Jul 102015
 

MeninGate_LestWeForget

The Perth Mint’s ANZAC Spirit Lest We Forget 1 kilo silver proof coin was presented to the Last Post Association by the Returned and Services League at a memorial event at Menin Gate in Ypres, Belgium, on 9 July 2015. The ceremony, which has taken place daily since 1928, included the playing of the Last Post for the 30,000th time. It is the intention of the Last Post Association to perform this traditional final salute to the fallen as an act of homage to Allied soldiers killed during the Great War in perpetuity.

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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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Jul 082015
 

The third Star Trek coin release focuses on the 24th century adventures of Captain Benjamin Sisko, commander of the Deep Space 9 space station.

Sisko’s mandate was to protect nearby Bajor, which had been the victim of a brutal Cardassian occupation. But with the discovery of a nearby wormhole – a shortcut through space that led directly to the uncharted Gamma quadrant – his mandate expanded significantly, as the region attracted all manner of visitors, both friendly and extremely hostile.

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Star Trek: Deep Space Nine debuted in 1993 and ran for seven seasons until 1999. Darker than its predecessors The Original Series and The Next Generation, it was noted for well-developed characters, dense and original plots, an emphasis on religious and war themes, and the only black captain in the Star Trek universe to play chief protagonist.

The show achieved major critical success, being nominated for Emmy Awards in every year of its run – taking out top prizes for special visual effects, title theme music and makeup. The show’s more complex and hauntingly different storylines helped Deep Space Nine appeal to whole new audiences, further expanding Star Trek’s international fan base.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – Captain Benjamin Sisko 1oz Silver Proof Coin

DeepSpaceNine_SiskocoinBorn in 2332 in New Orleans, Captain Benjamin Sisko (Avery Brooks) joined Starfleet Academy in 2350 where he studied to be an engineer. When Jennifer, his wife and mother of Jake was killed during the Battle of Wolf 359, Sisko objected to his assignment on Deep Space 9, telling Starfleet he would prefer an Earth assignment for the sake of his son. Nevertheless, Sisko was a successful captain, admired for his strength in strategic and operational military planning, as well as engineering. A man of action with a bold, no-nonsense persona, his character epitomized conviction and passion.

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine – Deep Space 9 1oz Silver Proof Coin

DeepSpaceNine_SpaceshipDeep Space 9 was a mining and refining station built by the Cardassians during their occupation of Bajor. Soon after their retreat, Starfleet took control of the space station at the request of the Bajoran government. In 2372, the station’s weapons upgrade included several new phaser and photon torpedo banks, further equipping it to police a region that had become a bustling hub of commercial, scientific and strategic significance due to the discovery of the Bajoran wormhole.

Available individually, both can also be acquired in the 2015 Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Captain Benjamin Sisko & Deep Space 9 1oz Silver Proof Two-Coin Set.

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TM & © 2015 CBS Studios Inc. All Rights Reserved

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Jul 072015
 

The Perth Mint is celebrating the 150th anniversary of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (commonly shortened to Alice in Wonderland).

The children’s classic was written by Charles Lutwidge Dodgson under the pen name Lewis Carroll. A lecturer at Oxford University, Dodgson possessed a remarkable range of talents. A skilled mathematician, logician and pioneering photographer, he also invented a wealth of word games and puzzles.

His famous fictional character was inspired by 10 year-old Alice Liddell, the daughter of Henry George Liddell, Dean of Christ Church, Oxford, where he lived, taught and wrote.

Dodgson often took Alice and her sisters rowing on the Thames. During these boat trips and accompanying picnics, he would make up fantastical tales to entertain the girls. One summer’s day in July 1862 he told them the story that would become Alice. His young companion was so delighted the main character bore her name that she asked him to write it down.

Illustrated under the author’s guidance by Punch cartoonist John Tenniel, it tells of a young girl whose curiosity is sparked when she sees a talking White Rabbit run past her as she is sitting with her sister on the riverbank. Alice follows it down a rabbit hole into a fantasy world populated by all manner of peculiar humans and anthropomorphic creatures.

Alice was popular almost from the moment it was published. But it seems Dodgson wanted to keep his success as a fiction writer separate from his professional life. His literary double is the first two parts of his name translated into Latin (Carolus Ludovicus), then loosely re-translated and presented in reverse order. He reputedly refused letters sent to “Lewis Carroll, Christ Church, Oxford”, claiming no such person lived there!

In print ever since its release in 1865, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland made the genre of literary nonsense a worldwide phenomenon. Subsequently translated into about 170 languages and adapted for at least 20 films and TV shows, this sesquicentennial represents a major opportunity to celebrate its ground-breaking significance and enduring appeal.

150th Anniversary of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland 2015 1oz Silver Proof Coin

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The coin’s reverse design portrays Aleysha Howarth’s interpretation of Tenniel’s original Alice, White Rabbit and Cheshire Cat.

Issued as legal tender of Tuvalu, no more than 5,000 of these coins will be released in individual presentation packaging.

150th Anniversary of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland 2oz Silver Antiqued Clock Coin

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The coin’s reverse incorporates a miniature clock depicting a White Rabbit encircled by the inscription “Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be late!” Storyline motifs re-imagined by Aleysha Howarth with an ‘antiqued’ finish complete the design.

Issued as legal tender of Tuvalu, no more than 2,500 of these coins will be released in individual presentation packaging.

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Jul 072015
 

PrinceGeorge_anagramThird in line to the throne, HRH Prince George was born in London on 22 July 2013. A joyous event for millions of Royal Family fans around the world, his birth was celebrated by The Perth Mint with this 1oz silver proof coin.

Can you decipher this month’s anagram for your chance to add this special tribute to your collection – and celebrate Prince George’s second birthday in Royal style?

Clue: Seat of learning and source of Royal title!

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How to enter:
Email your answer to anagram@perthmint.com.au marking your reply ‘July 2015 Anagram Competition’ in the subject line. Please include your name, address and telephone number. Entries close on 3 August 2015. Eligible entrants will be included in the free draw and the winner will be notified by telephone or email. Terms and conditions.

See us on Facebook and Twitter for notification of anagrams and other great coin competitions.

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Last month’s winner: Congratulations to Robyn Moriconi of Western Australia for the correct answer to June’s anagram – ‘Spiny Anteater’.