Apr 022014
 

RAN_submarineOn 24 May 1914, the Royal Australian Navy took delivery of its first submarines in Sydney, the two British-built E-class vessels HMAS AE1 and HMAS AE2, as part of a substantial upgrade of Australia’s fledgling naval fleet.

Following the outbreak of the First World War in August 1914, just three months after they arrived in Sydney, both submarines were sent to New Guinea with the Australian Naval & Military Expeditionary Force, tasked to attack the German Pacific Fleet and to capture the colony of German New Guinea.

On 14 September, a day after Germany surrendered the colony, the HMAS AE1 was mysteriously lost off the coast of Rabaul. It is assumed that the submarine struck an unchartered reef and sunk. Over the last 100 years there have been many attempts to locate the submarine and the remains of her 35 crew, which consisted of 15 Australian and 20 British submariners, but the site of this underwater military grave remains unknown.

The HMAS AE2 remained in the South Pacific until December 1914, when she was sent to the Mediterranean to support the British-led operations off the Gallipoli peninsula in Turkey. The HMAS AE2 played a pivotal role in the Gallipoli campaign, becoming the first Allied submarine to penetrate the heavily guarded narrow passage through the Dardanelles on 25 April 1915, entering the Sea of Marmara.

Animation: Blow-by-blow account HMAS AE2′s perilous passage through the heavily protected Dardanelles at Gallipoli between 24-29 April 1915. Click graphic.

The HMAS AE2’s extraordinary accomplishment at Gallipoli is believed to be the first successful submarine campaign to deny an opponent use of the sea. The submarine also relieved the pressure on the Allied troops who were engaged in combat on the beach.

Despite her success, the HMAS AE2 was abandoned just days after the Gallipoli campaign began, after falling victim to enemy fire and losing power. Lieutenant Commander Henry Stoker ordered all hands on deck before scuttling his craft. The wreck of the HMAS AE2 remains where she sank, in the Sea of Marmara, Turkey, as a protected relic.

2014 Centenary of Australian Submarines
1oz Silver Proof Coin & Replica Badge Set

The Perth Mint is pleased to celebrate 100 years of Australian submarines with this pure silver commemorative coin featuring a design representing  a modern-day Royal Australian Navy Collins-class submarine.

The coin is accompanied by a replica Royal Australian Navy Submarine Service badge featuring a dolphin and crown emblem with the inscription SUBMARINE FORCE AUSTRALIA SILENT SERVICE.

SubmarineCoinBadge

No more than 3,000 sets will be released.

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Apr 012014
 

For more than a billion years, Argyle pink diamonds were hidden kilometres beneath the Earth’s surface. First sighted glinting in an anthill in the mid-1980’s, the discovery was just a hint of the treasure waiting to be unearthed from what was to become the Argyle Diamond Mine in Western Australia’s Kimberley region.

Following on from the highly successful 2013 release, the second Limited Edition Argyle Pink Diamond Rose Gold Ingot bears a unique design paying homage to the extraordinary discovery of these precious gems.


Go behind the scenes during the production of this rare pink gold ingot featuring hand-set Argyle pink diamonds.

Minted from 1oz of 22-carat pink gold and hand-set with approximately 0.11 carats of Argyle pink diamonds, just 200 of these individually numbered ingots will be released. Each ingot comes in stylish display case and branded shipper, accompanied by a numbered Certificate of Authenticity.

For further information or to order immediately, click here.

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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.

Buy Now

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Apr 012014
 

2014HRKookaEach struck from 1oz of 99.9% pure silver in proof quality, just 9,000 of these stunning 2014 High Relief Kookaburras will be released in individual presentation packaging accompanied by a numbered Certificate of Authenticity.

For your chance to win this superb coin, simply rearrange the following letters to solve the anagram.

Clue: What two places does a kookaburra like to build its nest?

MoonlitStrut


How to enter:
Email your answer to anagram@perthmint.com.au marking your reply ‘April 2014 Anagram Competition’ in the subject line. Please include your name, address and telephone number. Entries close on 5 May 2014. Eligible entrants will be included in the free draw and the winner will be notified by telephone or email. Terms and conditions.

Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for notification of anagrams and other great coin competitions.

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Last month’s winner: Glenda Leisemann of QLD for the correct answer of ‘Jack, Boomer, Buck’.

Mar 282014
 

Graded by NGC, the Benchmark Collection stands as the most significant set of Australian pre-decimal coinage ever assembled.

Numismatic Guaranty Corporation® (NGC®) has certified the superb Benchmark Collection, a complete set of Australian pre-decimal coins. The collection includes a number of finest known examples and important rarities as well as several previously undocumented varieties.

The Benchmark Collection stands as the most significant set of Australian pre-decimal coinage ever assembled. Mark Duff of Strand Coins in Sydney, Australia, carefully compiled the collection over a period of 25 years, drawing coins from many of the most important collections of Australian coins.

“NGC had previously graded a number of my clients’ most important and valuable Australian coins and I have long been impressed by their accuracy and consistency, and their enthusiasm to expand the knowledge of this series,” says Duff. “NGC was the only choice to certify the Benchmark Collection.”

Sixpence

1916M sixpence – NGC MS68

Among the many highlights of the Benchmark Collection is the 1916M sixpence graded NGC MS 68. The finest NGC-certified Australian sixpence of any date, this impeccable specimen traces its pedigree to the important Parkhill Collection.

Remarkably, the sixpence series also includes three examples graded NGC MS 67: the 1917M, the 1934 and the 1936. All three specimens are the finest known of their date.

