Thursday, September 22, 2011

Tasmanian Wedge-Tailed Eagle Flies In As The Second In The Endangered And Extinct Silver Coin Series

A spectacular legal tender tribute to the majestic, endangered Tasmanian Wedge- Tailed Eagle, this outstanding new Perth Mint-struck coin has put the market in a flap. With soaring demand ensuring that a sell-out of the mintage is imminent, this may well be your last chance to swoop down on the 2012 $1 Tasmanian Wedgetailed Eagle Silver Proof.

Tuvalu 2012 $1 Tasmanian Wedge-Tailed Eagle 1oz Silver Proof

One of the largest birds of prey in the world, instantly recognised by the shape of the tail and its sheer size, the Tasmanian Wedgetailed Eagle is a truly magnificent creature. Critically endangered, with a population believed to be less than 1,500 birds, the noble beauty and fierce independence of Australia’s biggest raptor is captured perfectly in full-colour upon the imposing frame of this sparkling 40mm precious metal Proof. Indeed, the eyecatching beauty of the design alone would have ensured the success of this new release – even without the ready-made audience created by the first coin in the Extinct & Endangered Series.

One of the hottest releases of the year, the 5,000-coin mintage of the 2011 $1 Tasmanian Tiger 1oz Silver Proof was wiped out in record time. With the 2012 $1 Tasmanian Wedge-tailed Eagle Silver Proof a coin of such obvious, innate quality, and its predecessor so popular, it was always likely that the mintage of 5,000 would be inadequate to meet demand – and so it has proved. With a sell-out close at hand – just weeks after release! – you must not miss this final opportunity to secure this unique precious metal Proof at the Official Issue Price!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Euro Collections International New Releases Week in Review

Here at ECI our aim is to provide the largest range of world coins to meet demands of collectors around the globe. In an effort to increase the exposure of our latest arrivals we've decided to start a weekly blog post that showcases what's new on ECI for the previous week. We hope that this will give collectors easier access to information about new release world coins and banknotes at Euro Collections International.

Week #1 - September 12-16

USA 2011 September 11 Silver Proof Medal

To commemorate the 10th anniversary of the tragedy of "9/11", the US Mint has struck this official commemorative medallion from 1oz (31.1grams) of 99.9% silver on a 40mm flan. More Information

USA 2011 State Quarter 9-11 Colour Tribute Set

Not an official release, but just as poignant, comes this three-coin United States quarters set, also marking the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Using the relevant issues of New York, Virginia and Pennsylvania from the State Quarters series, the 3-coins have been enhanced with full-colour designs showing the Twin Towers, Pentagon building and the Flight 93 National Memorial respectively. The coins are presented in a special tribute folder. More Information

USA 2011 $1 Presidential BU Set

Also arriving on ECI shelves on Monday was another US coin release, the 2011 issues from the celebrated "United States Presidents" series. This four coin set features the president Andrew Johnson (1865-69), Ulysses S. Grant (1869-77), Rutherford B. Hayes (1877-81), James Garfield (1881). More Information

Germany 2011 10€ 500th Anniversary of Till Eulenspiegel Silver Proof

Tuesday saw the arrival of the latest two silver coins from Germany's ongoing yearly commemorative coin program. The coins, being the 4th and 5th releases for 2011, mark the anniversaries of mischievous literary character Til Eulenspiegel and the discovery of the Archaeopteryx fossil oldest known example showing the link between dinosaurs and birds. More Information on Til Eulenspiegel

Germany 2011 10€ 150th Anniversary Discovery of Archaeopteryx Silver Proof

Both silver coins are struck to exact Proof quality and will be the only examples of these coins issued in this ever-increasing precious metal, being struck from 16 grams of 62.5% silver. Germany decided earlier in the year, with the rapidly growing precious metal costs, to cease production of their Uncirculated commemorative coins in the silver, instead offering a cupro-nickel version. No doubt that will only add to demand for this already sought-after program. More Information on Archaeopteryx

Slovakia 2011 10€ 150th Anniversary of Slovak Nation Silver Proof

Also on Tuesday saw new releases from Slovakia, one of the countries benefiting from a growing demand for silver coins from Eastern Europe in general and new EU members in particular. The first of these has been struck in 18 grams of 90% silver on a 34mm flan and marks the anniversary of the signing of the "Memorandum of the Slovak Nation". Sure to start a fire of demand, the coin has an exclusive mintage of just 9,100 coins worldwide. More Information

Slovakia 2011 10€ Jan Cikker Silver Proof

2011 is the 100th anniversary of the birth of one of Slovakia's most famous and revered composers, Jan Cikker. It is only fitting then that the Central Bank of Slovakia issue a commemorative coin, struck in beautiful Proof quality from 18 grams of 90% silver on a 34mm flan, to pay tribute to this man's life and work. More Information

Japan 2011 1000¥ Toyama Silver Proof

ECI is pleased to announce the arrival of the latest silver coins from the voluminous "47 Prefectures" series from the Japan Mint. The series, as the title suggests, will see 47 coins released over several years, with each coin honouring a particular prefecture (district) on the island of Japan. These latest releases mark the 13th coin in the series, and are dedicated to the Toyama prefecture. As with previous releases, the silver coin - struck from 1oz (31.1grams) of 99.9% silver on a 40mm flan are available as a Standard Edition presented in an official display unit, or as a Deluxe Edition that is accompanied by a set of 5 80 yen stamps also honouring Toyama, and presented within an elegant fold-out coin pack. The mintage for each release is 100,000, however it should be noted that only 10% of that mintage (10,000) will be made available outside of Japan.

Italy 2011 5€ 150th Anniversary of Italian Unification Silver Coin

Arriving from the Italian Mint comes this Brilliant Uncirculated Silver coin released to mark the anniversary of the unification of the various Italian states into one single state. The 5 euro coin has been struck from 18g of 92.5% sterling silver on a 32mm flan, with a total worldwide mintage of just 10,000. More Information

Netherlands 2011 5€ 100th Anniversary of Mint Building Silver-Plated Coin

Last but by no means least this week we have this innovative 5 euro coin from the Royal Dutch Mint. To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the completion of the Mint building at Muntkade in Utrecht, Netherlands, the mint has created a truly captivating piece of numismatic work to rival many of their previous, uniquely designed commemorative coins. Within the reverse design featuring a floor plan of the Mint building is an embedded QR code - used with smart phones as a convenient way of viewing a website, image or other type of data. With the code on this coin users will be taken to the Royal Dutch Mint where they will get a special "surprise" within the corridors of the building itself. Try it out! More Information

See you next week!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Perth Mint 2012 Bullion Gold and Silver Coin Releases

Due for release on September 1, 2011 comes the first round of gold and silver bullion issues struck by the Perth Mint. Always an exciting time on the numismatic calendar, 2012 will have added significance with the release of the hotly anticipated Year of the Dragon bullion coinage, together with the continuation of traditional series favorites, the Kookaburra. The 2012 Koala Silver Bullion coins will be officially released on November 1st, 2011.

Australia 2012 $1 Year of the Dragon Silver Coin

Sure to set the bullion coin collecting world on fire over the next couple of months, with excited anticipation rumbling across various internet coin collecting forums, comes the "Big 3" from Perth Mint - The Kookaburra, Koala and Lunar Dragon.

