While a pretty standard specification for a Perth Mint series of coins, Deadly and Dangerous captured the imagination of collectors everywhere when the first coin debuted back in 2006. The first and foremost reason for this was the outstanding depiction of the feared Redback Spider that graced the reverse side of the coin, as well as a subject matter that remains immensely popular to this very day. Australian wildlife has a quite deserved reputation for having amongst its numbers a wide and varied range of species seemingly dedicated to causing us pain, discomfort and death. A mix of venoms and sheer physical brutality marks out this menagerie of mayhem, so clearly a great subject for a series of coins.
Releasing a single coin on an annual basis, the Perth Mint strikes these coins for a third party (we believe for Australian distributor, Downies) and they’ve continued uninterrupted since 2006. As we said, at one ounce of fine silver in weight, selectively coloured and struck on a 40.6mm blank, the coins are specified to the standard Perth Mint specification widely used on multiple concurrent series and one-off designs to this very day. Comments on various forums and discounts at many dealers have indicated that interest has been waning in the series over the last couple of years, but they do still seem to sell well, no doubt helped by the subject matter having broad appeal. The first coin regularly sells for well over ten times its issue price, and while future coins have not quite lived up to expectations re. appreciation, several other coins do sell for elevated prices, although to nowhere near the Redback Spider level.
In 2011, for what we can only assume was an attempt to satiate intense demand, the Perth Mint released the first five coins again for the Russian market. Having an altered design, the original artwork was shrunk and in the border surrounding it was some inscribed Russian text along with the Latin name for the animal. While not as nice as the original, they are official and a way to get the Redback at a sensible price. Ironically, a softening of prices of coins 2-5 often means the Russian versions sell for more. They do have a relatively small mintage of 2,000 each, compared to 5,000 of the original, although the last few issues of the original coins has dropped in half.
Supplied in some extremely nice packaging, the high-gloss wooden box with a removable holder that allows the coin to displayed vertically is much better than you’d expect for the price, although the Russian versions lose out and have just a standard Perth Mint snapper case. Overall, Deadly & Dangerous is a well-designed and deservedly popular range of coins that continues to expand with the range now up to eleven coins. Below we’ve laid out all the releases to date, newest first, with a description of the animal and just for fun, a rating of how deadly the animal is if it attacks, and how dangerous it is if you’re near one.