Monday, July 27, 2009

Slovakia Issue First Euro Silver Coin Commemorative - 150th Anniversary Of Birth Of Aurel Stodola

April 27, 2009: The National Bank of Slovakia has issued their first silver coin commemorative since the change over from their national Koruna currency to the euro on January 1, 2009. This inaugural silver euro release has been released to mark the 150th anniversary of the birth of noted Physicist, Engineer and Inventor, Aurel Stodola.

Slovakia 2009 10€ 150th Anniv Birth Of Aurel Stodola Silver Proof

Aurel Boreslav Stodola (1859-1942) is regarded as the Father of the Steam Turbine and was apioneer in technical thermodynamics and its applications. His book on the subject, Die Dampfturbine, was published in 1903 and discussed not only the thermodynamic issues involved in turbine design but also aspects of fluid flow, vibration, stress analysis of plates, shells and rotating discs and stress concentrations at holes and fillets.

Stodola was also a noted mathematician and university professor, as well as a close friend to Albert Einstein, who had much admiration for his older colleague in Zurich. Amongst other things it was his creative activities, his desire for knowledge and his exceptionally clear thinking that Einstein admired him for. He once remarked "“If Stodola had been born during the Renaissance, he would have become a great painter or sculptor, because the greatest stimulus of his personality is imagination and need to create. Such personalities had for the past 100 years been more inclined towards technology. In it the creativity of our age is reected as well as the sense of beauty. Here he nds a richer opportunity, far greater than the layman could ever imagine." After Stodola's passing on Christmas Day, 1942, several letters from Einstein were found amongst his property.

Slovakia 2009 10€ 150th Anniv Birth Of Aurel Stodola Silver BU

The silver coins issued to commemorate the birth and life of this world renowned scientist are available in both brilliant uncirculated and proof quality. Both coins are struck from 18 grams of 90% silver on a 34mm flan. They feature a striking portrait of Aurel Stodola on the reverse, with the years of his life to the left and his name against a compass used for technical drawings to the right. The obverse shows an example of a turbo generator used during the times of Stodola. Above is the Slovakia National Emblem, while below is the denomination, country and year of issue. The proof quality coin has a total mintage of 13,300 and is supplied in a simple case with Certificate of Authenticity together with an informational pamphlet detailing Stodola's life and work. The brilliant uncirculated edition has a maximum strike of 10,100 and is encapsulated, supplied with the same informational pamphlet as the proof coin.

Both the Slovakia 2009 10€ 150th Anniv Birth Of Aurel Stodola Silver Proof and Slovakia 2009 10€ 150th Anniv Birth Of Aurel Stodola Silver BU coins are now available to order through the Euro Collections International website.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Perth Mint Issues 2009 Young Collectors Coin Set Dedicated To Space

July 14, 2009: With 2009 being the International Year of Astronomy, as well as being the year of the 40th anniversary of the first manned moon landing, it seems fitting that the Perth Mint should release their Space themed one dollar collection set at this time. With a focus squarely on the next generation of numismatists, and making an ideal gift for young collectors, the one dollar space collection is much more than just a coin set.

Australia 2009 $1 Young Collectors Space BU Collection

After the success of the 2008 $1 Young Collectors Wildlife Collection, which saw a set of 12 coins issued each featuring a different animal from Australian wildlife, it was assured that the Perth Mint were on to something in this unique way of attracting young people to the wonderful world of coin collecting. Providing a universal theme to the collections meant that with one purchase he or she would have a complete set of coins ready to display, rather than having to build up over time with the staggered issue known in commemorative series'. Keeping in mind the interests of those youngsters, as well as many of us older collectors, the Perth Mint have outdone themselves with this next in the collection series, dedicated to the exploration and research of that mostly undiscovered country, Space.

The collection contains 9 legal tender one dollar Australian coins, each featuring a different space-themed image and focused on the following topics:

Astronomers – with a design depicting Galileo Galilei, who built a telescope 400 years ago and made many remarkable discoveries about the Solar System.

