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.

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