Jan 242017
 

Australia’s national gemstone is opal, a stone celebrated throughout the world for its brilliant colours.

Known to Indigenous people as the ‘fire of the desert’, it’s a powerful symbol of Australia’s arid outback, where geological conditions are thought to favour to their mysterious formation.

Black opal, the highest quality precious opal, is only found in Australia. White opal, crystal opal, fire opal and boulder opal are also found in Australia, which produces over 90 per cent of the world’s precious opals.

These remarkable stones comprise microscopic spheres of silica. As the light passes through them it is diffracted into the colours of the spectrum, creating brilliant internal colour flashes – known as the ‘play of colour’.

The best opals share exulted company with diamonds, rubies, sapphires, emeralds, and pearls as the world’s most desirable precious gemstones.

Opal in coins

opalroostersilvercoin_case

In recognition of opal as one of Australia’s most sought-after natural treasures, The Perth Mint is delighted to offer innovative collectable coins incorporating polished flakes of pure Australian opal.

This month we’ve added a new offering in the form of the Australian Opal – Lunar Rooster 2017 1oz Silver Proof Coin – a beautiful release which pays homage to the 10th animal of the ancient lunar calendar in a way that is as unique as the Australian gemstone it contains.

The follow-up to last year’s Australian Opal – Lunar Monkey (sold out), this dramatic coin is limited to a worldwide mintage of just 5,000. Housed in presentation packaging, each display case incorporates a small light source to help illuminate the colours of the coin’s opal inset.

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Jan 062015
 

Happy New Year to coin collectors everywhere. We hope you’re looking forward to 2015 with as much anticipation as we are! This year’s exciting and extensive program features some fantastic new themes; new editions of our established favourites are back for long-term collectors, and we’ll also bring you some outstanding world releases.

January’s line-up looks amazing. One of our favourites is the simply gorgeous Snugglepot and Cuddlepie silver coin release. If you love cats, then this bulletin is definitely not to be missed! Enjoy these and many more as we start another great year for modern Australian collectables.

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Sep 092014
 

The Common Barn Owl has a mysterious family offshoot in Australia.

Unlike its extensively distributed relative, the Masked Owl is only found in coastal regions of Australia and some parts of New Guinea.

Even here it’s regarded as a bit of an enigma due to its nocturnal, secretive and often very silent behaviour, which makes it difficult to observe.

SpacerNow, The Perth Mint has highlighted this shy, rare bird with the latest release from its popular Australian Opal Series.

Unique Opal Design

The largest member of the Barn Owl family, the Masked Owl has dark eyes set in a prominent, flat, heart-shaped facial mask that is encircled by a dark border. It requires tall eucalyptus trees with suitable hollows for nesting and roosting.

Using these cues, Aleysha Howarth from The Perth Mint’s creative studio prepared a representation of a Masked Owl in the hollow of a tree.

To create the coin’s innovative centrepiece, her design was laser-etched into glass which was then laid over a mosaic of authentic Australian opal.

The spectacular outcome is a uniquely coloured interpretation of this special Australian owl.

Masked_Owl_silver-coin

No more than 8,000 of these Masked Owl 2014 1oz Silver Proof Coins will be struck. Each coin is presented in a prestigious display case with a light, which illuminates as you open the lid, to represent the moon shining down on an amazing nocturnal creature.

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Feb 192014
 

Uniquely, the Australian Opal Coin Series portrays nocturnal native animals in slivers of spectacular opal gemstone.

Released this month, the fifth coin in the series portrays a Tasmanian devil – one of Australia’s most iconic marsupials.

The term ‘devil’ is a bit harsh. On the other hand, early European settlers found its dark colouring, cantankerous nature and, above all, bloodcurdling screech, extremely disturbing.

Tasmanian_devil

Once found throughout mainland Australia, the devil was probably hunted to local extinction by dingos. In the absence of its primary predator in the island of Tasmania, however, it flourished – at least for a while.

Colonisation brought devils further problems. Suspected of attacking poultry, they were trapped and poisoned for more than a century. Complete extinction seemed a real possibility until in 1941 the Tasmanian devil was protected by law.

Sadly, its tribulations were far from over. Today, Devil Disease, which causes contagious facial tumours, is again threatening the population. There is a now a determined effort to preserve this important creature for the future. [Save The Tasmanian Devil]

World’s largest carnivorous marsupial

The Tasmanian devil is the world’s largest surviving carnivorous marsupial. It has muscular jaws and sharp teeth said to be able to deliver, pound for pound, one of the most powerful bites in the mammalian world.

As scavengers, they eat whatever they can – including birds, snakes and reptiles. Devils are especially rowdy when jockeying for position on the carcass of a sheep or cow, which like all their food, disappears completely – bones, fur and all!

Such poor table manners contributed to the devil’s reputation as a bad tempered brawler, but these days it’s considered one of nation’s most famous species whose care and protection is an important priority.

TasmanianDevil_coin

Australian Opal Series Tasmanian Devil 2014 1oz Silver Proof Coin.

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Feb 042014
 

February’s bulletin includes the first release from our new Gods of Olympus 2oz silver coin series. Befitting such a dramatic figure, the high relief design is struck in a rimless format and features an antique finish for a truly impressive result.

This bulletin also features the latest coin from a popular established series, as well as the initial release from a new series that looks equally strong.

The Tasmanian Devil is the fifth native animal to appear in our well-loved Australian Opal series, which previously depicted the koala, wombat, kangaroo and pygmy possum in similarly stunning style.

For the first coin in our heart-warming Mother’s Love series, however, we’ve chosen a lioness. The beautiful design reflects her affection for a young cub – with similar portrayals featuring four other world animals and their offspring to follow.

ANZAC day approaching and you’ll find a new commemorative Australian $1 coin which this year pays special tribute to the Royal Australian Navy Submarine Service.

As well as the latest design from The Land Down Under Series, there are carded additions to the Australian Koala silver coin series and two new releases celebrating the Year of the Horse.

All Recent Releases.

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Sep 032013
 

Time flies and we’re galloping towards the next Year of the Horse in 2014. To mark the arrival of this auspicious animal in the Chinese lunar calendar, we’re delighted to release gold and silver proof coins portraying beautiful equine images. Perfect for people born under the influence of the horse in 2002, 1990, 1978, 1966, 1954 etc, the latest Proof Lunars are sure to be winners! See these and other superb Australian releases, including the fourth Australian Opal series coin, inside our latest bulletin:


Go to recent releases on The Perth Mint website.

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