Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Tasmanian Tiger Kicks Off New "Extinct And Endangered" Series of Silver Coins

The perfect subject for a full-colour coin, this outstanding new Perth Mint-struck precious metal Proof forms a dramatic tribute to one of Australia’s most distinctive, most mysterious, and most famous creatures – the extinct Tasmanian Tiger.

Tuvalu 2011 $1 Tasmanian Tiger 1oz Silver Proof

With a large, wolf-like head, tiger-like striped coat and wombat like backwards-facing pouch, the Thylacinus cynocephalus (Tasmanian Tiger) is among the most intriguing of Australia’s great variety of exotic native fauna. Rivalling in reputation such wonders of nature as the platypus, kangaroo and koala, this unusual creature virtually disappeared from the Australian mainland around 2,000 to 3,000 years ago. At the time of European Settlement, it was found in significant numbers only in Tasmania. Hunting, disease and habitat destruction all had a major impact on the Tassie Tiger population, and the last known thylacine died in the Hobart Zoo in 1936.

The source of constant fascination in the 75 years since the demise of the last known thylacine’ – with a large number of unconfirmed sightings of this legendary Aussie creature ensuring ongoing publicity – the highly distinctive appearance of the Tasmanian Tiger has been perfectly captured by The Perth Mint upon this stunning legal tender coin. Crafted to the height of Proof quality from .999 silver and measuring 40.60mm, and then superbly enhanced with full-colour, there is no doubt that the 2011 $1 Tasmanian Tiger 1oz Silver Proof will provoke massive interest across the globe. Indeed, with demand for full-colour Aussie animal coins from The Perth Mint at truly explosive levels, there is every reason to believe that a swift sell-out of the limited mintage of just 5,000 is inevitable.

Set within a stunning birds-eye maple inset lacquered case within a colourful thematic outer box and accompanied by a numbered Certificate of Authenticity.

Sure to be as hard-to-find in the future as the Tassie Tiger itself, don’t miss the chance to capture this unique precious metal Proof at the affordable Official Issue Price!

A unique, instantly recognisable nocturnal marsupial, the thylacine (Thylacinus cynocephalus; Greek for ‘dog-headed pouched one’) is one of Australia’s most remarkable native creatures – and one of the most famous.

Native to Tasmania, the Australian mainland and Papua New Guinea, the modern thylacine emerged around 4 million years ago. Distinguished by a strong striped pattern across its back, hence the name, the Tasmanian Tiger was well known to the indigenous peoples of Australia. Hunted for food, and forced to compete with the dingo, the Tassie Tiger is believed to have been virtually extinct on continental Australia approximately 2,000 years ago. By the time of European Settlement, this distinctive dog-like creature was found almost exclusively in what was then known as Van Diemen’s Land.

The impact of humans was key to the devastation of the Tasmanian Tiger population, with disease, hunting and incursion into natural habitat all having an impact, and, as early as the early 1900s, efforts were being made to save the Tiger from extinction. Alas, it was too little, too late, and the last known Tasmanian Tiger in the wild was killed by a farmer in 1933. Never surviving very long in captivity, and only ever breeding in captivity on one occasion, the last known surviving Tassie Tiger died exactly 75 years ago in the Hobart Zoo in 1936 on September the 7th – the date upon which National Threatened Species Day is celebrated.

Although there have been a huge number of sightings of the Tasmanian Tiger in the three-quarters of a century since, and massive rewards posted for either confirmation of the species’ continued existence or the capture of a live specimen, no satisfactory proof has been provided. The continued speculation, however, combined with the Tiger’s unique beauty and status as a Tasmanian and Australian cultural icon, will ensure that, extinct or not, the Tassie Tiger will never die.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Mint of Poland Issue Romeo And Juliet Silver Coin To Start New Series

Kicking off a series of stunning silver coins struck at the Mint of Poland (Mennica Polska) entitled "Famous Love Stories", this captivating new release is dedicated to the tragic tale of Romeo and Juliet.