Craters - with a design depicting Daedalus, a 93 kilometres wide crater on the Moon.

Rockets - with a design depicting a Saturn V rocket, the biggest, most powerful rocket put to regular use.

Moons - with a design depicting an astronaut on the surface of the Moon, Earth’s only natural satellite.

Observatories - with a design depicting Australia’s famous radio telescope at Parkes in New South Wales.

Shuttles - with a design depicting a Space Shuttle, the world’s first re-useable spacecraft.

Space Telescopes - with a design depicting the Hubble Space Telescope, which orbits Earth at a height of nearly 600 kilometres.

Rovers - with a design depicting remote-controlled exploration vehicles used to explore Mars.

Space Probes - with a design depicting the Pioneer probe that is carrying information about the human race into deep space.

Supplied in a stunning, full-colour, space-themed presentation pack the coins alone are excellent value-for-money given the Official Issue Price of just US$64 - only just over US$7 per coin! Within the pack, decorated with stars and planets, the sun and man-made satellites and spacecraft, each coin is accompanied by information about it's particular theme.

The pack is a 4-fold unit which when opened fully beautifully displays not only the coins within but the stunning work that has gone into creating the packaging. Within the pack you will also find an astonishing amount of added "extras" as listed below.

The Album – the perfect setting for the nine BU $1 coins, the superbly illustrated album features dazzling imagery of the Solar System, Galaxies and the Universe, and when fully open, measures nearly a metre in width!

The Information Book – written with the help of experts at the Perth Observatory, this beautifully illustrated book provides a great introduction to the planets in our Solar System, and also includes details on the coins.

The Activity Book – comprises a variety of easy-to-complete word and picture puzzles, as well as a large number of full-colour Space stickers!

The Asteroids DVD – a fascinating National Geographic presentation, this 60-minute DVD examines the wonder of asteroids and comets.(The DVD is encoded Region 4 PAL and can be played in any multi-region DVD player)

The Posters – depicting the Space Shuttle and Horsehead Nebula stellar dust cloud respectively, two 400mm x 690mm glossy posters are also included!

For adult collectors looking to interest their kids or grandkids in their own beloved pastime of collecting, this collection makes the perfect gift. For collectors of Australian $1 types this makes for a must-have addition to their collection. For those simply interested in space this is a unique way of learning more about the mysterious cosmos and man's attempts to study it. The Australia 2009 $1 Young Collectors Space Collection is now available to order at ECI.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Palau $10 Amber Room Silver Coin Issued With Genuine Amber Insert

Issued in 2009 by the authority of the Government of Palau, this stunning high relief silver proof coin pays tribute to the famous Amber Room in Catherine Palace of Tsarskoye Selo near St Petersburg, Russia. Employing innovative minting and production techniques, the coin is presented with a piece of genuine amber inserted into the coin itself.

Palau 2009 $10 Amber Room St Petersburg 2oz Silver Proof

The original amber room dates back to the early 18th century, when designer Andreas Schlüter was employed by the King of Prussia, Friedrich I (at the request of his wife, Sophie Charlotte) to create a special room within the Charlottenburg Palace in what was then the village of Lietzow but is now Berlin. The room was built by Gottfried Wolfram, a master craftsman to the Danish court of King Frederick IV of Denmark. The room took 8 years to complete and stayed at the Charlottenburg Palace until 1716, when it was given to Peter the Great, Tsar of the Russian Empire, as a gift by King Friedrich's son, Friedrich Wilhelm, to help extrapolate an alliance between the two against Sweden.

Once in Russia, the room was expanded through several renovations, eventually exceeding 50 square metres and containing over 6 tons of amber. During World War II the Nazi troops dismantled the amber room and transferred it back to Germany, where it was never seen again and remains one of the world's great lost treasure mysteries.

