Blog Team

The Perth Mint Blog Team has its finger on the pulse! We work in marketing, PR and creative services. So if there’s anything newsworthy or novel happening around The Perth Mint, we’re here to make sure you hear about it first!

Nov 202017
 

A royal wedding is cause for much rejoicing. When Prince William married Kate Middleton in 2011, a million people lined the procession route in London to glimpse the newlyweds while many more around the world watched on television.

Arguably, the marriage of the Prince’s grandmother, Queen Elizabeth, was one of the most welcome and celebrated royal weddings in history.

In 1947, the nation was still recovering from World War II. Austerity was tough for the people of Britain’s bomb-damaged cities. Drab clothes, endless queues and limited food supplies dominated everyday life.

In this atmosphere, the marriage of Princess Elizabeth to Lieutenant Philip Mountbatten provided blissful relief from years of worry and deprivation. Cheerful crowds gathered in London on the cold morning of 20 November, their unbridled joy erupting in a thunder of cheers as the bride’s coach headed towards Westminster Abbey.

After the ceremony, the throng’s good natured enthusiasm reached fever pitch, at one point causing the police to temporarily lose control as the crowd burst through the cordon into Buckingham Palace forecourt.

Throughout the Commonwealth, millions of adoring supporters also celebrated the glamorous couple’s nuptials thanks to live radio broadcasts and the new medium of television.

Despite the pageantry, the royal couple were very aware of their people’s hardships. Here are seven interesting examples of how Princess Elizabeth and the Duke of Edinburgh showed solidarity with the people on their big day.

Seven remarkable facts about the Queen’s wedding

  • Princess Elizabeth paid for material in her wedding dress with the aid of ration coupons.
  • The future Queen did her own makeup for the wedding.
  • When her borrowed diamond tiara broke on the morning of the wedding, repairs were quickly made by the court jeweller.
  • Philip is said to have brushed off his naval uniform for the occasion and worn darned socks.
  • The guest list for the wedding breakfast comprised a mere 150 people.
  • Pieces of the couple’s wedding cake, made from ingredients donated by the Australian Girl Guides, were distributed to school children and institutions.
  • The bride and groom also instructed that 500 cases of tinned pineapples received as a wedding present from the Government of Queensland should be directed to the people.

Juicy pineapple from the Sunshine State must have been an unimaginable luxury for the hungry folk lucky enough to taste it!

70th Anniversary of the Royal Wedding
2017 Silver, Gold and Platinum Proof Coins

After 70 years of marriage, The Perth Mint is proud to mark Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip’s platinum wedding anniversary with four unashamedly lavish Australian commemorative coins featuring designs approved by the Queen.

Immaculately struck in proof quality from 1oz of 99.99% pure silver, 2oz of 99.99% pure gold, 1/4oz of 99.99% pure gold and 2oz of 99.95% pure platinum, each coin portrays the Royal Coat of Arms of the United Kingdom alongside the shield from the Coat of Arms of His Royal Highness Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

As well as St Edward’s Crown, the intricate design also includes a floral display representing the symbolic rose, thistle, daffodil and shamrock.

Housed in presentation packaging, the releases are restricted to limited mintages of 5,000, 350, 750, and 250 respectively.

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Nov 172017
 

In Star Trek, the Klingons are an extraterrestrial humanoid warrior species who speak forcefully in a harsh, guttural language. Despite its disagreeable sound, ‘Klingonese’ has developed an extraordinary following in real-life.

Although the Klingon language was mentioned in the early Star Trek episode The Trouble with Tribbles (1967), it wasn’t until Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979) that the first words were spoken on screen. The subsequent development of Klingon into a fully-fledged language and the growing numbers of fans who speak it fluently reflects the enormous impact of the sci-fi classic’s impact on audiences worldwide.