2010 $1 Romeo And Juliet Silver Proof

Romeo and Juliet is a Shakespearean drama presenting the tragic love of two young people whose story has become a model for romantic lovers. The play was written between 1591 and 1595 and was inspired heavily from the Italian romantic story "The Tragical History of Romeus and Juliet" (1562) by Arthur Brooke, which had already been retold as "Paradise of Pleasure" (1582) by William Painter.

The play tells the story of Romeo, a member of the Montague family of Verona, and Juliet, the daughter of the rival Capulet family. The Capulets and Montagues are warring families opposed on every front, the patriarchs of each family stubborn in their respective prides. Upon a first look Romeo and Juliet fall in love and are secretly wed by a sympathetic priest, motivated by the ideal that these two young lovers might bring peace to the war between the families. However when Romeo is banished from Verona for a revenge killing, Juliet is forced into an arranged marriage - one she tries to get out of by taking a drug that puts her in a "death-like state" for several hours. Juliet's family, believing her to be dead, lay her to rest in the family crypt. Romeo's servant, Balthazar, sees Juliet within the crypt and tells Romeo that his beloved has died. Overcome with grief, Romeo obtains a vial of poison with the intention of joining his love in the afterlife. He returns to Verona and seals himself in the crypt where Juliet lays, drinking the poison and dying beside her. At that moment Juliet awakes to see Romeo's lifeless body, and succumbing to her own grief takes her life using Romeo's dagger. Both families discover the bodies of their children and swear to overlook their differences from then on.

This beautifully crafted silver proof coin is the first in a series which will also feature tributes to Samson and Delilah and Paris and Helen of Troy, amongst others. The reverse design of this coin features an image of the star cross'd lovers staring lovingly into each others eyes. Around them are traditional renaissance patterns. The obverse, which is common to to the "Famous Love Stories" series, shows a figure of Anteros, Greek God of requited love. The design is inspired by the statue located at Piccadilly Circus in London, which is known as the Angel of Christian Charity. Above is an effigy of Queen Elizabeth II, while inscribed around the bottom rim is the country and year of issue along with the nominal face value of the coin.

Each superb collector coin is struck by the Mint of Poland from 28.28 grams of 92.5% sterling silver on a 38.61mm flan by the authority of the island nation of Niue to exacting proof quality. The coin is encapsulted with a mintage of just 9,000 issues released worldwide.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Perth Mint Struck Silver Coin Celebrates 200th Anniversary of First Australian Horse Race

A pulsating sport, a vibrant industry and an obsession for millions of people across the country, Australian horse racing was founded exactly 200 years ago, when the first official race meeting took place in Sydney. Struck by Australia’s own Perth Mint, this spectacular precious metal Proof forms an exclusive, eye catching tribute to the bicentenary of this major landmark in Australian history.

Tuvalu 2010 $1 First Official Australian Horse Race 1oz Silver Proof

One of many major advances made during the time of Australia’s fifth Governor, Lachlan Macquarie (1810-21), in part aimed at integrating a divided colonial population, Australia’s first official race meeting took place at Hyde Park in October 1810. A significant moment in the life of the infant colony, the meeting drew huge crowds, with the vitality and colour of this gala event captured perfectly upon the 40.60mm frame of the 2010 $1 First Official Australian Horse Race Bicentenary 1oz Silver Proof.

An outstanding addition to any collection, and a brilliant tribute to an event that would have a major impact on the course of Australian history, this unique .999 fine silver coin is extremely exclusive. A release of immensely broad appeal – certain to catch the eye of racing devotees as much as collectors – the mintage of 5,000 is sure to be placed under huge pressure.

The brainchild of Australia’s fifth Governor, Lachlan Macquarie (1810-21), Australia’s first official horse race meeting took place in October 1810 at the new Sydney Racecourse in Hyde Park.

Ever the visionary, Macquarie believed a racecourse would serve to integrate what was then a divided society, with official horse race meetings providing an atmosphere where colonists of all classes – military, convict, emancipist and immigrant – might be encouraged to mix freely. Soon after Hyde Park had been gazetted as a ‘common’ by the Governor, who had dedicated ‘recreation and amusement’, it became the venue for Australia’s first official horse race meeting.

