Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Spanish Royal Mint Issues Commemorative Salvador Dali Silver Coin Set

The Spanish Royal Mint have issued their second tribute series of precious metal collector coins dedicated to renowned Spanish surrealist artist Salvador Dali. The first set, issued in 2004, commemorated the 100th anniversary of the popular artist's birth, while this second series marks the 20th anniversary of his passing.

Spain 2009 10€ Salvador Dali Automatic Beginning Of A Portrait Of Gala Silver Proof

The mint has issued five precious metal Dali commemoratives, four silver coins and one gold. Of those ECI is offering the three 10 euro silver issues to our customers.

Spain 2009 10€ Salvador Dali Bust Of A Retrospective Woman Silver Proof

The following is taken from the Spanish Royal Mint website:

Salvador Dalí was born on May 11, 1904. He began to draw and paint in earnest at a very young age and in 1922 he took up the study of Fine Arts in Madrid. During his stay in the Students' Residence he developed great friendships with the poet Federico García Lorca and the film-maker Luis Buñuel, and carried out with them many avant-garde artistic projects.

After studying in Madrid Dalí left for París where he joined the group of surrealist painters and writers. Dating from this period are some of the works that would make him one of the maximum representatives of surrealism, namely "The Great Masturbator", "The Spectre of Sex Appeal", "The Lugubrious Game" and "The Persistence of Memory". In 1929 he met the young Russian woman Helena Diakonova, known by the assumed name of Gala, who remained thereafter his model and companion.

Coinciding with the start of the Second World War, Salvador Dalí and Gala set up residence for a number of years in the United States where Dali's painting style, realist and onirical, enjoyed much success. He penned "The Secret Life of Salvador Dalí" and also worked in film, theatre, opera and the ballet. From the nineteen forties came important works such as "Soft Self-portrait with Grilled Bacon", "The Basket of Bread", "Leda Atomica" and "The Madonna of Portlligat". Having become one of the most famous painters of his day, in 1948 he returned to live in Europe and spent long periods at a time in his house and studio at Portlligat.

During the seventies Salvador Dalí created and inaugurated the Dalí Theater-Museum in Figueres, where a large collection of his work is exhibited ranging from his first steps and his surrealist creations to the works produced in the latter years of his life. After living for many years in Portlligat, upon the death of his wife Gala he moved to El Castillo de Púbol for a few years, then spent the last period of his life in La Torre Galatea, near the Dalí Theater-Museum in Figueres, where he wished to be buried.

In 1983 he created the Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation, the institution that manages, safeguards and promotes his artistic and intellectual legacy.

He died on January 23, 1989.

Spain 2009 10€ Salvador Dali Portrait Of Picasso In The 21st Century Silver Proof

This series is composed of five collector coins that re-create some of this painter's most well-known works of art. Such as:


A surrealist work painted by Dalí in 1932 in which he shows his desire to experiment with different stages of picture completion.

Picasso always maintained very good relations with Catalonia and from the early days of Dali's career showed interest in his work. So it is not to be surprised that on Dali's first trip to Paris the young artist was quick to visit Picasso. The latter received him in his studio and showed him how his work was developing at that time, an evolution that made a deep impression on Dali. Picasso's new style, fairly similar in those days to that of Breton, must have inclined Dali's way of painting towards surrealism for the first time.

A surrealist bust that Dalí painted in 1930 and put the final touches to in 1970.

The three commemorative silver coins then have a common obverse; a reproduction of Dali's "SELF-PORTRAIT WITH L'HUMANITE, 1923"

Each of the three 10 euro denominated coins offered on ECI has been struck from 27 grams of 92.5% sterling silver on a 40mm (crown-sized) flan to the mint's stringent proof standards, producing a set of beautifully designed reproductions of Dali's work on flawless mirrored surfaces.
Each coin is then elegantly presented in an official Spanish Royal Mint blue jewel case with full-colour outer box, accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity confirming the mintage of just 10,000 coins a piece being issued into the worldwide market.

