Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Austrian Mint Announce 2009 Coin Schedule

Plenty to be excited over from this packed issuing programme!

Many of you will be interested to hear that the Austrian Mint has released their issuing schedule for 2009. Amongst the selection of expertly crafted Silver Proof, Gold Proof and Brilliant Uncirculated coinage to be released next year are a number of commemoratives from on-going coin series’, not to mention the start of an exciting brand new series of Austrian coins.

January sees the release of the Austrian 2 Euro commemorative coin – this year's release pays tribute to the 10th anniversary of Austria adopting the Euro as its official currency, replacing the Shilling on January 1, 1999. Also out in January (14th) is the first 5 Euro release for 2009. The coin is also part of the 2009 Europa Star Coin Program and commemorates the 200th Anniversary of the death of Austria's greatest musical composer, Joseph Haydn.

In February we have the next in the superbly crafted precious metal series of "Celebrated Physicians of Austria", with the release of the Theodor Billroth Gold Proof commemorative. Billroth was a German-born Austrian surgeon, widely regarded as being the father of modern abdominal surgery. He is credited with performing the first successful gastrectomy in 1881. April 26, 2009 marks the 180th anniversary of Theodor Billroth's birth.

March celebrates the "Year of Astronomy" with a brand new 25 Euro Silver/Niobium coin. This is sure to get collectors excited if the huge success of the "Fascination of Light" coin is anything to go by.

April sees the start of a new silver coin series for the Austrian Mint entitled "Tales and Legends of Austria". There will be two coins released for the series this coming year; "The Basilisk of Vienna" will be released in April with "Richard the Lionheart in Durnstein" released in October. No word yet on how long this series is planned to run for but both issues for 2009 will be available in Uncirculated, Brilliant Uncirculated and Proof quality for keen collectors of Austrian silver coins.

The annual Austrian Mint coin set for 2009 arrives in May and includes all 8 Euro of Austria (1 cent-2 Euro). The 2 Euro coin included with the set will be the commemorative issue "10 Years European Monetary Union" that was issued individually in January. Also released in May will be the special 5 Euro Silver coin commemorative paying tribute to the 200th anniversary of Tyrolean Resistance Fighters.

The ever-popular "Austrian Railways" Silver Proof coin series will come to a close in 2009 with the final two issues scheduled for the second half of 2009. "Electric Railways" will be released on June 17, while "Railway of the Future" will be available from September 9. As with each of the previous releases in this series we eagerly await the wonderfully intricate designs of these high-crafted proof coins. For anyone interested in the perfect way to display these coins the official Austrian Mint Railways Collection case is currently available at ECI. The coin holds all 6 coins in a plush blue insert but be quick, stocks of these cases are already limited and a sell-out is guaranteed once all coins in the series have been released.

Carrying on the tradition of previous years October sees the release of the 2009 Proof set. Much like the coin set in May, the proof set will feature 8 Austrian Euro coins from the 1 cent to the 2 Euro, with the 2 Euro coin being a proof version of the "10 Years European Monetary Union" commemorative issued in January.

Rounding out the year in November the Austrian Mint carry on their new Gold Proof coin series entitled "Crowns of the House of Habsburg". This series began only a week ago with the release of the "Crown of the Holy Roman Empire" gold coin, and 2009 will see the release of the "Crown of the Austrian Archduke".

All in all a fantastic line up of releases throughout 2009, with much to look forward to. As official distributor for the Austrian Mint, Euro Collections International will be offering all releases as they become available throughout the year. To get notification of items as they are released visit our homepage at http://www.eurocollections.com and sign up to the mailing list.

You can also download the issuing schedule yourself direct from the Austrian Mint website by clicking here.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Great Abbeys of Austria Silver Coin Series

...Comes To An End With A Truely Awe-Inspiring Final Issue

With the release of the Abbey of Seckau silver coins on October 8th, the Austrian Mint have concluded their widely popular 10 Euro commemorative coin series entitled "Great Abbeys of Austria". The silver coin series, started in 2006 with the release of the Nonnberg Abbey coin, has seen 6 issues released over the last 2 years, with each issue available in both Silver Proof and Brilliant Uncirculated condition.

This final issue, commemorating the Benedictine Abbey at Seckau in the northern province of Styria is, like its predecessors, a work of incredible craftsmanship. The stunning attention to detail depicted in all the coins in this series is simply breath taking, but none so much as this final issue.

