Mar 162017
 

John Mercanti’s career as a coin designer and engraver is a remarkable one.

John Mercanti.

His artistic talents were recognised in 1974 by the US Mint, where he spent 36 years, the last four in the revered position of Chief Engraver.

John was responsible for more successful designs than any other employee in the history of the Mint, where the process was traditionally a competition between members of the in-house team.

Among his achievements are many notable American coins and medals, including the American Eagle, a landmark release in that nation’s history.

Since his ‘retirement’, John has been involved in many projects, including the design of the first Australian Wedge-tailed Eagle, originally struck by The Perth Mint in 2014.

Australian Wedge-tailed Eagle 2017 1oz Gold & Silver High Relief Coins

We’re delighted to release these 2017-dated versions showcasing John’s second interpretation of Australia’s largest bird of prey standing on a dead tree branch.

Made from pure gold and pure silver in flawless proof quality, the beautiful coins are struck in high relief, a minting process which increases the design’s prominence from the surrounding table. Displaying the intricate detail of the majestic bird’s plumage with superb clarity, the stunning coins do full justice to John’s unforgettable portrayal.

John once described his involvement in the Wedge-tailed Eagle program as “one of the highlights of my career.” Undoubtedly, the result of his exceptional talents is one of the highlights of our annual collector releases.

With just 500 gold and 10,000 silver versions, these coins are destined to be sought after by collectors the world over.

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Mar 092017
 

Featuring renowned deities and heroes, Norse mythology encompasses a large body of northern Germanic legends dating from pagan times. Its traditions continue today in Scandinavian folklore, which has strongly influenced a number of popular authors, including J.R.R. Tolkien.

In our second coin series based on Norse mythology, The Perth Mint is featuring three principal goddesses. Like the Norse Gods series, which portrayed Thor, Odin, and Loki, these remarkable coins are each struck from 2oz of pure silver with an antiqued, high relief finish.

Depicted in a dramatic style, Freya introduces the new Norse Goddesses series, which will also feature coins portraying similarly striking depictions of Frigg and Hel.

Norse Goddesses – Freya 2017 2oz Silver Antiqued High Relief Coin

Design Guide

 ᚠ Freya The goddess of love, beauty, fertility, battle and death. A symbol of sensuality and of the wile and untamed forces of nature, Freya was famed for her beauty and golden hair.
Feather cloak A magical cloak of falcon feathers which enabled Freya to fly.
Brísingamen A golden necklace made by four dwarfs, it featured an amber jewel – Freya’s hallowed crystal.
  Girdle The sword belt in the constellation Orion as was known to the Norse as ‘Freya’s Girdle’.
Hildisvíni
Freya’s golden battle swine, one of her sacred animals, on which she once rode.
Battlefield As a valkyrie, Freya chose who died and who lived in battle, transporting the heroic dead to the Realm of the Gods.
 ᚷ Cat Freya’s chariot was pulled by two cats, another of her sacred animals.

Extremely Limited Mintage

Just 2,000 of these Norse Goddesses – Freya 2017 2oz Silver High Relief Coins will be released. Accompanied by a numbered Certificate of Authenticity, each coin is housed in a timber display case with an engraved lid.

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Feb 092017
 

Building on the excitement created by last year’s 2oz Silver High Relief Antiqued Kangaroo Coin, this year’s release, which features a koala, is even more spectacular in terms of superbly  detailed design.

The stunning coin portrays a slumbering koala lying on a tree branch. The iconic Australian native’s habitat high up in the forest is exquisitely represented in a dense display of eucalyptus leaves and floral motifs.

The coin plaster

Plaster_Close-up

As part of the traditional minting methods used in the production of this coin, the design was painstakingly sculpted in 3D. From this oversized plaster model, a hardened mould was taken as part of a process that saw the relief reproduced in steel via a reduction machine, and ultimately into a high relief coin die. As can be seen from the result, the coin sculptor must demonstrate an amazing eye for detail and superb skills to accurately interpret the original artist’s drawing.

The finished coin

Just 3,000 of these amazing Australian Koala 2017 2oz Silver High Relief Antiqued Coins will be released. The obverse and reverse of each coin are both ‘antiqued’ – a hand-applied finish that adds deep tone with a unique grained effect for an aged appearance.

Collectors will receive the coin in a classic grey display case within a stylised shipper, accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity.

AntiquedKoalaCoin_shadow2

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Nov 162016
 

Welcome to new collectors who might be wondering about coin mintages and are stumped by some of the language associated with the topic. For example, if you’ve pondered ‘maximum mintage’, ‘declared mintage’, and ‘issue limit’, this article is here to help.

Mints keep historical records of how many coins they strike and issue. The total number for each coin is known as the mintage.

Thanks to mintage records at The Perth Mint, for instance, we know that we issued precisely 4,096,771 gold sovereigns 100 years ago in 1916.

Mintage figures are valuable to collectors because they provide guidance about ‘rarity’.

Maximum Mintage

Today, the vast majority of our modern collectables are issued with a specific mintage limit. Take the Australian Kangaroo 2016 1oz Silver Proof High Relief Coin – it has a maximum mintage of 20,000.