Celebrating the auspicious Year of the Dragon, the fifth animal in the 12-year cycle of the Chinese zodiac, comes the series of Silver Bullion coins ranging from the 1/2oz all the way up to the massive 10 kilogram silver coin. As well as appealing to collectors, these superb releases are perfect for people born in the Year of the Dragon – 1916, 1928, 1940, 1952, 1964, 1976, 1988, 2000 and 2012. Those born under the influence of this sign are said to be confident, enterprising, independent, self-assured, brave and passionate.

With regards to the silver issues, no mintage limit applies to 1 kilo, 10oz, 5oz, 2oz and 1/2oz coins. Except for the 1 kilo release, production of these coins will close at the end of 2012 and The Perth Mint will declare each coin's official mintage. A maximum of 500 10 kilo coins will be produced on a mint-to-order basis. However, production will close at the end of 2012, when the coin's actual mintage will be declared. The Perth Mint will produce up to 300,000 1oz coins. Production will cease when the mintage is fully sold or at the end of the series, whichever comes first. Be warned, the 1oz Year of the Dragon Silver Coin is sure to sell-out very fast, being the most hotly pursued weight of the most hotly pursued lunar series.

Australia 2012 Year of the Dragon Gold Coin

The Year of the Dragon is also available as a gold bullion issue, with sizes ranging from 1/20oz up to a thoroughly impressive 10 Kilogram release. Similarly to the silver issues, there are no mintage limit applied to the 1kg, 10oz, 2oz, 1/2oz, 1/4oz, 1/10oz, and 1/20oz gold coins. However, production will close at the end of 2012, when The Perth Mint will declare each coin's official mintage. A maximum of 100 10kg coins will be produced on a mint-to-order basis. However, production will close at the end of 2012, when the coin's actual mintage will be declared. The Perth Mint will produce no more than 30,000 1oz coins. Production will cease when the mintage is fully sold or at the end of the series, whichever comes first.

Each gold or silver coin’s reverse depicts a dragon with a representation of a pearl. The Chinese character for ‘dragon’ and the inscription ‘Year of the Dragon’ also appear in the design with The Perth Mint’s traditional ‘P’ mintmark. The Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the 2012 year-date and the monetary denomination are shown on the obverse of each coin.

Euro Collections International would like collectors to know that Downies/ECI has started an official 2012 Year of the Dragon release blog at, where you will find upcoming releases on a range of Year of the Dragon lunar coinage from around the world throughout 2011 & 2012.

Australia 2012 Kookaburra Silver Coin

Synonymous with all things Australian, the Kookaburra, with it's distinctive "laughing" call, has come to symbolise the Australian spirit of good nature amongst a sometimes harsh backdrop of conditions. The Kookaburra silver coins have come to be an important addition to world silver bullion releases, and the 2012 issue will be no exception. In 2012, The Perth Mint is releasing three silver bullion coins meticulously struck from 99.9% of silver in 1 kilo, 10oz and 1oz sizes. Only 500,000 1oz coins will be released. No mintage limit applies to 1kg and 10oz coins.

The coin’s reverse depicts a kookaburra sitting on a tree branch amid eucalyptus leaves. The Perth Mint’s ‘P’ mintmark and year-date are included in the design. Issued as Australian legal tender, the coin’s obverse bears the Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on its obverse.

Australia 2012 Koala Silver Coin

Lastly, but certainly not least of all, we welcome the 2012 Koala bullion silver coin, to be released on November 1, 2011. Needing no introduction, the Koala silver coins have become a well-favoured inclusion in the Australian Silver Bullion Coin Program for several years now. Each year sees the designers at the Perth Mint come up with a new, eye-catching motif to feature on their coins. Released in a range of sizes, the 2012 Koala silver coins present a great range of choice for the investor or collector.

The koala is one of Australia's most popular animals, accounting for the exceptional success of the Australian Koala series. In 2012, The Perth Mint is releasing four silver bullion coins portraying an adult koala asleep on the branch of a tree. The reverse design also includes The Perth Mint’s ‘P’ mintmark and monetary denomination. The coin’s obverse bears the Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on and is issued as legal tender under the Australian Currency Act 1965.

No mintage limit applies to these coins for 12 months. However, production will close at the end of 2012 and The Perth Mint will declare each coin’s official mintage.

So stay tuned to Euro Collections International - either through our Facebook or Twitter pages, our weekly informative newsletter or just here on the official ECI blog - as our range of 2012 Australia silver and gold bullion coins goes on sale from September 1, 2011.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Introducing the Leonardo da Vinci Codex 24-Piece Silver Coin Collection

A truly magnificent example of numismatic design, this stunning 24-piece silver coin collection has been issued by the authority of Niue Island to celebrate the inventive mind and skill of Leonardo da Vinci.

Niue 2011 $24 The da Vinci Codex Silver Proof Collection

Honouring the extraordinary foresight and technical brilliance of the ultimate Renaissance Man, Leonardo da Vinci (1452-1519), this unique legal tender set is among the most prestigious, most breathtaking numismatic issues ever offered by ECI. An awe-inspiring presentation, the complete 24-coin collection measures a massive 166.80mm x 240mm, and comprises well over a KILO of .999 fine silver!

A gargantuan work of numismatic art, celebrating da Vinci’s Codex, this imposing collection features an incredible TWENTY-FOUR interlinked legal tender coins – each crafted to flawless Proof quality from 42.5g .999 fine silver. Exquisite examples of full-colour minting, each of those coins represents a part of the Codex – an astonishing collection of drawings and prose fusing art, engineering, anatomy and science, highlighted by da Vinci’s iconic Vitruvian Man. Individually superb, the 24 edgeless full-colour coins unite to form a seamless, absolutely perfect recreation of da Vinci’s work. Undoubtedly one of the most thrilling legal tender commemoratives ECI has had the privilege to offer our clients, this collection is also one of the finest presentations we have seen.

Protecting the spellbinding quality of this lavish, unparalleled commemorative issue, this majestic 24 coin .999 fine silver Proof collection is set between two sheets of thick Perspex, and then housed within a top quality timber box. Complete with an elegant stand, so you can display your new acquisition in style, as well as a detailed information booklet incorporating a Certificate of Authenticity confirming the mintage of just 500, every element of this extensive presentation is housed within a beautifully engraved timber case.

The Niue 2011 $24 Leonardo da Vinci Codex Silver Proof Collection is now available to order from our website.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Introducing The World's First Triptych Silver Coin!

By the issuing authority of the Cook Islands, ECI is pleased to present a first in world numismatics with this stunning triptych silver coin, dedicated to the famous Dutch painter Hieronymus Bosch and his world renowned work of art entitled "The Garden of Earthly Delights"

Cook Islands 2011 $9 Garden of Earthly Delights Silver Proof Triptych

Hieronymus Bosch was born Hieronymus van Aken. He signed a number of his paintings as "Bosch". The name derives from his birthplace, 's-Hertogenbosch, which is commonly called "Den Bosch". Little is known of Bosch’s life or training. He left behind no letters or diaries so nothing is known of his personality or his thoughts on the meaning of his art. It is generally assumed that either Bosch’s father or one of his uncles (as four out of the five brothers were painters) taught the artist to paint, but none of their works survive. He became a popular painter in his lifetime and often received commissions from abroad. In 1488 he joined the highly respected Brotherhood of Our Lady, an arch-conservative religious group of some 40 influential citizens of 's-Hertogenbosch, and 7,000 'outer-members' from around Europe.

