Jul 032014
 

July marks the start of the new financial year and to start things off with a bang The Perth Mint is releasing a stunning array of new coins.

Australian Kangaroo 2014 25th Anniversary Gold Proof Coins (individual 1oz and 1/4oz gold proof coins, and five-coin set)

 2014 Australian Megafauna – Megalania 1oz Silver Proof Coin

2014 Australian Outback 1/2oz Silver Coloured Coin Collection

2014 Australian Kangaroo 1oz Silver Proof High Relief Coin

Chinese Astrological Series 2014 Year of the Horse - Prosperity 1/2oz Silver Proof Coin

Chinese Astrological Series 2014 Year of the Horse 1/2oz Silver Proof Coin Set

2014 Mini Koala 0.5g Gold Coin

2014 Young Collectors Superpowers Series Flight $1 Coin

Browse the electronic bulletin above for details of these and other recent releases including Australia’s official commemorative coins of the 2014 FIFA World Cup™.

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Jun 032014
 

The numismatic year is flying and we mark the halfway point in 2014 with some truly amazing new coins!

Transformers: Age of Extinction 2014 1oz Silver Proof Coins: three silver lenticular coloured commemoratives portraying iconic Transformers Optimus Prime, Bumblebee and Lockdown.

Australian Koala 2014 Gold Proof Coin Series: made from 99.99% pure gold, this year’s superb trio includes two spectacular high relief issues.

The Land Down Under – Great Barrier Reef 1/4oz Gold and 1oz Silver Proof Coins: Australia’s world famous coral attraction is celebrated on two new coin sizes.

Australian Vintage Travel Poster – Kangaroo 2014 1oz Silver Proof Rectangular Coin: a new annual series gets under way with an iconic kangaroo image created by renowned artist and designer Dame Eileen Mayo.

Australian Koala 2014 5oz Silver Proof High Relief Coin: one of Australia’s most loved marsupials shines on this extraordinary detailed release.

Gods of Olympus – Poseidon 2oz Silver High Relief Coin: the second of three uniquely styled coins portrays a beared Poseidon riding the waves on his chariot.

Mother’s Love – Giraffe 2014 1/2oz Silver Proof Coin: the third release in this lovable series features a mother giraffe and her calf.

Deadly and Dangerous – Spider Hunting Scorpion 2014 1oz Silver Proof Coin: the ninth coin in the series portrays a unique Australian scorpion that preys on burrowing spiders.

Horses of Lore and Legend 2014 1oz Silver Proof Three-Coin Set: six legendary horses appear on this first set in a captivating new series.

King George V – Centenary of Stamps 2014 1/2oz Silver Proof Stamp and Coin Set: a limited-edition stamp-shaped coin comes together with a 70c stamp to commemorate the 100th anniversary of King George V stamps.

Young Collectors Super Powers Series – Cybernetics 2014 $1 Coin in Card: the fourth superhero in this series combines organic and mechanical parts for enhanced skills and strength.

Doctor Who Monsters – Sontarans 2014 1/2oz Silver proof Coin: the final of five coins celebrating the enormously successful BBC series portrays an aggressive clone-warrior from Sontar.

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May 062014
 

May promises to be another amazing month for new coin releases! See the full range of new issues inside the electronic bulletin now or click the individual links below.

Treasures of the World – Australia 2014 1oz Gold & Silver Proof Locket Coins with Gold – showcasing Earth’s abundance of natural riches, these coins have gold granules encased in a transparent circular locket.

Disney – Steamboat Willie 2014 1/4oz Gold & 1oz Silver Proof Coins – we have extremely limited supplies of these delightful collector coins portraying Mickey Mouse in Steamboat Willie. (Unavailable online – please call).

Australian Wedge-Tailed Eagle 2014 5oz Silver Proof High Relief Coin & 1oz Silver Proof Coin – enjoy the latest additions to the Wedge-Tailed Eagle suite of releases featuring John Mercanti’s classic portrayal of Australia’s largest bird of prey.

Australian Megafauna – Thylacoleo 2014 1oz Silver Proof Coin – the fourth coin in our series featuring Australia’s ancient Megafauna portrays a giant marsupial lion.

100th Anniversary of Australian Red Cross 2014 1oz Silver Proof Coin and 2014 Stamp and Coin Cover – we’re delighted to present these stunning commemoratives celebrating Australian Red Cross, which has played a vital role in the Australian community for 100 years.

Doctor Who Monsters – Silurians 2014 1/2oz Silver Proof Coin – the fourth coin in this popular series portrays reptilian humanoids known as Silurians.

Mini Kookaburra 2014 0.5g Gold Coin – this cute release is the first ever Mini Kookaburra!

150th Anniversary of AB “Banjo” Paterson 2014 Stanp and Coin Cover – The Perth Mint and Australia Post are proud to present this magnificent tribute to the lifelong achievements our most famous bush poet.

ANZAC Centenary – Declaration of World War I 2014 Stamp and Coin Cover – another joint presentation from The Perth Mint and Australia Post, this issue marks the historic moment when Australians faced the most desperate conflict ever imagined.

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Apr 152014
 

WavyBaseline20cThe 1966 wavy baseline 20 cent coin is counted among Australia’s rarest decimal coins issued for circulation. Although 58.2 million 20 cent coins were struck dated 1966, very, very few of these feature what collector’s describe as a ‘wavy baseline’.

