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Exploring the Iconic Perth Mint

Exploring the Iconic Perth Mint
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Posted: 04-30-2019 10:13:00 AM

The Perth Mint, located in Western Australia, enjoys one of the finest reputations in the numismatic world today. They have some of the highest standards of design and craftsmanship, their technical prowess is second to none in the minting of high-quality coins, medals, bars and numismatic products

The Perth Mint is located in Western Australia. It enjoys one of the finest reputations in the numismatic world today. They have some of the highest standards of design and craftsmanship, their technical prowess is second to none in the minting of high-quality coins, medals, bars, and other numismatic products. Most impressively they have an uncanny ability to release coins and bullion products that capture the imaginations of the collecting public.

History of the Perth Mint

Map of Australia The Perth Mint started operating as part of the British Royal Mint on June 20, 1899. Between 1899 and 1931, the Perth Mint struck over 106 million British Gold Sovereigns and over 700,000 Gold Half Sovereign coins. This coin is the most recognized gold coin on Earth, as it was struck on five continents. Perth Mint Sovereign coins were used all over the British Empire. The Perth Mint has always operated as a refiner and in 1931, after the abandonment of the gold standard for the British Empire, they operated as a refinery and gold bar producer. In 1957, the Perth Mint produced .999999 pure gold, a sample of which is used Britain’s Royal Mint as their purity benchmark sample.

By the turn of the millennium, the Perth Mint had refined roughly 3.25% of the total weight of gold produced in the history of mankind. In October 2011, the Perth Mint created the most massive gold coin in the history of the world weighing 2,231 lbs. It is struck on a 4.5-inch-thick, .9999 pure gold planchet. The reverse features the iconic Australian Red Kangaroo while obverse features the timeless “Fourth Portrait” of Elizabeth II, Queen of Australia.


The Artisans at Perth Mint

The engravers and designers of the Perth Mint are responsible for the beauty of the Mint's coins. These experts have turned refining into an art form, as they produce some of the purest metal and bullion products on the planet. Their technical capabilities are world-class as they produce some of the finest proof coins, colorized products and innovative designs available today. The Perth Mint enjoys a reputation as a world leader in the precious metals space and in the production of proof, bullion and commemorative coinage issues.
 

Lunar Series

Australian Silver and Gold Lunar Coins have new reverse designs annually to correspond with the legendary animals of the Chinese Zodiac calendar. These coins have been popular for over two decades and are struck in both silver and gold, as well as in a variety of sizes, affording collectors ample room to collect all twelve animals in the series or the different sizes of the year of their choice. The Mint's first Lunar series ran from 1996 to 2007, completing the 12 year lunar cycle. The series began again in 2008 with the year of the rat, featuring new designs for each lunar animal, and will conclude in 2019, with the year of the Pig. The series has limited mintages and is one of the premier “semi-numismatic” issues in the world.


Australian wildlife themes

The Perth Mint has highlighted Australia’s native wildlife on several of their notable series. Both their bullion and collectors’ versions of their annual releases are highly anticipated every year, offering enthusiasts around the world the opportunity to add a snapshot of Australian life to their collections, in either fine silver, gold, and sometimes platinum! 

Silver Kookaburra Coins

Perth Kookaburras or “Kooks” appeared from Down Under in 1990 and have been a collector favorite since that time. The series honors the Kookaburra, a bird native to Australia that is known for its quirky “laugh.”  Kookaburras were first minted in .999 fine silver until 2018, when the series began being issued in .9999 fine silver. Released in mint capsules, a new reverse design premiers on the reverse every year. The series is known for enthusiastic supporters on a worldwide basis. The series includes a substantially larger 10 oz. and kilo offerings as well as special proof and high relief collector’s versions.


Kangaroos and Gold Nuggets

Ever an innovator, the Perth Mint first struck the Australian Gold Nugget series back in 1986. This short-lived series highlighted Western Australia’s Gold Rush past with reverse images of large, famous and significant gold nugget finds. Ultimately, the Gold Kangaroo series took its place as the standard Perth Mint gold coin in 2008. Instead of focusing on the discovery of gold, the series shifted to focus on the iconic Australian marsupial, the Kangaroo. Again, the reverse design is fresh every year, highlighting different aspects of the Kangaroo's characteristics and environment.