Bosch produced several triptychs. Among his most famous is The Garden of Earthly Delights. This painting, for which the original title has not survived, depicts paradise with Adam and Eve and many wondrous animals on the left panel, the earthly delights with numerous nude figures and tremendous fruit and birds on the middle panel, and hell with depictions of fantastic punishments of the various types of sinners on the right panel. When the exterior panels are closed the viewer can see, painted in grisaille, God creating the Earth. These paintings—especially the Hell panel—are painted in a comparatively sketchy manner which contrasts with the traditional Flemish style of paintings. In this painting Bosch draws with his brush. Not surprisingly, Bosch is also one of the most revolutionary draftsmen in the history of art, producing some of the first autonomous sketches in Northern Europe.

Each panel of the triptych silver coin shows a different panel of the original painting, with the left panel showing the Garden of Eden and the moment that God presented Eve to Adam. The larger middle panel shows the expansive garden landscape from which the painting takes its name. It is neither paradise nor the terrestrial plain, as fantastic creatures are seen mingling with real, all amongst a bevvy of nude males and females engaging in a wide variety of activities. The right panel, perhaps the most famous of the triptych, symbolises Hell, where humans have succumb to the temptations of the Devil and reap eternal damnation.

The three individual coins are all struck from 92.5% sterling silver with the following specification:

Right Panel:
Diameter - 17.50mm x 35.00mm
Weight - 15.56 grams
Denomination - 2 Dollars

Middle Panel:
Diameter - 35.00mm x 35.00mm
Weight - 31.10 grams
Denomination - 5 Dollars

Left Panel:
Diameter - 17.50mm x 35.00mm
Weight - 15.56 grams
Denomination - 2 Dollars

Each panel of the triptych silver coin is individually encapsulated for ultimate protection, and presented in a high quality fold-out timber display unit that beautifully showcases this exquisite numismatic creation. Accompanying this impressive presentation is an information booklet detailing the history of Bosch and further details of the Garden of Earthly Delights painting. Also supplied is a Certificate of Authenticity attesting to the exclusive worldwide mintage of just 500 coins.

The Cook Islands 2011 $9 Garden of Earthly Delights Silver Proof Triptych is currently available through the Euro Collections International website.

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Royal Canadian Mint Release Their First Silver & Niobium Coin!

June 16, 2011: The Royal Canadian Mint has unveiled the first in a new series dedicated to the Full Moons of the Algonquins - which also happens to be the first coin produced by the RCM to contain the rare metal known as Niobium.

Canada 2011 $5 Full Buck Moon Silver Niobium Proof

Discovered by the English chemist Charles Hatchett in 1801 but not used commercially until the early 20th century, Niobium is employed mostly in alloys, the largest part in special steel such as that used in gas pipelines, as even a tiny percentage of Niobium adds strength to the steel. The metal is also used in electronics, welding, nuclear industries and optics. In numismatics Niobium is used purely as a decorative enhancement to coins, most notably the Silver & Niobium series produced by the Austrian Mint, although other countries such as Latvia and Luxembourg have also had coins struck with Niobium cores (these coins were, however, produced at the Austrian Mint). The ability to colour the Niobium using anodization has made it increasingly popular in the production of jewellery and numismatic products.

As shown in the image above, the inclusion of Niobium adds a quality to the coin that is unobtainable through other methods of colouring coins, such as pad printing. As it is a metal it seamlessly integrates with the silver portion of the coin, creating a marvelous, eye-catching piece of work.

This is the first coin to be released as part of the Royal Canadian Mint's Full Moons of the Algonquin series, with future releases to cover the Full Hunter’s Moon, Full Wolf Moon and Full Pink Moon.

From the Royal Canadian Mint:

In North America, the First Nations tribes that comprise the Algonquin people utilized the lunar cycle as a celestial calendar to track time. They assigned a name to every full moon to reflect the seasonal activities that accompanied its specific cycle. The Algonquin people lived across a vast territory from Lake Superior to the Atlantic—and the geographical differences between them produced a variety of names for each full moon.

July is the quintessential month of summer. Its full moon is known as Thunder Moon or Summer Moon, but its most common name is Buck Moon to reflect the fact that bucks in the North American wilderness are beginning to grow new antlers—a vision of elegance and strength inspired by the ever-changing cycle of life.

Each coin is struck from 8.5 grams of 92.5% sterling silver on a 28mm flan to rigorous Proof standards. The reverse design of this coin, in keeping with it's dedication, features a buck standing in a field, the image struck into the niobium core. Adding further innovation and contrast is the silver moon within the Niobium, possibly the first time this has been done in numismatics.

Each silver and niobium coin is presented in an official wooden flip case, lined with flock and protected by an outer sleeve. These coins are available now from Euro Collections International.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Just When You Thought It Was Safe To Go Back In The Water - Along Comes The New 2011 Deadly & Dangerous Silver Coin!

June 7, 2011: The Perth Mint has released the latest in the hugely popular Deadly and Dangerous series - with 2011 being the year of the Box Jelly Fish! Struck on commission, this series has seen such nasty creatures as the Red Back Spider, Great White Shark, Blue-Ringed Octopus, Saltwater Crocodile and Brown Snake immortalised on 99.9% fine silver coinage!

Tuvalu 2011 $1 Deadly and Dangerous Box Jellyfish 1oz Silver Proof

Carrying on the tradition of high quality Proof silver coins enhanced with stunning full-colour struck using the Perth Mint's state-of-the-art minting and printing technologies, the D&D Box Jelly Fish 1oz silver release is sure to follow the incredible demand of it's predecessors by selling out rapidly.

Box jellyfish (class Cubozoa) are cnidarian invertebrates distinguished by their cube-shaped medusae. Box jellyfish are known for the extremely potent venom produced by some species. Chironex fleckeri, Carukia barnesi and Malo kingi are among the most venomous creatures in the world. Stings from these and a few other species in the class are extremely painful and sometimes fatal to humans.

Each 2011 Deadly and Dangerous Box Jelly Fish 1oz Silver coin is struck from 31.10 grams of 99.9% pure silver on a 40.60mm flan. The coin features a design of the Box Jelly Fish in it's natural habitat of the ocean, with a small cluster of coral to the left. The coin has been struck as legal tender for the island nation of Tuvalu and comes presented in a stunning, official Perth Mint timber display case with colourful outer shipper box and accompanied by an individually numbered Certificate of Authenticity.

This is a must-have release for collectors of the Deadly and Dangerous series, but also an incredible one-off release for anyone keep to own a piece of this popular annual collection. With no word on whether there will ever be another Deadly and Dangerous coin released, this possibly final entry in the series becomes all the more significant.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Perth Mint June Releases!

June 7, 2011: The Perth Mint has released their June products and ECI is pleased to be able to offer the following items to collectors!

