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The Australian Wedge Tailed Eagle series, which debuted in 2014, was welcomed by the numismatic community. John Mercanti played a significant role in the two designs and three releases for this series. What will the New Year have in store for this new series?
The Australian Wedge Tailed Eagle, a highly intelligent and fierce predator, can grow to be even larger than the American Bald Eagle. Wedge tailed eagles are found throughout Australia and southern New Guinea in almost all habitats, though they tend to be more common in lightly timbered and open country in southern and eastern Australia. This impressive bird of prey spends much of the day perching in trees or on rocks or similar exposed lookout sites such as cliffs from which it has a good view of its surroundings.
The Wedge Tailed Eagle is the subject of this featured article, as it appears on the newly re-designed Australian Wedge Tailed Eagle coin by John Mercanti - a man who is famous for his heraldic eagle design that has graced the American Silver Eagle coins since 1986. This is his second world coin design (the first being the previous Wedge Tailed Eagle from 2014 and same design for 2015) and the only world coin ever designed by a US Mint Chief Engraver. The artisans at the Perth Mint took Mr. Mercanti's design and with their dedication and precision created a stunning coin. Due to its incredible design and tremendous popularity this coin remained unchanged throughout the 2015, however for the 2016, John Mercanti chose to re-design the obverse. John Mercanti was the twelfth Chief Engraver of the United States until his retirement in 2010. During his tenure at the United States Mint, Mercanti designed more coins and medals than any other Chief Engraver in history.
This is the third year and second design of the Australian Wedge Tailed Eagle coin and it presents a modern marvel of numismatic engineering. The obverse of this design depicts the Wedge Tailed Eagle sitting on a branch while observing its surroundings. This predator is presented in a fierce show of strength and beauty – a perfect representation of this majestic animal. The inscription “AUSTRALIAN WEDGE-TAILED EAGLE” is located at the top right side of this design, along with the year-date “2016” and the amount and purity of silver “1 oz 999 SILVER” located on the bottom left side. The Perth Mint’s Mint mark, “P,” is located at the bottom of the design. The reverse contains the profile of Queen Elizabeth II with the country of origin, “AUSTRALIA,” located on the right side, and the denomination, “1 DOLLAR,” is located at the bottom of this design. These coins feature a serrated edge.
These coins are now available at ModernCoinMart as certified by the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) to provide further level of collectability. The certified coins are available in two grades – Mint State 69 and Mint State 70 – and with two different NGC labels – the Australia label and the actual John Mercanti authentic signed label. Both of these labels are exclusive to ModernCoinMart and can not be found anywhere else. By the rules and regulations that govern the coin certification industry, the NGC label provides further guarantee of the coin's weight, purity, and overall quality thereby adding a factor of collectability to these fantastic coins.
In addition, the NGC certified coins with the Australia label are presented with the Early Releases designation. The Early Releases designation is a critical component for certified coins as it states that these coins were sent to NGC for grading in the first thirty days of their initial release, thereby limiting the population of these coins to a significantly smaller number in comparison with the mintage figure. For the coins that are certified at Mint State 69 grade, NGC guarantees that these coins are a hairline away from perfection. For the coins that are certified at Mint State 70 grade, NGC guarantees that these coins have no post-production imperfections at five times the magnification.
By producing these coins, the Perth Mint has once again outdone itself with a spectacular demonstration of its incredible engraving skills and superb craftsmanship. The artistry that was involved in this coin’s production is due solely to the skills of John Mercanti. In the words of John Mercanti "Designing the Australian Eagle and seeing it come to life in a stunning finish is like a dream come true for me. This coin represents the pinnacle of minting technology. It allowed me the freedom to express every feather of the majestic bird in intricate detail. I hope you enjoy owning yours as much as I enjoyed designing it."
||Oleg Zamansky is the President and CEO of Coin Maestro, LLC and is an expert in foreign coins, paper money, medals, and sets. Oleg's coin career started in 1983 when his great-grandmother gave him his first foreign coin - 1 Israeli Shequel and ever since, his numismatic journey began. According to Mr. Zamansky, "Due to frequent volatile markets, people need to secure their investments and numismatics is the best way. Coin collecting is the most educating, investment protective business today, and also quite fun." Mr. Zamansky graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 2001, became a partner at RINA Systems, LLC in 2005, and holds a 3rd degree black belt in Tae-Kwon-Do. Today, he is a member of the American Numismatic Association and the Numismatic Guarantee Corporation. Currently, Mr. Zamansky resides with his family in Cincinnati, Ohio and is a contributing writer for ModernCoinMart. His thoughts and opinions may not be shared with MCM or its staff.|