Monday, September 28, 2009

Somalia Issue Latest Elephant Gold And Silver Coins

Continuing the series of precious metal legal tender coins being issued from the countries of Africa to honor the majestic African Elephant, the Bank of Somalia has released the 2009 editions of their highly collectable gold and silver coins.

Somalia 2009 100 Shilling Elephant 1oz Silver BU

The Elephant coins have been an on-going series stretching back a number of years. Together with Somalia Zambia and Sierra Leone have contributed to this "African Wildlife" series that includes not only precious metal silver and gold coins, but also silver coins with selective gold-plating and coloured coins. There isn't a great deal of information available on the series itself, but of the 3 countries it seems that only Somalia still issue coins, with Zambia and Sierra Leone having stopped a few years back.

The African Elephant is the largest land animal on the planet, and one of the two existing genera in Elephantidae, with the other being the smaller Asian Elephant. African Elephants are found in most places on the continent itself, inhabiting desert, forest and river regions, although the majority are found in the south half of Africa.

The latest precious metal editions to the series of Elephant-themed coins from Somalia feature the same design on the reverse; an Elephant striding across the African plains at sunset. At the top of the coin is the "African Wildlife" inscription, while around the bottom is the name "Elephant" and the specifications for the coin (precious metal weight, type and purity). The obverse has the Somali coat of arms in the centre, with the country of issue at top, the year of issue split at middle, and the nominal face value at the bottom.

Somalia 2009 20 Shilling Elephant 1/50oz Gold Proof

The 100 shilling silver issue has been struck to brilliant uncirculated quality from 31.10 grams of 99.9% fine silver on a 40mm (crown) flan. The coin is supplied in a capsule for protection.

The 20 shilling gold version is struck to the highest proof standards from 0.622 grams of 99.9% gold on an 11mm flan, making it one of the smallest gold legal tender coins on the planet. It is also encapsulated.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Austrian Mint Issues 2010 Calendar Medal And Lucky Tokens

The Austrian Mint continues it's on-going series of Calendar Medals and Lucky Tokens with this great new issues to celebrate 2010 and bring good fortune for the new year!

Austria 2010 Calendar Medal Silver Proof

The 2010 calendar medal issued by the Austrian Mint honours the year's regent Apollo, the sun god.

The medal designed and engraved by the Mint’s Chief Engraver, Thomas Pesedorfer depicts the mighty Apollo also know as Helios in Greek mythology. Apollo's personification by the sun is highlighted in the rays of light surrounding him. He points to the sun and the words, "Jahr der Sonne", or year of the sun around the upper left edge of the medal. He masterfully controls his four winged stallions with one hand as they pull his chariot through the sky.

In the background the mighty lion is represented, which is the ascendant sign to Leo. The sign that is present at the time of birth governs our personality, and appearance. The hard working, loyal and maybe somewhat conservative Leo’s will shine in 2010. Those born under the sign of Leo will find the year 2010 particularly meaningful.

On the other side of the medal all the Sundays are depicted as rays of sunlight emanating from the central figure underlining the bright year that 2010 represents.

The calendar medal has been an Austrian tradition since the 1930’s. Annually the medal changes to reflect a respective year’s regent and astrological ruler. The calendar medal is struck in 900 fine silver, weighs 26 grams and has a diameter of 40 millimetres.


Austria 2010 Lucky Token Silver UNC

The Austrian Lucky tokens continue to be an annual tradition since the 1930’s. People give them to their friends and family who will carry them for a year in their pockets and purses just for a wee bit of extra luck throughout the coming year.

Austria 2010 Lucky Token Gold UNC

In 2010 our lucky friend, the chimney sweep takes flight, in a hot air balloon and travels the world. Warm soft breezes help him spread good luck through the four leaf clovers he sprinkles from above to all corners of the globe.

The other side of the token carries the traditional verse that loosely translated means: "Although I am small and round I will bring you luck all year round."

