Magna Carta 800th Anniversary Marked at Parliament House

Today marks the 800th anniversary of the creation of Magna Carta – a document that has formed the foundation of democracy across Western civilisation. As part of the anniversary celebrations, the Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, together with Bronwyn Bishop, Bill Shorten, Royal Australian Mint CEO Ross MacDiarmid and other dignitaries, are marking the occasion with a special event at Parliament House.

Magna Carta at Parliament House

In his speech about the famous document, Tony Abbott described Magna Carta as “the most important constitutional document of all time” and a “foundation of liberty”.

A charter of the original Magna Carta was created in 1297 by King Edward I. It is this charter which now sits in Parliament House in Canberra, after being aquired in 1952 by then Prime Minister Sir Robert Menzies.

As a symbol of the importance of Magna Carta to the lives of every Australian, today’s celebration also includes the giving of the special rectangular-shaped coin – issued to mark the Magna Carta anniversary – to students of Boggabri Public School in NSW.

 Magna Carta Antiqued Silver Coin Reverse  Magna Carta Antiqued Silver Coin Obverse

The coin was struck by the Royal Australian Mint and is the first rectangular coin the mint has issued in it’s 50 years of operation. To further enhance and emphasise the theme of the anniversary being marked, the coin has been treated with a special antiquing process to give it a unique and eye-catching look, vastly different from almost every other commemorative coin issued through the RAM.

Visit our website where you can learn more about the 2015 $5 Magna Carta Antiqued Silver Coin and order it today!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Downies Presents The Royal Australian Mint’s Master Collection

An auction unlike any other in Australian history, Downies is delighted to present the Royal Australian Mint’s Master Collection – an assembly of ‘production standard master’ coins used to ensure the highest possible quality in the creation of Australia’s decimal coinage.

Royal Australian Mint Master Collection Catalogue

Uniquely Australian and never offered before!

The Royal Australian Mint holds just a single example of every issued Australian circulating and collector coin type as a production standard master coin. Each master coin is not included in the official mintage figure and has never previously been offered for public or private sale. With over 1,100 Royal Australian Mint master coins on offer, our next auction represents an outstanding opportunity for collectors to secure an important piece of the RAM’s proud 50-year history.

What makes these coins so special?

Two samples are selected from the first batch of coins struck. One of those samples is then selected as the quality standard and stored at the Mint’s quality control area. This coin is marked in red to identify them as the quality standard. The other coin is used by the Mint’s production team on the factory floor in order to check the quality of a sample taken from each subsequent batch of coins struck. After 5 years the coin used by the production team is destroyed, leaving only the coin stored in the quality control. This is therefore the only legal tender coin from a particular strike to not be included in the overall mintage figures, making it unique and of specific significance.

Updated Auction dates – Tuesday May 26 – Thursday May 28

To accommodate this unprecedented offering from the Royal Australian Mint, we have moved our next Downies Australian Coin Auctions sale to May 26 to 28 – to be held at the Box Hill Town Hall in Melbourne’s east. Viewing of the auction will take place at Downies Head Office in Mitcham for 5 days from May 20. Visit our Contact Us Page for location details.

The Royal Australian Mint’s Master Collection Catalogue

You can view the complete list of items from the Master Collection at our Auction 319A Page, where you will find downloadable PDFs of the catalogue itself, as well as a website version that includes pictures of every coin offered in the Master Collection.

The 2015 $1 Colour Poppy Coin is coming to Downies!

We are pleased to announce that the limited edition 2015 $1 WWI War Heroes Colour Coin featuring the red poppy motif is now available to order from Downies!

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This official Australian legal tender coin was originally part of a promotion that saw fourteen 20 cent coins made available to the general public through newsagents over a two week period. The colour $1 coin was initially released exclusively to News Corp subscribers, and we were therefore surprised to learn that we would be soon receiving an allocation of the coin from the Royal Australian Mint. Thus, we are now able to pre-offer this exclusive $1 coin to the broader Australian collecting public.

This spectacular $1 coin features a poppy field design with a large central poppy motif rendered in an eye-catching red hue. At the top is the inscription ‘WWI – War Heroes’, while at the bottom is the coin denomination of ‘1 Dollar’. On the obverse side is the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, designed by Ian Rank-Broadley. Like regular one dollar coins struck by the Royal Australian Mint, the War Heroes coin is made from Aluminium-Bronze and measures 25mm in diameter. Unlike other dollar coins however, this colour release has been struck with a ‘frosted’ appearance, and only 13,500 coins have been minted for distribution worldwide.

12146packWhilst we have received confirmation of our allocation from the Royal Australian Mint, the nature of the News Corp promotion means that a fixed date for delivery of the coins from the RAM has not been confirmed at this stage. We are expecting, however, that delivery from the RAM will take place by early June. We will be sending an email notification to those who order this coin as soon as we receive a firm delivery date.

Click here to pre-order the 2015 $1 WWI War Heroes Colour Poppy Coin

New 2015 Colour Lest We Forget $2 Coin Design Revealed

The design for the new 2015 Lest We Forget colour $2 circulation coin has been revealed today at a special ANZAC Commemoration Ceremony held in Melbourne. The event was held at the Malvern Cricket Ground in Melbourne’s inner east, hosted by the Honorable Kelly O’Dwyer MP (Federal Member for Higgins & Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer) and Cr Melina Sehr, Mayor of City of Stonnington and featuring a number of other dignitaries.

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Scroll down to see more photos from the Anzac Ceremony, including the $2 Lest We Forget Colour Coin

Hundreds of people braved the temperamental Melbourne Autumn weather to attend the ceremony which stared with a march from Malvern Gardens, up High St and finished at the Malvern Cricket Ground. Around the grounds were tents for various local entities such as schools and businesses, as well as Kelly O’Dwyer’s mobile office which had on display one of the $2 colour commemorative coins due to enter circulation from tomorrow.

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The coin features red stripes in a circular pattern in the middle, framing the words “Lest We Forget”, with a design around the coin consisting of 5 crosses among a ring of poppies. In the bottom portion is the coin denomination of Two Dollars.

Unlike previous colour $2 coins issued into circulation, the 2015 Lest We Forget $2 coin will not be available to buy in Uncirculated condition through the Royal Australian Mint. Approximately 1.5 million coins will begin to be released into circulation by the Reserve Bank of Australia as of tomorrow, Monday April 20th, although it may take several days or even weeks for them to be fully released.

However much like previous colour $2 issues, there is little doubt that due to the poignant nature of the commemoration and sheer difference in design of these coins from the regular $2, people will hoard them away instead of spending them, making them quite hard to find in a short space of time. The same has happened with the 2014 $2 Remembrance Day Green Colour Coin, the 2013 $2 Coronation Purple Colour Coin and the 2012 $2 Poppy Red Colour Coin. The latter being distributed through the national RSL Red Poppy Appeal rather than through the Reserve Bank of Australia.

Canada is the only other country to have released colour coinage into circulation – and this is only the 4th Australian circulating coin to be issued in colour – making this a significant commemoration of the ANZAC Centenary as we approach the 100th anniversary of the battle at Gallipoli.

So keep your eye on your small change over the coming days and weeks and if you find one of these colour commemorative $2 coins be sure to post a picture below or on our Facebook Page.

More photos from the Anzac Ceremony