The way to identify the wavy baseline 20 cent coin is to look at the bottom section of the “2″ on the tails side. The top and bottom edges of the base of the “2″ on all standard 20 cent coins are straight, while on the 1966 wavy baseline 20 cent coin, the upper edge of the base of the “2″ has an obvious wave to it.

This seemingly minor, yet quite distinct difference really sets this coin aside from all of the other coins injected into the Australian economy following the introduction of decimal currency on February 14th, 1966. Well-circulated coins dated 1966 can still be found in change nearly half a century later, whereas the 1966 20 cent with the wavy baseline is very seldom seen in any condition at numismatic auctions.

Wavy_Baseline_comparison

Coins relating to the introduction of decimal currency are hugely popular with the general public – scores of the round 50 cent coins have been hoarded, many thousands of proof and mint sets from 1966 were sold also. Very few collectors will have such an exclusive and intriguing memento relating to the introduction of decimal currency as this however.

Just what the cause of this design difference is not yet clear – debate is still underway as to whether the wave is due to one or two dies being engraved slightly differently to all others, or whether another explanation might be appropriate.

It is interesting to note online discussions of a design anomaly on several coins in the USA that may or may not be relevant to the 1966 wavy baseline – those coins are known as having “wavy steps” or “trails”.

US numismatists that have studied these coins in great detail advise that such errors come about when dies are being created:

“When a blank, conical die is placed in the hubbing press a huge amount of pressure is applied to it. This effectively transfers the image that is on the hub (either master hub or working hub), through compression, to the die. Without atypical conditions occurring horizontal movement between the hub and the die is not produced and the result is a normal image being transferred to the die. However, at times faults do occur and the results lead to an imperfect image transfer.”

The trail die and wavy step errors seen on US coins are far, far less obvious than the wavy baseline seen on the 1966 20 cent, so this explanation may well be a red herring. Regardless, I expect that there will be a lot more investigation in the coming months into the technical cause of the design difference on this exclusive and fascinating memento from the heady days of the introduction of decimal currency to Australia.

First published by Sterling & Currency
For sale: TWENTY CENT 1966 Wavy Baseline Choice Unc

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Apr 012014
 

WHAT’S NEW – In April we bring you the following new coin releases -

Australian Sovereign 2014 Gold Proof Coin: our customised version of the original Sydney Mint Sovereign is made from the traditional 91.67% pure gold with a spectacular modern-day proof finish.

Centenary of Australian Submarines 2014 1oz Silver Proof Coin & Replica Badge Set: a superb release comprising an Australian coin and enamel badge to celebrate the Royal Australian Navy Submarine Service’s historic milestone.

Land Down Under – Great Barrier Reef 2014 2oz Gold & 5oz Silver Special Editions: large format coins featuring one of Australia’s natural wonders – the incomparable reef bathed in Queensland’s translucent tropical waters.

The Australian Stock Horse 2014 1oz Silver Proof Coin: the second Stock Horse release has a fine pedigree after the phenomenal success of its predecessor.

The Limited Edition Argyle Pink Diamond 1oz Pink Gold & 1oz Platinum Ingots: breathtaking creations featuring handset pink diamonds in 91.67% pure pink gold and 99.95% pure platinum.

Australian Koala 2014 1 Kilo Silver Proof Coin: this giant Koala coin is a wonder to behold!

Australian Kookaburra 2014 1oz Silver Proof High Relief Coin: the Kookaburra coin is a standout!

Mother’s Love – Asian Elephant 2014 1/2oz Silver Proof Coin: the second heart-warming release from this wonderfully loveable new series.

Doctor Who Monsters – Cybermen 2014 1/2oz Silver Proof Coin: beware – another one of Doctor Who’s deadly enemies is here!

Young Collectors Super Powers Series 2014 Invisibility $1 Coin: another mind-boggling release from the series with the power to fire imagination.

Plus: exclusive Sovereign Sets and Baby Keepsake.

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Mar 042014
 

WHAT’S NEW – there’s so much to report this month!

Australian Posters of World War I: a timely five-year series of rectangular-shaped silver proof coins which begins with Enlistment, portraying ‘A Call from the Dardanelles’.

100 Years of Australian Military Aviation: a silver proof commemorative marking the centenary of the first flight of an Australian military aircraft – the Bristol Military Biplane.

450th Anniversary of William Shakespeare: an extremely limited 5oz silver proof issue incorporating a special ‘spiral’ illustration of the immortal bard.

Australia Map Shaped Series – Koala: the penultimate release from this unique program of silver proof coins portraying native wildlife.

Doctor Who Monsters: a series of 1/2oz silver proof coins portraying five terrifying aliens – now including the Daleks and Weeping Angels.

Charlie Chaplin – 100 Years of Laughter: special gold and silver releases celebrating the much-admired comic genius.

Australian Antarctic Territory – Wandering Albatross:  the latest silver proof release from a popular series studying the history and wildlife of Earth’s southern polar region.

Australian Megafauna – Genyornis: the third of five releases portraying giant, extinct animals that once inhabited Australia.

Super Senses: the inaugural release in our new Superpower Series from the Young Collectors program.

PLUS two Coin Show Specials.

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