Thursday, February 19, 2009

Eurozone Members Issue New 2009 2 Euro Collective Commemoration Coin

In early 2009 the participating member states of the European Union began issuing a special commemorative 2 euro coin to mark the 10th anniversary of the European Economic and Monetary Union (EMU).

The EMU is a three stage process started in 1990 with the aim of creating a unified economic policy for participating countries, culminating in a single currency to be used for all member states. The idea of a unified currency throughout Europe was not a new one even at that time, with talk back in 1929 of a singular monetary system to be used due to the inclusion of new European nations born out of World War I. It is the third stage of the EMU process, however, that is the cause for the commemoration - that being when the first euro coins and banknotes were adopted by the original 11 member states; Austria, Belgium, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal and Spain. Although it wasn't until January 2002 that the coins and banknotes were actually entered into circulation, the three year transition started in 1999 and for that there is this anniversary. Since the original implementation of the euro currency a number of other countries have fullfilled the necessary economic requirements to begin using the euro, those being at the time of this article Greece (2001), Slovenia (2007), Cyprus and Malta (2008) and Slovakia (2009). Several other countries are planning on adopting the euro currency in future and a complete list, along with other information, can be found at the Euro Collections Frequently Asked Questions page.

Each of the 16 member states to have completed stage three of the EMU process will be issuing coins to mark the anniversary, with Germany issuing one each from its five mints (a total of 20 coins from 16 countries). The look of the coins was chosen through a competition and public vote. First designers were invited to submit their designs for the special commemorative and then residents and citizens of the eurozone countries were asked to vote on their favorite design through an online ballot. The winning design was by Mr. George Stamatopoulos, sculptor at the Minting Department of the Bank of Greece, and features a stick figure inside a a circle, with its left arm outstretched to form part of the euro currency symbol. The image is done in a very hand drawn-style and aims to convey the idea of a single currency and the EMU role in Europe's trade and economic integration history. Where each coin differs from the others is in the inscription, with the country of issue shown above, and the anniversary shown below the central design, written in the native language of the respective issuing country. The 5 German coins are distinguishable by their individual mintmarks, located at the right of the main image.

This is only the second time in the short history of the Euro that the member states have come together in a collective release of a 2 euro commemorative, after the 2007 Treaty of Rome issue. With growing demand in 2 euro commemorative coins this unique series will no doubt gain much interest from the collecting public.

Euro Collections International has a special 2009 Economic and Monetary Union Anniversary section on their website, where you can inspect each of the coins currently on offer.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Royal Mint Issues Extremely Limited Edition £5 Concorde Gold Coin

Arriving near the end of 2008, this exquisite gold coin was issued from the British Royal Mint to commemorate 5 years since the British Airways fleet of Concorde aircraft was decommissioned. What makes this release so incredibly special, apart from the stunning design and packaging, is the fact that only 250 coins have been struck - making this one of the most limited edition gold coins on the planet!

Alderney 2008 £5 Concorde Gold Proof

Creating keen interest across the world coin buying market, this beautifully designed tribute to one of the greatest periods in aviation history is superbly struck from over one ounce of 22 carat gold, to the exacting proof standards of the Royal Mint.

British Airways, one of the most trusted names in avionics, started flying Concords as part of their executive fleet back in 1969. From that time the unique design, luxurious standards and supersonic travel have captivated travellers and aviation enthusiasts the world over. The fleet was in service for 34 years before the final flight, from New York to London, flew on October 24, 2003, thereby ending an era in airline travel we are unlikely to see again.

Featuring an intricately detailed technical design of the Concorde on the reverse side, along with a silhouette showcasing the unique delta-wing shape and representation of the Concorde's famous supersonic speed and sonic boom, this captivating gold coin is further enhanced by the elegant walnut-veneer official Royal Mint presentation case that perfectly displays such a fine example of numismatic creativity. Accompanying the coin and case is a specially designed, individually numbered Certificate of Authenticity, confirming the extremely low mintage of just 250 coins world-wide.

A fine addition to the Royal Mint's already impressive catalogue of high quality gold proof coins in low mintages, the Alderney 2008 £5 Concorde Gold Proof weighs in at a massive 39.94 grams of 22 carat gold, across a 38.61mm flan that perfectly showcases the wonderfully detailed designs created by the expert sculptors at the Royal Mint.

Sure to draw interest from gold coin collectors as well as aviation memorabilia collectors, Euro Collections International currently has only a handful of these unique precious metal issues available to offer. With no chance of replenishment upon an assured sell-out due to such a low mintage, this means that discerning collectors must get in quick to avoid disappointment. With the price sure to rise on the secondary market, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to own a truly unique legal tender keepsake to the most captivating passenger airplane ever to grace our skies, at the exclusive ECI price of just US$1797.00

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Treasures of Australia Diamonds Gold and Silver Coins

Following on in the hugely successful Treasures of Australia series of stunning Gold and Silver collector coins is the 2009 releases containing the world's most sought-after gemstone, Diamonds.

Started in 2007, the Treasures of Australia coin series issued by The Perth Mint are an example in innovative minting and production techniques, with each Gold or Silver coin featuring an embedded transparent locket complete with a small selection of gemstones.

The first coin released in this series featured beautiful blue sapphires, while the 2008 edition featured the stunningly unique Australian opals. Both of those previous issues sold out within months of being released. Now comes the much-anticipated Diamonds issue and even at the time of posting this article, with the coin having only been released on ECI less than one month ago, the Treasures of Australia Diamonds Silver coin has already sold out and the Gold looks sure to follow. Is it any wonder really, with 1 carat of genuine rough diamonds, the world's favorite gemstone, captured within 1 ounce of silver or gold, that these coins have turned out to be so popular.

Each coin in the series is official legal tender in Australia and features a minimal, stylised design of the stark Australian outback where these precious stones were mined. So exquisite and bright and alluring are the stones, it's hard to believe they would be found amongst one of the harshest environments in the world. The silver coin is struck from 1 ounce (31.10g) of 99.9% fine silver on a 40.60mm flan and carries the denomination of 1 dollar, with a total mintage of only 7,500. The gold coin is struck from 1 ounce of 99.99% pure gold on a 36.10mm flan and carries the face value of 100 Dollars, with a tiny mintage of only 1000 coins being produced worldwide.

Each Gold or Silver coin is presented in an official Perth Mint case specially designed for the series, featuring a genuine jarrah timber lid. The case is housed within a bright, full-colour outer box and comes complete with a numbered Certificate of Authenticity.

While it may be too late to acquire the Silver proof edition of this incredibly alluring release, there is still time to get your piece of this much sought-after series by acquiring the 1oz Gold proof at a very competitive price that will surely not last long.