The Benchmark Collection’s run of florins is similarly notable for its quality. The 1914H and 1915 florins, both graded NGC MS 65, are the only Mint State examples of their dates to be certified by NGC. The 1915H in NGC MS 67 is the finest certified by four grade points, while the 1923 in NGC MS 67 is the finest certified by three grade points.

Other significant florins in the Benchmark Collection include the 1911, 1912 and the ex-Parkhill 1919—all graded NGC MS 65 and either the highest graded or tied for the highest graded. The 1934-35 Victoria & Melbourne Centenary florin graded NGC MS 65 is also noteworthy for its superior details.

The shillings are led by the 1915H in NGC MS 65, which exceeds the second-highest certified example by a full six grade levels. It is considered to be the most challenging issue in the Australian pre-decimal series.

The core of the shilling set was originally sourced from the famous Jerome Remick Collection but only the 1911 (NGC MS 65), 1914 (NGC MS 65), 1918 (NGC MS 66), 1922 (NGC MS 66) and 1933 (NGC MS 63) shillings from that set remain. The Benchmark Collection 1912 shilling in NGC MS 65, the 1926 shilling in NGC MS 65 and the 1927 shilling in NGC MS 66 are also worthy of mention.

The Benchmark Collection identifies several previously unknown varieties, including two distinct types of 1939 Kangaroo Reverse halfpenny: one with a double foot in the Y in HALFPENNY, the other with a single foot. The double foot variant is the rarer of the two and is represented in the Benchmark Collection by an NGC MS 65 BN example. Tied for finest certified for the date, this attractive specimen was once owned by Reserve Bank Governor H.C. Coombs.

The collection also includes the enigmatic 1916I Mule Halfpenny, which features a 1916-dated Australian halfpenny reverse muled with the obverse of an India ¼ anna. Approximately 10 examples are believed to have survived and the famous “Koschade specimen” in the Benchmark Collection is only the second example to be certified by NGC. It is graded NGC AU Details.

Also of note is the 1923 halfpenny graded NGC MS 62 BN, which is the only Mint State example of this date to be certified by NGC.

The penny set is anchored by two varieties of the famous 1930 penny, both graded NGC XF 45. The first variety features the so-called “London die” obverse and is known by just three examples. Another key date, the 1925 penny, is the highest graded at NGC MS 65 BN.

The Benchmark Collection features the rare 1946 penny with the distinctive “K.G.” initials, which is thought to be an experimental strike from the Melbourne Mint on dies that were prepared for but never sent to the Perth Mint. The lone NGC-certified example of this issue, it is graded NGC MS 64 RB.

After certification by NGC, Duff created NGC Registry sets to showcase the Benchmark Collection. “The online NGC Registry allowed me to share these incredible coins with numismatists around the world,” says Duff.

“The Benchmark Collection is unparalleled in its scope and boasts many outstanding Australian rarities,” says NGC Vice President Ken Krah. “We are very pleased that Mr. Duff chose NGC to certify this fantastic set.”

“These coins represent such an important period of Australian coinage history,” adds Jay Turner, NGC Finalizer. “It was great to see that history in one complete set.”

An online image gallery of the Benchmark Collection is posted to the NGC website under the Galleries section. To view the NGC Registry sets of the Benchmark Collection, click here.

Credit: This article originally appeared on the NGC website.

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Mar 252014
 

The Perth Mint has in its possession an undated Royal Society of Western Australia Kelvin medallion. The medallion features a portrait of The Right Honourable William Thomson, Lord Kelvin OM GCVO PC PRS PRSE, and the inscriptions ROYAL SOCIETY OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA and KELVIN 1824 – 1907.

The Lord Kelvin medallion, or the Medal of the Royal Society of Western Australia as it is known today, was first awarded in 1924 and is now a biennial award which recognises a scientist or scientists who have made an outstanding contribution to science in the State.

Kelvin

Lord Kelvin (William Thomson) was a mathematical physicist and engineer born in Belfast in 1824, who began attending tertiary classes from the age of 10 at Glasgow University where his father was a Professor of Mathematics. He wrote his first scientific paper at the age of 16, and went on to attend Cambridge University before returning to Glasgow University as a Professor of Natural Philosophy, a post he held for 53 years.

Lord Kelvin is best known for his work on the laws of thermodynamics and the invention of navigational and electrical measuring instruments. In 1848, he proposed an absolute temperature scale now known as the ‘Kelvin scale’, which determined the exact value of absolute zero. He was also responsible for formulating the second law of thermodynamics, and had a career working as an electric telegraph engineer and inventor. He was appointed the Director of the Atlantic Telegraphy Company in 1856. In this role he succeeded in installing a telegraph cable under the Atlantic Ocean in 1866, and was knighted for his efforts by Queen Victoria on 10 November 1866.

_____________________

“I have no satisfaction in formulas
unless I feel their arithmetical magnitude.”

William Thomson, October 1884
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Kelvin was also an enthusiastic yachtsman and from 1870 he spent many summers aboard his yacht, the ‘Lalla Rookh’, inventing marine tools to improve navigation and safety, including the development of a machine to predict tide levels worldwide, and a mariner’s compass more accurate than any other in existence at the time.

Kelvin became a Lord in 1892, taking the name ‘Kelvin’ after the River Kelvin in his beloved Glasgow, and remained an international celebrity until his death in 1907. He was buried at Westminster Abbey not far from where Sir Isaac Newton lies at rest.

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