The first Klingon words were devised by actor James Doohan (“Scotty”). For Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984), director Leonard Nimoy and writer-producer Harve Bennett wanted the Klingons to speak in a structured way instead of random words, and so commissioned a more authentic script based on the phrases Doohan had originated.

The task was undertaken by Marc Okrand, a language expert with a Ph.D. in Linguistics from the University of California, Berkeley. His new vocabulary and grammar were enthusiastically embraced by actor Christopher Lloyd (Captain Kruge) who impressed Okrand with his desire to get the pronunciation right, know what the words meant and how the sentences fitted together.

Okrand’s The Klingon Dictionary (1985), which described many aspects of the Klingon language, achieved sales of more than 300,000. In 1992 he released the audio book Conversational Klingon featuring Michael Dorn, the actor who played Worf. Among his follow up books The Klingon Way: A Warrior’s Guide is regarded by fans as a canonical source of the alien language.

Okrand says he never imagined people would study it so seriously or learn it so well that they could actually carry on conversations!

The Klingon Institute (KLI), founded in 1992 by fellow academic Lawrence M. Schoen, offers online courses and holds an annual conference providing lessons, lectures and exercises for those wishing to speak Klingonese. The KLI also runs several projects to promote the language, including the translation into Klingon of the Bible and works by Shakespeare.

Antiqued silver coin portraying Worf, the first Klingon officer to join Starfleet.

Today, Klingon is probably the most fully developed fictional language in the world. Fans use it to conduct marriage ceremonies and to write songs. A Klingon Christmas Carol, based on the famous novella by Charles Dickens, is performed regularly in the United States. An opera in the Klingon language premiered in The Hague in 2010.

In Australia, the Jenolan Caves in the Blue Mountains became the first attraction to offer guided tours in Klingon after the Sydney-class starship U.S.S. Jenolan appeared in an episode of The Next Generation.

In art, in advertising, even in television series and movies that have nothing to do with Star Trek, Klingon is now so extensively used that you might call it the first ‘universal’ language.

tlhlngan maH!
[We are Klingons!]

Click here to see more coins from the authorised Star Trek coin program.

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Nov 172017
 

Running for 178 episodes over seven seasons, The Next Generation followed the 24th century adventures of Captain Jean-Luc Picard and his crew on board the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701-D.  Together they encountered old enemies turned allies such as the Romulans and the Klingons, while confronting several new species including the Ferengi, the Cardassian and the Borg.

Fans of the show quickly became enamoured with the first Klingon to join Starfleet – Lieutenant Commander Worf, who was introduced in the first episode of The Next Generation. Funnily enough Worf was never intended to be a regular character on the show, but his popularity proved so great that he went on to appear in all five films and 272 television episodes of the hit Star Trek franchise.

American actor Michael Dorn appeared as Worf more times as a regular cast member than any other Star Trek actor.

The Klingons were an extra-terrestrial humanoid warrior species who initially appeared in The Original Series as antagonists of the Enterprise crew. By The Next Generation they had become a close ally of humanity and the United Federation of Planets.

Worf was born in 2340 on Qo’noS (home of the Klingon race) as the son of Mogh, where he remained until his parents moved to the Khitomer colony five years later.

Worf was orphaned during the attack by the Romulans on the Khitomer post. He was rescued by the U.S.S. Intrepid and taken in by Starfleet’s Chief Petty Officer, Sergey Rozhenko, who raised him on the planet Gault surrounded by humans. Despite this, Worf thought of himself as a Klingon at heart and his mannerisms, personality and sense of honour were more reminiscent of his heritage. In 2357 he joined Starfleet Academy, graduating in 2361 to become the first Klingon officer Starfleet had ever had.

Star Trek: The Next Generation – Lieutenant Commander Worf
2017 2oz Silver Proof Antiqued Coin

Celebrating the 30th anniversary of The Next Generation this silver antiqued coin features the Star Trek: The Next Generation 30th Anniversary logo and Lieutenant Commander Worf alongside the Klingon insignia. The design includes the well-known Klingon motto ‘It is a good day to die’™, written in the Klingon language.

