Launching in 2017 with a Spiderman coin, the Perth Mint stepped away from its comfort zone of nature themed silver bullion coins with a coin taking advantage of the mass of publicity around the biggest movie franchise of all time – the Marvel Comic Universe. Despite that, this coin series has remained firmly grounded in the imagery of the comics and not the movies.
Now seven issues old, and drawing on a pantheon of characters huge in number and wide in style, it shows no sign of slowing down. Designs are instantly recognisable and very dynamic. It would have been easy to choose static poses and let the buyers imagination do the rest, but the mint has done a fine job bringing the characters alive on a small, clean canvas.
The obverse is a simple, unmodified design – just the Ian Rank Broadley effigy of Queen Elizabeth II surrounded by issue details. Just a single version of each design is available. Unusually for a mint that defines the term ‘variant’ and thrives on producing seemingly endless numbers of them, the bullion coin is it. An ounce of 0.9999 silver with a 40.6 mm diameter is a standard format at the Perth Mint. The mintage of each coin is a reasonably tight 50,000 pieces and they’re available individually, in rolls of 20, or in boxes (100 or 300).
Recently issued are card-mounted coins, similar to those used for the Australian Stock Horse series. The horse coins, the earlier ones at least, enjoyed some impressive appreciation on the aftermarket, but it’s too soon to see if the Marvel Comics range will follow that example. Just 1,000 of each design is being offered presented like this, except for the 2017 Spiderman coin that was unfortunately sold out before this programme was developed, so 1,000 coins are not available for the release. It would be nice to see the mint sell 1,000 serialised Spiderman cards without coins on a one-per-person, first-come, first-served basis, just so that collectors can get a set.
The series is distributed everywhere outside Australia by Hong-Kong based dealer, LPM, and they’re available at pretty reasonable premiums given the undoubtedly onerous licence deal you can imagine Disney imposing.