Project Description

2015+ ESOTERIC CENTRES ANTIQUED by the Perth Mint

This guide is a little different to our others in that the subject isn’t strictly a consistent series, more a loose collection that’s built up over the last half decade. The two-ounce antique-finished coin has been around for ages, but arguably, it was the Perth Mint that popularised it to the level it now occupies when it issued the first in its Gods of Olympus series – Zeus – back in 2014. It was the following year when the Perth Mint applied the format to something new and different, with its homage to Alice in Wonderland.

Now, each of the coins below has a similar base format, that of an antique finished coin, with a border packed with struck imagery, and a centrepiece containing something not of precious metal, but an object associated with the theme of the piece. In the case of Alice in Wonderland, it was a functional gilded timepiece, exquisitely done and perfectly judged for the topic at hand.

There are some loose groupings within the scope of this guide. You could group Alice with Compass, Thermometer and Abacus as carrying functional items. Yin Yang, Dragon & Pearl, Good Luck, and Lunar Mouse all have Asian themes, 1oz weight and rotating centres. First Flight, Ancient Egypt, and Endeavour 1770 are all historical and contain ‘floating’ items in one form or another. They all share a similar design ethos, however, which you can clearly see as you scroll down.

I felt this was a collection of coins that needed bringing together in a single guide, especially as little association exists elsewhere. There are some terrific designs in amongst this lot, even if they can be perceived as gimmicky in some quarters. The Alice coin that kicked it off is particularly on point, but we’d judge all of them to be excellent in their own right. The Perth Mint is adept at a quality strike, and the packaging on many of these, particularly the Ancient Egyptian coin, is very nicely done. Some still have the standard grey snapper case sadly (generally the 1oz coins).

We’ve seen a few of these in hand and they’re pretty nice pieces. Not one for the stacker, of course, but we’re sure most will find at least one they would like. We’ve added our own video of the Compass coin for your viewing, but play it at your peril as you won’t get the damn music out of your head for days…

2015 Alice in Wonderland (2oz)

The one that started it all, Alice in Wonderland with it’s decorated watch in the centre, is a brilliant homage to the authors inventive and much loved work.

MINTS DESCRIPTION: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland follows the adventures of Alice, a young girl whose curiosity is sparked when she sees a talking White Rabbit wearing a waistcoat, and carrying a pocket watch, run past her as she is sitting with her sister on the riverbank. She follows him down a rabbit hole, into the imaginative and chaotic world of Wonderland, which is populated by anthropomorphic animals and creatures.

REVERSE: The coin’s reverse features Alice, the Cheshire cat, and several playing cards around the edge, with the White Rabbit featured on the face of a clock in the middle of the coin. The clock design includes the inscription ‘Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be late!’ and The Perth Mint’s
‘P’ mintmark. Design by Natasha Muhl.

OBVERSE: A delightful rose design, the Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the monetary denomination, and the 2015 year-date are shown on the coin’s obverse. A quote from the book, “Oh my ears and whiskers, how late it’s getting!” is also included on the back of the clock in a spiral form.

PACKAGING: The coin is housed in a clear latex display case with a black border and a white pattern. It is presented in a colourful shipper which opens to reveal the coin and the numbered Certificate of Authenticity.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION DIMENSIONS MINTAGE BOX TYPE
$2 Tuvalu 62.27 g of 0.999 silver 45.50 mm 2500 LATEX FRAME

2016 Yin Yang (1oz)

A nice use of patterns to represent the five elements, and the Yin Yang symbol in the centre rotates. Nice.

MINTS DESCRIPTION: In Chinese culture yin yang represents two opposing principles in nature. Yin is characterised as slow, soft, yielding, cold, wet, and passive; and is associated with water, the earth, the moon, femininity, and night time. In contrast, Yang is fast, hard, solid, focused, hot, dry, and aggressive; and is associated with fire, sky, the sun, masculinity and day time.