In the late 1970's an effort was started to reconstruct the amber room back at Catherine Palace. The work took decades to complete but in 2003 the room was opened to the public and has since become one of the most popular tourist attractions in St Petersburg.

This breath-taking commemorative silver coin, struck from an impressive 62.20 grams of 99.9% silver, has been treated to give an antiqued appearance. The reverse features a high relief design of the interior of the amber room, with a doorway set in the centre. The design takes up every space of the 50mm coin, bearing no rim. The doorway is filled with an insert of genuine amber, visible from both sides of the coin. The obverse carries a design of another part of Catherine Palace, showing the intricate Baroque architectural style of the time.

The exquisite design and flawless amber insert are beautifully presented within an elegant wood case, accompanied by a numbered Certificate of Authenticity which confirms the tiny worldwide mintage of just 2500 coins issued.

To place an order for the Palau 2009 $10 Amber Room St Petersburg 2oz Silver Proof please visit the Euro Collections International website.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Perth Mint Issues Battle Of Hastings Silver Coin As 3rd In The "Famous Battles" Series

July 14, 2009: The increasingly popular Perth Mint silver coin series dedicated to famous battles throughout history got a new edition today in the form of the Battle of Hastings silver proof issue. Naturally, the coin is dedicated to the fierce battle that took place on October 14, 1066 between the Norman troops lead by William, Duke of Normandy, and the English army led by King Harold.

Tuvalu 2009 $1 Battle of Hastings Silver Proof

A pivotal moment in English history that changed the course of the kingdom forever, the battle of Hastings began when the Duke of Normandy and his troops landed near Hastings. Upon hearing this King Harold, fresh from battle victory against Norwegian Vikings at the Battle of Stamford Bridge, set off for Hastings in a bid to prove to his subjects that he could conquer any invader. Unfortunately, the English King's 7500 men were already weary from the recent battle and the trek from London to Hastings did nothing to improve that, while the 8400 Norman troops had arrived 2 days prior and were well rested when the conflict started.

The battle lasted for the better part of a day before the Norman troops managed to break through the English lines. During the battle, King Harold was famously killed, struck through the eye with an arrow. The English resistance was crushed and William claimed his place as the ruler of England.

Following a common style as previous coins in this series, the Battle of Hastings silver proof features the image of a Norman knight on horseback, together with a Norman helmet and Saxon axe, struck into the reverse side. Through the middle is an example of the Perth Mint's expert printing techniques, with a full-colour reproduction of the famous Bayeux Tapestry, which shows the slaying of King Harold during the battle. On the obverse is the Raphael Maklouf designed effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, together with the denomination, country and year of issue.

The coin has been struck from 31.13 grams (1 ounce) of 99.9% fine silver on a 40.60mm flan. Each coin is encapsulated and presented in an elegant, black, official Perth Mint jewel case with full-colour outer box similar in style to previous issues. Accompanying the coin is a numbered Certificate of Authenticity confirming the limited mintage of just 5000 silver coins issued worldwide, the same as all issues in the series.

You can order the Tuvalu 2009 $1 Battle of Hastings Silver Proof through the Euro Collections International website while stocks last. Previous issues in this series have generated huge demand amongst collectors and we recommend an early order to avoid disappointment.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Japan Mint Issues Latest In "47 Prefectures" Silver Coin Series

The Japan Mint has issued the 4th in it's captivating and popular silver coin series dedicated to the 47 prefectures of Japan. This release, the first for 2009, honors the Nagano prefecture. As with previous silver proof coins in this series there is a standard issue coin as well as a "deluxe" version that includes a commemorative stamp set.

Japan 2009 1000¥ Nagano Silver Proof

Originally known as the province of Shinano, Nagano prefecture is best known internationally as being the host of the 1998 Winter Olympic Games. It is situated amongst the Japan Alps in the Chūbu region of the island of Honshū, and is the 4th largest prefecture in Japan. It can also claim to being surrounded by more prefectures than any other in Japan, as well as being home to 9 out of the 12 highest mountain peaks in Japan. Within the mountainous highland of Nagano is Kamikochi, a small town that is popular point for tourists looking to visit the alps.

