HARRY POTTER & THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS POSTER (2020, NZ Mint)
Mik Woodgate2020-07-06T13:05:50+01:00July 6th, 2020|
HARRY POTTER & THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS POSTER (NZ MINT)
The second movie in the franchise, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets premiered in 2002 and was based on the 1998 novel by J. K. Rowling. It went on to gross over $879m, beaten in 2002 only by The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. It tells the story of Potters second year at Hogwarts and the opening of the Chamber of Secrets, unleashing a monster within the school.
The NZ Mint has long issued its rectangular one-ounce coins that reproduce some of the biggest franchised movie posters around. The Star Wars series has already worked its way through the three trilogies, and the first movie, Harry Potter & the Philosopher’s Stone (ridiculously replacing Philosopher with Sorceror for the US market), has already had a release. These are 53 x 36 mm fine silver coins, with a colour reproduction of the main poster on one face. Beautifully presented in the acrylic frame, it has a mintage of 5,000 and a retail price around $85.00 USD. Available from today.
SERPENT OF MILAN HALF OUNCE (2020, Scottsdale Mint)
Mik Woodgate2020-07-06T10:43:49+01:00July 6th, 2020|
SERPENT OF MILAN HALF-OUNCER (SCOTTSDALE MINT)
A new bullion coin series from Scottsdale Mint, a producer known for its varied and widespread selection, Serpent of Milan was an interesting idea. Based on a centuries old emblem from the Italian city-state, the Biscione depicts a serpent eating a human child. It’s currently still used by the top tier football team, Inter Milan and by the car maker, Alfa Romeo.
The debut of this design at the beginning of the year comprised a trio of one-ounce coins issued for Samoa. One of the silver pair was a standard brilliant uncirculated finish, the other antiqued, while a gold coin rounded out the range. Now, the half-ounce silver coins join the bigger ones and the same two finishes are on offer, although no gold this time. The antique variant has a 2,000 mintage, while the more traditional looker tops out at 15,000 pieces. Both are available now.
LINKS: PREVIOUS COINS IN 1OZ WEIGHT
JASPER SCARABAEUS (2020, Mint of Poland)
Mik Woodgate2020-07-05T15:26:03+01:00July 5th, 2020|
JASPER SCARABAEUS (MINT OF POLAND)
A series that debuted back in 2015 with the Amber Scarabaeus, the Mint of Poland’s Ancient Egyptian themed series has evolved by taking the same basic design – an Egyptian atyle beetle – and decorating it with different types of plating, colour and minerals. In all, it’s been quite an eclectic mix, and one we’ll probably do a Coin Series Profile on soon.
These remain 17.5 gram 0.999 silver coins, issued for Niue and with the obligatory effigy of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse. This time around, the beetle and surrounding detail, is richly coloured in gold and emerald green. Taking pride of place is a half-sphere of green jasper – a mineral the Ancient Egyptians were well familiar with, using it for gold jewellery and other objects. Available now, the coin has a mintage of 500 pieces and comes in one of those neat latex skin frames with an incorporated Certificate of Authenticity.
LINKS: FIRST COIN IN THE SERIES
AUSTRALIAN EMU SILVER BULLION COIN (2020, Perth Mint)
Mik Woodgate2020-07-01T12:58:28+01:00July 1st, 2020|
AUSTRALIAN EMU SILVER BULLION (PERTH MINT)
We had a good look at the new 2020 Australian Emu coin range a few weeks ago, but the most important variant for collectors is only having its debut today. The one-ounce 0.9999 silver coin is the one collectors love to stack, and with a relatively small mintage of 30,000 pieces, it’s also an attractive purchase, especially as it hails from the stackers favourite Australian producer, the Perth Mint.
The Natasha Muhl design featuring a pair of these strange birds, is a good one and the third in this range. The obverse depicts the newer effigy of Queen Elizabeth II by Jody Clark. These are certainly shaping up into a great little series. Available to order from today, the coin comes encapsulated and is distributed by Metal Market EU.