Australia 2011 $1 Australian Rugby Union Men of Gold 1oz Silver Proof

To pay tribute to one of Australia’s greatest sporting institutions, the Perth Mint has released this stunning 99.9% silver coin, enhanced with the Aussie green & gold, for the Australian Rugby Union side, the Wallabies. An iconic piece of memorabilia leading up to the 2011 Rugby World Cup to be held in New Zealand later this year, this impressive 40.60mm precious metal issue, fashioned from 1 troy ounce (31.10 grams) of pure silver, is a must-have keepsake for any sporting enthusiast worth their salt. Struck in impeccable Proof quality and featuring the image of a Wallabies player in action, each silver coin is presented in official, high quality Perth Mint packaging, accompanied by a numbered Certificate of Authenticity.

Australia 2011 $15 Koala 1/10oz Gold Proof

As part of the 2011 Gold Koala series, ECI has been given an allocation of the 1/10oz Gold Proof, one of the more accessible coins in the series. Struck from 99.99% pure gold on a 16.10mm flan, this exciting gold issue mirrors the same design as on the popular 2011 silver Koala coin. With a worldwide mintage of just 5000, and a price set under $280, the affordability and exclusivity of this eye-catching Koala is sure to generate a great deal of demand. Set within an official Perth Mint case and colourful outer box with Certificate of Authenticity.

Australia 2011 50c Sealife II Hawksbill Turtle 1/2oz Silver Proof

Perhaps the most exciting release for June is this one - the first release in a new series following on from the immensely popular Sea Life series of 2010/2011. Sure to generate as much demand as it's predecessors - all of whom have sold out at the mint with a few even scarce on the secondary market - this Sea Life II series sees a new set of 5 ocean creature-themed coins released over coming months. The first of these is dedicated to the Hawksbill Turtle, and features a fantastic image of the endangered Turtle, brilliantly displayed using the state-of-the-art pad printing techniques of the Perth Mint. Struck from one half troy ounce (15.55 grams) of 99.9% silver on a 36.60mm flan to the highest Proof quality, the limited mintage of just 10,000 coins released worldwide is sure to sell-out fast. With other colourful sea creatures such as the starfish, octopus and manta ray being immortalised in silver as part of this series over the coming months, expectations are high that this sequel series will be as popular as it's predecessor. Each high quality silver coin is supplied in a Perth Mint jewel case with full-colour outer shipper, accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity confirming the limited worldwide mintage.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

New Series of Silver Coins Released For Transformers: Dark of the Moon Movie

May 30, 2011: The Perth Mint, in conjunction with Hasbro, has released a second series of full-colour Transformers silver coins. The coins have been issued to celebrate the third film in the Transformers blockbuster franchise, Transformers: Dark of the Moon - due for release in cinemas on June 30. This second series, coming after the two coins released in 2009 to celebrate the second Transformers movie, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, sees three silver coins issued, each featuring a different character from the Transformers universe.

Tuvalu 2011 $1 Transformers Optimus Prime 1oz Silver Proof

The first coin features Optimus Prime, leader of the heroic Autobots. An Optimus Prime silver coin was also issued as part of the 2009 series, however this 2011 coin features an all new design coupled with the expert full-colour printing technique that the Perth Mint has become famous for.

Tuvalu 2011 $1 Transformers Megatron 1oz Silver Proof

A Megatron coin was also issued in the 2009 series, and as with the 2011 Optimus Prime silver coin, this 2011 release also features a brand new design, taken from the Transformers: Dark of the Moon film. Megatron, for those who don't know, is the leader of the ruthless Decepticons.

Tuvalu 2011 $1 Transformers Bumblebee 1oz Silver Proof

What is sure to excite collectors of the series and fans of the movie franchise alike is the inclusion this year of an official Bumblebee silver coin. After the 2009 release there were a lot of people hoping that a new series would see a coin fashioned with the likeness of the loveable "little brother" of the Autobots, and they're prayers have been answered.

As the final battle looms between the shape-shifting alien Autobots and Decepticons, official movie coins celebrating Transformers: Dark of the Moon have been released by The Perth Mint.

Designed for addicts of Michael Bay's latest sci-fi epic, each coin is a magnificent, legal tender collectable superbly struck from pure silver.

The coloured coin designs portray fan-favourites Optimus Prime, Megatron and Bumblebee. Each coin comes in an exclusive presentation box which adds to its attraction as a commemorative.

Opportunities to secure the three coins are, however, strictly limited. Just 5,000 of each design will be released worldwide accompanied by a numbered Certificate of Authenticity confirming its rarity. Order now to avoid disappointment!

Also available is the Tuvalu 2011 $1 Transformers Silver Proof Complete Collection - get all three silver coins together and save almost $50 off the individual retail price! The coins are available by clicking the links above or visiting Euro Collections International

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Israel Commemorates 63rd Year of Statehood With Dead Sea Coins

To mark the 63rd anniversary of Israeli Statehood, the Israel Mint has released three precious metal coins, each featuring the famous Dead Sea. The coins, available as 1 New Sheqel Silver Prooflike, 2 New Sheqel Silver Proof and 10 New Sheqel Gold Proof, are offered as a set of three coins, with the two silver coins also being offered individually.

Israel 2011 Dead Sea 3-Coin Set

Each year the Israel Mint releases it's precious metal commemorative coins to the expectant demand of worldwide collectors. The themes contained on each years releases have included many different facets of Israeli life as well as biblical stories.

About the Dead Sea:

The Dead Sea, also called the Salt Sea, is a salt lake bordering Jordan to the east and Israel and the West Bank to the west. Its surface and shores are 423 metres (1,388 ft) below sea level,[2] the lowest elevation on the Earth's surface on dry land. The Dead Sea is 377 m (1,237 ft) deep, the deepest hypersaline lake in the world. With 33.7% salinity, it is also one of the world's saltiest bodies of water, though Lake Assal (Djibouti), Garabogazköl and some hypersaline lakes of the McMurdo Dry Valleys in Antarctica (such as Don Juan Pond) have reported higher salinities. It is 8.6 times saltier than the ocean. This salinity makes for a harsh environment in which animals cannot flourish, hence its name. The Dead Sea is 67 kilometres (42 mi) long and 18 kilometres (11 mi) wide at its widest point. It lies in the Jordan Rift Valley, and its main tributary is the Jordan River.

The Dead Sea has attracted visitors from around the Mediterranean basin for thousands of years. Biblically, it was a place of refuge for King David. It was one of the world's first health resorts (for Herod the Great), and it has been the supplier of a wide variety of products, from balms for Egyptian mummification to potash for fertilizers. People also use the salt and the minerals from the Dead Sea to create cosmetics and herbal sachets. In 2009, 1.2 million foreign tourists visited on the Israeli side.

The sea has a density of 1.24 kg/L, making swimming difficult but providing a relaxing floating experience.

Israel 2011 1 New Sheqel Silver Prooflike

Each of the three coins features the same design on the reverse side: An aerial image of the Dead Sea and the land surrounding it - together with the image of a wild goat, one of the many example of wildlife in the area. To the left is the inscription for "Dead Sea" in Arabic, English and Hebrew.

