Jul 152016
 

One of the curious things about koalas is the fact that they hug trees. After observing a group of koalas during hot weather, scientists say they have worked out why. Apparently, trunks of certain trees can be more than 5°C cooler than the surrounding air in extreme conditions. Incredibly, access to these trees can save about half the water a koala would need to keep cool on a hot day.

2016-Koala-graphic

This year’s Proof Issue from the Australian Koala gold proof coin series portrays a koala edging along a tree branch – maybe in search of a cool spot where it can take refuge from Australia’s intense summer sun!

Extremely Limited

The 2016 series includes 2oz and 1oz coins struck in superb high relief to extremely limited mintages of 150 and 500 respectively. The series also includes rare 1/4oz and 1/10oz versions, meticulously-crafted with the same koala design.

For more details about these and other cool Koala collectables, click here.

POST A COMMENT

 
Jul 122016
 

The world’s first coin featuring a significant red diamond from Rio Tinto’s iconic Argyle Pink Diamond Mine was unveiled at The Perth Mint today.

Crafted from 1 kilo of 99.99% pure gold, the one-of-a-kind Kimberley Treasure coin features a bounding ‘red kangaroo’ and a radiant 0.54 carat red diamond. Selected for the Argyle Pink Diamond Tender, the most exclusive diamond sale in the world, the specially cut gemstone is hand set between the animal’s front paws.

Officiating at the launch of the unique offering, the Premier of Western Australia, the Honourable Colin Barnett MLA, said that its creation was a great example of two local companies sharing a passion for quality craftsmanship and the State’s rarest and most valuable resources.

The-Premier-of-Western-Australia-the-Honourable-Colin-Barnett-MLA-with-The-Perth-Mints-Kimberley-Treasure-coin

“The Perth Mint and Rio Tinto’s Argyle Diamond Mine have both been at the hub of Western Australian industry for decades, so I am delighted to unveil a collector’s item which captures two of the most beautiful natural treasures of our State,” said Premier Barnett.

Valued at $1 million, the Australian legal tender Kimberley Treasure is the most breathtaking collaboration between the two organisations yet. Previous releases include a number of diamond-studded ingots and coins portraying symbolic representations of the Kimberley landscape.

The magnificent new coin is on display in The Perth Mint’s retail shop on Hay Street until late August. Persons interested in purchasing The Kimberley Treasure can acquire further details by calling +61 8 9421 7376.

POST A COMMENT

 
Jul 052016
 

Half sovereigns were produced by all three colonial branches of the Royal Mint opened in Australia during the 19th century. The very first issue, dated 1855, and the very last issue, dated 1918, represent two of the most valuable and sought-after gold coins in the history of Australian-made coinage.

In its inaugural year, the Sydney Mint struck just 21,000 half sovereigns. Each coin bore the distinctive ‘colonial’ reverse featuring St Edward’s crown, a laurel wreath and the word AUSTRALIA.

But few of these 1855 Sydney-made coins have survived in good condition, which fuels enormous interest on the rare occasions one comes to market.

By the time half sovereigns were struck in Perth, the Australian branch mints had permission to strike Imperial versions identical to those made in London – with the addition of distinguishing mintmarks.

The ultimate half sovereign year-date is the subject of much investigation. Records suggest The Perth Mint did not strike half sovereigns during 1918, but used dies of that year to strike 113,572 coins in 1919 and a further 106,416 in 1920.

Given 10 shilling notes had recently replaced half sovereigns, it’s likely they were struck for export where the majority was melted down. Evidence of surviving 1918 dates did not come to light until the 1970s and today it is estimated that between 200 and 300 pieces may have escaped destruction.

Australia Half Sovereign 2016 Gold Proof Coin

This modern 22-carat gold tribute embodies the spirit of Australia’s 1855 ‘S’ and 1918 ‘P’ half sovereigns. Struck by The Perth Mint in stunning proof quality to traditional specifications, its reverse combines key historical design elements first seen on Sydney coins of 1855 with a ‘P’ mintmark.

In keeping with the extreme rarity of its historic antecedents, no more than 1,500 of these coins will be released, each in a beautiful timber case befitting its significance as a reflection of Australia’s long association with half sovereign production.

POST A COMMENT

 
Jun 072016
 

New releases this June have been inspired by epic tales and achievements.

The ancestry of the Australian Stock Horse dates back to the arrival of the First Fleet in 1788. Bred for Australian conditions, more than 120,000 served in the First World War where their strength, stamina and courage earned them the reputation as one of the finest cavalry mounts in the world. Struck in superb proof quality, our 2016 Australian Stock Horse 5oz pure gold coin reflects its deeply rooted place in Australian history and folklore.

Almost 400 years ago, Dutch navigator Dirk Hartog left evidence of his exploration of the west Australian coast in the shape of an inscribed pewter plate – the oldest European object ever found on Australian soil. To commemorate the historic event, our Dirk Hartog Australian Landing high relief silver commemorative portrays the Eendracht, the East Indiaman that Hartog anchored near Shark Bay in October 1616 before charting the coast northwards.