DISNEY CLASSICS: STEAMBOAT WILLIE (2020, NZ Mint)
Mik Woodgate2020-06-30T13:11:44+01:00June 30th, 2020|
DISNEY CLASSICS: STEAMBOAT WILLIE (2020, NZ Mint)
You have to go back six years for the first New Zealand Mint Disney coin. They chose the original Mickey Mouse short, Steamboat Willie, and it came in a full range of sizes up to a staggering kilo of gold. Now the subject is back for a reissue in amore limited form. There are very few changes to the design, just the expected inscriptions showing difference.
This time the range is limited to a ¼oz gold (100 mintage, $750), a 1oz gold (50, $2,900)and a 1oz silver (1,928, $85), all proof finished. Packaging remains great qulaity and understated and all variants are available now. While the gold versions have a very low mintage, it’s a shame to see a straight reissue rather than a new design. If you missed out back in 2014, this is a second chnace to get what is a great looking coin (check out our AgAuShoot of the original 1kg gold), but we hope this isn’t the start of a new trend of rehashing old designs.
ARCHANGEL MICHAEL (2020, NZ Mint)
Mik Woodgate2020-06-25T15:44:21+01:00June 25th, 2020|
ARCHANGELS: MICHAEL (NZ MINT)
Launching in April, the New Zealand Mint issued the first Archangel in a new series of rectangular 1oz silver coins – Gabriel. The second is here now and features a depiction of the Archangel Michael from a stained-glass window in Hull Minster in England. A beautiful piece of art by Mary Hutchinson, Gabriel was also based on her work in this superb 13th century building. You can read more about it in our coverage of the first coin.
A 36 x 53 mm 0.999 silver coin, it has a nice restrained colour application that succeeds in not stepping over the line into gaudy. Nicely framed by a border, also present on the effigy-adorned obverse, it comes very well presented in a solid acrylic frame for easy display. It has a recommended price of $85.00 USD and a mintage of 2,000 pieces. Available now.
50TH ANNIVERSARY OF APOLLO 11 LANDING: GILDED (2020, Pobjoy)
Mik Woodgate2020-06-17T19:37:22+01:00June 17th, 2020|
FIRST MOON LANDING GILDED (POBJOY MINT)
We saw a good selection of coins last year that celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, and in amongst the mix was a domed piece by the Pobjoy Mint. A two-ounce silver coin with plenty of high relief, it was a neat enough design, mixing various elements associated with the mission (flag, footprint, patches) and laying them on a lunar surface. It was issued for Ascension Island, appropriately enough as there was a NASA tracking station there.
That coin had a mintage of 650, but Pobjoy apparently kept 99 pieces back for a limited reissue, this time with some selective gilding. Dubbed ‘Goldclad’ by the British producer, the gilding is limited to the famous footprint left on the lunar surface. You can read and see more about the original coin in our article at the link below, as outside of that gilding, this is fundamentally the same coin. Available to order from today for £137.50 +tax.
LINKS: THE ORIGINAL UNGILDED ISSUE
ROMAN EMPERORS: MARCUS AURELIUS (2020, IPZS)
Mik Woodgate2020-06-15T15:05:40+01:00June 15th, 2020|
ROMAN EMPERORS: MARCUS AURELIUS (IPZS)
Marcus Aurelius was the Emperor of Rome from 161 to 180, the fifth of the Five Good Emperors (a term coined by Machiavelli centuries later), and the last emperor of the Pax Romana, an age of relative peace and stability for the Roman Empire. Despite that, his reign is one of military campaigning, seeking to expand and solidify Rome’s borders. The tragedy that was the devestating Antonine Plague (killing around 5 million) occured during his reign.
He is widely known today for his writings in the field of philosophy, called ‘Meditations’. Marcus was a proponent of Stoicism, the idea that pain and suffering should be borne without complaint, and that the world is best understood without displays of emotion. A popular belief at the time, it faded as Christianity took a greater hold over Roman belief systems. Under his rule, the silver denarius was debased from 93.5% purity to 83.5%.
