Australia has already dropped the 1c and 2c coins; should we go one step further and ditch the 5c too?

5c

The article was prepared by Archie S., who joined our team recently during his Year 10 work experience. We think he did a great job – how about you?

In a previous post we discussed the doing away of the penny by the Canadian treasury due to increased production costs and it seems that Australia’s own five cent coin is facing the spotlight for the same reason. Today, the five cent coin makes up $198 million worth of Australia’s hard currency, but is this humble coin still a valuable part of Australian currency or has it overstayed its welcome?

One of the main reasons for the debate is the market price of copper and nickel. Fluctuations in the two raw materials that are used in making the five cent piece can drive the cost higher than the actual face value of the coin! In some ways, these low denomination coins are also becoming irrelevant in our day to day lives; with scarcely any items in retail stores priced at five cents – and most vending machines and parking meters no longer accept the coin!

People find the masses of small change in their wallets annoying and unnecessary, even more so as more and more transactions these days are performed electronically. Similarly, back in 2006, New Zealand dropped the five cent coin from their currency, whilst also reducing the physical size of all of their coins thus fixing that excessive change issue. Many people now believe Australia should follow suit, including Deakin University marketing professor David Bednall, who says that the nation could easily adapt to living without the five cent coin.

Australia’s Assistant Treasurer Shorten is hesitant about the decision however, as he realises how this change would affect charities – the main recipients of 5 and 10 cents coins as donations. Organisations such as ygap – organisers of the charity http://www.fivecent.com.au/ – base entire donation drives around the 5c piece. The change would also potentially affect the retail world, changing the way we round numbers in prices, most likely to the system in New Zealand (1,2,3,4 –round down &  5,6,7,8,9- round up). Store owners fear a consumer backlash over perceived price increases.

Finally, the smallest coin in our pockets has also found its usefulness around the house. If it is discontinued, how else will we open the backs of our fiddly electronics or scratch our lotto tickets?

The last time Australia dropped a denomination was the 1 and 2 cent counts in 1992. Is it time we take the next step and drop the five cent coin too?

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!

Poppy palaver: The coin that came in from the cold

Donning cloaks and drawing daggers, the Royal Canadian Mint issued the first colour coin for circulation, the Canadian 2004 Coloured Poppy 25c. Given that Australia has just had its first circulating colour coin issue the 2012 $2 Remembrance Day commemorative – which also features a poppy and has been garnering a lot of attention – what better time to explore the inadvertently clandestine past of Canada’s infamous ‘Spy Coin’?

Issued in 2004, the Canadian quarter featured a brand new technology for circulating coins; colour! This unique concept so startled some travelling American army intelligence contractors that in 2007 they not-so-intelligently feared the coins were some sort of advanced espionage tool powered by nanotechnology. For those of us not embroiled in the world of tiny gadgets and secret agents, nanotechnology is any technology that manipulates matter on an atomic or molecular scale, usually meaning the manufacture of very tiny devices or structures. The contractors feared that the coins had some kind of tracking or listening device embedded in them, with some going so far as to claim that some of the dastardly coins had been planted on them! The confusion caused somewhat of an international incident and a flurry of concerned emails on both sides.

Cook Islands 2012 $10 Nano Earth - The World In Your Hand Silver Proof

Eventually the mess was sorted out and American spies accepted that the coins were nothing more than an innovative tribute for Remembrance Day, honouring fallen soldiers, much like Australia’s recent $2 featuring a colour poppy. What may startle some spies today is the existence of a coin that really does feature nanotechnology! The 2012 $10 Nano Earth Silver Proof has a tiny yet extremely detailed map of the world embedded in it.

It’s so tiny, in fact, that you need a microscope to fully appreciate it in all its detail! The legal tender coin also features a full colour picture of the earth and is struck from 50g of sterling silver. Given the remarkable nature of the coin and a mintage almost smaller than the map itself – at only 1000 struck worldwide – this coin is sure to make a perfect conversation piece over a martini (shaken, not stirred, of course)! If you are interested in securing your own cutting-edge ‘spy’ coin, there are a limited supply at Downies.com – and don’t forget to pick up a microscope while you’re at it!

Skip the queues this festive season – Downies delivers great gifts!

With time running out to get the perfect gifts for your loved ones – and shops only getting more hectic as the season enters fever pitch – Downies has you covered. You can shop for the perfect gift for collectors young and old, easily and securely from the comfort of your own home.

2013 RAM Mint Set

If you are stuck for an idea, why not consider something special, like the Royal Australian Mint’s 2013 Mint Set, featuring Australia’s very first full-colour 20c coin! Along with this super set, Downies is currently including a booklet comprising reprints of six classic illustrations of the humble platypus. With a retail price of A$14.95, the booklet is yours FREE with your order of the 2013 Mint Set.

2013 RAM Proof Set

If you are looking for something extra special, consider the Royal Australian Mint’s 2013 Proof Set, featuring Australia’s very first selectively gold-plated 20c coin! Sure to make an extremely well-received gift, if you order the 2013 Proof set today, you will also receive a copy of Platypus booklet FREE.

Double Downies deal – get even more if you order both sets today!

Downies is offering EVEN MORE if you take action now and purchase both sets together; not only will you get TWO copies of the Platypus artwork booklet (worth $29.90 combined), you will also receive a FREE 1937-56 Zoological 6-stamp Set (value $5.95). That’s a total bonus value greater than the cost of the Mint set by itself, yours free! Supplies are extremely limited, so click here to secure the deal before we run out!

Downies delivers again!

I know that’s a lot to take in, but wait – it gets even better!

To make shopping for presents even easier this year, Downies is offering half-price shipping throughout Australia on ALL ORDERS placed from now until the 31st of December! With shipping just $4.00 for orders under $100 and $6 for orders over $100 – and FREE for orders over $500 – you now have every reason to avoid the queues and visit downies.com!

The sinking of the Titanic

2223 people…
20 life boats…
705 survivors…
The sinking of the Titanic

Excitement, anticipation and naivety lined the streets of Southampton, England, on April 10 1912, little to know that just five days later these emotions would turn to distress, fear and incredible devastation as the vessel that was believed to be ‘unsinkable’ descended deep onto the floor of the Atlantic Ocean.

Captivated by mystery and intrigue, the story of the Titanic started in 1907 when J. Bruce Ismay – received authorisation to build the Titanic. After two years, 3,000 men and $7.5 million, in 1911 the Titanic was finally finished and left Belfast, Ireland and headed for Southampton, England to commence its ‘Maiden Voyage’.

Pulling away from Southampton port at 12.00 noon April 10 1912 the Titanic descended on its first and final expedition. With sounds of ecstasy piercing the air – dreams of new beginnings, thoughts of returning to loved ones and the celebration of newlyweds filled the halls of this majestic ship – the Titanic was the largest ship in the world, and with the ability to travel at 22.5 knots, it was the most elite ship that the world had ever seen!

From ecstasy to devastation, on April 14 1912, the believed invincible Titanic struck her fatal iceberg, sparking a series of chain reactions that ultimately lead to the death of 1,518 people and the horrific tales of the mere 705 survivors. Whilst the Titanic carried more lifeboats than was required by the British Board of Trade Regulations based on the ships tonnage, it only had half the amount of boats needed to save the lives of everyone on board. With Women and Children the first to be put onto the limited number of life boats, a horrific 31.7% of the 2223 passengers onboard this floating palace survived.

One of the most renowned events in history, the sinking of the Titanic has captivated global audiences for 100 years. Ultimately the truth behind this devastating voyage was lost in the depths of the Atlantic Ocean – leaving many across the world pondering the answers to what will continue to be the unknown.