Royal Australian Mint Master Collection Coins of Interest

While the Royal Australian Mint’s Master Collection – being auctioned on May 26 at Box Hill Town Hall as part of Downies Australian Coin Auctions Sale 319 – is in and of itself a special event, on account of every item in the auction being a special production unit coin and not included in the official mintage, we’ve picked out a small selection of items that we feel are extra special and deserve a bit of added attention.

995

Lot 995 – 2009 $5 Silver Gold Plated Proof International Polar Year FDC
Particularly significant on account of being a gold plated version commissioned by the Royal Society of Victoria, only 500 coins were struck within the official mintage, with the above example being outside that mintage figure. Estimated at $300.

1046

Lot 1046 – 1993 $10 Silver Proof Bird Series UNEP Cockatoo FDC
This coin has rarely been seen and was struck as part of the United Nations Environment Programme. Little is known about this release but it should be noted that on this production unit the strike is noticeably weaker than the standard and piedfort versions, and as a result appears to be missing feathers. Estimated at $250.

492

Lot 492 – 2004 $1 Eureka Stockade Al-Br Unc
Struck for the 150th anniversary of the Eureka Stockade and in the highest rarity BU quality, this coin is especially significant for having no mintmark. The regular mintage of coins were produced for the ANDA show mobile press and as such carry a counterstamp. We expect a lot of interest in this coin. Estimated at $1,000.

1141

Lot 1141 – 2012 $3000 Gold Proof Like Lucky Dragon 1 Kilo FDC
With a worldwide mintage of just 99 coins, this 74.77mm 1 Kilogram Gold Coin (in exquisite FDC quality) is undoubtedly the headlining piece of the Master Collection and sure to pique the attention of every collector, regardless of their ability to bid within the $60,000 estimate.

You can view the entire Master Collection catalogue online at http://www.downies.com/aca/pages/catalogue_319A.asp

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Featured Coin Producer: Coin Invest Trust, Innovative Numismatic Developer

Modern collecting is often marked by a fervent desire for collectors to acquire the new and innovative. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but these unique modern issues are highly sought after – as long as they are also high quality. For many years now, Downies has partnered with, and been sole official Australian distributor for, one of the most innovative coin producers in the world – Coin Invest Trust (CIT).

2013 500 Togrog Mongolian Nature – Crying Wolf 1/2oz Silver BU

2013 500 Togrog Mongolian Nature – Crying Wolf 1/2oz Silver BU – Click image for more information

Established in 1970, CIT is a European firm that has been producing coins since 1982. Over the years CIT have won a number of high-profile awards for their ground-breaking releases, including the Coin Of The Year award for their ‘Gulo Gulo’ Wolverine coin, part of the Wildlife Protection Silver Series. They are known for a range of ground-breaking numismatic issues, including the Pearl Silver Proof Series, the Tiffany Glass $10 Series, and the Meteorite Silver Proof series, to name just a few.

The original Tiffany Glass offer made way back in 2004!

The original Tiffany Glass offer made way back in 2004!

As an indication of the popularity of some of their coins, the first of CITs Tiffany Glass $10 Series was sold by Downies for $139.95 in May, 2004. It is now selling at up to $4,000 on the open market! It’s no mere fluke, either, as each of the coins in that series (and many others) have sold out almost instantly each year since!

 Andorra 2013 5 Diners Swallowtail Butterfly 3D Colour Silver Proof - click image for more information

Andorra 2013 5 Diners Swallowtail Butterfly 3D Colour Silver Proof – click image for more information

A big part of what makes releases by CIT so globally popular is that not only are they extremely innovative (3D coins with Butterfly wings, anybody?), but they are also crafted to the highest standards. CIT don’t just create new coins – they craft innovative, high-quality collector pieces that push the boundaries of modern numismatics. Downies is happy to partner with them and share their story with our collectors.

February Footy Fever!

Footy Season has started!

An irresistible opportunity for fanatical football followers and passionate collectors alike, we are celebrating the start of the 2013 AFL season this weekend with some absolutely devastating discounts! Extremely exclusive, and officially licensed AFL products, the 2012 AFL Premiership Collection and the 2012 $1 AFL Premiership 1oz Silver Proof can now be yours at below the Official Issue Price! But only while stocks last!

2012 AFL Premiership Collection – SAVE A$50!

2012 AFL Premiership Collection

An officially licensed AFL product, the 2012 AFL Premiership Collection forms a prestigious keepsake of Sydney’s memorable triumph. Headlined by the Royal Australian Mint’s superbly struck .999 fine 2012 $1 AFL Premiers 1oz Silver Proof, this outstanding work of Australian sporting memorabilia also comprises a miniature replica of the 2012 AFL Premiership Cup, plus a replica of the 2012 AFL Premiers Medallion presented to the players of the winning side.

Strictly limited to an edition of 5,000 sets – each presented in a lavish timber case with a Certificate of Authenticity – this official AFL collection is normally A$295. A sensational celebratory saving, we will knock off a massive A$50 from the regular retail! Act now – only while stocks last!

2012 $1 AFL Premiership 1oz Silver Proof – SAVE A$15!

2012 $1 AFL Premiership 1oz Silver Proof

A must-have for footy fans and Silver Proof collectors alike, we also have the 2012 $1 AFL Premiership 1oz Silver Proof available individually – at under the Official Issue Price!

