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.