The reverse design of this latest prefecture coin features a beautifully designed full-colour depiction of the area near Kamikochi with the Japan Alps in the background. The scene is taken from early spring and as such the snow-capped mountains are visible together with the bright green foliage of the foothills. In the foreground, stretching from one side of the coin to the other is the Kappa-bashi bridge, which takes people across the Azusa-river. The bridge is a symbol of the Kamikochi region and a popular spot for viewing the landscape, and the name Kappa-bashi roughly translates to "Water Goblin Bridge". The obverse, common to all silver proof coins in this series, features traditional Japanese images such as cherry blossoms, snow flakes and a crescent moon, together with the nominal face value.

Japan 2009 1000¥ Nagano Silver Proof With Stamps
Each coin is struck from 31.10 grams (1 ounce) of 92.5% silver on a 40.00mm flan in glorious proof quality. There are two issues of this beautiful prefecture coin available. The standard issue features the coin encapsulated and housed in an official Japan Mint display case and information pack which doubles as the Certificate of Authenticity. The Deluxe edition has the coin housed in a special presentation coin pack together with a special commemorative set of 5 80 Yen stamps, each depicting an different area of Nagano prefecture, with the main stamp showing a replica of the coin design. A Certificate of Authenticity is also included with this edition.

Euro Collections International currently has stock available of both the Japan 2009 1000¥ Nagano Silver Proof and the Japan 2009 1000¥ Nagano Silver Proof With Stamps. Previous issues in this highly popular series have sold out at speed so we recommend an early order to avoid disappointment.

Japan 2009 1000¥ Nagano Silver Proof

Friday, July 10, 2009

Special "Masterpieces of Art" Silver Coin Issued To Honor Leonardo da Vinci's Mona Lisa

As part of the spectacular "Masterpieces of Art" silver coin series - which sees beautifully detailed designs struck against state-of-the-art colour pad printing techniques and embedded crystals - a special release has been issued in 2009 to celebrate what is arguable the most famous painting on Earth, The Mona Lisa, by Leonardo da Vinci.

Cook Islands 2009 $20 Da Vinci Mona Lisa 3oz Coloured Silver Proof

The Mona Lisa (also known as La Gioconda), is an oil painting created by Leonardo da Vinci during the Italian Renaissance period of the 16th century. da Vinci started the painting in 1503 and finally completed it shortly before he died in 1519. The portrait painting is of Lisa Gherardini (Lisa del Giocondo), the wife of wealthy Florentine silk merchant Francesco del Giocondo. The painting had been a commissioned work to put in the del Giocondo's new home to celebrate the birth of their second son, Andrea.

The identity of the subject was not discovered until 2005, over 500 years after the painting was started, when a library expert at the University of Heidelberg found a margin note by Agostino Vespucci in a book housed there. Agostino Vespucci was the secretary to Niccolo Machiavelli, the author of the classic political treatise “The Prince” who befriended da Vinci in 1502 while both da Vinci and Machiavelli spent several months at the home of Cesare Borgia.

The painting is owned by the France Government and is housed in the Louvre gallery in Paris.

The Mona Lisa silver coin has been issued as a special release, although still part of the "Masterpieces of Art" series. The series has so far seen coins dedicated to Leonardo da Vinci's "The Last Supper", Botticelli's "The Birth of Venus" and Rembrandt's "Night Watch". Each of the "Masterpieces of Art" series of silver coins contains a stunning reproduction of a famous work of art pad printed on the coin in glorious full-colour. The coin then has a number of genuine Swarovski crystals embedded into the coin itself.