Struck to the apex of Proof quality from a troy ounce of .999 fine silver, the limited edition of this official Australian legal tender issue has been restricted to a mere 1,500 coins – each beautifully presented within an official RAM case. Normally A$115, this officially licensed AFL product can now be yours for less than A$100!

Year of the Snake – a fortunate year in numismatics!

Year of the snake

Happy New Year! Yesterday was the first day of the Lunar New Year, and everyone here at Downies hopes you have a prosperous and happy Year of the Snake!

The Snake is the 6th animal in the Lunar Zodiac, exemplified by traits such as awareness, cunning, pride and decisiveness. People born in the Year of the Snake (especially with this year’s element, Water), are said to be insightful and influential, and can make great financial decisions. This affinity with money makes this Lunar Zodiac sign a particularly fitting and popular theme to feature on numismatic releases around the world.

There are some truly spectacular tributes to the Year of the Snake that have either just been released or are being awaited with great excitement. One innovative release is the Laos 2013 2,000 Kip Lunar Snake Jade 2oz Silver Proof, which contains a ring of real Jade and a gilded snake to commemorate this special year.

The Perth Mint has released some special editions that not only focus on the Zodiac theme, but emphasise its importance to the numismatic community of which we are all a part. One such release is the 2013 $1 Berlin World Money Fair Edition Year Of The Snake 1oz Coloured Silver BU – a limited edition of just 5,000, specially prepared for the Berlin World Money Fair which was held last week.

The Lunar Zodiac theme is often used by mints around the world to showcase the very best in the art and science of numismatics. It is well worth studying these new coins to see what has been achieved and what the future holds for modern coin collecting, but there are so many exciting new releases coming out to celebrate and commemorate the Year of the Snake, it can be hard to keep up.

For a handy list of this year’s Lunar Zodiac issues from around the globe, click here to visit Downies.com’s special Year of the Snake page.

Have a great Lunar New Year!

The END is nigh! Armageddon commemorated with coins

With a whiff of sulphur hanging in the air, mingling with the tortured screams of non-believers, the lines have been drawn on the final battlefield for the fight between good and evil – Armageddon!

The end of the world is currently firmly in the public consciousness, thanks to the link between the date December 21st, 2012 and the end of the Mesoamerican/Mayan long count calendar. A somewhat recent concern, many believe the ending of this calendar marks some sort of apocalyptic event. This view is not shared by scholars studying Mesoamerican culture, who argue that the Mayans expected the cycle to start again, much like the ending of a year in our standard calendar just means we need to buy a replacement for the fridge.

The end of the world has long been a subject of fascination throughout human history, with some going so far as to ascribe a location to the event. A place that has been the particular focus of much Western prophesying and speculation about the end of the world – dating back to the Book of Revelation – is over 10,000km away on the other side of the earth from Central America. Tel Meggido – the Hebrew name for the place commonly referred to as Armageddon and the location of the final battle according to the Bible – is of great cultural and archaeological significance.

Israel 2012 2NIS Armageddon 28.8g Silver Proof

Dating back to 7000 BCE, Tel Meggido has been the site of thirty different cities! A “tel” (or “tell” in English) is a settlement mound – a site where multiple settlements have built upon those existing previously through history; they are often places of great archaeological importance.  Occupying a position of strategic importance for numerous kingdoms, especially Assyria and Egypt, during the Canaanite and Israelite periods, Tel Meggido has already been pivotal in a number of great conflicts and trade routes through the ages.

In approximately the 15th Century BCE, the “Battle of Meggido” took place between Egyptian forces, led by Pharoah Thutmose III, and Canaanite states. This battle was important for a number of reasons; victory at this battle marked the start of the Egyptian Empires’ largest period of expansion, for example, and it was arguably the first reliably recorded battle in history. More recently, in 1918 during the First World War, Tel Meggido was the site of a battle between the Allied Egyptian Expeditionary Force and the Ottoman Yildirim Army Group, with the Allies gaining significant ground. Tel Meggido has also been the site of great cities at various times through the ages; for more information, see the Wikipedia entry on Tel Meggido.

Due to this fascinating and significant history, UNESCO decreed Tel Meggido a World Heritage Site in 2005. The Bank of Israel has chosen Tel Meggido as the subject of its fourth coin in the ‘UNESCO World Heritage Sites’ series and it has been struck by The Holy Land Mint.

Israel 2012 10NIS Armageddon 1/2oz Gold Proof

The legal tender coin is issued in both silver and gold, with the silver available in 1 and 2 New Shekel denominations, and the gold available in a 10 New Shekel variety. Extraordinarily exclusive given the global significance of the theme, only 1,800 of the silver 1 New Shekel have been made, with mintages for the silver 2 New Shekel and the gold 10 New Shekel a mere 2,800 and a miniscule 555 respectively. The obverse of the coin features an 8th century BCE seal found during an archaeological dig. The reverse features a jug, and the surprisingly advanced aqueduct system discovered at this most remarkable location.

Whether or not you believe the world will end in a month’s time or not, Tel Meggido remains a site of immense archaeological and cultural significance. It is a fitting world heritage location and subject for tribute in coin form. If you are interested in acquiring these special coins commemorating such a remarkable location, visit Downies.com. You might want to get your orders in by December 21st, just in case…

Israel 2012 10NIS Armageddon 1/2oz Gold Proof

Israel 2012 2NIS Armageddon 28.8g Silver Proof