In ancient Norse mythology, Thor was a hammer wielding God of Thunder who fought the terrifying serpent Jormungand. During their fatal final encounter, Thor killed the beast with his powerful war-hammer Mjollnir, but died shortly later from its venom. The second release from the exceptionally popular Norse Gods series of antiqued silver coins features a dramatic representation of their deadly encounter.

The Phantom is the hero of a long-running comic strip created by Lee Falk 80 years ago. Sworn to the destruction of piracy, greed, cruelty and injustice, the character has also been portrayed in other forms of media, including television, film, and video games. Celebrating his enduring popularity, The Phantom’s 80th Anniversary 1oz Silver Collectible is housed in a remarkable replica of Skull Cave, his secret hideout in the jungle of Bengalla.

June also sees the release of the 2016 Australian Kookaburra 1 Kilo Silver Proof Coin featuring a classic design of the world’s largest Kookaburra perched on a barbed-wire fence.

POST A COMMENT

 
May 162016
 

With the discovery of payable gold in 1851, Australia needed a way in which to convert its new-found riches into durable and portable wealth for colonial citizens. The first step in this journey was the establishment of a local mint.

Amid hot competition between New South Wales, Victoria, and South Australia, the former emerged triumphant in its bid to host the first overseas branch of the Royal Mint. The enabling legislation passed the British Parliament in 1853 and the Sydney Mint opened in the south wing of the old ‘Rum’ hospital on 14 May 1855.

Official backing to strike sovereign and half-sovereign gold coins in Australia came with major provisos. Initially at least, the coins would be legal tender only in the colonies. The colonial versions would also bear a non-standard design in order to prevent damaging the status of London-made coins should anything go wrong. In other words, the Sydney Mint was going to have to prove itself.

The very first Sydney sovereign was struck on 23 June 1855. Its reverse was akin to William Wyon’s design for British shillings – in essence an open wreath below a crown. Created by his eldest son, Leonard Charles Wyon, the face of the Sydney Type I sovereign, however, possessed several unique characteristics that made it unmistakably ‘Australian’.

SYDNEY MINT above the crown announced unequivocally that this was not a London-made coin. As if the point needed further emphasis, the inscription AUSTRALIA appeared under the crown! Unlike its renowned British counterpart, which displayed no denomination at all, the Type I also included ONE SOVEREIGN (or ONE HALF SOVERIGN) at the foot of the design.

2016GoldSovereign

Struck by The Perth Mint, the Australian Sovereign 2016 Gold Proof Coin pays tribute to the first colonial-made sovereign in the British Empire.

Customising the original Sydney sovereign reverse to read PERTH MINT, our modern adaptation pays tribute to this important part of Australia’s numismatic history. Like the original coin, it is struck from 91.67% pure gold (22-carat) and weighs 7.9881 grams. With its shiny proof quality finish, strict limited mintage of 1,500, and superb presentation packaging, the annual release for 2016 is a prestigious addition to any coin collection.

As it turned out, British concerns about the new Sydney Mint’s ability to produce sovereigns to their exactingly high standards were unfounded. The Australian-made coins have never been faulted, and by 1871 the Sydney Mint was permitted to strike the same design as the Royal Mint. The same rule applied to the Melbourne and Perth branches (opened in 1872 and 1899 respectively), the latter continuing the tradition for supreme quality to this day.

POST A COMMENT

 
May 092016
 

Screen-used costumes, props and other entertainment memorabilia have been achieving remarkable prices at auction. According to science fiction, fantasy and entertainment site borg.com, a blue uniform worn by Star Trek actor Leonard Nimoy sold recently for as astonishing US$84,000.

This month sees further interesting news for dedicated fans of the legendary franchise. In a move that has the potential to excite devotees of Star Trek memorabilia as well as precious metal collectors, The Perth Mint has announced a limited release of gold-pressed latinum slips.

Quark

“Never Allow Doubt to Tarnish Your Lust for Latinum” – the Ferengi are obsessed with Latinum.

In Star Trek: Deep Space Nine, latinum is a rare silver-coloured liquid prized by many civilizations in the Alpha Quadrant, particularly the Ferengi Alliance. In order that it can be used as a tradable currency, liquid latinum is suspended within gold or gold dust to form a variety of denominations – bricks, bars strips and slips. (The gold served only as a carrier for the latinum and was worthless to the Ferengi!)

Among Earthly collectors, interest in gold-pressed latinum is significant, with this blogger suggesting the price of genuine screen used examples has doubled “to the point where it costs almost as much as real gold!”

That’s fascinating because as a special addition to our Star Trek coin program, the Mint has crafted a maximum of 5,000 latinum slips plated in precisely that – real gold! Unfortunately, the difficulties of sourcing latinum proved insurmountable, so instead each one is actually filled with one solid ounce of 99.9% pure silver.

StarTrek-DeepSpaceNine-LatinumSlip-Silver-1oz-GoldPlated-InCase-LowRes

Like the coins, Deep Space Nine Gold-Pressed Latinum Slips are officially licensed products endorsed by CBS – an all-important factor for astute collectors. Each one is presented in a timber case with a numbered Certificate of Authenticity confirming the low quantity that will ever be released. A rare and unique Star Trek collectable, don’t hesitate to secure yours before the Ferengi attempt to corner the market!

TM & © 2015 CBS Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved

POST A COMMENT