No mint manages to make such incredible use of their coin flans as the Austrian Mint does and this coin (as with others in the Abbey series) is no exception. The Obverse design on this Austrian coin carries a view of the Abbey and Basilica shown from the east. This aerial depiction displays the general cross-shaped design of the structure. Towards the top of the coin are the two great towers that flank the Abbey's main entrance. The fine design work in illustrating everything from the roof slats, windows, brickwork and surrounding foliage is truly remarkable and most certainly eye catching. Also included on this side is the country of issue "REPUBLIK OESTERREICH" (Republic of Austria), the denomination of 10 Euros, the year of issue, 2008, and the name of the abbey itself "BENEDIKTINER ABTEI SECKAU" (Benedictine Abbey Seckau).

On the Reverse side things go a step further with the magnificently detailed image of the nave of the Romanesque church looking down towards the high altar. A crucifixion group hangs above the altar from four large chains. The Romanesque archways that lead down on each side, accompanied by the intricate Gothic ceiling, give this design a depth rarely seen on any coin. The coin has an almost three dimensional quality, enhanced by the church pews in the foreground.

The following information about the Seckau Abbey is taken from the Austrian Mint press release:

Seckau did not begin its existence as a Benedictine foundation. It was founded in 1140 as an abbey of Augustinian canons at St. Marein-Feistritz by a nobleman, Adalram von Waldeck - apparently as a penitential act for the death of his cousin. The place proved unsuitable, and in 1142 the abbey was moved to near-by Seckau. A year later Pope Innocent II placed the new foundation directly under papal protection. It was to be a double monastery with nuns (canonesses) from Salzburg forming a separate but adjoining convent. In 1150 they began to build the splendid Romanesque church which we still see today. In 1259 a fire destroyed much of the wooden ceiling and it was replaced with Gothic stone vaulting instead.

From 1218 Seckau was the seat of the new bishopric for Styria. The convent of canonesses was closed in the late 1500's. The biggest change came, however, in 1782 when the Emperor Joseph II instituted a policy of closure of those monastic establishments which he classified as "unproductive". The bishop’s seat was transferred to Graz and the basilica of Seckau with its adjoining Baroque complex was left deserted for just on one hundred years.

Bismarck’s Kulturkampf in 19th century Germany caused Benedictine monks from the southern German Abbey of Beuron to flee for protection to Austria. Emperor Franz Joseph gave them refuge firstly in Tyrol and then from 1880 in Prague. Their increasing numbers forced them to seek a second foundation, and in 1883 they bought the rights to Seckau. A new phase of life as a Benedictine abbey began. Three years later the north tower of the church collapsed and the monks rebuilt both towers more safely. In 1926 they opened a school.

During the second World War the abbey was closed. In 1945, the monks returned to what remained of the abbey. The energetic and hard working monks have succeeded in accumulating an impressive library of over 100,000 volumes. The abbey school was reopened, and girls have been admitted to the school since the 60's. One of the brothers ran a successful and well-known school for silver and goldsmiths until 1997. The abbey also houses on of the most significant works of sacred art from the modern era, a series of frescoes by H. Boeckl completed from 1952 to 1960. The frescoes depict scenes of the Revelation of St John the Divine and are located in the Angel Chapel.

The Seckau Abbey Silver Proof and Brilliant Uncirculated coin, as with the previous issues in this series, has a face value of 10 Euro and is struck in 92.5% fine silver. The Proof coins have a maximum mintage of 60,000 and are housed in an official case with numbered Certificate of Authenticity, while the BU coins have a mintage of 40,000 and are presented in a colourful information folder. Each coin is 32mm in diameter and weighs 16 grams.

The Seckau Abbey coin is the sixth and final issue in the "Great Abbeys of Austria" series, with the previous five issues featuring the following abbeys:

Nonnberg Abbey (2006)

Göttweig Abbey (2006)

Melk Abbey (2007)

St. Paul in Lavanttal (2007)

Klosterneuburg (2008)

All 6 coins in the Great Abbeys of Austria series are now available at Euro Collections in both Silver Proof and Brilliant Uncirculated condition.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Ancient Towns Of Russia Coin Series

When it comes to coin collecting there are many options to choose from. Some collect individual pieces while others ravenously snap up coins from a particular series. In the realm of modern world coins there are literally hundreds of different series' being produced all over the world, with some coin series' going back many years. One coin series that has been building in popularity over the years is the Russian coin series entitled "Ancient Towns of Russia."