This means The Perth Mint will issue up to 20,000 of these coin as Australian legal tender.

2016-australiankangaroo-1oz-silver-proof-highreliefSay we receive orders over the next few months for the maximum mintage, production will cease immediately and we’ll announce the coin as ‘sold out’. Collectors can be 100% certain that we’ll never make any more.

Declared Mintage

But what happens if the maximum mintage is not taken up by collectors? Obviously it does not make sense for any Mint to keep making a coin if the mintage is unlikely to be sold out.

If after a reasonable period of time we judge the market no longer has any interest in the coin, or for some other reason it is no longer viable, we close-off production and declare the mintage.

A declared mintage is the final number that will ever be made available for sale, even though the declared figure falls short of the original maximum mintage stated by the Mint.

In this way, some declared coins end up being much rarer than their original mintage limits would indicate. To find examples of this, visit the Numismatic Mintages page on our website.

Issue Limit

Even though the Australian Kangaroo 2016 1oz Silver Proof High Relief Coin has a maximum mintage of 20,000, you may have spotted that it has an advertised issue limit of 18,000.

Issue limits refer to the format in which the coin is packaged. In this instance, up to 18,000 coins are being offered in individual coin cases. As a result, 2,000 coins remain available within the maximum mintage for sale in a distinctively different format.

This year, 1,000 of these coins are being made available in a spectacular Three-Coin Collection which also includes 1,000 each of our 2016 Kookaburra and Koala silver proof high relief coins.

2016hrproofsilverset_red-dirt

Released earlier this month, the 2016 Australian High Relief Silver Proof 2016 Three-Coin Collection is accompanied by a numbered Certificate of Authenticity stating the maximum mintage of each coin – as well as its own specific issue limit of 1,000.

If collectors buy 1,000, we will announce the issue limit as sold out. If the market only requires 500, we will declare that number as the total ever issued.

Mintage Policy

You can read more about Perth Mint definitions, including ‘unlimited mintage’ and ‘mint-to-order’ in our formal Mintage Policy.

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Aug 022016
 

According to ancient Norse mythology, Loki was the god of fire, and a cunning shape shifter who appeared in the form of a seal, a salmon, a mare, and a fly, among others.

The son of the giant Farbauti and the goddess Laufey, Loki was the father of Hel, the goddess of death; Jormungand, the giant serpent; Fenrir, the wolf; and Sleipnir, the eight-legged horse that he gave to Odin.

Loki had both a positive and a negative relationship with the other gods. He was a companion of Odin and Thor, but he helped the giants, their adversaries, when it was more advantageous to him. A trickster who could be malicious and mischievous at times, Loki was often portrayed as a demon with no real loyalties due to his contradictory personality.

Loki_Norse-God

Ultimately, Loki faced punishment for his offences against the gods. He was bound to a rock by the entrails of another of his sons, while a venom dripping serpent was positioned above him. Loki’s wife, Sigyn, collected the venom in a bowl, but whenever she emptied it the continuing drips caused Loki to writhe in pain, creating earthquakes.

2016 Norse Gods – Loki 2oz Silver High Relief Antiqued Coin

The reverse of the coin depicts Loki wearing a cloak which is turning to smoke at the edges. He is accompanied by the serpent Jormungand and the wolf Fenrir. The design also includes three masks symbolising the many forms Loki took on as a shape shifter.

The final release from the popular Norse Gods series, this coin is struck from 2oz of 99.9% pure silver with a high relief, antiqued finish. Like the previous Odin and Thor coins, just 2,000 Loki coin will be released.

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Jun 072016
 

The Perth Mint has released the second of three coins dedicated to Norse Gods. Like the preceding Odin release, Thor is a rimless, high relief coin struck from 2oz of pure silver with a unique antiqued finish.

Its detailed portrayal represents the final battle between Thor and the serpent Jormungand, son of Loki.

In Norse mythology, Jormungand was banished from Asgard for threatening the Æsir gods. Flung into the ocean, Odin hoped he would die there. But Jormungand survived, and in fact grew bigger – so big that he encircled the entire world.

During the conflict between the Æsir and the ‘world serpent’, Thor went to sea in an attempt to capture Jormungand on a hook baited with the head of an ox. The monster bit and was momentarily dragged clear of the water by his rival.

Thor was accompanied in the boat by the giant Hymir. Terrified at the sight of the angry serpent, Hymir cut the line, allowing Jormungand to slide back into the depths.

The final encounter between Thor and Jormungand  took place during Ragnarok, a cataclysmic period during which the Æsir gods were fated to perish.

As Jormungand rose up in a ferocious attack, Thor fatally wounded the beast with his powerful war-hammer Mjollnir. But the telling blow was too late to save him from a spray of deadly venom. Recoiling from the lifeless serpent, the God of Thunder staggered nine paces before falling dead.

Extremely Limited Availability

Like its sold out predecessor, this coin is expected to be extremely popular. Housed in a timber display case with a stunning engraved design on the lid, no more than 2,000 Thor 2oz Silver High Relief Antiqued Coins will be released worldwide.

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