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!

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

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!

2015Red1Dollar

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

Opportunistic sellers cash in on Lest We Forget colour $2 coin

Shrewd sellers who managed to get their hands on the coloured $2 Lest We Forget coin are cleaning up on eBay as demand for the coin sends prices skyrocketing.

Within hours of the coin being unveiled on Sunday April 19 at a special event hosted by the Honorable Kelly O’Dwyer MP at the Stonnington Cricket Oval, listings on eBay began appearing, offering the coin for auction.

Perhaps fuelled by the enthusiasm of collectors and the general public alike to own one of these unique colour commemorative coins with a mintage of only 1.5 million – coupled with the knowledge that the Royal Australian Mint would not be offering an official Uncirculated version of the coin – auction prices for both individual coins and security bags are realising profits of between 1500%-4900% above the face value of the coins themselves. A veritable bonanza for the sellers but an excessive amount to pay for unwary buyers.

2dollarbagThis listing for a security bag of colour $2 coins is at $820 with 3 days to go*

It’s unclear where these eBay sellers acquired their colour $2 coins for sale. Some speculate they work in banks or security firms that delivery currency to banks, while others believe they were just lucky to be amongst the first to find the coins in their change. Either way, they are finding a not-to-be-sniffed-at financial reward by listing them quickly on the online auction site, as impatient buyers clamber to be some of the first to own the new commemorative $2

The 2015 Lest We Forget colour $2 coin was issued to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Gallipoli landing. It is the 4th coin of colour to be issued into circulation after the 2012 $2 Red Poppy, the 2013 $2 Purple Coronation and the 2014 $2 Green Remembrance Day coins. The 2012 Red Poppy coin was distributed to the public through the RSL, while the other coins entered circulation via the Reserve Bank of Australia.

2dollarindThis coin sold for 4900% above its original face value

As more of these coins make it onto the secondary market the prices being reached on eBay will undoubtedly fall, so if you’re looking for a more reasonably priced colour $2 we recommend being patient. eBay listings for the 2013 and 2014 colour $2 coins are still plentiful, 1-2 years after the coins were originally released, so there is no doubt the 2015 Lest We Forget coin will be popping up on eBay for years to come also.

Downies are currently looking to source these coins to offer as well, and if we are successful we will notify customers through our online newsletter, as well as our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Otherwise, keep a close eye on your coinage because you never know when you might find one of these coin in your change. If you do find one feel free to post a photo of it here or on our Facebook page.

*prices listed at time of writing this article