Oct 252016
 

On this day in 1616, Dutch sea captain Dirk Hartog became the first known European to land on the west coast of the Australian continent.

Skipper of the East India Company vessel Eendracht, Hartog’ destination was Bantam, a trading city located in western Java. Using the ‘Roaring Forties’ to speed the ship’s voyage across the Indian Ocean, he strayed too far east – inadvertently running into ‘Terra Australis Incognita’ at what we know today as Shark Bay.

The expedition spent two days exploring the area. Before departing, Hartog left evidence of his landing in the shape of an inscribed pewter plate – thus creating the oldest European object ever found on Australian soil.

Dirk Hartog Australian Landing 1616 – 2016 Stamp and Coin Cover

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Celebrating the 400th anniversary of Hartog’s historic landing in western Australia, this stamp and coin cover features an official Australia Post $2.00 stamp cancelled with a postmark from Denham, the administrative town for the Shire of Shark Bay.

The superbly illustrated memento also includes an uncirculated Australian $1 coin portraying a representation of a view through a telescope of Dirk Hartog’s ship Eendracht and a compass rose.

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Apr 182016
 

This celebratory 90th Birthday Stamp and Coin Cover features a portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II wearing the Australian Golden Wattle diamond brooch – said to be one of her personal favourites. Made from gold and 150 white and yellow diamonds, the brooch was a gift from the people and government of Australia during the Queen’s 1954 Royal Visit – when she became the first reigning monarch to step foot on Australian soil.

As the spotlight falls on Her Majesty’s 90th birthday, here are nine more ‘Australian’ facts about The Queen, one for each of her nine decades.

  1. When in Australia, The Queen’s official title is Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God Queen of Australia and Her other Realms and Territories, Head of the Commonwealth.
  2. While travelling in Australia, The Queen uses a special Australian standard featuring the heraldic badges of each Australian state and the seven-pointed Commonwealth Star.
  3. Her Majesty’s wedding cake was made using ingredients donated by Australian Girl Guides in 1947.
  4. The Queen made a unique broadcast to people in remote communities over the Flying Doctor radio network from Alice Springs in 1963.
  5. The Queen’s Commendation for Brave Conduct was awarded to service personnel who disarmed a WWII German sea mine which washed up on the beach at Surfers Paradise in 1966.
  6. The first Royal ‘walkabout’ took place during The Queen’s Tour of Australia and New Zealand in 1970.
  7. The only time the Queen had to interrupt an overseas tour was in 1974, when she was called back from Australia to the UK due to a snap election.
  8. The Queen has been to Australia on 16 occasions, visiting every state, the two mainland territories, as well as the Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Norfolk Island.
  9. In 2011, she joined tens of thousands of people at a big Aussie barbecue in Perth prior to leaving the country for possibly the final time.

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Apr 052016
 

This year’s Three-Coin Set from our ANZAC Spirit 100th Anniversary coin series commemorates the bravery and sacrifice of those who fought on the Western Front during WWI, where more than 46,000 Australian men and women lost their lives.

Australia’s contribution to celebrations marking Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday includes three stunning legal tender tributes from The Perth Mint – each certain to be a sought-after numismatic souvenir of this historic occasion.

As the Queen turns 90, we’re also pleased to announce availability of an eye-catching Stamp & Coin Cover portraying Her Majesty wearing the Australian Golden Wattle brooch.

Extremely affordable, this year’s 0.5g Mini Roo coin presents the perfect opportunity for everyone to own a little gold.

Exemplifying outstanding numismatic design, the 2016 Wedge-tailed Eagle design by John Mercanti is now portrayed on special ‘high relief’ 1oz coins in pure gold and silver.

For the young at heart, the magical Disney Princess coin series now features adorable representations of Rapunzel and Tiana.

Meanwhile, make-believe never looked so beautiful than on the new Ocean Fairy coin!

Check out this month’s electronic bulletin and/or the links below for details of these and other new releases this April.

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Nov 022015
 

The Australian Territory of Christmas Island, named when it was discovered on Christmas Day 1643, is the inspiration behind this year’s Christmas Stamp & Coin Cover.

The vividly illustrated envelope features the Island’s famous red crabs and a red-necked frigatebird playfully portrayed in Santa hats! The crabs also appear in the shape of a Christmas tree on the Australia Post 65c stamp, suitably stamped with a Christmas Island WA 6798 post-mark.

The finishing touch is an uncirculated Australian $1 coin made by The Perth Mint with an equally vibrant illustration of Santa and his gift sack on a tropical beach.