The racecourse was funded by public subscription, and established by the 73rd Regiment – Macquarie’s regiment. Macquarie’s men not only built the track, but the officers of the regiment devised the rules and organised the event, with many of them owning competing horses. Held over three days on the 15th, 17th and 19th of October, 1810, the meeting comprised of a main race on each day – a best-of-three contest over a distance of 2 miles – as well as several minor races. Captain Ritchie won the main race on the first day of Australia’s first official horse race meeting, with a 6-year-old gelding named Chase. Part of what was described as ‘by far the most numerous assemblage of persons ever before collected in the colony’, Governor Macquarie attended all three days of the meet, and the event was dubbed a grand success.

The foundation stone of Australia’s rich history of horse racing – an activity embedded in our national culture – the bicentenary of this landmark event has been rightly recognised with the release of the 2010 $1 First Official Horse Race 1oz Silver Proof.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


This teaser confirms what ECI has been hoping for some time - a new coin release, featuring a particular extinct Australian marsupial. We hope to be able to provide more information in the coming days but this is an exciting discovery indeed, one that keen buyers should be on the watch for.

Stay tuned and follow ECI on Twitter or join our Facebook page to be notified the minute this exciting new release makes it's appearance on September 1. High demand is expected.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Austrian Mint Issues Next "Rome On The Danube" Silver Coin

September 8, 2010: The Austrian Mint will be releasing the 2nd in their fresh new series dedicated to various Roman cities along the Danube River. This latest issue, coming after the Virunium coin that started the series, is dedicated to Vindobona - the Roman military camp that grew to become Austria's capital city, Vienna!

Austria 2010 20€ Rome On The Danube Vindobona Silver Proof

The name Vindobona comes from the Celtic words for "blessed" and "base/bottom", and was presumably named for the geological position of the original Celtic settlement. Apart from growing to become the city we now know as Vienna, Vindobona is also noted for being the location of emperor Marcus Aurelius' death in March 180A.D. Remains of the Roman military camp have been found at many sites in the centre of Vienna, with over 3000 stamped bricks, several stone monuments and written sources proving that several legions, cavalry units and marines were stationed in Vindobona.

The obverse of the coin shows Marcus Aurelius on horseback in the legionary fortress of Vindobona. An officer of his imperial guard stands beside him, while another hands the emperor a scroll bearing an important message. In the background one of the double gates of the fort with its twin defensive towers can be seen; perhaps the porta decumana that opened up on the defensive ditch to the south, today’s Graben. The scene is based on an ancient marble relief depicting the Marcomanni Wars. The ragged edge at the top symbolises the border along the River Danube.

The reverse side shows a centurion proudly inspecting the soldiers of his centuria (nominally 100, but in reality 60-80 men) drawn up on the via principalis, the main road of the fortress crossing from east to west. In the background is the porta principalis dextra (the principal right-hand gate). The centurion wears a transverse crest on his helmet, a sign of his rank. The legionaries stand with their rectangular body shields holding the Roman spear or pilum.

This 20 euro coin, with it's intricately detailed designs, is struck to the Austrian Mint's stringent proof specifications, from 18 grams of 90% fine silver. Each silver coin is encapsulated and presented within an official Austrian Mint box, accompanied by an individually numbered Certificate of Authenticity confirming the mintage of only 50,000 coins struck.

The Rome On The Danube Collection Case, with room to house the entire series of coins may be purchased separately.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Perth Mint August Releases!

August 3, 2010 - The Perth Mint have released their new release products for August, containing some exciting issues sure to get the collector palate salivating! The first of these, and sure to generate the biggest demand, is the second in the already hugely popular silver series entitled "Bush Babies".

