Apr 112017
 

The history of the Australian stock horse dates back to the arrival of Australia’s first horses with the First Fleet of 1788. Bred to endure the harsh conditions of the colony’s vast outback, their agility, strength and endurance meant they became superbly suited to herding and exploration work. Today, Australia’s legendary stock horse is regarded as the breed for every need, including a wide range of modern day equestrian activities including polocross, camp drafting, and eventing.

Since 2013, The Perth Mint has portrayed images of the iconic stock horse on Australian bullion coins each struck from 1oz of pure silver. Within the maximum mintage of 10,000, a limited issue of just 1,000 coins is released annually for collectors in illustrated card packaging.

With strong demand for each of the previous four issues resulting in a rapid sell out, it’s odds on the 2017 Australian Stock Horse 1oz Silver Coin and Card will become another favourite!

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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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Feb 282017
 

The polar bear evolved about 200,000 years ago from its brown bear ancestors. Alternatively known as the sea bear, ice bear, or white bear, it’s superbly adapted for survival in the Arctic.

Courtship and mating take place in April and May after which the female polar bear digs a maternity den in the snow in which to birth and subsequently protect her young from extreme weather. On average she has two cubs which are born blind between November and February.

Newborn cubs are totally dependent on their mother’s milk for nourishment. During spring she breaks open the den to enable them to play outside. Shortly afterwards they begin the long walk to the sea ice, where she teaches the cubs how to stalk seals on the surface.

The cubs are generally weaned at a little over two years old, when their mother chases them away or abandons them. Adorable in appearance during their developing years, polar bears become apex predators and some of the most dangerous animals in the world.

Polar Babies – Polar Bear 2017 1/2oz Silver Proof Coin

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The first coin from our new Polar Babies Series portrays a polar bear during the cutest phase of its life. The innocent-faced cub, which appears on a struck design featuring Arctic motifs, is coloured white.

💡 Did you know? A polar bear’s fur is actually pigment-free. Each hair shaft is transparent with a hollow core that scatters and reflects visible light, much like what happens with ice and snow.

Made from 1/2oz of 99.99% pure silver, the coin precedes future releases portraying equally endearing representations of a young emperor penguin, Arctic fox, harp seal, and sea otter.

No more than 5,000 of each coin in the Series will be released by The Perth Mint in individual presentation packaging with a numbered Certificate of Authenticity.

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 Comments Off on New series features the Arctic’s cutest cubs, beginning with the polar bear  Tagged with: ,
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 182016
 

Even though they’ve been one of our closest animal companions for thousands of years, cats have never entirely shed the impulses of their wild ancestors. Frequently aloof and self-sufficient, they’re powerless to suppress their primal instincts to hunt and kill.

And yet, in any affectionate feline encounter, who can withstand the urge to stroke a cat’s velvety fur? The desire among humans to embrace this contrary creature is virtually irresistible – especially when it’s a cute, playful little kitten!
cubs-x5coinsPortraying the offspring of a tiger, jaguar, snow leopard, white lion, and lynx, The Cubs series of coins is inspired by our deep-seated emotional response to cats and their young.

High-spirited and boisterous, the antics of these cubs are just as appealing as their domesticated cousins. But destined to be dedicated hunters in their own wild domains, each one epitomizes the untamable essence of every suburban moggy.

All five Cubs coins available now! Click here for full details.

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Oct 092015
 

It was during our first visit to Australia back in the 90s that we travelled to Cairns in Tropical North Queensland. The hotel location provided easy access to Mount Whitefield Regional Park and its walking tracks through the rainforest. As visitors from overseas we were particularly intrigued by a sign indicating the area was home to Southern Cassowaries, and eager to experience unique Aussie wildlife, set off in determined mood to see the mystery bird.

Sweating all day in the oppressive heat (later described as “unusually cool” for the time of year), we covered many kilometres in search of the apparently aloof creature. Despite being stopped in our tracks by a giant lizard, we headed home disappointed that our much anticipated meeting had failed to materialise.

SouthernCassowary_coin

What had we been thinking!! That night, over a well-deserved ice-cold beer (or two), we read hair-raising tales about the dangers of spooking a Cassowary. According to the info at hand, a bird that feels threatened may defend itself by charging and kicking with dagger-like claws, literally opening us up to the possibility of disembowelment!

(If you ever get yourself into a face-off with an irritable Cassowary, the literature advised holding a backpack between your torso and the bird while slowly backing away).

Having subsequently witnessed a Southern Cassowary at the zoo, this is a truly striking animal. Related to other flightless birds like the emu, ostrich and kiwi, it can tower up to two metres tall and weigh as much as 70kg – making it Australia’s heaviest bird. Possessing a vivid blue head, drooping red wattles and a ‘casque’, or horn-like structure on top of its head, the species’ extraordinary appearance is strongly suggestive of its dinosaur ancestry.

Unfortunately, the Southern Cassowary is now in serious difficulty. Degradation and fragmentation of its habitat as well as vehicle strikes and dog attacks mean that it’s a threatened species at State and Federal levels, and also listed as vulnerable by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. What many probably don’t realise is that Queensland numbers have fallen to only two or three thousand.

Endangered and Extinct – Southern Cassowary 2016 1oz Silver Proof Coin

That memorable day in the tropical rainforest makes this new release from the Endangered and Extinct Series one of significant personal interest. Depicting a vivid portrait of a Southern Cassowary with a chick, its low mintage of just 5,000 means more of these coins exist than there are birds in the wild – alarming!

Looking back, it’s a relief our paths never crossed. Today it seems more appropriate to appreciate Australia’s rare Southern Cassowary through the medium of this stunning silver coin.

Cassowary-coin-display

Endangered and Extinct – Southern Cassowary 2016 1oz Silver Proof Coin

written by Stephen Ward

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