John Mercanti’s Wedge Tailed Eagle bullion series for the Perth Mint returns with a sixth new design

I don’t think we’re alone in saying the Perth Mint’s Wedge-tailed Eagle is one of the highlights of the bullion calendar, so the new design is eagerly awaited here. The now iconic series launched in 2014 and came as something of a surprise. The artist, John Mercanti, was the 12th Chief Engraver of the U.S. Mint (until 2010) and it was almost unheard of for a Chief Engraver to continue to do work for other mints and countries.

The first coin was classic Mercanti, and very American in style, but each design has evolved its own look, with the best, for me at least, coming with the gorgeous 2020 coin. The 2021 coin goes back to a wider view of this stunning and powerful bird of prey, featuring the eagle in flight holding a snake – one that doesn’t seem best pleased at the impromptu flight (given the general unpleasantness of Aussie snakes, I’d be worried!).

A very nice and dynamic design, better than most, but not as good as the 2020 coin for me. We particularly like that John Mercanti has stayed with the naturalistic approach to the artwork, moving away from the more heraldic-inspired look of the first coin, which while having a strong style of its own, is less open to greater variation.

The one-ounce silver bullion coin is the first to appear, with the first of the various higher-end variants coming from February with some new twists. Struck in 0.9999 silver, it has a mintage of 50,000 pieces and is available individually, in tubes, or in monster boxes. Expect wider availability over the next couple of days. A fine release and it’s about time we got a profile of the series up on site.

MINTS DESCRIPTION

Depicting master engraver John M. Mercanti’s sixth Australian Wedge-tailed Eagle design for The Perth Mint. Named for its long, distinctively shaped tail, the wedge-tailed eagle is Australia’s largest bird of prey and one of the biggest eagles in the world. Found throughout mainland Australia, Tasmania and southern Papua New Guinea, the bird has an impressive wingspan of up to 2.7 metres.

Sculpted for The Perth Mint by the renowned US engraver, John M. Mercanti, the coin’s reverse depicts a swooping wedge-tailed eagle with a snake in its talons. As well as the inscription AUSTRALIAN WEDGETAILED EAGLE and The Perth Mint’s ‘P’ Mintmark, the reverse also includes

the coin’s weight, fineness and its 2021 year-date.

The coin’s obverse depicts the Jody Clark effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the monetary denomination.

https://www.mdm.de/
SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION $1 AUD (Australia)
COMPOSITION 0.9999 silver
WEIGHT 31.107 grams
DIMENSIONS 40.9 mm
FINISH Brilliant uncirculated
MODIFICATIONS None
MINTAGE 50,000
BOX / C.O.A. No / No
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