Saturday, December 15, 2012

2012 $10 White Tiger Diamonds of Nature Fiji Proof Silver Coin

A new silver coin by the Republic of Fiji is to be issued in November 2012 with the limited mintage amount of 1 000 pieces. The new release of the Diamonds of Nature series is dedicated to the White Tiger (also known as the White Bengal Tiger) which is a subspecies of Tiger, found throughout the Indian subcontinent.

The obverse of the coin traditionally bears the portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. The upper part of the coin contains the inscription denoting the Queen’s name. Below the portrait, there are the legends indicating the face value of the coin, the name of the issuing country and the issuing year.

Featured on the reverse, there is the coloured image of two White Tigers against the background of their habitat landscape. This beautifully white coloured tiger with black stripes is a large and powerful animal that can weigh up to 300kg and reaches more than 3 meters in length.

The species is listed by the IUCN as Endangered and therefore severely threatened in its surrounding environment. The upper part of the reverse comprises the inscription of the series name; below the image, there is the legend indicating the name of the coin.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Cook Islands 2012 $10 Maya and Aztecs One Ounce Silver Proof Coin


Celebrating the Mesoamerican Maya and Aztec civilisations, this imposing release is the second coin in the 2012 World's Biggest 1oz Silver Proof Series! More than 50% larger than a standard 1oz silver coin, this sizeable silver stunner spans a massive 65mm in diameter!

Struck to Proof quality from 1oz pure .999 silver, the 65mm flan of this legal tender coin carries a depiction of the Mayan calendar, which some believe predicts the end of civilisation as we know it. Set within a case, and a must-have for those who snapped up the 65mm Ancient Egyptian 1oz Silver Proof in October, this exclusive 1oz coin is part of a mintage of just 3,000!


Coin Specifications:

  • Type: Silver
  • Finish: Proof
  • Purity: .999
  • Diameter: 65.00mm
  • Weight: 31.10g
  • Mintage: 3,000
  • Face Value: 10 Dollars  

 

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Gold Silver Currency: 2012 Māori Art - Hei Matau Silver & Gold Proof Coins



A cultural treasure

The hei matau depicted on the 2012 Māori Art coin was hand-carved by renowned Rotorua Māori artist, Lewis Gardiner. The piece was especially commissioned for the 60 cent stamp in New Zealand Post’s 2011 Matariki stamp issue, and represents an outstanding example of modern hei matau design.

The significance of the hei matau and its associations with navigation, abundance of seafood, mana and knowledge are reflected in the themes of the coin design. The raised pattern on the coin behind the hei matau is based on a traditional Māori kōwhaiwhai (frieze) pattern called ‘koiri’ (to sway/bend) combined with the traditional whakairo (woodcarving) pattern unaunahi (fish scales).
Koiri suggests the swaying of seaweed and the changeable nature of the wind, while unaunahi suggests the movement of shoals of fish. The combination of designs gives rise to the image of a fishing waka (canoe) traversing the ocean’s waves and currents.

Set to the right of the hei matau is a round cabochon of pounamu. Pounamu is a taonga (treasure) held in high esteem by Māori, and the export of pounamu from New Zealand is restricted. The pounamu cabochon is symbolic of the moon, which governs the rise and fall of the tides in the realm of Tangaroa (god of the sea). The notches on the edge of the coin, some say, are the oldest type of carving recorded. The groups of two notches represent strength and abundance, while the groups of three notches refer to three stages of creation (epochs of time): Te Kore (the nothingness), Te Pō (the darkness) and Te Ao Mārama (the world of light).

For the first time, these New Zealand legal tender coins feature the face value of the coin in both English and Te Reo Māori (the Māori language).

Beautifully presented in a waka huia

This 1 troy oz gold proof coin is housed within a waka huia (ornamental carved vessel for taonga) made from kauri - native New Zealand wood. The pattern adorning the waka huia has been designed and hand-carved by Thomas Hansen.

The lid design of the waka huia continues the navigational theme of the coin in the form of a contemporary pattern called ‘pai arahi’ (fortuitous ocean journeys). On either side of the handle are three koru/pïtau (unfolding curls symbolically representing new growth/new beginnings). The handle on the lid represents the barb of Lewis Gardiner’s hei matau rising out of the sea, while the two notches on the barbs symbolise strength and abundance.




Highlights

· Very first 1 troy oz 0.9999 gold coin that New Zealand Post has produced
· Piece of pounamu (New Zealand greenstone) set into the coin
· The rim of the Coin is etched with notches, said to be the oldest type of carving recorded
· Extremely low worldwide mintage of 250
· New Zealand legal tender (first time to have the face value in Māori and English)
· Housed in a waka huia (Māori treasure box) made from Kauri



The 1 troy oz silver proof hei matau coin is a stunning piece of Māori history and culture, as well as the world's first coin issue to have pounamu (New Zealand greenstone) set into the design.



