Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Australia's First Flight Centenary Commemorated With Silver Coin

July 1, 2009: To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the first controlled flight in Australian skies, and to honour the man responsible for this historic feat of aeronautical engineering, George Augustus Taylor, the Perth Mint have struck a new collector silver coin sure to be of keen interest to collectors around the globe.

Tuvalu 2009 $1 First Australian Flight Centenary 1oz Silver Proof

Some background information about this important moment in history taken from Downies advertising material:

For a nation built on the pioneering spirit, Australia’s rich, extraordinary history in the field of aviation should come as no surprise.

The intrepid balloonists of the 19th century; the highly influential work of Lawrence Hargrave, known as the ‘Father of Australian Aviation’; the first powered flight in Australia by master escapologist Harry Houdini in 1910; the strong tradition of aircraft development from WWI on; the legendary ‘long distance flights’ of those such as Charles Kingsford Smith, Charles Ulm and Bert Hinkler; Australia’s first astronaut, Philip K. Chapman…Australia has long been at the forefront of humanity’s efforts to take to the skies. Whilst his name may not be quite as well known as those of his fellow pioneers, George Augustine Taylor played a key role in the development of Australian aviation.

A quiet, determined man, Taylor was a passionate proponent of Australian aviation at the turn of the 20th century. The power behind the Aerial League of Australia, Taylor was inspired by the revolutionary work of the aforementioned Lawrence Hargrave in the late 19th century. Taylor had assisted Hargrave with some of his later experiments, and the glider Taylor designed, built and then piloted at Narrabeen in December 1909 was influenced substantially by Hargrave’s famous box kites. Successfully employing Hargrave’s theories, Taylor made history in December 1909, by taking to the air above Narrabeen beach in his box kite wing construction – the fi rst ever controlled flight in a ‘heavier-than-air’ craft in Australia. Piloted by Taylor and his colleagues, Charles Schultz and Edward Hallstrom, the glider flew 29 times over the course of the day – including a flight each by Taylor’s wife Florence and Schultz’s wife Emma. Another in the series of ‘firsts’ connected with this landmark event, Florence Taylor’s brief flight saw her become the first woman to fly in Australia.

Building the first aeroplane factory in Australia, creating the first organisation devoted to Australian aviation (the Aerial League of Australia) – and launching the first Australian aeronautical lawsuit! – Taylor was a true Aussie pioneer. Exactly one hundred years after his greatest triumph, over the sandhills of Narrabeen, we salute ‘the first man in Australian skies’.

On the reverse is a portrait of George Taylor, with the sandhills of Narrabeen in the background. Soaring over the hills is George on the box kite-styled glider, with the inscription "Heavier Than Air" above that. At the top is the anniversary inscription and years "First Australian Flight - 1909-2009". The obverse carries an effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, with the country and year of issue, together with the face value, inscribed around the bottom rim.

Issued under the authority of Tuvalu, this eye-catching tribute to Australian ingenuity and triumph is struck from 1 ounce (31.10 grams) of 99.9% fine silver on an impressive 40mm flan. Each coin is encapsulated and presented in official packaging including an elegant plush jewel case and full-colour outer box. Accompanying each coin is a numbered Certificate of Authenticity confirming the exclusive mintage of just 5000 silver coins produced worldwide.

Given the exclusive nature of this coin and the worldwide demand for coins with an aviation theme a sell-out is assured. Be one of the lucky few to own this stunning commemorative by visiting our Tuvalu 2009 $1 First Australian Flight Centenary 1oz Silver Proof page at Euro Collections International.

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Germany Issues Silver Coin To Commemorate 100th Anniversary of International Aerospace Exhibition

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the first German International Aerospace Exhibition, held in Frankfurt am Maim in 1909. The exhibition, known in Germany as Internationale Luft- und Raumfahrtausstellung (ILA) is a bi-annual event now held on the southern section of the Berlin-Schönefeld Airport. the IAE is counted as one of the largest and most important of the aerospace exhibitions held over the world.

Germany 2009 10€ 100th Anniv International Aerospace Exhibition Silver BU

As the IAE was first held 100 years ago it has claim to also being the oldest aviation show in the world. Not only that, but the first show was also the inspiration of various flying clubs to combine and form the German Pilots' Association in April 1910, followed soon after by the Association of German Aircraft Makers. This established a close connection between the IAE and the future Federal Association of the Aerospace Industry (BDLI), an organisation that still exists today. The first IAE lasted no less than 100 days and was kicked off by a stunning display of dozens of hot air balloons ascending to the heavens.

It's no wonder then that the Munich Mint has produced such a stunning commemorative silver issue to go along with such a prestigious and important event. Featured on the reverse is a beautifully detailed composition linked together by an image of a modern commercial passenger airplane coming in to land on a runway. On either side of the plane are sections dedicated to historic modes of aviations, from hot air balloons and gliders, to helicopters, jet aircraft and even the international space station. Around the rim of the coin is the inscription for the anniversary reading "100 Years International Aerospace Exhibition". The obverse contains the familiar elements of German 10 euro commemorative silver coins, that of the Eagle motif, symbolic of the State Emblem of the Federal Republic of Germany. The Eagle design is different for each commemorative issue, and is styled to compliment the reverse designs. Above the eagle are the 12 stars signifying the European Union. Below is the nominal face value of 10 euros, with the "D" mintmark of the Munich Mint below that. At the very bottom is the inscription "Federal Republic of Germany 2009".