The coin is the latest in the Roman Emperors series by the Italian mint IPZS. Struck in 3 grams of 0.900 gold and with a slightly disappointing diameter of 13.85 mm, we’re big admirers of this series. Hadrian, Trajan and Augustus were the previous subjects, and Marcus Aurelius follows a similar style. The obverse is of a bust of Aurelius residing in Ephesus Archaeological Museum, Selçuk, Turkey, while the reverse has a close up of an equestrian statue of the Emperor which is in Rome’s Capitoline Museums. Available from 23 June for €180.00, it has a mintage of 1,000 pieces.
LINKS: PREVIOUS COINS IN THE SERIES
SENSATION COMICS #1 FOIL (2020, NZ Mint)
Mik Woodgate2020-05-30T01:18:54+01:00June 15th, 2020|
DC COMICS COVERS: SENSATION COMICS #1 (NZ MINT)
One of the New Zealand Mint’s superb ‘Premium Foil’ series, DC Comic Covers reproduces some of the iconic cover artwork from the last 80 years of what is now known today as DC. Some of the most popular superheroes around have been birthed in this period, and with the genre now more popular than ever, although ironically not as actual comics, these are a great way for the fan to obtain the artwork of comics now worth hundreds of thousands.
The eleventh issue to date, this 35 gram, 262 x 175mm silver foil reproduces the cover from the January 1942 debut issue of Sensation Comics. One of the first appearances of Wonder Woman, she appears on the cover depicted exactly how you would imagine for 1940’s sensibilities. The comic fan will love these as they’re close in size to the original and easy to display in their acrylic frames. Available from today, you can read more about the range in our profile.
BIG CATS SERIES: THE PANTHER (2020, Pobjoy Mint)
Mik Woodgate2020-06-11T16:53:39+01:00June 11th, 2020|
BIG CATS SERIES: THE PANTHER (POBJOY MINT)
Pobjoy Mint’s selection of Big Cat coins adds to the litter with the third issue in it’s 2oz proof silver series. Launched early this year with a Lion design, and followed up by one featuring the Cheetah, the latest entrant depicts a Panther. The style of these are quite distinctive and consistent – showing a portrait view of the animal in profile. Very nicely realised, they seem to exhibit a surprising level of depth with the high-relief strike. We find the inscriptions a little over-large, but that’s a minor quiblle in what looks to be a good-looking coin.
Issued for Sierra Leone, that African nations coat of arms fills the obverse face and is a very appropriate choice given its use of two rampant and one heraldic lions in the composition. Presentation of the 500 mintage issue is excellent, with the use of a solid-block acrylic display frame. A themed outer shipper and a Certificate of Authenticity round out the package. Selling for just under £100 pre-tax, it should ship from next week and will be followed later in the year by two more coins – the Tiger, and the Cougar.
CENTENARY SINCE THE BIRTH OF JANOS HARSANYI (2020, Hungarian Mint)
Mik Woodgate2020-06-11T16:55:24+01:00June 9th, 2020|
100TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE BIRTH OF JANOS HARSANYI (HUNGARIAN MINT)
Harsányi János Károly; May 29, 1920 – August 9, 2000) was a Hungarian-American Nobel Prize laureate economist, born in 1920 and best known for his contributions in the field of ‘game theory’ and how it applies to economics. Game theory is used to study logical decision making in humans, animals, and computers, using mathematics, with applications in all fields of social science. You can bet that your life has been steered by some application of the theory many times. Harsányi was awarded the 1994 Nobel Memorial Prize in Economic Sciences, along with John Nash and Reinhard Selten.
A fraction over an ounce at 31.46 grams, this sterling silver (0.925) coin is 38.61 mm in diameter and struck to a proof standard. The obverse has a triangular staircase dropping down into infinity, while a simple ladder reaches down, seemingly cutting through the complexity in the simplest possible way. A clever depiction. The reverse face features a stylised sculpted portrait of the man himself – a particularly well done one in our view.