Austria 2010 Lucky Token Bronze UNC

Monday, September 14, 2009

Perth Mint Issue Latest In Popular "Battles" And "Orbital" Series, And Kick Off New "Sea Life" Silver Coins Program

September 15, 2009: A big day from the Perth Mint with three new stunning silver coin issues being released today. Two of these are from popular, on-going series', while the 3rd marks the beginning of a new, eye-catching silver coin program devoted to Australian sea life.

Cook Islands 2009 $1 Man On The Moon Orbital 1oz Silver Proof

The first cab off the rank is the 3rd issue in the popular and highly innovative "orbital" coin series dedicated to mankind's achievements in space. The series started in 2007 and has seen one coin released each year with a compelling "orbital" function that allows the reverse design to rotate around a central image of the planet Earth. The 2007 Sputnik and 2008 Yuri Gagaurin 1 ounce silver proof issues have proven to be very popular amongst collectors of original coinage, and the 2009 First Man on the Moon release is likely to beat all expectations. This is on account of the theme of the coin, being one of the most significant in human history, and also that the coin has been released in the year of the 40th anniversary of Neil Armstrong taking the first step on the surface of the moon. This momentous occasion has been skillfully immortalised in eye-catching form with the use of full-colour pad printing to create a bright realm of the cosmos, together with images of the mission struck in 99.9% silver. The outer surface can then be rotated around the central image of the stationary Earth, making this a truly unique collector tribute item.
The Cook Islands 2009 $1 Man On The Moon Orbital 1oz Silver Proof is presented in a specially designed oval-shaped jewel case with commemorative outer box, accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity. Available now at the Official Issue Price of the Perth Mint, these coins are set to rocket into oblivion, if previous demand in the series is anything to go by. Sure to be of keen interest to coin collectors and space enthusiasts alike, the orbit series coins make for beautiful gifts on account of their universal theme and amazing colour and detail.


Next up is the 4th coin in the also-extremely-popular silver coin series dedicated to famous battles throughout history. The 5-coin series, which sees a new coin issued every two months, has so far commemorated the battles of Hastings(1066), Cannae(216BC) and Thermopylae(480BC), all featured in glorious 99.9% silver with stunning full-colour pad printing depicting a scene taken from each respective historical conflict.

Tuvalu 2009 $1 Battle Of Balaklava 1oz Silver Proof

The Battle of Balaklava occurred on October 25, 1854 and was fought as part of the Crimean War between the Anglo-French-Turkish soldiers and the Russian troops. On that fateful day the allied forces were attempting to conquer the port and fortress at Sevastopol, the strongest naval base on the Black Sea. The three countries spread their troops around the Russian army, however the Russian General Liprandi sent a barricade of troops to engage the British contingent, hoping to disrupt the supply chain between the British base and their siege lines. The British troops, under the command Lord Raglan, were outnumbered, and due to a misinterpretation of the Lord's orders the Brits engaged in one of their most disastrous military defeats in history, the Charge of the Light Brigade.
As with the previous coins issued in this series, this 31.13 gram silver coin features an eye-catching full-colour image taken from the historical battle. In this case it is a reproduction of the painting by Richard Caton Woodville, showing the ill-fated Charge of the Light Brigade in captivating colour. Struck into the coin are images of a Russian soldier and a cavalryman on horseback. The obverse is common to this series and carries the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II together with the 1 dollar face value, the country and also year of issue.

Each Tuvalu 2009 $1 Battle Of Balaklava 1oz Silver Proof is presented in an official jewel case with full-colour outer box specially designed for the coins in this series. A Certificate of Authenticity accompanies each legal tender issue.


Lastly, and by no means least, the Perth Mint have begun a brand new series of Australian legal tender silver coins under the theme of "Australian Sea Life". The series for these 50 cent commemorative coins runs similarly to the Historical Battles series, with a new issue in this 5-coin program released every two months. The first in the series is dedicated to the Lionfish, with future issues seeing the Leafy Sea Dragon, Clownfish, Seahorse and Moray Eel immortalised in a combination of 99.9% silver and eye-catching full-colour pad printing. Coming off the highly sought-after Deadly and Dangerous coins, we expect a great deal of interest from this new sister series.