Australia 2010 50c Bush Baby Sugar Glider 1/2oz Silver Proof

Devoted to the native Sugar Glider, the coin features an adorable depiction of this gliding marsupial as a youngster. The coin is struck from 1 ounce (31.10 grams) of 99.9% fine silver on a 36.60mm flan. A truly wondrous release, designed to inspire a new generation of collectors, the Sugar Glider 50 cent silver coin comes on the hot heels of the Baby Kangaroo (Joey) coin released two months ago and selling out within days. Expectations are therefore high with this one, and with future releases featuring the Dingo pup, baby Bilby and Koala cub, the entire series looks set to be hot property amongst collectors. Each coin is encapsulated and presented in an official Perth Mint jewel case with full-colour outer box, accompanied by an individually numbered Certificate of Authenticity.


Also part of a hot pursued silver series comes this latest issue in the Famous Naval Battles series! Released as the third coin in the 5-coin series, this latest issue is dedicated to the Battle of Hampton Roads of 1862 - also known as the very first battle between ironclad warships!

Cook Islands 2010 $1 Great Naval Battles Hampton Roads 1oz Silver Proof

The Battle of Hampton Roads occurred as part of the American Civil War (1861-1865), and this stunning coin recalls the encounter between the Confederate ironclad ram, Virginia, and the North's ironclad Union Monitor in 1862. Fighting for several hours, neither ship could land a decisive blow - their armour-plating proving extremely effective - and the course of naval battles was changed forever! Coming after the already sold out "Salamis" battle coin, and the popular "Trafalgar" issue, the Hampton Roads $1 battle coin is similarly struck from 31.10 grams (1 ounce) of 99.9% fine silver on a 40.60mm flan. The design shows an awesome warship struck in silver against a backdrop of iron cladding, with a full-colour design showing the fierce battle in progress enhancing the coin using the Perth Mint's expert colour printing technology. Each coin is also supplied in an official case and outer box, with numbered Certificate attesting to the exclusive mintage of just 5000 coins worldwide.


Celebrating the tiny world of backyard bugs is the next in the mint's young collectors $1 collection series. After the success of the 2008 Wildlife and 2009 Space collections, this eye-catching series designed to introduce young people to the joys of collecting, sees focus placed on our insect friends, an arena overlooked by many but beautifully captivating on legal tender one dollar issues!

Australia 2010 $1 Young Collectors Backyard Bugs Collection

Featuring 9 separate coins, each featuring a different backyard bug (Redback Spider, Praying Mantis, Ladybird, Grasshopper, Dragonfly, Cicada, Birdwing Butterfly, Bull Ant, Blowfly), the 2010 collection continues the tradition of excellent value-for-money by including an array of high quality extras. These include a comprehensive information booklet, incorporating a Certificate of Authenticity, a range of bug stickers, a ladybird poster and a magnifying glass - perfect for examining these glorious, brilliant uncirculated coins or actual bugs you find in your own backyard! The entire collection is beautifully bound in a brilliantly illustrated presentation album depicting a bugs-eye view of an Australian backyard! A perfect gift for children or grandchildren aspiring to collecting as a hobby!


Lastly, but certainly not least, comes a truly lasting tribute to Australia's most famous exploring duo, Burke and Wills, and their fateful expedition to cross the outback. Not just content to issue a stunning $1 brilliant uncirculated coin to honour these great pioneers, the Perth Mint has released a philatelic/numismatic cover, known as a PNC, containing the coin as well as a specially designed postage stamp!

Australia 2010 $1 Burke & Wills PNC

Commemorating the 150th anniversary of the duo's ill-fated expedition, this beautifully designed cover - featuring a depiction of the 15,000 strong Melbourne crowd who saw Burke and Wills off in August 1860 - is a symbolic tribute to the pioneering spirit upon which the Australian nation was built. Officially released from Australian Post, this new PNC represents the most affordable was to honour their successful, if ultimately tragic, attempt to cross the Continent. Graced with an official Australia Post 60c stamp and headlined by the unique $1 Australian legal tender coin - not to be issued into general circulation - this historic and eye-catching PNC is well within the reach of all collectors at the mint's Official Issue Price!