Each coin is struck from 18 grams of 92.5% sterling silver on a 32.50mm flan. The coin is available in both brilliant uncirculated and proof quality, with the same design featured on both coins. The brilliant uncirculated issue is supplied in a protective plastic flip, while the proof coin is encapsulated in hard plastic.

Euro Collection International currently has stock of both the Germany 2009 10€ 100th Anniv International Aerospace Exhibition Silver Proof and Germany 2009 10€ 100th Anniv International Aerospace Exhibition Silver BU available to order through our website.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Austrian Mint To Issue Electric Railways Silver Coin

June 17, 2009: The Austrian Mint has issued the fifth coin in their successful 20 euro silver proof series dedicated to The Austrian Railways. This latest release pays tribute to the Electric Railway and is the second to last coin in the series, with the final coin due out in September.

Austria 2009 20€ Electric Railway Silver Proof

The first Austrian electric train was used as a fairground attraction for the 50th birthday celebrations of Emperor Franz Joseph in 1880. Two years later Emperor Joseph authorised the construction of the first public electric railway - carrying passengers on a 5 kilometre day trip from the country town of Mödling into the popular Brühl valley, just outside of Vienna. Originally operating on direct current, it wasn't long before longer railways lines and branches prompted the change to alternating current. In 1911 the electric trains using alternating current were put to use on a 90 kilometre stretch of line to the pilgrimage centre of Mariazell. In 1913 an agreement was made between Norway, Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Sweden for the purposes of unifying an electric railway system, that an alternating current of 15,000 volts be used throughout. Unfortunately, no such agreement was accepted by rail authorities in other countries and as such Europe does not have a unified electric rail transport system.

From the Austrian Mint website:

The First World War interrupted further progress. The new Austrian Republic found the problem of coal supplies for steam engines almost insurmountable and turned to an old imperial study on electrification of the railways. In the 1920’s the alpine lines of the Arlberg railway and the Salzkammergut railway were converted. Electric power improved not only the performance on steep inclines but also freed staff and passengers from unpleasant smoke concentrations, as well as acid rain in tunnels.

New engines were developed. One such was the model 1100 which, because the engine was articulated at both ends with a high cab in the middle and green in colour, was dubbed the “Crocodile”. The articulation allowed this engine type to negotiate tight mountain curves better. The cab in the middle was were the crew and transformer were located.

Electrification went on until 1940 when the Second World War again brought it to a standstill. The conversion of the major lines was completed in the 1950’s. By 1988 only 54% of Austrian lines were electric, but those lines carried 92% of the passenger and freight transport. The era of steam-driven locomotives was at an end.

Featured on the obverse is a detailed depiction of an electric engine known as model 1189 (Nicknamed the "Crocodile"). It is shown coming out from the western exit of the Arlberg tunnel, in the western area of the Austrian Alps. In the upper right is the nominal face value of 20 euros, as well as the country of issue "Republik Oesterreich". At the bottom is the name and nickname of the engine. The reverse design shows engine model 1100 traversing the spectacular Trisanna Bridge on the Arlberg line. In the background can be seen the Wiesburg Castle and mountains. At the bottom is the name of the 231 metre bridge, known at it's time of construction in 1884 as the longest arched steel railway bridge in the world.

Each silver coin is struck from 18 grams of 90% fine silver on a 34mm flan to the highest proof standards of the Austrian Mint. The coin is encapsulated and presented in it's own, official Austrian Mint jewel case, along with a certificate of authenticity confirming the mintage of 50,000 silver coins released worldwide.

Euro Collections International has the Austria 2009 20€ Electric Railway Silver Proof available to order now from the website.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Perth Mint Release Australian $1 Year of Astronomy Silver Coin With Colour!

May 22, 2009: The Perth Mint have issued a stunning tribute marking the International Year of Astronomy as part of it's commemorative silver coin issues for 2009. Struck to the high proof standards of the Perth Mint the coin also features the eye-catching enhancement of a richly coloured "night sky". The International Year of Astronomy is a joint initiative set out between the International Astronomical Union and UNESCO, designed to bring attention to the skies for people in general but young people in particular.

Australia 2009 $1 Astronomy 1oz Silver Proof

Issued as an Australia one dollar legal tender issue, the coin is part of celebrations marking 2009 as the International Year of Astronomy. This year was given the title due to two significant anniversaries of an astronomical theme; the 400th anniversary of the first recorded astronomical observations with a telescope by Galileo Galilei - as well as the 400th anniversary of the publication of Johannes Kepler's "A New Astronomy" manuscript which detailed the first two of his three laws on planetary motion. Both events played major parts in our understanding of the universe we are amongst, and advanced our knowledge of the stars and beyond.

This beautiful silver coin with colour features on it's reverse a design of two young people using a modern telescope to gaze out amongst the coloured representation of the night sky. In the upper right is the Southern Cross constellation, of symbolic importance to Australia. In the upper left is the inscription "International Year of Astronomy 2009". The Perth Mint "P" mintmark is found to the lower left. The obverse features the majestic profile portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, designed by expert sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley. Also found on the obverse is the year and country of issue and the nominal face value.

Each coin is struck from approximately 1 ounce (31.10 grams) of 99.9% fine silver on a 40.60mm flan in exact proof quality. The special celebratory issue is housed in official Perth Mint packaging including jewel case and stylish outer box with certificate of authenticity confirming a mintage of only 7500 coins issued worldwide. Euro Collections International currently has stocks of the Australia 2009 $1 Astronomy 1oz Silver Proof available to order through the website.