May 182016

Share_Your_StoryCoin collecting might be considered an ‘old fashioned’ hobby, but modern collectables featuring pop culture icons like Doctor Who, Transformers and Star Trek are attracting the interest of more young people. Sioban from WA recently contributed this story about her interest in coins and how the recent purchase of a Star Wars release is helping to ignite a similar passion in her son.

“Over the last 2 years I have attempted to foster an interest in coin collecting in my two children.

While my daughter is really only interested in coins for their capacity to purchase wonderful pretty things, my son embraced the collecting idea, focusing firstly on fifty cent face coins. This appealed to him as we could find most of these coins in circulation with a little detective work and once friends and family knew that he was looking – coins started coming in like the jackpot of a slot machine.

It was not until we began working on this together that I realised how many fond memories I had of coin collecting as a child. Memories of the huge container my dad kept of the fifty cent coins ‘with the pictures on’ or the coins we received at school to mark the bicentennial.

I still have coins that were given to me when people returned from holidays; too small to bother exchanging; yet to me they seemed so exotic and special, from faraway lands.

My favourite thing in my collection, is a little coin purse my grandad gave me when we visited Ireland when I was twelve. I only got to meet my grandparents once, on that holiday. That little purse full of pennies is worth so much more than the metal they are cast from.


Delighted at the latest addition to his collection – Darth Junior with his new Star Wars coin.

_HanSoloNow my son and I look at the emails from the Perth Mint to see what new coins are coming (the wonders of this technological age) and I like to think that one day he will have warm memories of the two of us working on his collection; memories that are worth so much more – than money in the bank.”

Got an interesting personal story about coins purchased  from The Perth Mint? Then why not write for us?


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Oct 202014

Share_Your_StoryVisiting the laundry while living in the USA sounds like a curious way to get in to coins. Believe it or not, that’s exactly what sparked an enduring love of collecting for one Perth Mint customer. Here “MyTwoCents” recounts his story for The Perth Mint Blog.

“Coin collecting can be as simple or as complicated as you like. It can be inexpensive, such as looking through your pocket change and trying to save a dollar coin for each year since 1966, or more expensive such as bidding for special coins at auction.

For me, personally, it has to be about collections. One coin is not a collection. I like to collect coins that are part of a series and over the years I have made several (yet to be completed) attempts at collections, such as Australian Pennies or the ever-expanding range of 50 cent pieces.

It seems unusual, therefore, in hindsight that my first experience of purchasing coins online was not Australian. In the late 2000s, while doing some laundry in the USA, I noticed a map of the Hawaiian Islands on one of the quarters. It was quickly pocketed and I’m not ashamed to admit that doing laundry became exciting as I started to find more State quarters in my change.

Upon returning to Australia I had 35 of the 50 states (not yet realising there were also 6 territories to collect) and the thought of having to return to the USA to complete the collection led me to the internet.

US State quarters collection. Inset - the Hawaii coin.

US State quarters collection. Inset – the Hawaii coin.

I quickly realised that, for me coin collecting was an enjoyable challenge if three key criteria were met:

  1. The coins need to have personal interest – in my case it is historical (the year each state joined the union was printed on the reverse.
  2. There needs to be a fixed number to collect so that the collection can be complete. In this case there were 56 coins which seems a big number, but quarters are relatively small coins.
  3. The collecting project needs to be affordable. I realise this differs between collectors, but this instance was well within budget.

When the Perth Mint made the The ANZAC Spirit 100th Anniversary coin series available by subscription, I jumped at the opportunity the same day because, by my reckoning, it met all three criteria:

  • The coins tell a significant historical story that unfolded over a number of years. This means they have personal interest to any Australian, but particularly anyone who has had relatives or ancestors serve in the military.
  • Fifteen coins is a perfect number given their size and colouring. Storage will not be a problem while I work out how to display the collection more permanently.
  • At less than $200 per year, with payments 12 months apart, the project fits nicely within budget.

ANZAC_Spiri_coin-shipperI believe the ANZAC Spirit subscription program is one of the best collecting opportunities to ever be offered…

…and that is my two cents worth for today.”


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May 162013

Share_Your_StoryIt’s great to hear from a young coin collector who really knows his onions. A follower of The Perth Mint on Twitter, @Sharpy96 (aka Daniel) tells us that he’s aiming for the ultimate prize in Australian numismatics – a 1930 penny! There’s no doubting his determination to build a broad-based collection, as he reveals in this terrific reply to our invitation to Write for Us.

“When I tell my friends that I collect coins they all say one thing, what is the point in buying a coin that has a face value of $1.00. But what they refuse to understand is that there is a collectible market for them and they are not just your usual everyday coins.

After showing them some of the magic that the Royal Australian Mint and the Perth Mint has created, they have started to realize the true beauty that was behind the coins and the reason that I spend whatever money I have on enlarging my collection with one goal I’m mind – to eventually get a 1930 Penny, the crown jewel out of all Australian coins.

When I was eight years old I started to get interested in coins. My dad had a few sets including the 1991 Proof Set and the 1991 Masterpieces In Silver, and when I started to see the shininess of the proof coins I started to act like a magpie. I was attracted to the lustre, but not the true art that was pressed into the coin. As I got older I started to see that there was an art to creating such a perfect coin.

In 2009 I really got interested in collecting and that’s where my hobby really kicked off. I started saving up and buying 1oz silver proofs and a couple of uncirculated coins and now four years on I’m still enlarging my collection at the age of 16.


Daniel nominated this 1996 Australian Kookaburra as one of his favourite Perth Mint coins.

I also recently got introduced to professionally graded pre-decimal coins which although expensive are truly magnificent, and I recently started a collection of Florins which will take me a fair amount of time to complete. But I know that the end result will end in satisfaction and I will have a piece of history which will last me a lifetime.

