Apr 222016
 

Two-up is a true blue Aussie game of chance which took off on the gold fields during the 19th century. It is most strongly associated, however, with the ‘diggers’ of World War I, who played it extensively in the trenches and while on troop ships to relive the monotony.

Essentially, two coins (usually pennies) are placed tails up on a flat board called a kip or paddle. A spinner is called to toss the coins (at least 10 feet in the air) and bets are taken on which way the coins will land.

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A group of First World War Australian soldiers at Ypres playing the popular game of two up. [Image E01199 courtesy of Australian War Memorial.]

The two-up custom continued with Australian soldiers during the Second World War and currently it is permitted to be played publicly on Anzac Day in pubs and clubs around the country in honour of these military traditions. After the sombre proceedings of dawn services and other acts of remembrance, games take place in the spirit of mateship and larrikinism for which our hero diggers are famed.Copper-Two-Up-Set

This traditional Two-Up Set available from The Perth Mint features two Australian pennies, portraying the famous leaping kangaroo design, and a typical wooden kip, made from plantation pine.

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Jan 122016
 

May Gibbs, who had arrived in Australia from England as four year-old in 1881, doubted English fairies could survive under the Australian sun, and this is how she came up with her inimitable Australian characters, the Gumnut Babies – of whom the most famous are Snugglepot and Cuddlepie.

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Written and illustrated by May, a highly-talented artist, Tales of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie chronicled the adventures of two bare-bottom cherubs who wore green gum nuts for hats. Their world was exclusively inspired by the fauna and flora of the Australian bush, including their adversaries, the big, bad Banksia Men, who Gibbs modelled on the appearance of a type of Banksia ‘cone’ she probably first noted as a child in Western Australia.

BanksiaManThe children of Australia immediately embraced May’s unique fairy folklore. Immensely popular from the time it was published in 1918, Tales of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie has remained in print ever since! Along with other stories about the Gumnut Babies, May’s books continue to delight youngsters of all ages in whose imaginations her characters will live forever.

2016 Snugglepot & Cuddlepie™ 1/2oz Silver Proof Coin

Housed in newborn gift card packaging, this coin portrays an original May Gibbs illustration of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie peeking out from a pair of gum nuts. A beautiful gift to mark the arrival of a new baby, the Australian legal tender release has a maximum mintage of just 5,000.

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Following the first official Australian coin to celebrate May Gibbs’ Snugglepot and Cuddlepie in 2015, The Perth Mint has issued a second coin portraying her iconic bush characters .

Related story: Perth Mint issues first coin to celebrate May Gibbs’ Snugglepot and Cuddlepie

© THE NORTHCOTT SOCIETY & CEREBRAL PALSY ALLIANCE

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Nov 052015
 

In the past, evergreen shrubs and trees held special meaning for people during the depths of the northern winter. Pine, spruce and yew were used to brighten dwellings around the time of the winter solstice. Some people believed an evergreen sprig above the door would ward off evil spirits.

The first Christmas tree lit with candles is thought to have been the creation of religious reformer Martin Luther. It’s said he was inspired by the vision of stars twinkling among the evergreens on a winter’s night. Erected in Strasbourg Cathedral in 1539, his tree must have been a spectacular sight.

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Christmas Tree in The Perth Mint Shop

When Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz moved to Britain to marry King George III in 1761, she took with her the German custom of adorning Christmas trees with wax tapers, coloured papers, fruit, trinkets and gifts. Thereafter, this ritual became popular with members of the British court and nobility.

It was not until the middle of the 19th century, however, that the practice became more widespread. Prince Albert, Queen Victoria’s German-born husband, was particularly instrumental in popularising Christmas trees. He used glass ornaments, coloured beads and paper baskets with sugared almonds for decoration. In 1848, an engraving of the Royal Family celebrating Christmas at Windsor beneath their dressed tree sparked extensive interest.

Australian colonists uphold the northern tradition

Christmas was generally a frugal affair in the early years of the Australian penal colony, but by the 1850s free-settlers from Britain were spreading the Royal Family’s new Christmas customs. Without the Christmas tree, however, they were forced to make the most of native flora; branches of eucalypt, pink-coloured Christmas Bushes, scarlet Christmas Bells and even ferns were employed to decorate the house, roof, or veranda.

Like these summer varieties in the east, the Western Australian Christmas Tree, the world’s largest mistletoe, bursts into an amazing display of golden flowers perfectly timed for Christmas!

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Christmas 2015 1oz Star Shaped Silver Proof Coin: Portraying a Christmas tree, the coin is housed in a special star-shaped capsule with a hole for a ribbon (not supplied), so that it can be hung as a Christmas tree decoration.

In due course, the use of Christmas Bushes had to compete with introduced trees and the mid-20th century development of the artificial tree. Today, whether it’s the pack-away variety or a fresh-cut pine, dressing the Christmas tree in mesmerising displays of tinsel, baubles and glittering lights is a favourite Christmas ritual for Australians in whom the seasonal spirit is deep-rooted.

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Mar 112015
 

Most of us would be familiar with the traditional wedding day rhyme signifying what a bride should wear at her wedding for good luck.

Something old, something new,
Something borrowed, something blue
.

Often forgotten is the last line, which says:

And a silver sixpence in her shoe.

The practice of placing a sixpence in a bride’s shoe began in Britain. Sixpences were first made in the 1550s, meaning the tradition is possibly hundreds of years old.

Customarily put in the bride’s left shoe by her father, the sixpence was said to bring good fortune and prosperity to the newlyweds.

Wedding 2015 1oz Silver Proof Coin

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Made from 1oz of pure silver and issued as Australian legal tender, The Perth Mint’s 2015 Wedding coin is a perfect gift reflecting this wonderful tradition.

But it doesn’t have to be placed in the bride’s shoe! This beautiful coin comes in a white display box featuring a stunning heart-shaped crystal on the lid, making it suitable for any wedding guest to give to the lucky bride.

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Dec 042014
 

Please note the following deadlines for guaranteed Christmas delivery from The Perth Mint.

  • International customers – Today 4 December 2014
  • Australian customers – Monday 15 December 2014

Best Sellers

Some of this year’s best sellers include the Gold Filigree Egg Decoration, Teardrop Pendant with White and Pink Diamonds, Kailis Carbon Fibre Telescopic Pen, and 5g Gold Bullion Bar Pendant.

XmasBestSellers
Whether you’re looking for stocking fillers or a sophisticated gift, check the full range of Christmas gifts here.

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Dec 022013
 

2013XmasCoin_250Capture the spirit of Christmas this festive season with a 2013 Christmas Coin.

Struck from 1/2oz of 99.9% pure silver in proof quality, the coin is issued as Australian legal tender. The reverse of the coloured coin portrays a Christmas tree decorated with festive ornaments against a backdrop of stars with the inscription ‘Merry Christmas’.

With a mintage of 5,000, each coin is presented in a classic display case and beautifully illustrated shipper and is accompanied by a numbered Certificate of Authenticity.

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

Clue: A popular Christmas carol EllFortThinHow to enter:  Email your answer to anagram@perthmint.com.au marking your reply ‘December 2013 Anagram Competition’ in the subject line. Please include your name, address and telephone number. Entries close on 6 January 2014.  Eligible entrants will be included in the free draw and the winner will be notified by telephone or email.

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: Congratulations Andrew Mckechnie of Queensland.

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