Apr 262016
 

Of the more than 60,000 Australian men and women who lost their lives serving in the First World War, more than 46,000 died in France and Belgium. Approximately 11,000 of these have no known grave. Tens of thousands more were wounded, some more than once. For those who survived the Western Front, the sights, sounds, and smells of the battlefield would be remembered for the rest of their lives.

The 2016 1/2oz Silver Proof Three-Coin Set from The ANZAC Spirit 100th Anniversary Coin Series is dedicated to the remembrance of their courage and sacrifice.

Brothers in Arms

Brothers_in_ArmsMore than 1,000 Indigenous Australians, those of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander descent, served in the First World War. People of non-European descent were initially not permitted to enlist, and Indigenous Australians in particular were excluded. In fact, despite the fact that before the War all Australian males between the ages of 18 and 60 were required to serve in the Militia, those ‘not substantially of European origin’ were exempt.

Many men of non-European descent still managed to enlist however, and as a result it is impossible to say exactly how many Indigenous Australians served in the War. In 1917, as the number of Australian casualties increased, the government relaxed enlistment standards to enable those labelled ‘half-castes’ to join the Australian Imperial Force as long as they could provide certification proving that one of their parents was of European origin.

Those Indigenous Australians successful in their enlistment found that they were almost always accepted without prejudice, and were paid the same as other soldiers. On returning home to Australia after the War, however, they no longer enjoyed the same equality. In areas such as education, employment, and civil liberties, former Indigenous service men and women found that discrimination remained, or indeed had worsened during the War years.

Photographs from the Louis and Antoinette Thuillier collection, uncovered 95 years after the war, include images of Indigenous Australian soldiers alongside their white peers. The coin’s reverse depicts a representation of one of the original Thuillier photographs featuring a white Australian soldier alongside an unknown Indigenous Australian soldier, taken at the Thuillier’s farmhouse in Vignacourt.

Lost But Not Forgotten

Lost_But_Not_ForgottenOn 19 July 1916, Australian soldiers from the 5th Australian Division and soldiers from the 61st British Division attacked a strong German front-line position near the French village of Fromelles. It was the first major battle fought by Australian troops on the Western Front, and was intended as a feint to prevent German troops from moving south to the Somme, where the Allied offensive had begun on 1 July.

The operation failed, and the loss of Australian troops was significant. More than 5,500 Australians became casualties. Almost 2,000 of them were killed in action or died of wounds and some 400 were captured. Fromelles remains one of Australia’s greatest military disasters.

When the battle had ended, the Australians began the grim and dangerous task of recovering the wounded from no man’s land. One of those charged with the recovery effort was Sergeant Simon Fraser, a 40 year old farmer from western Victoria and a member of the 57th Battalion. Shortly after the battle Fraser wrote home, detailing the battle and its aftermath.

For three days Fraser and his fellow soldiers ventured into no man’s land between the German and Allied trenches, searching for and retrieving the wounded troops. As he dragged one man to safety he heard another calling from the trenches, “Don’t forget me cobber.” On reaching safety, Fraser went back into no man’s land to save this second soldier.

The coin’s reverse depicts a representation of Peter Corlett’s 1998 ‘Cobbers’ sculpture of Sergeant Fraser carrying a fallen comrade, which can be visited in the Australian Memorial Park in Fromelles.

Australia’s First Anzac Day

Australias_First_Anzac_DayAustralia’s first Anzac Day took place on 25 April 1916, one year after the landing of Australian and New Zealand troops on Gallipoli.

The first anniversary was marked by a variety of ceremonies and services held across Australia, a march through London, and services and a sports day in the Australian camp in Egypt. For the remaining years of the War, Anzac Day was used on the home front as an occasion for patriotic rallies and recruiting campaigns, and parades of serving members of the AIF were held in most cities.

Today, Anzac Day is a day on which we remember all Australians lost in war and on operational service. The Anzac spirit embodies the qualities of courage, mateship, and sacrifice demonstrated during the Gallipoli landing. Anzac Day is a time for reflection and, as such, many different services and memorials are held every year across the country.

The coin’s reverse depicts an image of the Roll of Honour at the heart of the Australian War Memorial building in Canberra, which records the names of over 102,000 fallen members of the Australian armed forces.

Limited Mintage & Presentation

No more than 5,000 2016 Three-Coin Sets will be released. Each set is presented in superb display packaging and is accompanied by a booklet containing information and imagery from the Great War, as well as a numbered Certificate of Authenticity.

TheANZACSpirit-100thAnniversaryCoinSeries-1_2oz-Silver-Proof-3-CoinSet-InTray

Subscription With Free Billy Tin Storage Case

Billy_Tin_thmbA limited number of 2,500 subscriptions are available for collectors who wish to guarantee availability of all five Three-Coin Sets issued between 2015 – 2018. Subscribers will receive a limited edition replica billy tin in which all 15 1/2oz silver coins can be housed.

Previous releases:

Download your Subscription Order Form.

Australian-War-Memorial-logoThe Australian War Memorial logo is a registered trademark of the
Australian War Memorial TM & © 2016

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Apr 222016
 

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Pillars of Australian culture and society, Anzac Day and the Returned & Services League (RSL) are both 100 years-old in 2016. Marking this shared milestone, these coins from The Perth Mint were developed under license with the Australian War Memorial (AWM) and the RSL as official numismatic tributes through which the community can honour the service and sacrifice of our Defence Force personnel.