The perfect memento of an Aussie-style Christmas, just 8,000 of these festive Stamp & Coin Covers will be issued.

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Sep 092015
 

Queen Elizabeth II today becomes Britain’s longest serving monarch.

Celebrating her historic achievement, this souvenir Stamp & Coin Cover incorporates an Australian $1 coin issued by The Perth Mint and two Australia Post stamps featuring famous photographic portraits of Her Majesty:

  • Cecil Beaton photographed Her Majesty on the royal family’s return to Buckingham Palace after the coronation service in Westminster Abbey on 2 June 1953. The dramatic depiction of the young Queen against a painted a backdrop of Henry VII’s Lady Chapel in Westminster Abbey was a significant departure from previous coronation portraits.
  • Peter Grugeon took the portrait of the Queen at a sitting on 1 January 1975, in the period leading up to her Silver Jubilee in 1977. Photographed in Buckingham Palace, the portrayal shows Her Majesty wearing the Grand Duchess Vladimir tiara and Queen Victoria’s golden jubilee necklace.

Highly collectable, the Stamp & Coin Cover also bears a postmark in the shape of the Garter Star which incorporates the words First day of issue | 9 September 2015 | Elizabeth, SA 5112.

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An affordable Australian tribute dated for the day on which The Queen set a new record, it would make a superb addition to any collection of Royal memorabilia.

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Jul 092015
 

On 1 July 1915, the Commonwealth of Australia officially accepted responsibility from the State Governments for all landfall and coastal lights around Australia.

Lighthouses have played a vital role in coastal navigation and safety since the earliest years of settlement. Within just a few years of the colony’s founding in 1788, convicts built Australia’s first marine light on South Head at the entrance to Sydney Harbour – a simple iron brazier suspended from a tripod.

A few years later, convict architect Francis Greenway designed Australia’s first proper lighthouse for the site. Named after the influential fifth Governor of New South Wales, it was an imposing design known as Macquarie Tower.

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The ‘Macquarie Tower’ Holey Dollar
On 11 July 1816, Governor Lachlan Macquarie placed a prime example of Australia’s first coinage – the Holey Dollar – under the foundation stone of his tower, which was completed two years later. Alas, due to poor quality of the locally mined sandstone from which it was built, Macquarie Tower had to be replaced by a similar lighthouse (above) in 1883. Its untimely demolition revealed the existence of the famous coin, which now reside in the collection of the Australian National Maritime Museum at Darling Harbour.

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More lighthouses were subsequently built around the Australian coast in direct response to shipwrecks in the treacherous waters of the Southern Ocean and the Tasman Sea. The King Island coastline in the Bass Strait, for example, claimed at least 60 vessels and 800 lives before the construction of lighthouses during the nineteenth century.

Prior to Federation in 1901, the six Australian colonies were responsible for the design and construction of their own lighthouses. Resulting in a variety of styles built from local materials such as granite, limestone and sandstone as well as concrete, the new Australian nation had a rich heritage of lighthouse architecture by the time the Commonwealth Lighthouse Service took over responsibility for the lights in 1915.

Today, Australia has more than 350 lighthouses along its coastline. On behalf of the Commonwealth Government, the Australian Maritime Safety Authority maintains more than 300 operational lighthouses and a further 200 other aids to navigation. In addition, AMSA seeks to preserve historic lighthouses and related marine artefacts for the community’s benefit.

100 Years of Commonwealth Management of Lighthouses – Stamp and Coin Cover

Issued by Australia Post, this superb Stamp and Coin Cover marks the centenary of the Commonwealth’s responsibility for lighthouses. Including an uncirculated Australian $1 coin struck by The Perth Mint, it features four official 70c stamps depicting historic and architecturally diverse Australian lighthouses.

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  • Cape Byron Lighthouse, NSW – constructed in 1901 from concrete blocks; Australia’s most easterly lighthouse and also its most powerful.
  • Cape Leeuwin Lighthouse, WA – constructed 1895-1896 from limestone; situated on the most south-westerly point on the mainland.
  • North Reef Lighthouse, QLD – completed 1878 from timber sheathed in galvanised iron; situated on a shifting sand bar.
  • Tasman Island Lighthouse, TAS – built in 1906 from cast iron plates; at 276 metres above high water, one of Australia’s highest lighthouses.

The coin’s reverse depicts a lighthouse set on a rocky cliff with waves lapping beneath it. From the lighthouse, a beam of light shines into the night sky. The design also includes the inscription CENTENARY OF THE AUSTRALIAN LIGHTHOUSE SERVICE and The Perth Mint’s ‘P’ mintmark.

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