Highlights

· 1 troy oz silver proof coin
· Piece of pounamu (New Zealand greenstone) set into the coin
· The rim of the coin is etched with notches, said to be the oldest type of carving recorded
· Worldwide mintage of only 3000
· New Zealand legal tender (first time to have the face value in Māori and English)
· Housed in a black and red leatherette box, embossed with the traditional kōwhaiwhai design





A cultural treasure

The hei matau depicted on the 2012 Māori Art coin was hand-carved by renowned Rotorua Māori artist, Lewis Gardiner. The piece was especially commissioned for the 60 cent stamp in New Zealand Post’s 2011 Matariki stamp issue, and represents an outstanding example of modern hei matau design.

The significance of the hei matau and its associations with navigation, abundance of seafood, mana and knowledge are reflected in the themes of the coin design. The raised pattern on the coin behind the hei matau is based on a traditional Māori kōwhaiwhai (frieze) pattern called ‘koiri’ (to sway/bend) combined with the traditional whakairo (woodcarving) pattern unaunahi (fish scales).
Koiri suggests the swaying of seaweed and the changeable nature of the wind, while unaunahi suggests the movement of shoals of fish. The combination of designs gives rise to the image of a fishing waka (canoe) traversing the ocean’s waves and currents.

Set to the right of the hei matau is a round cabochon of pounamu. Pounamu is a taonga (treasure) held in high esteem by Māori, and the export of pounamu from New Zealand is restricted. The pounamu cabochon is symbolic of the moon, which governs the rise and fall of the tides in the realm of Tangaroa (god of the sea). The notches on the edge of the coin, some say, are the oldest type of carving recorded. The groups of two notches represent strength and abundance, while the groups of three notches refer to three stages of creation (epochs of time): Te Kore (the nothingness), Te Pō (the darkness) and Te Ao Mārama (the world of light).

For the first time, these New Zealand legal tender coins feature the face value of the coin in both English and Te Reo Māori (the Māori language).

Presented with integrity

This stunning coin is presented within a black and red leatherette ipu (container) – colours that feature strongly in Māori mythology and art. The embossed pattern adorning the lid has been designed by Thomas Hansen. As on the coin, the traditional kōwhaiwhai pattern combines the ‘koiri’ design with a traditional whakairo (woodcarving) pattern called unaunahi.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Lunar Good Fortune – 2013 Lunar Snake One Ounce Silver 2 Coin Set





  • Year of the Snake Wealth and Wisdom Coloured Designs
  • Proof Quality 99.9% Pure Silver
  • Extremely Limited Issue – 1,500 Sets
  • Tuvalu Legal Tender
  • Stunning Illustrated Presentation Packaging
Celebrating the Year of the Snake, this stunning two-coin set is released to inspire wealth, wisdom and good fortune.

A prestigious and exceptionally limited offering from The Perth Mint, this set makes a great gift or collectable for anyone born in these auspicious years – 1917, 1929, 1941, 1953, 1965, 1977, 1989, 2001 and 2013.

Proof Quality 99.9% Pure Silver

Each coin is struck from 1oz of 99.9% pure silver in proof quality.

Stunning Year of the Snake Coloured Designs

The reverse of the wealth coin depicts a representation of a snake and a treasure chest full of golden coins, signifying wealth and prosperity, bordered by a snake motif.  The inscriptions WEALTH and 2013 YEAR OF THE SNAKE also appear in the design with The Perth Mint’s traditional ‘P’ mintmark.

The reverse of the wisdom coin depicts a representation of a snake, depicted with a Chinese abacus, a calligraphy pen, an hour glass, an ancient map and a symbolic pyramid, all signifying wisdom, bordered by a snake motif.  The inscriptions WISDOM and 2013 YEAR OF THE SNAKE also appear in the design with The Perth Mint’s traditional ‘P’ mintmark.

Extremely Limited Issue

The Perth Mint will release no more than 1,500 of these Lunar Good Fortune – 2013 Year of the Snake 1oz Silver Proof Two-Coin Sets, from a maximum mintage of 5,000 for each coin.

Tuvalu Legal Tender

Issued as legal tender under the authority of the Government of Tuvalu, the Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the 2013 year-date and monetary denomination are shown on each coin’s obverse.

Stunning Illustrated Presentation Packaging

This colourful two-coin set is housed in a classic display case and illustrated shipper, accompanied by a numbered Certificate of Authenticity.

