Nov 072014
 

The latest dinosaur to be portrayed on our Australian Age of Dinosaurs silver proof coin series is a bit of a tounge-twister! Its name is pronounced DIA-MAN-TINA-SAW-RUS.

Diamantinasaurus is a titanosaur, a group of plant eating sauropod dinosaurs that existed in the late Cretaceous Period. It lived in the Cenomanian Epoch between 100 and 95 million years ago.

Fossilised limb, rib and girdle remains of Diamantinasaurus were discovered in 2005 near Winton, central Queensland, by a local landowner and recovered from what was once an ancient billabong by the Australian Age of Dinosaurs Museum. It was described be vertebrate paleontologist Dr. Scott Hocknull and colleagues in 2009.

The dinosaur was nicknamed ‘Matilda’, after Waltzing Matilda, the world famous song by Australian poet Andrew Barton “Banjo” Paterson – the scientific name Diamantinasaurus matildae meaning Matilda’s Diamantina River lizard.

Matilda was approximately 16 metres long and would have weighed about 20 tonnes. The skeleton is extremely robust with heavy limbs and a thick, dense pelvic girdle. In contrast, the vertebrae in Matilda’s back and long neck are packed with numerous hollow chambers called ‘camerae’, which would have helped reduce its massive weight.

Like many other sauropod dinosaurs, Matilda may have been able to stand on its hind legs, using its tail for support. This would have enabled it to forage on the high reaching vegetation that was prolific at the time, including conifers, ginkgoes, cycads and angiosperms. It is also possible that it was a semi-aquatic animal that wallowed in billabongs, like the one that eventually preserved its fossils.

Diamantianasaurus-silver-coin-case

Struck by The Perth Mint from 1oz of 99.9% pure silver in proof quality, this 2015 coin from the Australian Age of Dinosaurs depicts the Diamantinasaurus matildae set against a prehistoric forest scene.

Issued as Australian legal tender in presentation packaging accompanied by a numbered Certificate of Authenticity, no more than 5,000 of these coins will be struck by The Perth Mint.

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Nov 042014
 

Found throughout mainland Australia, Tasmania and southern New Guinea, the Wedge-Tailed Eagle is Australia’s largest bird of prey, and with a wingspan of up to 2.7 metres, one of the biggest eagles in the world.

Identified by its long, wedge-shaped tail and feathered legs, the majestic bird is known to soar through the sky for hours on end, frequently reaching altitudes of up to 20,000 metres.

The Perth Mint is proud to issue this beautiful high relief coin featuring John Mercanti’s masterly portrayal of a Wedge-Tailed Eagle preparing to land. Made from 2oz of 99.99% pure gold, the magnificent tribute to Australia’s iconic eagle has a maximum mintage of just 1,000.


Australian Wedge-Tailed Eagle 2014 2oz Gold Proof High Relief Coin

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Oct 162014
 
Rainbow-Lorikeet-Credit---Andrew-Silcocks---BirdLife-Australia

Credit: : Andrew Silcocks – BirdLife Australia

From 20-26 October 2014, during national Bird Week, thousands of Australians will be taking part in the first-ever annual Aussie Backyard Bird Count.

The goal for the week is for Australian bird counters to spot a total of 100,000 birds, providing BirdLife Australia, the country’s largest independent, not-for-profit bird conservation organization, with important data to form a more detailed picture of the current state of Australian birdlife.

As well as traditional suburban backyards, participants will be spotting birds in local parks, school yards, farms and national parks – in fact in any green patch where they feel ‘at home’.

Get involved

If you’d like to get involved, all you need is 20 minutes and some keen eyesight (or binoculars). And it doesn’t matter if you’re a novice – BirdLife Australia has developed the Aussie Bird Count app to help identify and record every feathered friend spotted at your location.

Download the free appBackyardBird-app

You’ll instantly see live statistics and information on how many people are taking part near you and the number of birds and species counted not just across your neighbourhood, but the whole of Australia!

Win a bird coin prize

A fantastic opportunity to help secure the future of Australia’s native birds, the Aussie Backyard Bird Count also provides every participant with a chance to win one of 10 superb coin prizes donated by The Perth Mint.

As well as five stunning 1oz silver coins portraying the colourful Rainbow Lorikeet, we’re also donating five Stamp & Coin Covers featuring the beautiful Striated Pardalote, to be given away by BirdLife Australia during the count.

Lorikeet_coin Birds of Australia – Rainbow Lorikeet
2013 1/2oz Silver Proof Coin
Pardalote_Coin Striated Pardalote
2013 Stamp & Coin Cover

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This first-ever Aussie Backyard Bird Count forms part of the national celebrations for Bird Week 2014, with bird-focused events taking place across the country including art shows, bird walks, camps, and breakfasts with the birds.

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Australians have been celebrating National Bird Week for more than 100 years and with Spring the peak nesting and breeding season for many of Australia’s favourite birds, it’s the perfect time to see them in action and learn more about how we can help them.

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Oct 072014
 

October sees the launch of the latest coin from the Australia Map Shaped Series featuring native Australian animals.

The new coin portrays one of Australia’s most feared reptiles, the Saltwater Crocodile. A formidable and opportunistic predator, it’s capable of killing almost any animal that enters its territory!

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Australia Map Shaped Coin Series – Saltwater Crocodile 2014 1oz Silver Coin

Check out this video clip of the actual coin in capsule.

Issued as Australian legal tender, just 6,000 of these Saltwater Crocodile coins from the Australia Map Shaped 1oz Silver Series will be released in presentation packaging.

Australia Map Shaped Series

The Australia Map Shaped Coin Series has proved exceptionally popular since the first coin was issued in 2012. With a maximum mintage of 6,000, each coin is cleverly created from 1oz of 99.9% pure silver in the shape of Australia.

The Kookaburra, Emu, Kangaroo and Platypus releases have already sold out, and there are currently less than 1,000 Koala coins still available for sale. Please consider snapping up the latest release if you’re intending to pursue this series further or simply love all things crocodilian!

Map-Shaped-Series

Future assured for popular series

Contrary to information presented in this month’s Bulletin, this unique series is certain to continue in 2015 and beyond. Designs under consideration feature an adventurous and exciting selection of Australian animals that we’re sure will delight collectors going forward.

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Sep 152014
 

Named after its rich brown mahogany-coloured belly, the Mahogany Glider is a large gliding possum found only in the Wet Tropics of northern Queensland.

A nocturnal, elusive and silent marsupial, the Mahogany Glider was first described in the 1880s. It seemingly disappeared and was regarded as extinct until scientists rediscovered it living near Tully in 1989.

The area’s woodland provides the Mahogany Glider with an open canopy, allowing it to glide from tree to tree. It uses a ‘patagium’, or flat parachute-like extension of skin, to glide distances of 30 metres and more.

With the smallest range of any mammal in Australia and ongoing loss of habitat, the Mahogany Glider is now in danger of extinction.

Mahogany Glider coin

Endangered and Extinct – Mahogany Glider 2015 1oz Silver Proof Coin

Available from today, this latest addition to the Endangered and Extinct coin series features a Mahogany Glider perched on a tree branch framed by gumnuts and gum leaves.

Struck from 1oz of 99.9% pure silver, no more than 5,000 of these coins will be released, each housed in a presentation case and delightfully illustrated shipper.

Click here for full product details.

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.

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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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