The Obverse of each coin has it's respective denomination, as well as country and year of issue and the commemoration of Israel's independence day for 2011.

Israel 2011 2 New Sheqel Silver Proof

The 1 New Sheqel silver coin is struck from 14.4 grams of 92.5% sterling silver on a 30mm flan with a worldwide mintage of 1,800, to proof-like quality. The 2 New Sheqel is struck from 28.8 grams of 92.5% sterling silver on a 38.61mm flan with a worldwide mintage of 5,000, to proof quality. The 10 New Sheqel gold coin is struck from 16.96 grams of 22-carat gold on a 30mm flan. The 3 coin set has a release mintage of 555 sets issued worldwide, to proof quality.

Adding to the value of both the individual coins and the 3-coin set, each coin/set is presented in official Israel Mint packaging, which includes a smaple of actual salt from the Dead Sea. The coins/set are accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Bank of Canada Announces Details on New Series of Polymer Bank Notes

OTTAWA (March 2011) – The Bank of Canada announced that it will begin circulating a new $100 polymer bank note in November 2011, with a polymer $50 note to follow in March 2012. The Bank also provided further technical and background information about the new bank notes. More details on the security features, themes and designs of these denominations will be unveiled in the spring of 2011. The remaining denominations—the $20 note, followed by the $10 and $5 notes—will be unveiled and issued by the end of 2013.

With the introduction of the polymer bank note series, the Bank’s main focus continues to be security. “Canada’s new bank notes will have innovative security features that are easy to verify,” said Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of Canada. “The leading-edge technology in these notes will expand the frontiers of bank note security.”

In addition to enhancing security, the new bank note series will be easier to verify, more economical and have a reduced environmental impact. The Bank of Canada evaluated a number of options before deciding on a new suite of security features and on the use of polymer material—which is expected to last at least 2.5 times longer than the current cotton-paper bills.

To prepare for the new notes, the Bank is working closely with financial institutions and manufacturers of bank note equipment to ensure a smooth transition to polymer. Law enforcement agencies and retailers will also be important partners as the Bank introduces the polymer series. “With these new notes, the Bank of Canada will provide Canadians with a durable, high-quality, secure form of payment that they can use with confidence,” added Governor Carney.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Massive Five Kilogram Silver Coin Released in Honour of Famous Explorer

A gigantic celebration of one of the key characters of the history of exploration, ECI is proud to present the limited edition 2011 $500 Vitus Bering Five Kilo Silver Proof!

Measuring an incredible 150mm in diameter, this majestic commemoration of Vitus Bering (1681-1741) is, however, defined by more than its awe-inspiring dimensions. A coin of superb Proof quality, immense beauty, spellbinding presentation and strictly limited availability, there is no doubt that the tiny mintage of this collectable colossus will be heavily over-subscribed.

British Virgin Islands 2011 $500 Vitus Bering 5Kg Silver Proof

A coin of immense stature...
A commemorative in keeping with the fame of Bering – who was one of the first known explorers to pass between Asia and North America, thus proving they were separate continents – the size and weight of this startling silver Proof will leave you mesmerized. Struck to the pinnacle of Proof quality, each official British Virgin Islands $500 is crafted from a mind-boggling FIVE KILOS of .999 fine silver. That's over 160 troy ounces of pure precious metal! One of very issues to have been struck to this size (it spans 150mm in diameter) this new release is one of the largest, most impressive numismatic tributes that ECI has had the privilege to present to our clients.

A powerful theme...
Whilst sought after for the inherent quality and wealth of features of the actual coin, this masterpiece of collector coinage will also be in hot demand for the strong theme. Certain to be pursued by maritime collectors, the huge frame of this precious metal masterpiece is distinguished by a superb design of one of the vessels Bering used in his voyages of exploration – voyages which saw him become the first European to discover Alaska and the Aleutian Islands.

Official legal tender...
A unique piece of numismatic artistry, no effort has been spared in the creation of the 2011 $500 Bering Five Kilo Silver Proof. An official legal tender issue of the British Virgin Islands, bearing the Ian Rank-Broadley portrait of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse, this exclusive release not only features a beautifully sculpted design – it also features genuine miniature nautical instruments set within the massive 150mm diameter flan!

Presentation without equal...
Providing a most appropriate environment for a coin of this size and prestige, the 2011 $500 Bering Five Kilo Silver Proof is housed in a luxurious timber presentation case. Heavy and imposing, and complete with a numbered Certificate of Authenticity confirming the tiny mintage, the exquisite quality of this lavish case is the perfect finishing touch to a presentation that will dazzle the most discriminating collector.

A once-in-a-lifetime opportunity...
The only thing tiny about this gargantuan collector coin is the mintage. Underestimating the demand from the ever-growing body of collectors interested in oversized coinage – and inadvertently enhancing the collector value of the coin – the British Virgin Islands has restricted the limited edition of the Bering Five Kilo Silver Proof to just 350. Given the increase in interest in large precious metal Proofs resulting from the dramatic recent rise soaring metal prices, there is no doubt that this mammoth Five Kilo Silver Proof will be available for a short time only.

We must urge immediate action, as, once this giant of numismatics is gone, it will be gone forever.

A supreme acquisition, this colossus of collector coinage is...

* comprised of a massive FIVE KILOGRAMS of .999 fine silver – more than 160 troy ounces!
* taken from a tiny worldwide mintage of just 350 – sell-out certain
* enriched with full-colour miniature nautical tools on the enormous, individually edge-numbered 150mm diameter flan
* an official legal tender issue of the British Virgin Islands, bearing the Rank-Broadley portrait of Queen Elizabeth II
* housed in a luxurious timber case with an official serial-numbered Certificate of Authenticity

Mint of Finland Ltd buys German coin-blank manufacturer Saxonia EuroCoin GmbH

More flexible and innovative solutions for circulation and commemorative coins to Mint of Finland´s customers

Mint of Finland Ltd, which produces metallic circulation and collector coins, has bought the entire share capital of the German coin-blank manufacturer Saxonia EuroCoin GmbH from DNick Holding plc, which is the manufacturer of nickel and nickel alloys listed on the unofficial registered market in Germany. The deal has established the strongest coin manufacturer in the Eurozone. Since the deal took place, the budgeted turnover for Mint of Finland Group in 2011 is EUR over 120 million.

With these new business operations, Mint of Finland Group can offer increasingly flexible and innovative solutions for circulation and commemorative coins to its customers in central banks, mints and collector coin specialists from all around the world. The deal will bring the benefits of synergy in sales, marketing and product development. The deal does not affect the location of production plants in Vantaa, Finland or Halsbrücke, Germany.

Saxonia EuroCoin GmbH was founded in 1993. Saxonia EuroCoin is the biggest coin-blank manufacturer in the Eurozone whose products include coated steel coin blanks, non-ferrous metal blanks and precious metal blanks. In 2010, the company's turnover was EUR 80.7 million and it had 95 employees.

Thanks to this deal, Finnish coin manufacture is strengthening its position in the world market. In 2010, the company produced 1.1 billion coins, for which the Mint of Finland is one of the world's biggest coin exporters.