Australia 2009 50c Lionfish 1/2oz Silver Proof

The Lionfish is the name given to any of several species of venomous marine fish in the genera Pterois, Parapterois, Brachypterois, Ebosia or Dendrochirus, of the family Scorpaenidae. The Lionfish is distinguished by it's unique appearance, with it's extremely long and separated spines and striped markings that come in colours such as red, green, navy green, brown, orange, yellow, black, maroon, or white. The fish is found in the tropical regions of the Western, Northern and Eastern Australian coastlines, and is native to the Indo-pacific region - however introduction of the species to other areas now sees the fish found in tropical regions all over the world. The Lionfish is known to have venomous dorsal spines and when threatened will often turn upside down to bring these spines to bear. While the sting of a Lionfish is not usually fatal to human, it can cause extreme pain, headaches and vomiting, and anyone envenomed by the Lionfish should seek immediate medical attention.

The reverse coin design features a beautifully depicted full-colour image of the Lionfish, expertly pad printed onto the coin by the Perth Mint. Simple, yet captivating, the coin also has the title of the series and the name of the fish inscribed in silver. The obverse, which will be common to all coins in the series, shows the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II together with the denomination, coin specifications, country and year of issue. The coin is struck from 15.57 grams of silver on a 36.60mm flan to the mint's highest proof standards.

As is the way with Perth Mint commemorative products, each Australia 2009 50c Lionfish 1/2oz Silver Proof is beautifully presented in an official jewel case and full-colour outer box, accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity.

Please Note: Due to overwhelming demand ECI have exhausted their allocation of the Lionfish coin. We are currently looking into the secondary market to try and obtain more. Follow us on Twitter for instant notification of when/if this product is available again.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Austrian Mint Releases 2008 Annual Report Figures

The Austrian Mint have released their annual financial report, marking 2008 as an extremely successful year. This is thanks to, in no small part, the decision to strike the Vienna Philharmonic bullion coin in silver for the first time, a decision that has proved lucrative for the Mint and it's worldwide distributors. Following the success of the bullion silver issues is the innovative silver/niobium commemorative coins, which have been growing in popularity with each year of production. The 2008 issue, dedicated to the Fascination of Light, and bearing a distinctive green niobium core, has been by far the more popular release of the series.

The following is an excerpt from the preface of the report:

The Austrian Mint today is a leading mint with state-of-the-art technology and great prospects for the future. The main reason for this is, of course, our coins. More than 800 years of company history are also a solid foundation for looking confidently towards the future. Not least the pleasure our staff take in proving their skills internationally is also a good reason for being confident: we want to create coins today which will delight tomorrow.

It's that final statement that rings the truest, with Austrian Mint products proving to be some of the most sought after and collected coins on the planet it seems they have a reason to be confident. Looking at their product range it's easy to see why.

Whether it is the recently completed "Austrian Railways" series, the aforementioned silver/niobium annual releases, "Famous Physicians" gold issues, previous collections such as the Great Abbeys, or new series' "Tales and Legends of Austria" or "Crowns of the Hapsburg Empire", the expert attention to detail, the stunning craftsmanship, and the state-of-the-art minting technology is evident in every individual coin produced. This is a skill the men and women of the Austrian Mint have honed over many decades, through several generations, dating back before 1919 when the Austrian Mint became the sole mint of Austria. It would be more then 35 years later before the first silver commemorative coin was released (Reopening of the state theatre), but whether it be for circulation shilling and euros coins or commemorative tribute silver issues, the high level of commitment and quality is always there.

The Vienna Philharmonic coin has been appearing in silver since February 2008 - as the first euro denominated bullion coin. With this, the Austrian Mint has augmented the quartet of Vienna Philharmonic gold coins for the first time with an investment product in silver. The silver ounce has become, in just over a year, one of the most sought-after coins in the world today.