All told, a nice numismatic celebration of the man and his esoteric work. The coin has a mintage of 5,000 pieces and comes with a Certificate of Authenticity, although a small box is an optional extra. The coin sells for a very reasonable €28.50, with the box an extra €3.50 is you want it. Quite a niche coin, of course, but a good example of the genre.
LINKS: HUNGARIAN MINT PAGE
BATMAN HUSH #4 THE KISS (2020, NZ MINT)
Mik Woodgate2020-06-11T16:58:44+01:00June 2nd, 2020|
BATMAN HUSH: THE KISS (NZ MINT)
Fourth and last entry in a series continuing the art of comics legend Jim Lee, produced for Batman: Hush. Antique finished with colour highlights, these remain one of our favoiurite coins of the genre.
Available now, these are very well presented in a solid acrylic frame which look great. Price is around $105.00 USD
LINKS: PREVIOUS COINS IN THE SERIES
KOALA HIGH RELIEF GOLD & SILVER (2020, Perth Mint)
Mik Woodgate2020-06-01T22:45:32+01:00June 2nd, 2020|
KOALA HIGH RELIEF GOLD & SILVER (Perth Mint)
Another of the Perth Mint’s perennial bullion core ranges, the Koala debuted in 2007, and remains a popular item today, despite the greatly intensified level of competition with a multitude of low mintage designs. As always, the bullion range is the basis for a myriad of different higher end variants, including proof, gilded, coloured and high-relief. It’s the last of those that we have here today.
Three versions of this pretty design, none at the lower end of the mints numismatic range. The gold variants are 1oz (27.6 mm, 200 mintage) and 2oz (36.6 mm, 100 mintage) in weight, with the solitary silver coin weighing in at 5oz (50.9 mm, 500 mintage). All are nicely presented, particularly the silver in the clear lidded acrylic box. Priced at $4,100, $8,199, and $529 AUD respectively, they’re available from today.
KOOKABURRA 2oz GILDED HIGH RELIEF (2020, Perth Mint)
Mik Woodgate2020-05-30T21:47:09+01:00June 2nd, 2020|
KOOKABURRA GILDED HIGH RELIEF 2oz (PERTH MINT)
One of the Perth Mint’s core bullion coin ranges, the Kookaburra hit an impressive landmark in 2020 with its 30th anniversary. Not wanting to let the achievement pass unmarked, the mint issued a superb design that had all new artwork by Jennifer McKenna on the reverse face, as you would expect, but also incorporated the Stuart Devlin original from 1990 into the effigy-adorned obverse. For me, the best Kookaburra coin issued for years ad one that deserves a place in any bullion collectors set.
As well as the usual bullion variants, the Perth Mint goes to town on a whole raft of specials, and for the Kookaburra, they’ve issued this really lovely high-relief variant complete with two-sided gilded highlights. No other changes for this 2oz coin, and it comes in one of the mints cool new acrylic-lidded black boxes with the usual themed shipper and C.O.A. Selling for $199.00 AUD and with a mintage of just 1,000 pieces, a fine way to mark three decades of this bullion icon.
DINOSAURIA: HYLAEOSAURUS (2020, ROYAL MINT)
Mik Woodgate2020-06-01T02:59:59+01:00June 1st, 2020|
DINOSAURIA: HYLAEOSAURUS (ROYAL MINT)
The third and last of the Royal Mint’s excellent 50p dinosaur coin set is available to purchase from today and rounds out what has been an attractive trio. Produced in conjunction with the Natural History Museum in London, the coins depict the beast in colour, with a close up of a fossil, also in colour, and some un-coloured flora in the background field. The name of an early palaeontologist sits proudly at the bottom.
The coins are the first from the Royal Mint to use Augmented Reality, using your smartphone to display exclusive multimedia content when you’ve scanned the barcode on the packaging. The mint also has a new ‘dig’ page on their site just for the kids. Available in gold, silver and base metal. Check out our original article at the link below for more details. Hopefully, this series will be back next year.
LINKS: PREVIOUS COINS IN THE SERIES