Austrian Mint Issue "Monstrous" Silver Coin for Tales & Legends Program

May 4, 2011: The Austrian Mint has issued the penultimate silver coin in their popular series entitled "Tales and Legends of Austria". The six-coin program, issued between 2009 and 2011, sees Brilliant Uncirculated and Proof quality silver coins released to celebrate various tales of folklore throughout Austria's rich history. Previous issues have been dedicated to The Basilisk, Charlemagne In The Untersburg, King Richard I Lionheart and Discovery Of Erzberg. This latest silver coin in the series tells of the legend of The Lindwurm in Klagenfurt!

Austria 2011 10€ The Lindwurm in Klagenfurt Silver Proof

Legend has it that the town of Klagenfurt was founded after a couple of brave men had slain the abominable "Lindwurm", a winged dragon in the moors adjoining the lake, the staple diet of which is said to have been virgins, but which did not spurn the fat bull on a chain that the men had mounted on a strong tower. The feat is commemorated by a grandiose 9-ton Renaissance monument in the city centre.

The coin shows the Lindwurm fountain on Neuer Platz in Klagenfurt and the statue of Hercules in front of it. The other side of the coin depicts the fight with the monster. On the left-hand side is the tower built as a defense against the Lindwurm. Behind its gate, two labourers barricade themselves in, while through the window a chain is stretched and the barb is entangled in the mouth of the raging monster.

The "Lindwurm" is only issued in "brilliant uncirculated" (max. 30,000 pieces) and "proof" (max. 40,000 pieces) quality since, due to the high price of silver, circulation pieces will not be issued at face value. The coins in "brilliant uncirculated" quality come in an informative blister pack, while those in "proof" quality are packed in an attractive box with a numbered certificate of authenticity, which provides technical information about the quality and design of the coin.


During the middle ages, in a scruffy dark wooded and somewhat swampy area in the region of Carinthia, lived a Lindworm (a small dragon with tiny wings.) The dragon used to terrorize the region as it searched for food. Cattle and sheep would mysteriously disappear. A curious young herder went looking for his missing cow in the woods and was never seen again. The fear of the villagers grew to such a level that trade was seriously hindered, as the story of the sinister Lindworm spread throughout the land.

This frustrated and angered the Duke of the region and so he offered a handsome reward to anyone who could capture the Lindworm. On the edge of the swampy area he had a large round tower built of stone. To whoever killed the Lindworm the Duke offered that they would receive the tower, all the surrounding land, and become a free person, regardless of their station in life (even a serf was eligible).

A courageous group of men came forward and decided they would try this daring feat. They brought with them an enormous steer and a heavy chain. They tied the steer to a chain. They then suspended the steer with the chain to the tower. From this chain there also huge a huge barbed hook that the village blacksmith had made for them. When the steer was suspended its angry mooing and grunts were heard far and wide. Meanwhile the clever chaps stayed inside the tower and could watch in all directions looking for the Lindworm to appear from the swamp. Soon the Lindworm appeared from the steamy foggy swampy area. The friends in the tower were almost overcome with fear, as the terrifying Lindworm got closer. The sight of the Lindworm was unbelievable, covered with scales and a long tail, with protruding dark glazed eyes and flaring nostrils that blew black steam. The Lindworm attacked the steer with its massive jaws and bit away a part of its hind end. It swung around with lightening speed and opened its huge mouth and bit down hard on the head area of the steer. A horrifying howl emanated from its jaws because the barbed hook sank deep into the tender jaw and head of the Lindworm. Its tail swished back and forth slinging the drooling slime from its jaw up into the sky. The group of friends barely recovered from their fright and knew that they had to react fast before the Lindworm could free itself from the hook. So they climbed out over the top edge of the tower and clubbed the Lindworm to death with their iron clubs.

The Duke was relieved and very happy and in celebration he even had a fortress built for the courageous men on their new property. It was not long until trade was restored. The new proud landowners saw a small village blossom on the ground where the Lindworm made its last stand. The happy villagers helped to drain the land and rid the area of the scruffy bush and soon farmers were tilling the fruitful area. The village flourished and continued to grow because of the successful trade and the bounty of the land, and so the village of Klagenfurt came to be. The memory of the Lindworm lives on today with the fountain in the center of the city, in the “Neuer Platz” and in the city’s coat of arms that has the Lindworm integrated into it.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Royal Australian Mint to Issue International Women's Day Commemorative Coin

March 8, 2011: The Assistant Treasurer Bill Shorten and the Minister for the Status of Women Kate Ellis today announced that a commemorative 20 cent coin, celebrating the centenary of International Women’s Day, will be released into public circulation.

The coin will be issued by the Royal Australian Mint, which is responsible for producing all of Australia's circulating coins.

The Assistant Treasurer remarked that the coin honoured the past and future contributions of women to the development of Australia’s prosperity.

“Over one hundred years the development of women’s equality has been celebrated and the recognition of which has grown around the world,” the Assistant Treasurer said.

“This coin follows a great Australian tradition of recognising strong, historically significant women, including Mary Reibey ($20 note), who started life as a convict but rose to become a successful businesswoman, and Dame Mary Gilmore ($10 note), a noted writer and poet, on our currency.”

“To mark these one hundred years on a coin and have this celebration recognised will help create even more awareness and recognition as the public see this coin in years to come.”

Minister Ellis said that the centenary of International Women’s Day on Tuesday 8 March 2011 was a chance for celebration and reflection.

"International Women’s Day is a time for us to recognise the many and diverse achievements of Australian women, both today and throughout our history," Minister Ellis said.

“It is fitting for this to be acknowledged on a coin, which will be a constant reminder of how far we have come and how far we still have to go when it comes to gender equality in Australia."

The coin design is being developed in consultation with Mint designers, the Australian Government Office for Women and UN Women Australia and will be seen in public circulation in the coming months.

International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated on 8 March across the world.


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

National Bank of Poland Issue Commemorative Silver Coin for First Anniversary of Smolensk Plane Crash

The Mint of Poland (Mennica Polska), in conjunction with the National Bank of Poland, has issued a series of commemorative coins to mark the first anniversary of the Smolensk plane crash and the souls lost that day.

Poland 2011 20Zl Victims of the Smolensk Plane Crash Silver Proof

On April 10, 2010, while on route to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Katyn Massacre - a mass murder of Polish intellectuals, politicians, and military officers carried out by Soviet secret police - Polish Air Force aircraft Tupolev Tu-154M crashed near the city of Smolensk, Russia, killing all 96 people on board. These included the Polish president Lech Kaczyński and his wife, the chief of the Polish General Staff and other senior Polish military officers, the president of the National Bank of Poland, Poland's deputy foreign minister, Polish government officials, 12 members of the Polish parliament, senior members of the Polish clergy, and relatives of victims of the Katyn massacre.

The Katyn massacre, also known as the Katyn Forest massacre, was a mass execution of Polish nationals carried out by the Soviet secret police NKVD in April–May 1940. It was based on Lavrentiy Beria's proposal to execute all members of the Polish Officer Corps, dated 5 March 1940. This official document was then approved and signed by the Soviet Politburo, including its leader, Joseph Stalin. The number of victims is estimated at about 22,000, the most commonly cited number being 21,768.