REVERSE: The coin’s reverse depicts the five Chinese elements of wood, fire, earth, metal, and water surrounding a stainless steel, enamel plated yin yang rotating charm, which represents the continual flow of the five elements as they exist in nature. The design includes the inscriptions WOOD, FIRE, EARTH, METAL and WATER, as well as the Chinese symbols for each of the five elements, and The Perth Mint’s traditional ‘P’ mintmark. Design by Natasha Muhl.

OBVERSE: The Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the monetary denomination, and the 2017 year-date are shown on the coin’s obverse. The obverse also includes a decorative border that circles the back, which features a Yin Yang pattern.

PACKAGING: Each coin is presented in a classic grey display case, within a stylised shipper, and is accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION DIMENSIONS MINTAGE BOX TYPE
$1 Tuvalu 31.135 g of 0.999 silver 40.60 mm 3000 GREY SNAPPER

2017 Compass (2oz)

Another impressive entry in this range, packed with nautical themes and a superb gilded compass in the centre – fully functional.

MINTS DESCRIPTION: A compass is an instrument used for navigation and orientation. Magnetic compasses allow people to find their position relative to the Earth’s magnetic field. The magnetised needle of the compass indicates direction based on the four cardinal points – north, south, east, and west. Struck by The Perth Mint from 2oz of 99.9% pure silver the coin is issued as legal tender under the authority of the Government of Tuvalu. No more than 2,500 of the Compass 2017 2oz Silver Antiqued Coin will be released by The Perth Mint.

REVERSE: The reverse of this antiqued silver coin features an interpretation of an ancient world map with mythical sea creatures included in the design, as well as The Perth Mint’s traditional ‘P’ mintmark. A golden coloured compass is set into the middle of the coin and features an engraved rim. Design by Aleysha Howarth.

OBVERSE: The Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the monetary denomination, and the 2017 year-date are shown on the coin’s obverse. The obverse also includes a decorative border that circles the back of the compass, which features a star pattern.

PACKAGING: Each coin is presented in a classic grey display case, within a stylised shipper, and is accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION DIMENSIONS MINTAGE BOX TYPE
$2 Tuvalu 62.27 g of 0.9999 silver 45.50 mm 2500 GREY SNAPPER

2017 Dragon & Pearl (1oz)

The Perth Mint has a varied selection of everything from figure-eight shaped issues to simple bullion coins with this Chinese cultural theme, but this is an especially nice looking piece.

MINTS DESCRIPTION: In Chinese culture, the dragon is revered as a divine mythical creature, a symbol of power, strength, wealth, and good fortune, and it is often portrayed alongside a luminous or flaming pearl.

REVERSE: The reverse of the coin features two dragons encircling a rotating pearl charm. The design includes The Perth Mint’s traditional ‘P’ mintmark. Design by Ing Ing Jong.

OBVERSE: The coin’s obverse depicts the Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the 2017 year-date, and the monetary denomination.

PACKAGING: Each coin is presented in a classic display box within a themed shipper and is accompanied by a numbered Certificate of Authenticity.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION DIMENSIONS MINTAGE BOX TYPE
$1 Tuvalu 31.107 g of 0.9999 silver 40.60 mm 3000 GREY SNAPPER

2018 Thermometer (2oz)

Perhaps our favourite of the range, this is a terrific mix of Aztec imagery and a functioning thermometer. It won’t be something you could, or indeed would use, but as a coin, this works, despite the gimmicky nature of it.

MINTS DESCRIPTION: Essential for meteorology, medicine, industry and scientific research, thermometers are not the result of a single invention but an evolution spanning about 2,000 years. While thermometers’ exact origins are unknown, several historians have credited the first instrument for measuring temperature to Hero of Alexandria, who lived circa 10-70 AD in Egypt.

A people who worshiped gods affecting temperature were the Aztecs, whose civilization flourished in central Mexico before the Spanish conquest. The story of Itztlacoliuhqui, the god of frost and cold, appears in an Aztec myth of creation. Tonatiuh, the Sun god, demanded obedience and sacrifice from the other gods before he would move. Infuriated by his arrogance, the Lord of Dawn and morning star Venus, Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli, shot an arrow at the Sun. However he missed his target and the Sun threw his own arrow back, piercing Tlahuizcalpantecuhtli through the head and transforming him into Itztlacoliuhqui.

