Oct 032016

This remarkable coin from the Wedge-tailed Eagle program is the first Australian bi-metal coin to be released by The Perth Mint in more than a decade.

Showing samples being struck for test purposes, the clip demonstrates how two precious metal blanks in the form of a ring and a centrepiece are effectively bonded together during the coining process.

Made from pure gold and pure silver, the blanks are expertly crafted by our minters to weigh precisely (and certainly no less than) 1/2oz of pure silver and 1/2oz of pure gold. They’re individually loaded on the press where the centre fits snugly inside the ring.

Compressed between the obverse (heads) die and reverse (tails) die, the blanks are then stamped with their designs. Under pressure, the metal tries to spread outwards, but is constrained by a reeded ‘collar’ – ensuring the softer gold is squeezed tight inside the silver ring.

2016 Australian Wedge-tailed Eagle 1oz Bi-Metal Coin

The stunning result portrays John M. Mercanti’s extremely detailed representation of a Wedge-tailed Eagle, Australia’s largest bird of prey, on the new coin’s gold proof centerpiece. It’s seamlessly contained within an inscribed silver border also struck with a proof finish.

A long-awaited addition to the Mint’s sought-after bi-metal issues, the stunning release has a mintage of just 750 and comes beautifully packaged in a timber presentation case.


Nov 042014

Found throughout mainland Australia, Tasmania and southern New Guinea, the Wedge-Tailed Eagle is Australia’s largest bird of prey, and with a wingspan of up to 2.7 metres, one of the biggest eagles in the world.

Identified by its long, wedge-shaped tail and feathered legs, the majestic bird is known to soar through the sky for hours on end, frequently reaching altitudes of up to 20,000 metres.

The Perth Mint is proud to issue this beautiful high relief coin featuring John Mercanti’s masterly portrayal of a Wedge-Tailed Eagle preparing to land. Made from 2oz of 99.99% pure gold, the magnificent tribute to Australia’s iconic eagle has a maximum mintage of just 1,000.

Australian Wedge-Tailed Eagle 2014 2oz Gold Proof High Relief Coin


Jan 072014

In a major development that will have profound significance for numismatists on two continents, The Perth Mint is delighted to announce that the 12th Chief Engraver of the U.S. Mint has created the magnificent reverse for our new Australian Wedge-Tailed Eagle gold and silver high-relief proofs.


John Mercanti

One of America’s most respected coin sculptor-engravers, John Mercanti joined the U.S. Mint in 1974, holding the position of Chief Engraver from 2006 until his retirement in 2010. His achievements are remarkable – with the coin and medal design process traditionally a competition between members of the in-house team, John is responsible for more successful designs than any other employee in the history of the U.S. Mint.

Among them is the American Eagle silver coin, first issued in 1986. Featuring John’s re-interpretation of ‘Walking Liberty’ and a stunning heraldic eagle on the reverse, “the coin that started it all” was a landmark release in U.S. history.

JMercant_plasterJohn brought his extraordinary talents to bear on the Australian Wedge-Tailed Eagle project on behalf of The Perth Mint. Despite being honoured for so many outstanding achievements in American coin design, he is kind enough to describe the opportunity to sculpt the image for an Australian legal tender issue as “one of the highlights of my career.”

The eagle is traditionally a symbol of freedom, spirit, vision and strength, one which still inspires him from a design perspective. His immediate thought was to present it in an original way: “I asked myself, how could I use the same subject that’s been used before but depict it differently and make it interesting?”

The Wedge-Tailed Eagle is Australia’s largest bird of prey and one of the biggest eagles in the world. Defining characteristics include its huge wingspan, fully feathered legs (in contrast to its North American cousin, the Bald Eagle) and, of course, its wedge-shaped tail.

There is no doubting the power and splendour of this mighty bird from John’s superb portrayal. To satisfy the requirement for a unique viewpoint, he chose to capture an eagle preparing to land on the branch of a dead tree. “I decided to show the eagle in flight, approaching the stump, wings spread so that the viewer could see the majesty of the wings,” he elaborates.

The beauty of the design is enhanced by John’s stunning representation of the eagle’s intricately layered feathers. Conspicuous against an uncluttered, mirror-like table, the crisp, high-relief strike maximises an onlooker’s appreciation of this immense detailing.

With a limited mintage of just 1,000 gold and 10,000 silver coins, the appeal and desirability of this classic design is all but assured.