Besides the bullion coin, the Austrian Mint released 10 commemorative collector coins in 2008:

- 50 Euro Ignaz Philipp Semmelweiss Gold Proof

- 25 Euro The Fascination of Light Silver Niobium Brilliant Uncirculated

- 5 Euro Football Pair - Forward & Dribbling - Silver BU

- 10 Euro The Abbey of Klosterneuburg Silver Proof & BU

- 5 Euro 100th Birthday of H.V. Karajan Silver BU

- 20 Euro Belle Epoque Silver Proof

- 20 Euro Empress Elisabeth Western Railway Silver Proof

- 10 Euro Abbey of Seckau Silver Proof & BU

- 100 Euro The Crown of the Holy Roman Empire Gold Proof

Each of these coins has generated great anticipation and demand throughout the year. More and more world collectors are discovering the incredible value for money of these pieces, as shown in the intricately detailed designs, the perfectly struck contours and the popular themes. It's a winning combination for the Austrian Mint which has seen them approached by other countries to assist in the product of coins outside of Austria. This is especially true with the silver & niobium struck coins, with countries such as Latvia and Luxembourg having their own silver and niobium commemorative issues struck at the Austrian Mint, testament to the expert reputation the skilled craftsmen and women of the mint have earned by producing nothing but the very best.

Euro Collections International is honored to be an official distributor for the Austrian Mint, having started the company almost a decade ago thanks to the agreement which originally saw ECI only stock Austrian Mint products. We have a trusted relationship with the mint and as such we get first hand knowledge of new releases, and stock the widest range of Austrian Mint products outside the mint itself! Below is just a fraction of the 170-odd individual product lines that ECI offers from Austria, ranging from pre-euro shillings, tokens and medallions, through to coin sets and the very latest 2009 issues. More products can be found by browsing our Austrian Products Category, and join our mailing list or follow us on Twitter to get up-to-date notifications of new releases to our site.

2 Euro Commemoratives

5 & 10 Euro Silver Series

25 Euro Silver Niobium Series

Austrian Thaler Restrikes

Vienna Philharmonic Silver Bullion

1990 500 Schilling Egon Schiele Silver Proof

2000-2003 Art Treasures Gold Series

2007-2010 Famous Physicians Gold Series

Proof and Mint Sets

2009-2011 Tales And Legends Of Austria Silver Series

Calendar Medals

Annual Lucky Tokens

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Luxembourg Begins New "Castles" Series Of Silver/Niobium Coins

June 30, 2009: The Central Bank of Luxembourg has embarked on an exciting new series of collector coins dedicated to "Castles of Luxembourg". What makes this series especially appealing is that each coin in the series will be composed of a core of niobium, the metal used in the highly popular Austrian Mint annual silver/niobium series. The first coin to be released in this new series is in honor of the Chateau of Vianden.

Luxembourg 2009 5€ Chateau de Vianden Silver Niobium BU

The Castle of Vianden is located on the rocks above the town of Vianden and is one of the main tourist attractions of the small (population under 2000) city-status commune town. It was restored only recently and has become a museum which traces its history and its links with the royal families of Europe back to the middle ages. Castle was constructed between the 11th and 14th centuries on the foundations of a Roman 'castellum' and a Carolingian refuge. It is one of the largest and most beautiful feudal residences of the romanesque and gothic periods in Europe.

As mentioned, each coin will feature a core of niobium surrounded by a ring of 92.5% silver. It is not known as yet whether the coins will follow the suit of the Austrian Mint's silver niobium series and issue their niobium in a different colour for each new issue released. The coins are due to be issued on a yearly basis, with 12 coins making up the entire set. Other Castles to be honored in this series are:

- Le château de Beaufort

- Le Château de Bourscheid

- Le Château de Bourglinster

- Le Château de Clervaux

- Le Château d'Esch-sur-Sûre

- Le Château de Larochette

- Le Château de Mersch

- Le Château de Pettingen

- Le Château de Schoenfels

- Le Château de Useldange

- Le château de Vianden

- Le Château de Wiltz

The reverse design features a detailed depiction of the Vianden Castle, perched upon the rocks overlooking the town. Above and to the left is the inscription "Vianden", while at the bottom is the nominal face value of 5 euro. The obverse, shows the common design of the stylised profile portrait of Grand Duke Henri, with the country and year of issue to the left.

