We often bemoan the Perth Mint release schedule for being too reliant on collectable variants of their endless bullion coin designs, but let’s not forget they’re also quite capable of kicking out in new directions – witness the Zeus coin, for example, that kicked off a whole new genre. The mint has been pushing its two-ounce, rimless and antique finished format for the last couple of years, and a tweaked version of that has given us something new today.
Called Evolution of Industry, this new two-coin set makes the simple change to turn the coin itself from a simple round shape, to one that mimics the cogs in industrial machinery. It’s quite a simple, but certainly powerful change that couldn’t suit the subject better. That doesn’t mean the coin artwork can get away with being any old rubbish, and fortunately, Perth Mint regular designer Tom Vaughan, has done the business again. Each coin has its own subject – one featuring steam power and the other electricity.
The steam coin has a cool mix of steam engines and steam powered vehicles (train, boat), offset by a sobering view of the pollution put out by the factories in the less enlightened Victorian time depicted. The electricity coin showcases some of the weird and spectacular gadgets invented and experimented with by Tesla and his contemporaries. It’s an almost Metropolis-style image – taking cues from the early movie masterpiece.
The obverse is a simple effigy of Queen Elizabeth, which I guess is kind of appropriate give Britains industrial innovation of the time. The lack of ambition on this face is a little disappointing, however. The packaging looks clever. The coins sit in a cog display that via a cog on the base, can be turned to rotate the coins as if part of a machine. It’s a nice touch and all fits in a themed outer shipper and with a certificate of authenticity. Just 1,000 of these two x 1 0z coin sets will be produced, they’re available now and they will sell for $229.00 AUD.