In Poland, the public reacted with shock and grief to the Smolensk Plane Crash on April 10, 2010. Almost immediately after the news broke, tens of thousands of Poles assembled at the Presidential Palace to lay tributes, including flowers, wreaths, and candles. A week of national mourning was declared in Poland. Poles around the world mourned Kaczyński and set up shrines in the week that followed. Flags flew at half mast in Poland. Sports fixtures, including women's U-17 UEFA Championship elite qualifying phase game Poland versus Republic of Ireland in Ukraine, were postponed.

One year later the National Bank of Poland has issued a series of commemorative coins to mark the anniversary of this tragic event. These include a 100 Zloty Gold coin featuring images of the Polish President, Lech Kaczyński, and his wife, a 20 Zloty Silver coin showing the portrait of National Bank of Poland President Sławomir Skrzypek, another 20 Zloty Silver coin with an image of the Polish Air Force jet, and a 2 Zloty Nordic Gold coin showing tree boughs.

Euro Collections International is able to offer collectors the 20 Zloty Silver coin featuring an image of the Air Force jet that crashed in the woods near Smolensk. Struck from 28.28 grams of 92.5% sterling silver on a 38.61mm flan, the coin shows the solemn image of the plane with a damaged wing against a background of tree boughs. On the obverse is the image of a broken tree truck and tree fragments. Each silver coin is encapsulated and accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity confirming the world-wide mintage of 50,000.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Introducing the World's Largest Commemorative Silver Coin!

Euro Collections International is proud to introduce collectors to this most majestic and innovative of numismatic items. The 2011 Sistine Chapel Silver Proof Collection has been issued to commemorate the 500th anniversary of the original, gloriously breathtaking work of art created by master painter Michelangelo between 1508 and 1512.

Niue 2011 $33 Sistine Chapel Silver Proof Collection

As a complete item measuring an astonishing 326 x 120 millimeters and weighing an impressive 1 kilogram, this numismatic reproduction of one of the most treasured works of art in history is made up of 33 separate pieces (in 5 different sizes), each featuring expertly crafted, vibrant edgeless colour printing to form a seamless recreation of Michelangelo's world famous artistic structure.

The Sistine Chapel is the best-known Chapel in Christianity. It was built by Giovanni de’ Dolci as Papal Chapel for Pope Sixtus IV between 1477 and 1482. It is famous for its architecture, evocative of Solomon´s Temple of the Old Testament and its decoration. Pope SixtusIV consecrated the first mass in honor of “Our Lady of the Assumption” in 1483. Since then the chapel has served as a place of both religious and functionary papal activity. Today it is the site of the Papal Conclave, the process by which a new Pope is selected.

Michelangelo Buonarroti was commissioned by Pope Julius II in 1508 to repaint the ceiling of the Chapel. It was originally painted as golden stars on a blue sky. The work was completed between 1508 and 1512. Michelangelo painted 12,000sq feet (1,100m2) of the chapel ceiling with themes from the Book of Genesis. He was originally commissioned to paint only 12 figures, the Apostles. After the work was finished, there were more than 300. Today the ceiling is widely believed to be Michelangelo's crowning achievement in painting.

To suitably complete this superb product, each massive 33 piece silver coin is presented in the highest quality packaging - with the completed work of art set between two sheets of thick, protective perspex. Also supplied is an elegant display stand and a pair of gloves for proper handling - all set within a top quality, transparent top red timber box that comes within a final black leatherette outer case for ultimate protection. To cap off this magnificent offer, each Sistine Chapel Silver Proof Collection is supplied with a Certificate of Authenticity and an official, highly descriptive information booklet with details surrounding the creation of the Sistine Chapel Ceiling masterpiece.

Only 500 Sistine Chapel Silver Proof Collections have been released world-wide, and through our network or distributors ECI has managed to acquire a tiny allocation to offer discerning collectors of the most original, elegant and intriguingly innovative numismatic items. With our special layaway program making owning this imposing coin an option for an even wider range of collectors, an immediate order is recommended to avoid missing out on a truly rare and unique spectacle of minting excellence.

Information about Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel work was taken from Wikipedia. Source

Thursday, March 17, 2011

New $100 Tasmanian Tiger One Ounce Gold Coin Released!

March 16, 2011: One of the most desirable, most exclusive gold issues to be released in Australia, this exquisite legal tender coin forms the ultimate tribute to one of Australia’s most intriguing, most well-known native creatures – the Tasmanian Tiger. To be offered on a subscription basis, with orders taken only until the 15th of April, 2011, no more than 150 examples of this MASSIVE ONE TROY OUNCE .9999 FINE GOLD PROOF WILL EVER BE STRUCK!

Niue 2011 $100 Tasmanian Tiger 1oz Gold Proof

Produced by Swiss precious metal specialists Produits Artistiques Métaux Précieux (PAMP), this new release is a masterwork of numismatic craftsmanship. Struck to the most rigorous Proof standards from a full troy ounce of pure, lustrous .9999 gold, every collector will be impressed by the glorious full-colour motif, the sharply frosted background designs and the stunning mirrored field. Unquestionably one of the finest colour coins we have ever offered, capturing perfectly the distinctive appearance of the Tasmanian Tiger, the full-colour design has been created in fully struck-up high relief!

Sure to command the attention of those enchanted by the unparalleled beauty, rarity and prestige of the world’s favourite precious metal – and the many people seeking coins defined by extremely exclusive limited availability – there is no doubt that the tiny maximum mintage of 150 will be achieved at super speed. Indicative of demand for all large gold coins, the 100-coin mintage of the 2010 $100 Ned Kelly 1oz Gold Proof was over-subscribed in just SEVEN days!

With only one hundred and fifty people ACROSS THE WORLD able to enjoy this prestigious, edge-numbered 38.61mm 1oz Gold Proof, the need for an immediate order is obvious.

• Incredibly exclusive, the ‘strike-to-order’ mintage has been set at just 150!
• Crafted to the highest Proof quality from a troy ounce of .9999 fine gold
• Stunning full-colour design – created in fully struck-up high relief!
• Measuring 38.61mm in diameter, the 1oz gold flan features edge numbering
• Beautifully presented within a superb timber presentation case
• Complete with an individually numbered Certificate of Authenticity

Friday, March 11, 2011

Austrian Mint Release New Niobium and Silver Coin Dedicated to Robotics

March 16, 2011: The Austrian mint will issue today the 2011 edition of its highly sought after niobium and silver bimetallic coin, this year featuring robotics.
Robotics is no longer science fiction but an integral part of our daily lives. Almost every aspect of our modern lives has been touched by robotics from simple tasks such as vacuuming, or pool cleaning to precision manufacturing or voice controls in cars, protecting soldiers in the field and exploration of outer space, to name but a few.

Austria 2011 25€ Robotics Silver Niobium BU

The obverse of the new bimetallic coin features a robot in a humanoid form, reflecting the Vitruvian man of Leonardo Da Vinci, recognizing the advanced thinking of this great man, and reminding us all that we are a product of centuries of thinking. The perfectly proportioned Vitruvian man is easy to replicate in the man-made world of robotics. The "robot's" arms in the two positions are exactly proportioned to fit right to the edge of the niobium core. The Vitruvian-like robot is standing on lines of zeros that run from the outer silver ring across the niobium core and onto the other side of the silver ring, representing the thousands of lines of binary code that are required to program a robot. The binary code and the cogwheels, represent the electronic and mechanical worlds that are required for development in robots.