In 2002 a series of bi-metallic Russian coins featuring ancient towns was begun by the Central Bank of Russia. Each year coins were produced that pay tribute to a different city in Russia, where the city was established anywhere between 700 and 1000 years ago. Some of the cities have no recorded establishment, only a first mention in a particular journal, while others have evidence of settlements dating as far back as BC.

Unlike a lot of coin programs throughout the world there is no set regularity to the number of coins released each year in this series, with some years seeing 4 coins issued and other years only 3. This inconsistency can frustrate collectors, as they often look forward to knowing a set number of issues will be released in any given year. Still, that doesn't seem to have slowed the interest level on this historic series, as collectors the world over ponder on the next ancient city to be honored.

There are, however, a few consistencies with regards to the coins themselves, as there should be with any good coin series. For the Ancient Towns of Russia series these include the bi-metallic composition of the coins, made from Brass (Outer Rim) and Cupro-Nickel (Inner Disc). Each coin features the same Obverse design; that of the denomination of 10 Rubles in the center disc (Represented by the number ‘10’ and the word “РУБЛЕЙ” (RUBLES). The number ‘0’ features a latent image generally used as a security measure against counterfeiting. These latent images are becoming more common throughout modern world coins with countries such as the Ukraine and Japan, amongst others, adopting the technique. When held at varying angles, the image on the Ancient Towns of Russia coins shows either ‘10’ or “РУБ” (RUB). In the outer rim at the top of the coin are the words “БАНК РОССИИ” (BANK OF RUSSIA), while at the bottom is always the year of issue. At either side of the coin are stylized twigs that cross over from outer rim to inner disc. The twigs may just be a design element or perhaps they have a greater significance. While this is a standard design for the Ancient Towns of Russia coin series, it is also the design used for all commemorative bi-metallic 10 Ruble Russian coins issued by the Central Bank of Russia.

The Reverse of each coin, while commemorating a different town, does carry consistent features. Those being the inscription of “ДРЕВНИЕ ГОРОДА РОССИИ” (ANCIENT RUSSIAN TOWNS) shown in the outer rim at the top of the coin, as well as the name of each town at the bottom of the coin. The inner disc image always features a view of the town being represented (of course), usually with a prominent landmark featured in the design if appropriate. The coat of arms for the town is also always shown, always in the upper portion of the inner disc.

As yet we have no information as to when the series will end. Russia is full of cities many centuries old so the opportunity to keep the series running for several more years is certainly there – and why not? The series represents a lasting tribute to places in Russia many of us would never have known about, let alone visited, had it not been for the coins in this series. The more attractive element of the series being that the coins are issued at a very reasonable price for collectors - and while the high mintages may mean that there isn’t going to be a huge appreciation in value over the years, those who do stick with it will find themselves with a unique and telling collection of coins that represent a little-known aspect of one of the oldest countries on Earth.

At the time of this article the following coins have been issued:

2002 Derbent
2002 Kostroma
2002 Staraya Russa

2003 Dorogobuzh
2003 Kasimow
2003 Murom
2003 Pskov

2004 Dmitrov
2004 Kemy
2004 Rijask

2005 Borovsk
2005 Kaliningrad
2005 Kazan
2005 Mcensk

2006 Belgorod
2006 Kargopol
2006 Torzhok

2007 Veliky Ustyug
2007 Vologda
2007 Gdov

2008 Vladimir

2008 Azov

2008 Smolensk

Euro Collections International currently has all released coins from this series available in stock, with plans to source future issues as they are released. You can check out the entire list of coins currently available in this series by visiting our Ancient Towns of Russia Category.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Latest Austrian Railways Silver Proof Released Today!

September 10, 2008 sees the release of the 4th coin in the beautifully designed and enormously popular Austrian Railways Silver Proof coin series. This stunning 20€ Silver Proof commemorates the Empress Elisabeth West Railway which was constructed between 1856 and 1860 and ran from Vienna to Salzburg.