The coin is comprised of an outer ring of 92.5% silver and an inner core of niobium, coloured green. The coin measures a total of 34mm in diameter and has a total weight of 16.6 grams and has been struck to brilliant uncirculated standards. It may come as no surprise that the Central Bank of Luxembourg have employed the talents of the Austrian Mint in the creation of these Castle coins, no doubt due to the expert handling of the Austrian Mint's own silver/niobium coin series. Luxembourg is only the second country after Austria to issue a coin series using silver and niobium. They join only a small band of countries to include niobium in any sort of commemorative coin release, making the use of such materials rare and sought after by collectors the world over.

The Chateau of Vianden silver niobium coin is presented in a stunning, full colour informative coin folder, which beautifully displays the coin at the front of the pack. The folder is housed within a protective outer slipcase.

Euro Collections International currently has stocks of the Luxembourg 2009 5€ Chateau de Vianden Silver Niobium BU available to order now. With such demand for the Austrian Mint's own silver/niobium series we are expecting a great deal of demand for this beautifully crafted Luxembourg series.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Perth Mint Releases 4th Coin In Popular Deadly And Dangerous Series

September 1, 2009: The Perth Mint has issued the fourth release in the ever-popular Deadly and Dangerous silver coin series. This latest issue is dedicated to the "King of the Reptiles", the Saltwater Crocodile, and is the official 2009 issue in the series after the 2008 Blue Ringed Octopus, 2007 Great White Shark and 2006 Red Back Spider. The series is dedicated to Australian creatures known for being "Deadly and Dangerous".

Tuvalu 2009 $1 Saltwater Crocodile 1oz Silver Proof

The Saltwater Crocodile (Crocodylus porosus) is known for being the largest of the living reptiles and is found in parts of Southeast Asia and Northern Australia. The adult male can grow to weigh anywhere between 880 and 3300 pounds (400–1,500 kg), with a length between 4-5.1 metres (13–17 ft). Older crocodiles have been known to be around 6 metres in length. Saltwater crocodiles have a diet consisting of pretty much any animals that has the misfortune of wandering into their territory. This includes humans, although it is rare in Australia, with one or two fatalities on average per year. This is generally due to the safety precautions placed in known crocodile territories. The same cannot be said for other places such as New Guinea, that has almost no precautions in place, and where it is thought many of the crocodile attacks go unreported.

The reverse design on the Saltwater Crocodile silver coin features a striking image of the "Croc" with it's powerful jaws open wide. The crocodile and surrounding marsh area is expertly coloured by the skilled craftsmen at the Perth Mint and makes for an eye-catching image against the reflective silver proof surface of the coin. At the top is the title of the coin, while at the bottom are the specifications. The obverse carries the Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, together with the denomination, country and year of issue.

Each silver coin is struck from 1 ounce (31.14 grams) of 92.5% silver on a 40.60mm flan. The coin is encapsulated and housed in a beautifully crafted wood display case within a full-colour outer box. Accompanying the coin is an individually numbered Certificate of Authenticity, which confirms the limited mintage of just 5000 coins released worldwide.

The Deadly and Dangerous series has been unprecedented in it's popularity around the globe, sparking an increase in the creation of colourised coins by the Perth Mint due to a growing public hunger for eye catching collector pieces. We may not have seen such coins as the Great Battles of History series, or the Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen silver coins, if it wasn't for the popularity of this series. Of all the previous issues it is without doubt the first coin, the 2006 Red Back silver proof, that commands the greatest desire, with secondary market prices now past the AU$800 mark. The Great White Shark and Blue Ringed Octopus are also incredibly popular, and their retail prices are now far beyond the original official issue price.

Perhaps it comes as no surprise that just a week after the Saltwater Crocodile coin was released it has sold out at ECI. With our large allocation as official distributor for the Perth Mint, that is an overwhelming result, and one that tells us the popularity of the Crocodile coin is likely going to rival that of the Red Back.