Feb 022016

This exclusive coin features a true Australian icon, the kangaroo, hopping across an outback landscape.

To capture the depth and wonderful details of the design, The Perth Mint has employed two special techniques. The coin is struck with a high relief die which imparts an unusually deep impression on its extra thick blank. Subsequently, an antique finish is applied to further accentuate light and shadow within the artistry.

These processes have resulted in a unique and dramatic portrayal which exhibits unprecedented clarity and definition.

Australian Kangaroo 2016 2oz Silver High Relief Antiqued Coin

Made from 2oz of 99.9% pure silver, the extremely limited release comes in presentation packaging which displays both sides of this impressive coin. No more than 3,000 coin will be released.


Jan 272016

Fifty years ago in February 1966, Australia introduced decimal notes and coins, marking the end of its British-style currency system of pounds, shillings and pence. Initially there were six cent-denominated coins with designs by Stuart Devlin and four dollar banknotes.


Commemorate this major milestone in the history of Australian currency with your pick from these collector packs showcasing Australian pre-decimal and decimal coins:

Aust-Currency-Changeover-Pack_100 Australian Currency Changeover
Collection Pack (1953 – 1984)
Pence-to-Cents-Pack_100 Pence to Cents Changeover
Premium Pack (1964-1966)
FiftyCentsPack_100 1966 50c 50th Anniversary Pack

Have you seen our remarkable 50th Anniversary of Australian Decimal Currency 2016 1oz Silver Proof Two-Coin Set?


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.


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.


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



Jan 052016

On Valentine’s Day 1966, Australia introduced decimal currency.

A public information blitz had prepared people extremely well, and the changeover from pounds shillings and pence went remarkably smoothly.

For some the look and feel of the new decimal currency took a little getting used to. “The most common comment was that the notes looked like money used in the game Monopoly,” reported the Canberra Times.

“The coins are beautiful but the notes are shocking,” a voice had been heard exclaiming.

The original decimal paper notes have long since been replaced by polymer notes. But if you check your change there’s still a chance you’ll find a coin dating back to the 1960s.

Six artists had been chosen to submit designs for the decimal coins by way of a limited competition. The winner was Geelong-born designer and sculptor Stuart Devlin whose heralded designs featured Australian fauna.

The following British Pathé newsreel shows Stuart Devlin making animal sketches and inspecting his coin ‘plasters’ for Australia’s new decimal coins in 1964.

SpacerPerth Mint Starts Decimal Production

A new mint in Canberra was specially commissioned to make the decimal coinage, but it didn’t open until 1965. To ensure the massive number of new coins required was made on time, the Royal Mint’s Perth and Melbourne branches were enlisted early to begin production of the two lowest denominations.

In fact, The Perth Mint’s contribution to decimal coinage lasted 20 years. Between 1964 and 1984 it churned out a massive 829 million 2 cents coins along with 26 million 1 cent coins.

Production of Australian decimal 1 and 2 cents coins ceased completely in 1990 and they were withdrawn from circulation from February 1992.

50th Anniversary of Australian Decimal Currency
2016 1oz Silver Proof Two-Coin Set

In celebration of the 50th anniversary of decimalisation, The Perth Mint is delighted to reveal that it has been authorised to revive Stuart Devlin’s feathertail glider and frill-necked lizard designs in silver for a special 50th anniversary of decimalisation set.

50thAnn-AustralianDecimalCurrency-1Cent-Silver-ProofAbout 7.5cm in body length, the feathertail glider is Australia’s smallest possum. Like other gliding possums (or flying squirrels), it has webs of skin between its hands and feet, enabling it to ‘glide’. A nocturnal marsupial that carries its young in a pouch, the feathertail glider lives in trees in Australia’s eastern coastal region. During aerial descents, it uses its feather-like tail as a rudder.


50thAnn-AustralianDecimalCurrency-2Cent-Silver-Proof-About 75cm long, of which more than half is its tail, the frill-necked lizard lives in northern parts of Australia. It has a large frill around its neck which usually remains folded back on its shoulders when resting or running. When the lizard is cornered or angered, however, it raises its body, gapes its mouth open and unfurls its frill before bolting as fast as it can away from a predator.


Issued as Australian legal tender, each coin is struck from 1oz of 99.9% pure silver. The reverse of both coins includes the initials ‘SD’, as well as The Perth Mint’s ‘P’ mintmark.

Includes original 1 cent and 2 cents copper coins

The coins are housed in a two-coin display case which also includes a pouch containing an original 1 cent and 2 cents coin.

No more than 2,000 of these evocative sets will be released.


Dec 182015

As the winter of 1915 approached in the Dardanelles, it was clear that Allied troops had set out to achieve the impossible.

Battle-hardened Ottoman troops, desperate to defend their homeland, had fought fiercely from the beginning of the Gallipoli campaign. Under the effective command of Colonel Mustafa Kemal, who later became the first president of Turkey, Ottoman forces defeated all Allied attempts to conquer the peninsula’s high ground.

Dogged determination on both sides resulted in horrific casualties. By the time all Allied forces had withdrawn from Gallipoli in January 1916, 120,000 British, 27,000 French, and 28,000 Australians had died, were wounded, evacuated sick and taken prisoner of war. The New Zealanders lost over 7,000, the Indians 4,000, and the small Newfoundland contingent 142. The Ottomans suffered over 174,000 casualties in just eight months of fighting.


Lemnos, December 1915: Members of the 1st Australian Divisional Signal Company opening Christmas billies and reading letters from home soon after the evacuation from Gallipoli.

The British War Secretary, Field Marshall Lord Horatio Kitchener, visited the Gallipoli battlefield in mid-November where he witnessed first-hand the wretched conditions. Adding misery upon misery, open trenches left soldiers unprotected from the soaking, freezing weather. One hellish storm resulted in the deaths of some 300 hundred British troops who succumbed to illness and more than 16,000 were said to have suffered frostbite and exposure.

Kitchener endorsed a recommendation that the Allies evacuate the Gallipoli peninsula – a complex operation which would require the evacuation of more than 93,000 troops and 5,000 animals along with vast quantities of artillery, ammunition and stores. Despite these challenges, the evacuation was one of the very few Allied successes of the entire campaign.

Christmas miracle

At Anzac Cove, 40,000 men were evacuated under the cover of darkness over a series of consecutive nights, with the final group departing for their transport ships on the 19/20 December. They did everything possible to deceive the enemy that the front line was still being manned.

Miraculously, not a single soldier was killed. Brigadier General Cyril Brudenell White oversaw the evacuation at Anzac Cove – his brilliant plan ran without incident, thankfully aided by a lull in the weather and relatively calm seas.

Instead of facing the immeasurable menace of rifle and machine-gun fire, a rain of grenades and artillery bombardments, some Australian and New Zealand troops celebrated Christmas on the nearby Aegean island of Lemnos, while others spent Christmas in the Egyptian capital of Cairo.

Tempered by the sadness of leaving the dead in ground occupied by the enemy, Christmas billies full of gifts and ‘comforts’ from a number of civilian patriotic organisations in Australia went some way to improve their sorrow. “Luxuries” to cheer the men included tobacco, razor blades, socks, writing paper and a pencil, as well as cake, sauces, pickles, tinned fruit, cocoa, coffee and biscuits. These were all fond reminders of home.

The festive respite was short-lived. Many that survived the terrors of Gallipoli spent the following months reorganising and training in Egypt in preparation for their eventual transfer to the Western Front. Having lost 28,000 men in eight months of fighting on Gallipoli, they came close to losing that number in just eight weeks in France.