The Austrian Railways coin series began in 2007 and will run until 2009 with a total of 6 coins being released over that period. 2007 saw the release of coins commemorating the Northern and Southern railways, considered the most important rail lines in the country. The 3rd coin in the series paid tribute to the Belle Epoque railway of the 19th and early 20th Century. With each coin released in the series comes a greater wave of popularity as coin collector and railway enthusiast alike appreciate the superbly detailed design and expert craftsmanship that goes into each of these stunning 20 Euro issues.

Austria 2008 20€ Empress Elisabeth Railway Silver Proof

The following information about the 2008 Empress Elisabeth Silver Proof has been supplied by the Austrian Mint:

Construction began in 1856 and by late 1858 the line had reached the city of Linz. In the next two years the line was extended to Salzburg, the first train from Vienna arriving on 26th May, 1860. The official opening was not until 12th August. On that day the Emperor Franz Joseph coming from Vienna and King Maximilian II of Bavaria coming from Munich arrived in the Salzburg Railway Station at precisely the same time. The official opening was followed by celebrations first in Munich and then in Vienna. The new line would also be used by Franz Joseph to travel to his beloved Bad Ischl in Summer, and by the Empress Elisabeth herself to travel home to see her family in Bavaria.

The locomotive 306 which appears on the obverse of the new coin, was designed and built in 1908 by the chief engineer Karl Gölsdorf. Unfortunately, it proved insufficiently strong to move the new heavy express trains and consequently only three engines of this model were constructed. The locomotive 306 was then employed in pulling the imperial court trains which Emperor Franz Joseph and members of the imperial family used on their frequent journeys throughout the Empire. Each line placed such a special train at the disposal of the imperial family, although the journeys themselves were billed to the court.

In 1881 the Empress Elisabeth West Railway, which had been struggling with financial problems, fell victim to the government’s plans to bring all the railways under the control of the Imperial State Railways. The entire network of lines and the running of all trains were incorporated into the state system. In 1884 the Empress Elisabeth West Railway was officially nationalised. After the First World War with the dismemberment of the Habsburg Empire, the North and South Railways declined in significance. The West Railway became (and remains) the most important line in the Republic of Austria.

The new silver 20-Euro coin shows the locomotive 306 steaming across an iron railway bridge. The reverse side depicts the platform hall of the West Railway Station in Vienna. A train has just arrived and the passengers begin to disembark. A railway official stands with a timetable in hand to assist passengers with inquiries. To the right is the statue of the Empress Elisabeth, who gave her name to the line. This figure was in the entrance to the old station, and although damaged in the Second World War, it stood until recently in the entrance hall of the new West Station.

As with all the issues in the Austrian Railways series, the 2008 Empress Elisabeth Silver Proof has been struck from .900 silver and has a maximum mintage of 50,000. Each individual coin is presented in it's own stylish case with a numbered Certificate of Authenticity. Also available as a separate product is an official Austrian Railways case with space to beautifully display all coins in this series.

Also Available:

Northern Railway

Southern Railway

Belle Epoque Railway

Austrian Railways Series Case

You can also visit the Austrian Railways section of ECI to view all the coins currently available in this series.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Making World Coins

Part One - Making Silver Proof Collector Coins

The first of a two-part article on the coin minting process, here we explain just how those beautiful Silver Proof world coins you have in your collection came to be made.

When you look at the exquisite craftsmanship, mirrored fields and highly detailed frosted designs of Proof coins it's hard to imagine they are produced in what looks to be nothing more than a metalwork factory. But that is essentially what the mint's coin processing area is.

Various world mints have differing nuances when it comes to minting their Proof coins, however the overall process is generally the same. In this article we will explain the techniques used to create Royal Canadian Mint coins. There are other differences too when it comes to minting circulation coins as opposed to Proof coins, and we will look at circulation coin production in part two of this article.

The Coin Process
The metal used for the coins (Sterling Silver or Pure Silver) is melted down in a furnace at around 2000 degrees Fahrenheit. The metal is then cast into a bars roughly 1.5 inches (3.8cm) high, 5 inches (12.7cm) wide and 30 inches (76.2cm) long. The individual bars are then put through the Roughing Mill, which flattens them to around 0.3 inches (0.8cm) thick. These sheets are then heated for added strengthen and run through the Finishing Mill which flattens them to the desired thickness dependent on the coin being minted.

The flattened sheets are then put through the blanking machine which punches out circular blank "coin" disks. The left over remnants of the sheet, called Scissel, is melted down to be made into more silver bars.