REVERSE: Featuring an antiqued finish, the coin is inset with an operational dial thermometer including both Celcius and Fahrenheit scales. The thermometer’s face portrays an Aztec-style sun in the middle. The thermometer is surrounded by Aztec-style patterns and iconography based on the circular Aztec agricultural, or solar, calendar. The fire-breathing sun god Tonatiuh is represented at the top holding an arrow in one hand, a flaming torch the other and wearing flame earrings. At the bottom is Itztlacoliuhqui, the god of frost and cold, breathing frost and carrying an arrow. On the left, or cold side of the thermometer dial is an Aztec, or Mesoarmerican, stylisation of a snowflake. Opposite is a similarly styled depiction of the sun’s rays. The reverse also incorporates The Perth Mint’s traditional ‘P’ mintmark. Design by Lucas Bowers.

OBVERSE: The coin’s obverse reveals the thermometer’s sensor which is encircled by Aztec-style patterning, the Ian Rank Broadley effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, monetary denomination and the 2018 year-date.

PACKAGING: Each coin is presented in a classic grey display case, within a stylised shipper, and is accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION DIMENSIONS MINTAGE BOX TYPE
$2 Tuvalu 62.27 g of 0.9999 silver 45.50 mm 2500 GREY SNAPPER

2018 Good Luck Rotating Charm (1oz)

One of the prettiest coins in this range, in our opinion, while the rotating centre is less inventive than others, it suits the subject well and the struck koi and peonies around the border are superb. The rear is relatively simple, however.

MINTS DESCRIPTION: With their ability to swim upstream, koi fish have long represented perseverance and strength of purpose in eastern cultures. As such they have become a symbol of good luck, abundance, courage, independence and ambition.

A famous legend, the Dragon Gate, associates koi with one of the most auspicious creatures in Chinese culture. A koi fish swims upstream through waterfalls and other obstacles in the ancient fable to reach the top of a mountain where the fish transforms into the revered, mystical dragon. Yellow topaz in Chinese culture has traditionally been associated with good fortune and energy.

REVERSE: The reverse of the coin features eight koi fish swimming beneath peonies and encircling a rotating yellow topaz charm. Eight is considered the most propitious number in Chinese culture. The design includes The Perth Mint’s traditional ‘P’ mintmark. Design by Natasha Muhl.

OBVERSE: The Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the monetary denomination and the 2018 year-date are shown on the coin’s obverse.

PACKAGING: Each coin is presented in a classic display box within a themed shipper and is accompanied by a numbered Certificate of Authenticity.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION DIMENSIONS MINTAGE BOX TYPE
$1 Tuvalu 31.107 g of 0.9999 silver 40.60 mm 3000 GREY SNAPPER

2019 100th Anniversary of First Flight UK to OZ (2oz)

Certainly a noble feat worthy of commemoration, flying a plane like the Vickers Vimy halfway around the world takes big kahoonas. There’s a nice depiction of the flight around the border, and the miniature propeller is well done. The obverse is perhaps less successful, but a nice entrant in the range overall.

MINTS DESCRIPTION: The first flight from England to Australia touched down in Darwin on 10 December, 1919. Piloting an open air cockpit Vickers ‘Vimy’ aircraft, Captain Ross Smith, Lieutenant Keith Smith and Sergeants Wally Shiers and James Bennett made the 17,910 kilometre flight in 28 days. The amazing feat in long-distance aviation was the catalyst to develop domestic air routes across northern Australia.

REVERSE: The coin’s reverse depicts a map with the flight’s route marked above an illustration of a mountainous landscape. In the foreground is a representation of the Vickers aircraft. The centre of the coin features a propeller inset. The design includes The Perth Mint’s ‘P’ mintmark and the inscription ‘CENTENARY OF FIRST FLIGHT’ and ‘ENGLAND TO AUSTRALIA’. Design by Jennifer McKennal.