Although technically the fourth in the series, the Mona Lisa coin is regarded as a special edition independent to the general releases of the series. The reason it has been released as a special edition issue is due to it's famous subject matter as well as the enhancements it has over other coins in the series. Unlike previous coins in the series the Mona Lisa edition has a special 1/4 ounce insert of 99.9% pure gold, which has the famous painting printed onto it. Around where the insert is housed on the coin is an elegant frame of 26 Swarovski crystals. Struck into the coin itself is an intricately detailed imagining of Renaissance architecture, such as what was in place at the time the Mona Lisa painting was created. On the obverse of the coin is the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, together with the 20 Dollar face value and issuing country, Cook Islands.

The coin is struck from 93.30 grams (3 ounces) of 99.9% silver on an impressive 55.00mm flan, which perfectly accommodates this stunning imagery. The coin is encapsulated and presented in an stylish, official presentation case with Certificate of Authenticity which confirms the extremely small mintage of just 999 coins issued worldwide. Located on the back of the pure gold insert, as well as on the coin where the insert is laid, is the individual numbering, unique for each coin issued.

Euro Collections International currently has a small quantity of the Cook Islands 2009 $20 Da Vinci Mona Lisa 3oz Coloured Silver Proof available to order through our website.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Germany Issues 10 Euro Silver Coin To Commemorate 600th Anniversary of Leipzig University

July 9, 2009: Issued from the Berlin Mint and therefore branded with the 'A' mintmark, comes the latest in the series of 10 euro German silver coins for 2009. The coin is the 4th in the 10 euro commemorative series from Germany, after the Internationale Luft- und Raumfahrtausstellung anniversary, Kepler's Law and special edition IAAF World Championship coins and marks the 600th anniversary of the Leipzig University in Saxony.

Germany 2009 10€ Leipzig University Silver BU

The University of Leipzig is regarded as one of the oldest universities in Europe and is the second oldest in Germany. Located in Saxony in Eastern Germany, Leipzig was founded in December 1409 by Frederick I and his brother William II, and was officially endorsed by Pope Alexander V. The internationally recognised University library was established in 1543 and services the University as well as the general public with extensive historical collections.

Since it's establishment, the university has enjoyed almost 600 years of uninterrupted teaching and learning.

Between 1953 and 1991 the university was known as the Karl Marx University and in it's time the university has produced several notable individuals, including Johann Wolfgang Goethe, Friedrich Nietzsche and Richard Wagner.

Featured on the reverse of this issue is the Grand Seal of the Universität Leipzig to the left, showing the Holy Laurentius, protector of its students, and John the Baptist. To the right is an image of one of Leipzig's most famous students, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, surrounded by the University's academic motto “Theoria cum praxi”, which he coined. At the top is the anniversary commemoration and the year of foundation. At the bottom is an image of the University's new building, which is intended to remind people of the St. Pauli Church that was destroyed in 1968. Despite surviving the bombings of World War II the church was destroyed by the East German dictatorship as an attempt to separate the university from it's past. Also in the lower portion of the coin is the anniversary year, 2009.

The obverse features the Eagle motif, State Emblem for the Federal Republic of Germany. Tp either side are 6 stars, making up the 12 stars of the European Union. At the top is the year of issue, 2009, while below the Eagle design is the inscription "Federal Republic Germany" and the nominal face value of "10 Euro". The 'A' mintmark representing the Berlin Mint, is found to the right of the Eagle's right claw.

Germany 2009 10€ Leipzig University Silver Proof

Each coin is struck from 18 grams of 92.5% silver on a 32.50mm flan in either Brilliant Uncirculated or high Proof quality. The Proof quality coin is housed in a capsule and has an issue limit of 200,000 while the BU version is supplied in a protective plastic flip with 1,500,000 coins released worldwide.

Both the Germany 2009 10€ Leipzig University Silver Proof and Silver BU coins are available to order through our website.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Perth Mint Issues Official Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Silver Coins

July 14, 2009: Captivating millions of toy and comic book collectors since the 1980's the Transformers have now set their sights on the coin collecting market with the release of a pair of memorabilia silver coins issued by the Perth Mint. Issued to coincide with the release of the second blockbuster movie in the Transformers franchise, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, the pair of coins are dedicated to the hero and villain of the show, Optimus Prime and Megatron, respectively.

