While the Perth Mint now enjoys a regular release schedule of low mintage silver bullion coin designs, back in 2014 there was little more than the stalwart Lunar, Kookaburra and Koala ranges to satisfy collectors. The release of the first Wedge-tailed Eagle coin that year was unexpected and came with the added bonus of drawing on the talents of John Mercanti. A former Cheif Engraver at the United States Mint, Mercanti was responsible for some of their most iconic designs, including the heraldic eagle that sits on the obverse of the American Silver Eagle.
The Wedge tailed Eagle design produced for the Perth Mint was a wholly more realistic affair. Depicting this awesome bird coming in to land, it was a dynamic piece of artwork and hugely popular. The design was trotted out again in 2015, but 2016 saw an eagle at roost taking its place. This was also used for two years before being replaced last year with a nesting family design. All were quite excellent and clearly the eagle of any species is something that John Mercanti has a passion for. The 2018 artwork was, for the first time, only to be employed once and that is also the case with this, the 2019 coin. So basically, this is the fourth design to appear, but is the sixth year of issue.
Again, it’s a fine design and harks back to the dynamism of the debut issue. Depicting an eagle in flight looking like it’s about to take prey, the artwork spills out into the border in two places, making full use of the surface area. Unlike previous designs, however, this one has a stylised pattern of sunrays in the background field. It looks okay in our view, but not something I’d like to see repeated on future efforts.
As before, this is primarily a one-ounce 0.9999 silver bullion coin, although expect to see the usual myriad numismatic variants, starting in February with a high-relief gold coin which will no doubt look gorgeous, but have an alarming propensity to empty your wallet in short order. Other less expensive options will follow as the year progresses, hopefully including what we usually consider the best one to buy, the 5 oz high-relief silver variant. Available to buy now, they can be picked up in tubes or boxes, or individually if you prefer. MCM have them slabbed if that’s your thing, but LPM have them up for pre-order in their standard form right now.