Struck from 99.99% pure silver this stunning collectable has a maximum mintage of 1,701 and is presented in a Star Trek inspired case transporter machine which lights up when the lid is opened.

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Nov 102017
 

Glenn Burghall has been researching connections between Britain’s 1928 Armistice Anniversary medallion and the Shrine of Remembrance, Melbourne. In this timely contribution, Glenn reveals how the famous medallion came to be on permanent display at one of Australia’s most important war memorials.


Keen eyed visitors to Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance may have noticed two large medals mounted at the entrance to the Inner Shrine, also known as the Sanctuary.

They are in fact the obverse and reverse of Charles Doman’s Armistice Anniversary medal, struck by the British Royal Mint for issue in 1928. Portraying Edwin Lutyens’ Cenotaph in Whitehall, and a figure of Britannia supporting a young warrior with a sheathed sword, just 7,000 of these medals were produced in a variety of metals.

Few are known to have reached Australian shores. Among those that did, versions are held by The Perth Mint and by Museum Victoria, but the precious silver examples to be found at Melbourne’s Shrine of Remembrance probably have a more interesting history.

These are the medals that were presented to the committee overseeing the construction of the Shrine in 1930 by the then Deputy-Master of the Melbourne Branch of the Royal Mint, W.M. Robins.

Image: Glenn Burghall

Robins had high regard for Doman’s work, noting the common meaning in the medal design and the intended purpose of the new Shrine. In the new era of peace, those who had served in the War were to be supported, while those who gave their lives were honoured and remembered.

According to Robins1, the medal “was beautiful in conception and elegant in execution and design”. So impressed was he by the symbolism that he suggested to General Sir John Monash that Doman’s “exquisite production” should be incorporated in some way in the decorative scheme of the Shrine. The suggestion was favourably received and subsequently approved.

It is appropriate that the face of the medal depicting the Cenotaph is mounted closest to Melbourne’s city centre. Here, on the steps of the Parliament in Spring Street, a half-sized replica Cenotaph made of plaster and wood was erected prior to the Anzac Day Parade of 1926. In the years before the completion of a permanent memorial, this temporary structure played an important role in the community’s commemorations.

Image: Glenn Burghall

Though the Whitehall Cenotaph is inscribed with the words ‘THE GLORIOUS DEAD’, Doman preferred the biblical inscription ‘THEIR NAME LIVETH FOR EVERMORE’ for his medal. These words are also found on Stone of Remembrance monuments at Commonwealth battlefield cemeteries all across the Western Front. Thus he adeptly linked the final resting places of the fallen to the memorial at home where Australians went to grieve and remember them.

Newspapers in Australia featured widespread coverage of the Royal Mint’s release of the Armistice Anniversary medal, providing detailed descriptions of Doman’s designs and their meaning. It is worth noting that the sculptor’s initials ‘C.L.J.D.’ appeared on an early version of his depiction of the Cenotaph. They were removed from his final rendition, however, resulting in the work being incorrectly attributed to another artist.

1  Royal Mint’s 60th Annual Report (1929)

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Nov 082017
 

Lucky numbers play an important role in the lives of many Chinese people. The symbolic importance of certain numbers helps them select key dates such as weddings, and makes them highly desirable in house, telephone and registration numbers.

The number eight is regarded as the luckiest of all numbers in Chinese culture. Some will recall that the opening ceremony of the Olympic Games in Beijing began at eight minutes and eight seconds past eight o’clock on the eight day of the eighth month in 2008.

This numerological belief can be explained by the fact that in Chinese the word ‘eight’ (Ba) sounds similar to ‘prosperity’ (Fa). The number also exhibits perfect symmetry, which is significant in Feng Shui, the Chinese philosophical system of harmonising with the environment.