As I have gotten older I have started to not only think of them as a collectible items but as pieces of history, knowing that some of my coins which have a very limited mintage may never be on the market again for me to try to collect.

And for pre-decimal coins, due to time and age damaging the precious coins that once would have been the necessary coins for a family to get food onto the table for their family, they start to become harder and harder to collect in high grades.

My number one piece of advice for young collectors would have to be don’t give up; other people may think you’re silly for buying some old coins but really you’re buying a piece of history that they will never see and will never know existed. So go out there and have a great time collecting your own unique collection.”


Apr 122013

Share_Your_StoryIt was a chance find by a young lad on a New Zealand beach that inspired his life long passion for coin collecting. Thanks Jim (name changed by request) for recounting your delightful story and becoming the second recipient of an Australian Mini Roo pure gold coin under our invitation to Write for Us.

“In 1980, I was seven years old. My parents rented a lovely house on a clifftop overlooking the East Coast Bays of Auckland, New Zealand, which had panoramic views of the sea. Every evening after school, I would spend hours on the beach, playing in the dunes and fossicking for crabs, sea-glass and limpets in the rock pools.

It was a late summer evening with the sun hanging low in the sky, when I happened upon an old Chinese “I Ching” coin half-submerged in the sand, right on the tide line. But to my juvenile eyes, it was nothing short of pirate’s gold! An exotic treasure cast up upon the shore, wet with sea-foam, and glinting in the fading light.

Later that night, the coin was hidden from sight in an impressive fortification I had made of Lego.


(Administrator note) In Chinese culture, these coins were used to tell a person’s fortune under the I Ching method of divination. They are round with a square hole, representing Heaven and Earth. One side of the coin denotes Yin, the other Yang. In feng shui the coins are said to bring prosperity and wealth.

From this early age, I was obsessed with coins. At the age of ten, I inherited a small collection from a man in his seventies… a family friend who recognised in me, the same passion he had nurtured in himself as a young man. I displayed them proudly – presenting them to my peers at school each individually sellotaped to large pieces of card that had been labelled in marker pen, written with a shaky hand.

More than thirty years have passed, and today, I now work just a stone’s-throw away from The Perth Mint. I visit regularly to peer through the glass counter-tops, and admire exquisite coins through the polished vitrines. I have amassed many coins from this Mint, and others I’ve visited around the world, but I have a soft spot for The Perth Mint Proof Australian Gold Sovereigns and the Silver Proof High Relief releases. They’re exceptional in both quality and design.

Whilst I regard my collection as a nice investment for the future, I feel preserving gold and silver coins is a fantastic way of recording a vivid snapshot of our culture and times.

I often think about my chancing upon the I Ching coin, and how it changed my life. The coin itself, unfortunately, has since been lost to time. I suspect it may turn up one day in an old piece of furniture at a garage sale somewhere, or in my old back yard in New Zealand… perhaps waiting to be plucked by the fingers of another boy, his mouth gawping in amazement, and with the glint of gold in his eyes.”


Oct 102012

Share_Your_StoryDanny K.took up our invitation to pen a blog article about his personal experiences as a coin collector. He’s been interested in coins, particularly gold coins, since the 1980s. As their values skyrocketed in line with the gold price, Danny couldn’t resist cashing in on his investment. But even though he made 100% profit, he was unhappy… he simply missed those beautiful gold coins too much!

“I’ve been collecting coins since the early 1980s. In my early collecting years I was a mere amateur. I didn’t even know the difference between XF and VF or which catalogues to consult. With time, I began to specialize in coins of Britain and its former colonies.

As I grew up, I focused on gold coins. It wasn’t that hard. The price of gold in the late 1990s was at rock bottom: less than US$250 per ounce. Coins that are worth hundreds of dollars today cost back then dozens of dollars. Experts even predicted that that was the end of the gold era. How ridiculous those predictions sound today… I remember well my 1762 George III quarter guinea that cost only $80 and a beautiful 10 Maltese pounds proof gold coin, the Zerafa flower, for which I paid $75.

When the price of gold began to soar after economic crisis, I thought it was a good opportunity to cash in. After all, the price of gold had reached $700 – almost tripling its price in less than a decade. I started selling my gold coins on eBay. A good friend of mine questioned the wisdom of selling my collection: “wouldn’t you miss these beautiful coins?” or “imagine how long it would take to build a new collection from scratch” he said. I didn’t heed his doubts and concerns. I knew best!

My coins did well on eBay. Most of them sold for twice the price that I had paid less than a decade earlier. I was mighty proud – not only had my collection kept its value, it actually yielded a nice profit of 100%. How many investments give you such a high profit in seven or eight years?

However, as my collection waned, my friend’s concerns became true. I regretted the whole affair. I wanted my 1762 third guinea back even with a premium! I missed the UNC silver French 5 francs. What on earth had I been thinking? To add insult to injury, the price of gold has more than doubled since 2007. Today, I’d have to pay hundreds of dollars to acquire a 1762 quarter guinea in VF condition. If that sounds a lot, consider what happened to the price of silver. It was around $7 in the late 1990s. Today it’s $35!

This experience has taught me several lessons:

  • Collect coins made of precious metals, regardless of their condition. Ideally they should all be UNC of course but even if you can only afford a humble VF, this is still a fine investment because your coins will always be worth at least as much as their bullion value.
  • There’s no upper limit when it comes to the price of gold. If $1700 per ounce sounds too high, wait until it reaches $2500 and $3000.
  • Finally, don’t sell your collection or parts of it. You will regret that sooner than you think.
  • It’s taken me several years to acquire new coins for my new collection. I‘m still looking for that 1974 proof Zerafa flower coin and the silver 5 francs, though.”

Submitted by Danny K, Israel.


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