OBVERSE: The Jody Clark effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the monetary denomination, the coin’s weight and fineness, and the 2019 year-date are shown on the coin’s obverse. The propeller inset is bordered by a pattern of lines portraying wind and movement.

PACKAGING: The coin is housed in a classic display case with a clear lid. Packaged with an illustrated shipper, each coin is accompanied by a numbered Certificate of Authenticity

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION DIMENSIONS MINTAGE BOX TYPE
$2 Tuvalu 62.213 g of 0.9999 silver 45.50 mm 2000 ACRYLIC FRONT

2019 Abacus (2oz)

This one is very clever, both in the quirky choice of subject, and the implementation. The mini abacus is actually functional (sort of…) and the beads do travel up and down. A fine demonstration of intricacy, given the abacus is barely 20mm wide.

MINTS DESCRIPTION: The first known portable calculating tool, the abacus is often associated with the development of an ancient network of trade routes referred to as the Silk Road. Spanning 64,000 kilometres, the vast passage was the first to connect China with the Middle East and Europe.

Merchants traditionally used an abacus to keep an inventory of commodities being bought and sold along the route. Also known as counting boards or frames, these devises were typically made of wood or metal and held rods that were mounted with freely sliding beads for counting large numbers.

REVERSE: Featuring an antiqued finish, the coin is inset with an abacus. The reverse design features depictions of travellers riding camels along the Silk Road. Items that were typically traded such as pottery, textiles, fruit, paper, fragrances and spices are represented in the foreground. Also included in the design is The Perth Mint’s ‘P’ mintmark. Design by Natasha Muhl.

OBVERSE: The coin’s obverse portrays the Ian Rank-Broadly effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the weight and fineness, monetary denomination, and the 2019 year-date. A pattern of abacus counting beads borders the abacus insert.

PACKAGING: The coin is housed in a contemporary latex case which displays both sides of the coin, and is accompanied by an illustrated shipper and a numbered Certificate of Authenticity.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION DIMENSIONS MINTAGE BOX TYPE
$2 Tuvalu 62.213 g of 0.9999 silver 45.50 mm 2500 LATEX FRAME

2019 Golden Treasures of Ancient Egypt (2oz)

While the struck portion of this one is heavily themed, even the obverse carrying a circle of Ankh’s the perspex domed centre if filled with gold dust. It looks pretty good, but the link is tenuous in comparison to the more specific designs on other coins of this ilk. All told however, a nice coin.

MINTS DESCRIPTION: Gold has held humans in awe for centuries, dating back to some of the earliest known civilisations. The ancient Egyptians considered the lustrous metal to be the skin of their deities, particularly the sun god, Ra. Worn by royalty and priests, the precious substance was often featured in funerary art, most famously the death mask of Tutankhamun who reigned from approximately 1336-1327 BCE.

This image of his mask is featured on the reverse of this stunning antiqued coin, along with other Egyptian hieroglyphics and symbols associated with the golden metal.

REVERSE: The reverse of the coin features gold particles encased in Perspex, surrounded by representations of Egyptian hieroglyphics and symbols. These include sacred images denoting protection, eternal life and royalty such as the Eye of Horus, a pyramid, a vase, the goddess Isis, a falcon, an ankh hieroglyph representing life, a sarcophagus and a scarab. Also included in the design is the inscription ‘2oz 9999 SILVER’ and The Perth Mint’s ‘P’ mintmark. Design by Aleysha Howarth.

OBVERSE: The Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the 2019 year-date and the monetary denomination are depicted on the coin’s obverse.

