Back in 2014, revered American coin sculptor John Mercanti signed with the Perth Mint for the first time to design a new bullion and proof coin featuring that most iconic of Antipodean birds of prey, the Wedge-Tailed Eagle. He produced a quite splendid piece of work that rapidly became possibly the finest looking bullion coin of the year. The design was repeated for 2015 and we fully expected the same to be true for 2016.
The design first debuted as an uncirculated 1oz silver coin at GovMint.com in the US, but was followed by a series of proof and high relief coins released by the Perth Mint itself over the course of the year. The same seems to be the case with the 2016 coin as well, with the uncirculated coin being made available at GovMint as we speak, but no sign of an appearance from Perth in the near future. We’re certain it will happen, probably beginning in Q2/2016.
The 2016 is another beautiful design. Depicting a Wedge-tailed Eagle at rest, it does lack the sheer dynamism of the debut design, but that takes nothing away from what is a super piece of art. There are no specification surprises and the release follows the usual GovMint pattern of Mercanti-signed, graded slabs in Gem grade ($29.95), MS69 ($49.95) and MS70 ($99.95). A bare coin at $22.95 is also available, but with the amount of graded coins being offered, we’d be concerned that what is being offered here are all the sub-GEM grade coins. We’d be interested to hear from GovMint on our fears here.
We’ll have some better quality images soon, even if we have to buy one to get them. In the meantime, we have the low quality images below.