The blanks are fed through a Rimming machine, which adds a raised edge and removes the rough edge caused by the blanking process. The idea of the rim is to enable the design of the coin to be transferred faultlessly at the time it is struck. Adding a rim to a coin is said to add 10-15 years to the coins life.

From there the blanks are placed in a Burnishing machine which is sort of like a huge washing machine full of steel beads, cleaning solution and water. The beads work as an abrasive to finely polish the blanks. The Burnishing procedure is repeated many times over and can take up to 6 hours for a "cycle" to be completed. Once burnishing is complete, the blanks are spread out individually and towel dried by hand to ensure that no scratching or water marks appear on the surface.

The blanks are then fed through another furnace to heat and strengthen them prior to being struck.

The Design Process
The design process starts simply with an idea or theme which is then realized as an image. The design can come from an original artwork or a photograph or a combination of the two. The Mint designer creates the coin image on computer to be submitted for approval from Mint officials. From there another computer program connected to an engraving machine gets to work making a rough engraving onto a large plaster disk. This engraving process creates the design as a negative image which is then used as a mold to create a positive plaster disk. The positive disk is then enhanced by hand by a sculptor and the finished disk is used to cast a negative in plaster, which is then used to case a positive cast in rubber. From the positive rubber mold they cast a negative in a hard epoxy which is placed on a Pentagraph machine. The Pentagraph is a reducing machine which traces the larger hard epoxy disk and creates a smaller brass replica 1 1/2 times the size of the original. The reduced reproduction process takes 36 hours to complete and the resulting negative brass template is given to an engraver to fine tune. This is also where the lettering such as denomination, year and country of issue is added to the coin design.

The negative brass template is then put back on the reducing machine for another 36 hours where a copy is traced in high-grade steel, 1 1/2 times smaller than the brass disk. This reduced copy is called a matrix and it is the same size as the coin to be struck. The matrix is then struck onto a block of steel creating a positive image called a punch and finally the punch is struck onto another piece of steel to create a negative image. This is called a die (also known as working die) and it will be used to strike the coins themselves. There are two dies for each coin; the bottom die (Anvil) usually produces the side of the coin known as the Reverse, while the top die (Hammer) produces the Obverse.

Still following along with all those negatives and positives? The making of coins is a complicated process but each part of the puzzle is important in creating something that will stand the test of time.

Note: Depending on where you are in the world the sides of the coins may be the other way around. For example, in the United States the Obverse (also known as the "front" or "tails") is the side that carries the theme or focus of the coin, such as a commemorative event, anniversary or public figure of importance, while the Reverse (also known as the "back" or "heads") usually carries the portrait of a past US president or the United States coat of arms. In Australia the Reverse of a coin is the theme side (front) and the Obverse is known as "heads" on account of the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II being on that side.

Bringing Coin and Design Together
There are two different presses that can be used for striking collector coins. The Automatic press is mainly used for non-precious metals such as Copper and Nickel, and the Manual Press is used for Silver, Gold and Platinum coins. As Proof coins are placed into the press by hand an average 8-hour shift will produce around 8000 coins. Compare this to the 15 million circulation coins struck in a day and you begin to see the special care taken to create these miniature works of art.

The Proof dies strike the coin simultaneously, two or three times to create the high quality impression you see in your Proof issues. Each Proof coin is then individually examined to check for blemishes and warping. Due to the highly polished fields of Proof coins and the high pressure used to strike them, the striking process can sometimes produce a "ripple" effect noticeable in the mirrored portion of the coin. If this happens the coin is rejected and sent back to the furnaces for re-melting.

The finished Silver Proof coins are encapsulated and in most cases enhanced by elegant packaging that creates an even more splendid display for the collector upon purchasing.

Silver bars after being flattened

Going through Blanking machine

Coin blanks in the Burnishing Machine

Blanks are towel-dried by hand

Computerized coin design

Computer etching on plaster disk

Epoxy disk on Pentagraph machine

Matrix being etched from Brass template

Proof coins are minted by hand

Coin blank ready to be struck

Finished coin still in press

Canada 2008 $1 Silver Proof
- Example of finished Silver Proof coin

Below is a video presentation of the Silver Proof collector coin minting process.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Inspiring a New Generation of Young Coin Collectors

A fantastic initiative has been started by the Perth Mint to help encourage a new generation of coin collectors. The series promises to be a fun and educational experience for young collectors, as they collect their way through a variety of Australian animals featured on legal tender $1 Australian coins. The series has been exclusively designed to inspire a lifelong interest in coin collecting.