From left:

The ANZAC Spirit 100th Anniversary Coin Series
Anzac Day 100 Years 2016 1/4oz Gold Proof Coin

Australian-War-Memorial-logoThe Australian War Memorial logo is a registered trademark of the
Australian War Memorial TM & © 2016
+
RSL Centenary Coin Series
2016 1oz Silver Proof Coin

The emblem and logo of the Returned & Services League of Australia Limited (RSL) are owned by the RSL and may only be used with the written consent of the RSL.
+
Anzac $1 Coin Series
2016 Aluminium Bronze Coin in Card

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Apr 212016
 

Her Excellency the Honourable Kerry Sanderson AO, Governor of Western Australia, has welcomed the release of three Australian numismatic tributes marking Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s 90th birthday.

Her-Excellency-the-Honourable-Kerry-Sanderson-AO-Governor-of-Western-Australia

Her Excellency the Honourable Kerry Sanderson AO, Governor of Western Australia, holds one of the three Royal tribute coins crafted by The Perth Mint.

“The celebration of Her Majesty’s 90th birthday is a remarkable moment in history and The Perth Mint has created exceptional coin tributes for the occasion,” Her Excellency said.

“I am particularly delighted to see the craftsmanship showcasing branches of the golden wattle, our national flower which was depicted in the brooch presented to the Queen during her coronation tour of Australia in 1954, and the St Edward’s Crown symbolising our historical links with British constitutional and parliamentary heritage.”

The superb releases are the latest in a long line of Buckingham Palace-approved coins issued by The Perth Mint celebrating personal milestones of members of the Royal Family. Click here for more details.

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Apr 142016
 

These special releases celebrate the 75th anniversary of the classic Disney animated film Dumbo, which was released on 23 October 1941. Ridiculed for his enormous ears, the loveable baby circus elephant becomes a sensation when he discovers he can use them to fly!

Dumbo_silver_Blog

Struck from 1oz of 99.9% pure silver in proof quality, this coin portrays Dumbo in flight with Timothy the mouse sitting in the brim of his hat.

No more than 10,000 of the 75th Anniversary of Dumbo 2016 1oz Silver Coin will be released, each in an elegant wooden box accompanied by a numbered Certificate of Authenticity.

Dumbo_gold_Blog

Available in similar presentation packaging with a numbered Certificate of Authenticity, this 1/4oz version of the coin is struck from 99.99% pure gold. No more than 1,000 of the 75th Anniversary of Dumbo 2016 1/4oz Gold Coin will be released.

© Disney

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Apr 122016
 

New coins featuring two more famous Disney princesses are now available from The Perth Mint.

The latest gold and silver releases portray Tiana from the 2009 production The Princess and the Frog, and Rapunzel from the 2010 picture Tangled – the 49th and 50th animated features from Walt Disney Studios.

With vividly coloured character portrayals, both silver coins are made from 1oz of 99.9% pure silver in stunning proof quality. Fully-struck, their gold proof companions are both delicately crafted from 1/4oz of 99.99% pure gold.

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Like previous releases in this popular series, no more than 10,000 of each silver coin and 1,000 of each gold coin will ever be released, each housed in superb presentation packaging.

Further information:

Disney Princess – Tiana

Disney Princess – Rapunzel

Issued by NZ Mint
© Disney

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Apr 082016
 

The Siege of Tobruk commenced 75 years ago.

A small town on the Libyan coast, Tobruk was central to much of the fighting that took place in the Western Desert during World War II. A key naval outpost due to its location on a sheltered, deep water harbour, Tobruk was vital for the Allies’ defence of Egypt and the Suez Canal.

More than 14,000 men from the Australian 9th Division and the 18th Brigade of the Australian 7th Division, commanded by Lieutenant General Leslie Morshead, together with 12,000 British and Indian troops, held Tobruk until September 1941. Their objective was to prevent German forces from accessing the port, delaying their advance by forcing them to bring their supplies overland, and therefore buying the Allies more time to prepare a defence on the Egyptian frontier.

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Struck from 1oz of 99.9% pure silver in proof quality, this commemorative Australian coin portrays two Australian troops in the trenches during the Siege of Tobruk. No more than 5,000 75th Anniversary of WWII – The Rats of Tobruk coins will be issued.

Surrounded by German and Italian forces, the men of the Tobruk garrison withstood tank attacks, artillery barrages, and daily bombings for eight long months. At no point did they surrender or retreat. Their determination, bravery, and humour, combined with the aggressive tactics of their commanders, became a source of inspiration during some of the war’s darkest days.

As the siege ground on, Nazi propagandist Lord Haw Haw (William Joyce) broadcasting from Berlin, said the Allies were caught like “rats in a trap”. The derisive term was embraced by the Australian troops who took great pride in calling themselves the ‘Rats of Tobruk’.

In September and October, the 9th Australian Division was relieved by the British 70th Division which continued to defend Tobruk until the siege was eventually lifted in December 1941. According to the Australian War Memorial, between 8 April and 25 October 1941, Australian casualties from the 9th Division numbered 749 killed, 1,996 wounded, and 604 prisoners.

The 75th anniversary of the Siege of Tobruk will be commemorated at a national service to be held at 11.00 am on Sunday 10 April 2016, at the Rats of Tobruk Memorial on Anzac Parade  in Canberra.

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