Silver Kangaroos

In 1993, the Perth Mint first began striking silver proof kangaroo coins, displaying the iconic creature in its different moods and habitats. In 2016, the Perth Mint began to offer an annual silver bullion version of the Kangaroo series, in a similar vein as their Kookaburra series.


Wedge-Tailed Eagle series

Perhaps most exciting, is the Perth Mint’s Wedge-Tailed Eagle series, which is the first ever collaboration between a former U.S. Mint Chief Engraver, John Mercanti, and a foreign Mint

Initiated in 2014, thus far, the series has featured four unique designs masterfully crafted by Mercanti. Those designs have ranged from an Eagle about to perch, to an entire family of Wedge-Tails living in a nest, to this year's dramatic 2019 design, which features the fearsome bird of prey, about to snatch up its next meal. The series is struck in silver and gold and in a variety of sizes. John M. Mercanti is the “now-retired” 12th Chief Engraver of the U.S. Mint. Since his retirement, Mr. Mercanti has remained active as a sculptor/engraver/designer. Over his career he created or assisted in the creation of hundreds of coins and medals. The Perth Mint collaboration with Mr. Mercanti was a natural one as there are few designers alive today who can do justice to the majestic Wedge-Tailed Eagle, like the U.S. Mint’s former Chief Engraver. It is also apt that Mercanti, who designed the reverse of the American Silver Eagle, would contribute to Australia's own emblematic eagle series.

The series is widely favored by collectors for the limited mintages, various sizes and finishes struck. This beloved series is an MCM Exclusive.


Koalas, Platypus, Swan, Bird of Paradise,

The Perth Mint has used other native Australian animals as subjects for annual coins series including Koalas, Swans, and the new as of 2018, Bird of Paradise. Featuring annually changing reverse designs and having been struck in .9999 fine silver in recent years, the Perth Mint’s annual roster draws attention from collectors and stackers alike. From 2011-2017, the Mint even struck a platinum Platypus series in a variety of sizes! Whether you are an animal lover, australophile, or just passionate about precious metals, the Perth Mint has you covered with unique, high-quality offerings, year after year.


Australian History

The Perth Mint has a proud tradition of striking coins to commemorate significant historic dates and events. They have an ANZAC Spirit series highlighting the Australian experience during World War II, specifically in their backyard, the Pacific Theater. More recently, the Mint has joined in on the 50th anniversary celebration of the Apollo 11 landing, commemorating the Australian role in televising this triumph of mankind through the use of their radio telescopes, with a 1 oz. .9999 fine silver coin.


Popular Culture

Perth has been a go-to contract mint for Tuvalu and other Pacific Island nations, striking not only circulating coinage but also collectible issues that celebrate subjects as wide-ranging as: the Simpsons, Star Wars, Star Trek, Alien, Bugs Bunny, Barbie, the Wizard of Oz, the Pink Panther, Disney Villains and, of course, characters and films from the Marvel Superhero Universe. The Mint produces both bullion and special collectors versions of these pop-culture themed pieces. There is something for every fan in our Perth inventory.

Bars and Bullion

The Perth Mint branded bullion is some of the most beautiful and sought after in the world. Their Perth Mint 1 oz. gold bars are .9999 fine and come sealed in a striking assay that certifies the bar and its contents inside. They have expanded their Swan Logo offerings to include popular culture subjects like the various entertainment subjects mentioned above but also cultural and religious subjects like the moving Prince of Peace bar which features prodigy artist Akiane Kramarik's most iconic work.

Conclusions

The Perth Mint is one of the preeminent world mints in the current numismatic landscape. The Mint's "P" Mint mark has become a symbol of both numismatic quality as well as artistry. This is just a small sampling of the various unique products offered by the Mint. There is plenty to explore, check out our Perth Mint offerings on our Shop By Mint page to discover all that this renowned Mint has to offer!

Sources

ModernCoinMart® is a retail distributor of coin and currency issues and is not affiliated with the U.S. government. The collectible coin market is unregulated, highly speculative and involves risk. ModernCoinMart reserves the right to decline to consummate any sale, within its discretion, including due to pricing errors. Prices, facts, figures and populations deemed accurate as of the date of publication but may change significantly over time. All purchases are expressly conditioned upon your acceptance of ModernCoinMart’s Terms and Conditions (www.moderncoinmart.com/terms-conditions.html or call 1-800-362-9004); to decline, return your purchase pursuant to ModernCoinMart’s Return Policy. © 2019 ModernCoinMart. All rights reserved.
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Ray James

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