Also on the obverse of the coin and located in the silver ring is the country of issue, Republic of Austria, and the year of issue. The face value of the coin, 25 euros, is located in the left quadrant of the pure niobium design field.

The reverse of the coin depicts a robotic lander on the surface of Mars - hence the deep reddish-pink colour of the 2011 niobium coin. The mars lander is based on a design by the European Space Agency. The six-wheeled lander operates on solar power collected by large panels and shown in the middle third of the coin design. The lander is also equipped with a camera seen in the middle of the silver ring at the top of the coin. In the background is a mountainous Martian landscape covered with boulders. At the top and the left of the silver ring stars are depicted. Earth is noted in the lower part of the silver ring.

The niobium core of the 2011 edition has been oxidised prior to the striking. When the niobium core and the silver ring are placed into a coin press and then struck twice the metals fuse together and the oxidised surface of the reddish-pink core takes on a shimmer that creates a rainbow effect on the surface of the coin's core, One can see a shimmer of bronze, blue, purple, pink and copper on the niobium surface of the core. The flow of the metal during the striking process determines how the shimmer effect will finally appear and therefore each coin has a unique colour.

The word 'robot' has been around since 1921 when Czech playwright Karl Capek coined the word in his play "Rossum's Universal Robots, R.U.R". The word comes from the Czech word 'robota' meaning forced labour, and repetitive work. Robots early on were found in manufacturing facilities completing simple repetitive work. Now robots are used for much more complex and intricate work completing several tasks in one smooth and efficient motion. The sophistication of robots is ever increasing, such that today cognitive computing is used more and more to program them. The fields of psychology, neuroscience, computer science and mathematics are all coming together with the science of electronics and mechanics. Robots have "learned" to "play" sports such as soccer and ping-pong, and are very dexterous at conducting complex operations on humans in hospitals. We can hardly imagine how robots will continue to evolve and how robots will bring the world to us in the future.

The new 25-euro coin is issued with a maximum mintage of 65,000 pieces and is struck in brilliant uncirculated quality only. It has a diametre of 34mm and contains 9 grams of 90% fine silver in the outer ring. The core consists of 7.15 grams of 99.8% pure niobium. Each coin is encapsulated, boxed and accompanied by a numbered Certificate of Authenticity.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The Royal Mint Announce Collector Coins To Celebrate Royal Wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton

February 21, 2011 - The Royal Mint has released information on the soon-to-be-issued commemorative £5 platinum, gold and silver coins, struck to high quality standards, to celebrate the royal wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton, to be held on April 29, 2011.

Great Britain 2011 £5 Royal Wedding BU

From The Royal Mint press release:
As excitement builds across the UK and internationally ahead of the April wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton, Buckingham Palace have confirmed the issue of an official UK £5 coin to celebrate this historic event. It is our great privilege to announce that the Royal Mint will be producing this coin, the only official UK coin that will be launched to commemorate the Royal Wedding. The proposed coin design is currently with The Royal Household for approval. Once the design is approved, it will be revealed. It will then be presented at a meeting of the UK Privy Council on 16th March, at which point it will pass into law to become official UK tender, and be confirmed as the only official UK coin to commemorate this Great British event.

Great Britain 2011 £5 Royal Wedding Silver Proof

Sure to be the most popular of the coins released for this special event will be the easily affordable £5 Brilliant Uncirculated crown, struck in cupro-nickel and housed in an official informative presentation folder, with a mintage of 250,000.

Great Britain 2011 £5 Royal Wedding Gold Proof

Other coins to be issued are the £5 Silver Proof Crown with a mintage of 50,000, £5 Fine Gold-Plated Silver Crown with a mintage of 7500, £5 Silver Piedfort Crown with a mintage of 3000, £5 Gold Proof Crown with a mintage of 3000 and the £5 Platinum Piedfort Crown with a tiny worldwide mintage of just 200 issues - so there is a Royal Wedding commemorative release to suit any budget. All coins are the official release of Great Britain.

The official release of these memorable commemorative coins will be in late March.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Germany Issue First Silver Coin for 2011 - Dedicated to Composer Franz Liszt

February 3, 2011 - The German Mint at Karlsruhe (G) has issued the first in the country's 10 euro commemorative silver coin programme for 2011, with it's dedication to Hungarian composer and virtuoso pianist Franz Liszt and the 200th anniversary of his birth.

Germany 2011 10€ Franz Liszt Silver Proof

Franz Liszt (1811 - 1886) was a 19th century Hungarian composer, virtuoso pianist and teacher. Liszt became renowned throughout Europe during the 19th century for his great skill as a performer. He was said by his contemporaries to have been the most technically advanced pianist of his age and perhaps the greatest pianist of all time. He was also an important and influential composer, a notable piano teacher, a conductor who contributed significantly to the modern development of the art, and a benefactor to other composers and performers, notably Richard Wagner, Hector Berlioz, Camille Saint-Saëns, Edvard Grieg and Alexander Borodin.

As a composer, Liszt was one of the most prominent representatives of the "Neudeutsche Schule" ("New German School"). He left behind an extensive and diverse body of work, in which he influenced his forward-looking contemporaries and anticipated some 20th-century ideas and trends. Some of his most notable contributions were the invention of the symphonic poem, developing the concept of thematic transformation as part of his experiments in musical form and making radical departures in harmony.

In February 1847, Liszt played in Kiev. There he met the Princess Carolyne zu Sayn-Wittgenstein, who dominated most of the rest of his life. The following year, Liszt took up a long-standing invitation of Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna of Russia to settle at Weimar, where he had been appointed Kapellmeister Extraordinaire in 1842, remaining there until 1861. During this period he acted as conductor at court concerts and on special occasions at the theatre. He gave lessons to a number of pianists, including the great virtuoso Hans von Bülow, who married Liszt's daughter Cosima in 1857 (years later, she would marry Richard Wagner). He also wrote articles championing Berlioz and Wagner. Finally, Liszt had ample time to compose and during the next 12 years revised or produced those orchestral and choral pieces upon which his reputation as a composer mainly rests. His efforts on behalf of Wagner, who was then an exile in Switzerland, culminated in the first performance of Lohengrin in 1850.

The reverse design features a stylised portrait of Franz Liszt with his signature below and the silhouette of a piano in the background. Around the top of the coin is the inscription for the commemoration, with the years of Liszt's life at the bottom.

The obverse carries the Eagle motif, State Emblem of the German Republic, fashioned in a style complimentary to the obverse design. Inscriptions for the denomination, country and year of issue, as well as the "G" mintmark signifying the coin being struck at the Karlsruhe Mint in Germany, are also found on this side.

Each silver coin is struck in .625 silver (as are all the 2011 German silver commemoratives due to the global increase in silver prices) and is available in both proof and Brilliant Uncirculated quality. As of writing this article Euro Collections International currently stocks the Proof version only.