Dragon 8 Coin 2018 2oz Silver Antiqued Coin

Intent on introducing innovative coin concepts, The Perth Mint is delighted to unveil quite possibly the most auspicious of all coins for anyone who regards eight as a symbol of good fortune and wealth.

Struck in the shape of the propitious number, the world-first coin was designed and produced entirely by the Mint’s skilled craftspeople who overcame many technical challenges in its development.

Comprising 2oz of 99.99% pure silver, the stunning result portrays two finely designed dragons – divine mythical creatures symbolising strength, wealth and good fortune – with an exclusive ‘antiqued’ finish.

To add even more significance to this stunning release, it is subject to a maximum mintage of just 8,888 coins.

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Nov 072017
 

Greek mythology can be defined as a collection of stories about the gods, goddesses, heroes and rituals of the ancient Greeks. The legendary tales were once an integral part of everyday life, used to explain everything from religious rituals to the weather, or to provide justification of social or political institutions.

Passed down over hundreds of generations, today they remain an important part of Greek culture and are recognised for their profound influence on western civilisation as a whole.

Gods of Olympus 12-Coin Set

At the centre of Greek mythology is the pantheon of deities who lived on Mount Olympus – the ‘12 Olympians’.

The Gods of Olympus 12-Coin Set is an extraordinary release featuring richly illustrated portrayals of the most famous Greek gods and goddesses. Each coin is struck in high relief from 2oz of 99.9% pure silver with an antique finish giving it the appearance of an age-old artefact.

The “12 Olympians”

  • Zeus – supreme ruler of Mount Olympus
    The coin shows Zeus sitting on a throne with an eagle perched on his right hand and a lightning bolt, which he used as a weapon, in his left.
  • Hera – goddess of women and marriage, queen of the Olympians
    Hera, the wife of Zeus, is portrayed on a throne wearing a cylindrical polos crown, with her symbols including a pomegranate and three peacocks.
  • Poseidon – god of the sea
    Armed with his trident, Poseidon is depicted emerging from the waves in a chariot pulled by two sea-horses known as hippocampi.
  • Demeter – goddess of agriculture and harvest
    Demeter is portrayed collecting grapes while also holding a scythe amid a wheat crop in which there are two chickens.
  • Athena – goddess of wisdom, patron of the city of Athens
    Depicted with a spear and a shield with Medusa’s head on it, Athena is shown with an owl on her shoulder in front of a temple amid olive trees.
  • Apollo – god of music, healing and medicine, the sun and light, and truth
    Apollo is seen playing his golden lyre in a garden where the nymph Daphne, subject of his unrequited love, is transformed into a laurel tree.
  • Artemis – goddess of chastity, virginity, the hunt, the moon, and the natural environment
    Drawing a bow and arrow, Artemis in depicted in the forest at night against the moon and stars with a large stag in the background.
  • Ares – god of war, and the son of Zeus and Hera
    In the midst of a raging battle, Ares is pictured in full body armour holding the staff of his weapon and a large shield.
  • Aphrodite – goddess of love, pleasure and beauty
    In a visual reference to her birthplace, the beautiful Aphrodite is illustrated sitting on a rock with her sacred swans nearby.
  • Hephaestus – god of fire, blacksmiths, sculptors, metallurgy, volcanoes and architecture
    Son of Zeus and Hera, and husband of Aphrodite, Hephaestus is shown hammering a sword on a blacksmith’s anvil.
  • Hermes – god of trade, eloquence, and a messenger of the gods
    Running through the sky, Hermes is portrayed with his kerykeion or staff, leather messenger pouch, winged traveller’s hat and talaria or winged sandals.
  • Hestia – goddess of the hearth, home, family, domestic life and architecture
    Seen kneeling in front of a kitchen fire, the kind and forgiving Hestia is surrounded by pots and pans containing a variety of foods.

Limited Availability

Presented in a luxurious black presentation box containing three trays of four coins, this superb release is limited to a maximum mintage of only 1,000 sets.

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