coin.

Diwali Festival 2017 Stamp and Coin CoverAn aluminium bronze version of the Diwali coin is included in this new Stamp and Coin Cover featuring an official Australia Post $1.00 stamp postmarked 17 October 2017.

Happy Diwali!

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 Comments Off on Double delight for Diwali devotees
Oct 132017
 

One of the benefits for coin collectors attending the Australasian Numismatic Dealers Association’s Money Expo is the opportunity to pick up interesting coin show specials.

At the forthcoming Sydney event, taking place at Lower Sydney Town Hall between 14 and 15 October, attendees will have an exclusive opportunity to secure a unique release from our Australian Lunar – 2018 Year of the Dog Silver Coin Series.

Struck from 1/4oz of 99.99% pure silver, this petite show special portrays a meticulously coloured image of a German shepherd and its pup. The design also includes the Chinese character for ‘dog’.

With an issue limit of just 1,500, the Australian legal tender special offers astute collectors the essential combination of exclusivity, quality and popularity.

How to buy

To secure your coin, which is housed in presentation packaging including a distinctive box shipper featuring Sydney Money Expo branding, it will be necessary to visit ANDA’s own booth at the event.

With a recommended retail price of just $29, it’s a great and affordable way to mark your attendance.

For those unable to get to the Expo, any remaining stock will be available from The Perth Mint and Downies on 16 October.

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Oct 122017
 

The dragon is one of the principal emblems of Chinese iconography. Ancient myths and legends portray the dragon as a benevolent creature that brought rain to help the Chinese people grow crops. As the embodiment of the Chinese emperor, it continues to be revered as a powerful symbol of good fortune.

Said to be the dragon’s favourite possession, the pearl was endowed with mystical powers that could grant people their wishes. For example, it was thought that a pearl could swell or multiply anything it came into contact with. In one legend it helped a farmer expand his crop yield.

Because of their milky radiance, pearls were also seen as symbolic of the moon.

The combination of dragons and pearls has been depicted in Chinese painting, fabrics, ceramics and architectural friezes from at least the Tang Dynasty (618 – 907), a golden age in Chinese art and literature. A frequent theme in such works portrayed celestial dragons eagerly competing with one another in pursuit of a pearl. As it was caught and slowly devoured by the victorious dragon, the pearl was said to represent the waning moon. In the reverse process, the dragon gradually disgorged the pearl to symbolise the waxing moon.

Dragon and Pearl 2017 1oz Silver Antiqued Coin

If you’re fascinated by Chinese symbolism and mysticism this remarkable new coin will have special appeal. Like our popular 2016 Ying Yang release, it’s a highly innovative creation in which our skilled minters have incorporated a revolving charm.

Struck from 1oz of 99.99% pure silver with an antiqued finish, the coin portrays two Chinese dragons encircling a pearl-like bead. Bisected by a pin on which it rotates, the bead has a lustrous, milky appearance in-keeping with the pearl’s lunar associations.

Only 3,000 of these Dragon and Pearl coins, each housed in presentation packaging accompanied by a numbered Certificate of Authenticity, will be released on behalf of collectors.

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 Comments Off on Dragons eye lustrous bead on new rotating charm coin
Oct 102017
 

Australian women faced an array of challenges during World War I, from sole responsibility for children and family to coping, in many cases, with the reality of losing a loved one. A large number of women were recruited into jobs vacated by men, particularly in the armaments sector, while others threw themselves into projects such as the Comforts Fund in support of the troops.

Although prevented from serving on the front line, more than 3,000 Australian women also volunteered for active service as nurses, medical workers and ambulance drivers. Stationed in Europe, Britain, the Middle East and India, they worked in hospitals, on hospital ships and trains, or in casualty clearing stations close to the front lines where they were exposed to threats from artillery and bombing.

The nurses carried out their nursing duties with diligence and care, and were called upon to display extreme bravery.

On the night of 22 July 1917, the 2nd Australian Casualty Clearing Station near Armentières in France was targeted by a German bombing raid. In dangerous circumstances, Sisters Clare Deacon, Dorothy Cawood, Alice Ross-King and Staff Nurse Mary Derrer helped injured men escape from the Station’s burning remains.

Each nurse received the Military Medal – awarded to personnel for acts of gallantry and devotion to duty under fire.

In all, eight Australian nurses received this award during the course of the War. Tragically, 25 were killed while on active service, and four died in Australia from lingering injuries or illnesses.

Women in War – A Century of Service

One hundred years after nurses proved themselves to be an essential part of the military, Australia Post has issued a Stamp and Coin Cover entitled Women in War – A Century of Service. Displaying poignant historical imagery, it includes an Australian commemorative coin crafted by The Perth Mint in honour of our nurses’ achievements and sacrifices.

The image of Staff Nurse Ella McLean from Roma, Queensland is seen in the foreground of the commemorative $1 stamp. Originally working on home service at Kangaroo Point Military Hospital, she embarked on the Khiva in May 1917, serving first in India and then Egypt.

In the background is a photograph showing a woman knitting socks direct from the fleece of a sheep. The Australian Comforts Fund packed finished garments like these into bales and shipped them overseas for the troops.

The main envelope image shows nurses tending a ward of wounded troops in the 2nd Australian Casualty Clearing Station near Steenvoorde (about 30 kilometres from Armentières) on 30 November 1917. Most of the patients treated there were injured during the Third Battle of Ypres, where in eight weeks of fighting Australian forces incurred approximately 38,000 casualties.

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 Comments Off on Valiant nurses combine care and courage