Prospector uncovers 87-ounce gold nugget worth $135,000

Mick Brown has discovered one of the largest gold nuggets found in recent years, when he uncovered the “fair dinkum nugget” worth around $135,000 in Central Victoria.

Gold Nugget

Mick, from the Victorian town of Wedderburn – just over 2 hours drive North East of Melbourne – found the nugget under a few inches of dirt using his Minelab metal detector. As luck would have it he was out there on account of his wife. Mick had recently quit smoking and as a result was being grumpy around the house, so his wife told him to leave and get some fresh air. It was then he headed to a regular prospecting spot and not long after discovered the nugget buried in the dirt.

Central Victoria has a long and continuing history of gold discovery. Ballarat is a town synonymous with the Australian Gold Rush of the late 19th Century, with a 177-ounce gold nugget being discovered near the town as recent as 2 years ago. The biggest nugget found in Australia, the 256-ounce “Pride of Australia nugget”, was found in 1981, in the same region that Mr Brown made his remarkable discovery.

Half-price shipping through November!

Been waiting to secure that RAM Mint Set or Perth Mint 1oz Silver Proof? Well, wait no longer! Downies has…

Half Price Shipping at Downies.com!

From now until the end of November, DECEMBER! Downies is offering half-price shipping throughout Australia on ALL ORDERS placed from now until the 30th of November! Promotion extended until the end of December! With shipping just $4.40 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!

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.

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

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!