The Transformers as we known them started out as a series of toys made by Hasbro in the United States, after they bought the rights to a transforming robot from Japan. The toys were an instant hit and this led to a comic book series which also proved successful. TV followed on with the Transformer animated cartoon show, which also spawned a full-length animated movie. There had long been talk of making the Transformers live-action movie, but for years the technology available just wasn't good enough to deal with the extraordinary complexity of turning a humanoid robot figure into a car, truck or aeroplane.

Even though Computer Generated Imagery (CGI) had been around since the early 80's, much like the Transformers, it wasn't until movies like The Abyss (1989) and Terminator 2 (1991) that people really began to see the potential of this revolutionary form of special effects. Still, it would be another 16 years before the first Transformers live-action film finally made it to the silver screen. To make it happen it took the legendary film maker Steven Spielberg and blockbuster film director Michael Bay (Pearl Harbor, The Rock, Armageddon) to pool their expert talents alongside the amazing effects of Industrial Light and Magic (ILM), whose effects have been seen in such films as the Star Wars, Indiana Jones and Harry Potter franchises.

Of the Transformers, it is the respective leaders, Optimus Prime and Megatron, who are the most recognisable. Optimus Prime is the leader of the heroic Autobots, while Megatron heads up the evil Decepticon gang. The two groups are in constant battle. The Transformers legend is that on their home planet of Cybertron, the Autobots and Decepticons have battled for many years over control of their planet, and they have now brought their fight to Earth. Optimus Prime transforms into a semi-trailer truck cab, while Megatron transforms into a military jet fighter.

This pair of silver coins have been issued due to the resounding success of the first Transformers film and the expected success of its sequel. The second film was released across the world between June 16 and 24, 2009 and proved to be an even bigger event than the first film, taking over $60 million dollars in the US box office on it's first day of screening. Transformers fans, like those of Star Wars, Star Trek, etc, not only love watching the shows/movies, they also love collecting the memorabilia - and it was with this in mind that the first ever Transformers coins were struck! For the Transformers fan who has (or wants) everything, there has rarely been a more original piece of memorabilia than the official legal tender coin.

The coins respectively feature images of Optimus Prime and Megatron taken from the Transformers live action movie. Adding a greater depth to each character is the expert use of colour to enhance the characters against the silver struck surroundings. The official Transformers title is struck to the side of each character, while the respective logos of the Autobots and Decepticons appear below. The 'P' for Perth Mint mintmark is at the top of each coin. The obverse features the Raphael Maklouf effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, with the inscription for the country and year of issue, and face value denomination, are placed around the lower rim.

Each coin is struck in stunning proof quality from 31.1 grams (1 ounce) of 99.9% fine silver on a 40mm flan which is the perfect coin size for showing these imposing Cybertrons in classic detail. The coins are presented in one-of-a-kind official packaging which replicates the type of packaging the Transformers toys are supplied in. Each coin is accompanied by a numbered Certificate of Authenticity which confirms the extremely limited mintage of just 5000 of each coin type released worldwide!

The coins have an official release date of July 14, 2009, but as official distributor to the Perth Mint, Euro Collections International is able to offer these coins for pre-release right now! Orders for the Tuvalu 2009 $1 Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen - Optimus Prime Silver Proof and the Tuvalu 2009 $1 Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen - Megatron Silver Proof can be placed right now, and will be filled on a first-ordered-first-supplied basis shortly after the release date (the coins are released from the mint on July 14 but it will take a few days for them to then arrive at out warehouse). Due to the current worldwide demand for all things Transformers, as well as the tiny mintage of these coins, a limit of 3 coins of each per household has been set. Don't miss your chance to own a truly unique piece of Transformer memorabilia!

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