Technical Specifications:
Silver Content (Troy oz) 1
Monetary Denomination (TVD) 1
Fineness (% purity) 99.9
Minimum Gross Weight (g) 31.135
Maximum Diameter (mm) 40.10
Maximum Thickness (mm) 2.60
Designer Tom Vaughan

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Spanish Gold and Silver Coin Series Highlights Work of Joan Miró

The Royal Mint of Spain – Real Casa de la Moneda has issued (5th November) their latest set of coins which highlight internationally famous Spanish painters – this is the fifth such series. The first set released in 2008 was dedicated to Velázquez, the second to Salvador Dalí, the third to Goya, and the fourth jointly to Domenicos Theotocopoulos (El Greco), Bartolomé Esteban Murillo, José de Ribera (El Españoleto), and Francisco de Zurbarán.

This year’s set highlights the works of Joan Miró (1893-1983). The five coins that comprise the set, one gold and four silver, highlight some of the artist's most striking and representative paintings. Earning international acclaim, his work has been interpreted as Surrealism and in numerous interviews dating from the 1930's onwards, Miró expressed contempt for conventional painting methods as a way of supporting bourgeois society.

He famously declared an "assassination of painting" in favor of upsetting the visual elements of established painting. In 1954 he was given the Venice Biennale print making prize and in 1958 he was presented with the Guggenheim International Award.

In 1980 Miro received the Gold Medal of Fine Arts from King Juan Carlos of Spain. In 1981, the Palma City Council established the Fundació Pilar i Joan Miró a Mallorca, housed in the four studios that Miró had donated for the purpose. Today, Miro’s paintings sell for between $250,000 and $26 million. A price of $17 million was realized at a U.S. auction for the La Caresse des étoiles (1938) in May 2008, at the time it the highest amount paid for one of his works.


400 €URO:  The obverse portrays a rendering of the work entitled "Self-portrait" painted between 1937 and 1960, from the María Dolors Miró collection, on loan to the Joan Miró Foundation in Barcelona. 
The reverse depicts the work entitled "Portrait of a Young Girl" painted in 1919, and held by the Joan Miró Foundation in Barcelona. Struck to proof quality in .999 fine gold with a weight of 27 grams and a diameter of 38 mm. A mintage of 3000 pieces has been authorized for this traditional Eight Escudos coin.


 50 €URO: The obverse shows an image from the work entitled "Painting" (C.R. nº 460), executed in 1934. It is held in the Joan Miró Foundation in Barcelona.

The reverse presents a rendering of the work "The House of the Palm Tree" painted in 1918, which is currently in the collection of the Queen Sofía National Art Museum in Madrid.

Struck to proof quality in .925 sterling silver, the coin has a weight of 168.7 grams and a diameter of 73 mm. A mintage of 5000 pieces has been authorized. The traditional denomination of this coin is 50 Reales or one “Cincuentín”.





10 €URO: The obverse design, common to these three coins, captures the work "Autoretrat" (Autoportrait) painted in 1919, and held by the Picasso Museum in Paris. The first reverse reproduces an image from the work “Woman, bird, star” commissioned in 1978 and included in the Joan Miró Foundation in Barcelona.

The second depiction is of an image from the work “Characters and birds with a dog” painted in 1978, held in the Joan Miró Foundation in Barcelona. Lastly, the third reverse design reproduces an image from the work “The morning star” painted in 1940, held in the Joan Miró Foundation in Barcelona. Struck to proof quality in .925 sterling silver, they have a weight of 27 grams and a diameter of 40 mm. Each coin with a traditional denomination of Eight Reales has a mintage limited to 10,000 pieces.

The coins for the Joan Miro set can be purchased individually of as a set of either five or four coins (silver collection)

Bullion Miners Facing Tough Challenges


A new report from the world's largest gold producer Barrick Gold provides yet another illustration of the problems facing gold mining companies.

In South Africa, extraction of gold from depths of more than 6,000 meters has almost become the rule rather than the exception. Mining costs are being pushed up by the logistical challenges of drilling at great depths, as well as an increasingly militant work force which is demanding higher wages. Add exploration costs to this mix and it’s little wonder that companies’ profits are being squeezed, despite the high gold price. According to Barrick, total production costs for all mining companies exceeded the $8 billion mark last year.

While 1991 saw the discovery of 11 new gold mines, in 2011 only three mines with production potential were found. Aside from the drop in gold ore and rising production costs, a third factor is increasingly hindering gold production: producing countries' tedious licensing processes and sluggish bureaucracy. According to Barrick Gold, this is being exacerbated by increasing environmental regulations that could jeopardize many mining operations.

Many companies are also facing increasing hostility from residents in mining areas. This has been particularly evident in Peru, Bolivia or Ecuador – where there have been violent clashes between local people and police.

This is a  tricky set of factors for many companies. But given the gains in gold many expect in the coming years, great fortunes could still be made in the right gold mining investments.