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!

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The Perth Mint Swindle

A 30 year old mystery that is back in the public eye, in 1982 the Mickelberg brothers became the faces of one of the most famous gold robberies in Australian History.

An unsolved crime that involved the disappearance of 49 gold bars from the Perth Mint worth over $653,000, in 1983, six months after the event, the three brothers, Ray, Peter and Brian were found guilty of the conspiracy and sentenced to 20, 16 and 12 years respectively. With all three convictions overturned in 2004, thirty years on, the truth behind the Perth Mint Swindle continues to remain a mystery.

An event that shocked the nation and one that has never occurred again in the walls of the Perth Mint, today, the Mint executes top of the line security for the production of all of their products. Producing a huge amount of gold coins for the global market including the hugely popular 2012 $50 1/2oz Gold Proof 5-coin set and the 2012 $25 Diamond Jubilee 1/4oz Gold Proof, the Perth Mint continues to remain one of the most popular minting authorities across the globe!

2011 Beijing International Coin Exposition East Meets West 1/2 oz Two-Coin Set

2 days and over 2,000 sets – the 2011 Beijing International Coin Exposition East Meets West 1/2oz Two-Coin Set is undoubtedly one of the most highly pursued 2-coin sets this year. With over two thirds of the mintage selling out at the Beijing Show – after a lengthy search we have finally been able to secure a small allocation to offer to our most avid of collectors.

Beijing Show

A release that combines the cultural elements of both countries – the East Meets West 1/2oz Coin Set features the Perth Mint’s renowned Year of the Dragon coin together with an iconic Australian Koala asleep in a eucalyptus tree. Struck as official Australian Legal Tender both coins are housed within an illustrated presentation card.

With only a small allocation secured from the mint – immediate action is obvious! Head on over to Downies.com to secure yours!

2011 Beijing International Coin Exposition East Meets West 1/2 oz Two-Coin Set

Spectacularly sought after, the 2011 Beijing International Coin Exposition 2-coin set has left hungry collectors frantically searching to secure their ‘East Meets West’ souvenir.

A culturally combined issue, the Perth Mint has intricately united elements of Beijing and Australia – delivering one of the most popular 2-coin sets of the year.

Beijing Show

Struck from ½ ounce of .999 pure silver, each coin has been endorsed as official Australian Legal Tender and is fittingly presented within an illustrated envelope. Housing the signature Perth Mint Year of the Dragon coin issued for the highly anticipated arrival of 2012, the second coin pays tribute to an Australian Koala asleep in a eucalyptus tree.

With a tiny global mintage of just 2,888 sets, of which nearly two thirds walked out the doors in Beijing, we are currently trying to secure an allocation directly from the mint. For those interested in trying to attain what has been one of the hottest 2-coin releases of 2011, stay tuned to www.downies.com for further information on our allocations!

Honouring the Rats of Tobruk…

Dead, wounded and held captive – The Battle of Tobruk

8 months, 559 dead, 2450 wounded and 941 taken prisoner, in 1941 Australian troops endured intense bombing and constant threat of attack from both the German and Italian forces. Fighting through incredible heat, cold, thirst and hunger with unmistakable bravery, determination and passion – 2011 marks the 70th anniversary of the Battle of Tobruk.
Commemorating one of the first major battles that Australia fought in World War II, The Rats of Tobruk 1941 Special Exhibition is on display in the Canberra Memorial until November 16 2011.

A critical feat in Australian history, Downies is proud to present two Tobruk releases honouring our Aussie hero’s:

Genuine ‘Rats of Tobruk’ Medal Group

One of the most prestigious pieces of militaria to be offered by Downies – this genuine medal group awarded to Sapper Robert Charles Boulger – an Australian Serviceman who not only served at Tobruk but also managed to escape captivity in Europe in 1943. Comprised of ‘The Rats of Tobruk Medal’ received as testimony to Boulger’s service, the set also includes the 1939-45 Star, Africa Star, Defence Medal, War Medal and Australian Service Medal. Accompanied by an array of personal memorabilia, this striking set allows the rare opportunity for a collector to connect with one of Australia’s true hero’s.

2011 $1 Tobruk 1oz Silver Proof

The second release in the Perth Mint’s Famous Battles collection, this full colour reverse depicts the Australian soldiers at the siege of Tobruk. Struck to Proof quality from 1oz of .999 fine silver, this legal tender, 40.60mm release is a stunning tribute to the legendary Battle of Tobruk.