With news that the number of adult collectors around the world was on a decline, the Perth Mint took the market-leading step of creating a series of coins with motifs appealing to children aged between 8 and 12.

The coins released in the 2008 series are broken up into 3 'elemental' categories with four 30.20mm coins in each:

Palm Cockatoo - This dark-colored bird is located throughout the rainforests of Northern Queensland. Apart from being the largest in the cockatoo family it is distinctive due to having one of the largest bills of any parrot species.
Wedge Tailed Eagle - Named on account of it's distinctively wedge shaped tail, the 'Wedgie' is Australia's largest bird of prey and one of the largest in the world, with an average wing span of over 8 meters.
Ghost Bat - Appearing ghostly at night due to having an extremely thin wing membrane, this is the only carnivorous bat found in Australia. Their numbers are almost exclusively found throughout northern Australia.
Splendid Wren – Also known as the Blue Wren in Western Australia, this bird is noticeable on account of it's stunning blue plummage. Located throughout the more arid and semi-arid regions of Australia, the Splendid Wren feeds mainly on insects and seeds.

Echidna - One of Australia's unique egg-laying mammals, the Echidna is also known as the spiny anteater. Covered with hard spines and with powerful claws, the Echidna's small stature and cute appearance are quite deceptive.
Grey Kangaroo - By far and away Australia's most iconic animal, this marsupial was named from the aboriginal word 'gangurru', and can grow to around 6 feet in height.
Common Wombat - These short herbivorous marsupials inhabit forest and mountain ranges in the southern areas of Australia, including Tasmania. The Common Wombat has evolved down from a rhinoceros-sized Giant Wombat of prehistoric times.
Frill-Necked Lizard – These little dragons are predominately found in the Kimberley region of Australia. They are so named due to a large curtain of skin which will flare out when the lizard is frightened or provoked.

Whale Shark - Found in tropical areas such as Australia's northern ocean, the Whale Shark is the largest of the fish species - but despite it's name and size these sharks are not 'man eaters'.
Platypus - First thought of as a hoax when seen by European settlers, the distinctly Australian platypus is one of only 2 distinct species of egg-laying mammals - but also one of only a few venomous ones.
Green Turtle - This large and endangered turtle is different from it's cousins in that it can often be seen basking in the sun of tropical beaches in northern Australia.
Australian Sea Lion – This species of sea lion only inhabits the south and west coasts of Australia. Numbers have grown since the harvesting of sea lions was prohibited in 1972.

Each coin is housed in it's own individual information card. These brightly colored, beautifully illustrated cards offer factual information about each respective animal, such as where they are located, what they eat and whether or not they are endangered. Featuring a stunningly detailed image of each animal on the front of each card, this is a great way of introducing young ones to the wide range of animals that inhabit the far-off land 'down under'.

Obtaining the complete set also gets you a few added extras, such as activity sheets featuring word games and puzzles, as well as a series of full-color animal stickers that can be used to adorn school books, bedroom doors, etc.

But that's not all...

As if all that wasn't enough, by purchasing the complete set of 12 uniquely Australian $1 collector coins you get a free bonus bronze medallion featuring the ambassador of the coins, 'Gordy the Gecko'. This cheeky little mascot adorns the medallion in full color exhibiting bountiful excitement and fun. The medallion is also housed on a card with a personal note to collectors.

All the coins, information cards and bonus goodies come beautifully packaged in a full color ring-binder featuring a 3D image of a Kangaroo on the front cover and housed in a brightly designed protective outer sleeve, making this an wonderful gift idea that parents and grand parents can give youngsters as a fun and interesting learning tool. The sturdy packaging means that the set can be viewed often and will stand up to the riggers of wear that often accompany enthusiasm, or can be stored for future generations to admire.

The 2008 Young Collectors set is the first in a series of coin collections to be released in coming years, with the goal of inspiring children to share in the passion of the world's most popular hobby. The official Young Collectors Website is a fun, colorful and informative place that furthers the interest and knowledge by supplying tips on caring for the set as well as plenty if tidbit information on the animals that inspired each coin.

The complete set of these adorable $1 Australian icons is now available through Euro Collections International.