PACKAGING: The coin is housed in a pyramid shaped display case, the top of which opens to reveal the coin. The surface of the pyramid is decorated by hieroglyphics and features a coloured winged scarab beetle design. The ancient Egyptians revered this insect as the divine manifestation of the early morning sun, Khepri, and believed the god, in the form of the beetle, rolled the disk of the rising sun over the eastern horizon at daybreak. Packaged within a textured box stamped with the Golden Treasures scarab beetle design, the coin is accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION DIMENSIONS MINTAGE BOX TYPE
$2 Tuvalu 62.213 g of 0.9999 silver 45.50 mm 2500 CUSTOM

2020 Lunar Mouse Rotating Charm (1oz)

The latest issue at the time of writing, this one makes a fine companion piece to the 100th Anniversary of Flight coin. The centre section takes a mechanical object associated with the feat commemorated, so a ships wheel. There’s a neat set of circular pictorials surrounding the gilded centre, which help chart the expedition by Captain Cook. The compass design on the obverse is a beautiful touch.

MINTS DESCRIPTION: This 1oz silver antiqued coin is an excitingly innovative release featuring a central gold-plated rotating charm in the shape of the first animal in the ancient Chinese lunar calendar, the mouse.

Those born under the sign of the Chinese lunar mouse in 2020, 2008, 1996, 1984, 1972 and every 12th preceding year are said to be smart, resourceful, adaptable and kind. Possessing a rich imagination and strong intuition, mice rely on quick wits and an enterprising nature to find opportunity for success in almost all endeavours.

REVERSE: The coin’s reverse portrays stylised mice and representations of wheat, grapes and corn, symbols of a bountiful harvest which is associated with happiness and abundance in Chinese culture. The centre of the coin features a rotating mouse-shaped bead insert. Also included is the weight and fineness, and The Perth Mint’s ‘P’ mintmark. Design by Natasha Muhl.

OBVERSE: The obverse of the coin bears the Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II within a pattern of beads, the 2020 year date and the monetary denomination.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION DIMENSIONS MINTAGE BOX TYPE
$1 Tuvalu 31.107 g of 0.9999 silver 40.60 mm 3000 ACRYLIC FRONT

2020 Voyage of Discovery Endeavour 1770 (2oz)

The latest issue at the time of writing, this one makes a fine companion piece to the 100th Anniversary of Flight coin. The centre section takes a mechanical object associated with the feat commemorated, so a ships wheel. There’s a neat set of circular pictorials surrounding the gilded centre, which help chart the expedition by Captain Cook. The compass design on the obverse is a beautiful touch.

MINTS DESCRIPTION: This special anniversary release celebrates the 250th anniversary of the British Royal Navy’s research vessel Endeavour reaching Australia in 1770. HM Bark Endeavour, captained by James Cook, embarked on its Pacific voyage on 26 August 1768 with instructions to chart the transit of Venus across the sun at the equator. Subsequently charting New Zealand in 1769, the British expedition sighted the east coast of Australia at Point Hicks on 20 April 1770.

As Endeavour sailed north, Cook charted the coast before making first landfall at a wide, shallow bay south of present-day Sydney on 29 April 1770. Naturalist Joseph Banks recorded so many previously unknown botanical specimens at this location that Cook named the area ‘Botany Bay’. The ship also stopped at what has since become known as the Town of 1770 before Endeavour struck the Great Barrier Reef and ran aground near Cooktown on 11 June. The voyage was delayed while repairs were carried out. The ship then rounded Cape York, stopping at Possession Island in the Torres Strait on 22 August. Endeavour’s exploration of the Pacific Ocean had a tremendous impact on navigation leading to the first large scale hydrographic surveys and advancements in the measurement of longitude

REVERSE: The coin’s reverse design features a representation of HM Bark Endeavour against an outline of the east coast of Australia. Depicted in the background are various flora including Banksia, named after Joseph Banks, and wattle. Also included in the design is a representation of a compass, the inscription ‘ENDEAVOUR 1770-2020’ and The Perth Mint’s ‘P’ mintmark. Design by Lucas Bowers.

OBVERSE: The obverse of the coin bears the Jody Clark effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, the 2020-year date, weight and purity, and monetary denomination.

DENOMINATION COMPOSITION DIMENSIONS MINTAGE BOX TYPE
$2 Tuvalu 62.213 g of 0.9999 silver 45.50 mm 1770 ACRYLIC FRONT

PACKAGING EXAMPLES