Downies News

A HOT new collection showcasing exciting Aussie $1 Coins!

You can’t buy happiness – but you can collect coins! Make sure you take advantage of an exciting opportunity to own 24 remarkable $1 commemorative coins from the Royal Australian Mint and The Perth Mint with Downies Collectable’s latest offering, the Australian $1 Non-Circulating Commemorative Coin Collection.

Always a hit with collectors, Australian legal tender $1 commemorative coins represent the best that modern-day numismatics has to offer. Consistently eye-catching, these value-for-money coins encompass a wide variety of Australian historical themes, personalities & wildlife.

Low-mintage ‘must-haves’…

The Australian $1 Non-Circulating Commemorative Coin Collection is particularly notable for the inclusion of some extremely low-mintage issues - for the same regular monthly series price! Better yet, every coin in this collection is being offered in spectacular ‘as struck’ Uncirculated condition, gorgeously packaged in an illustrated presentation card! Examples of low-mintage issues include:

2019 $1 AUSTRALIAN CITIZENSHIP: In 2019, The Perth Mint recognised the important role that immigration plays in Australian society with a stunning tribute to Australia’s newest citizens. This fantastic $1 coin boasts a tiny mintage of only 5,000!

2018 $1 SIR JOHN MONASH: In 2019, the Royal Australian Mint honoured Sir John Monash, one of the greatest allied generals of WWI and Australia’s most famous military commander, with a rare 7,500 commemorative $1 coins only.

All the thrill – without the hunt

Many months have been spent assembling limited numbers of this astounding presentation of commemorative coins. Heaven-sent for those wanting to start, or enhance, a $1 commemorative coin collection with a bang! Skip the hassle of spending hours searching for these treasures one at a time. Downies Collectables has done the hard work for you! The result is a one-of-a-kind collection that spans a decade (2011-2021). Easy to assemble, delivered straight to your door at the convenient rate of two coins per month, at a price you can afford. Heads or tails you win!

The numismatic adventure is off to a sensational start thanks to a fantastic introductory offer… Get your first two coins, struck by The Perth Mint, for just $30, plus FREE SHIPPING! Your first pair of $1 coins will include the 2014 $1 A.B ‘Banjo’ Patterson coin, celebrating the renowned Aussie poet, balladeer and author of ‘Waltzing Matilda’ and the iconic 2013 $1 Australian Wombat coin!

Desirable $1 coins included:

2012 $1 SIR DOUGLAS MAWSON: The Royal Australian Mint’s 2012 $1 commemorative coin honoured Sir Douglas Mawson - explorer, adventurer and one of the first men to reach the South Magnetic Pole.

2013 $1 AUSTRALIAN ECHIDNA: An endearing 2013 tribute to Australia’s one-of-a-kind monotreme, the Echidna. A popular issue of The Perth Mint’s Australian Bush Babies Series.

2019 $1 CENTENARY OF FIRST FLIGHT: Struck by The Perth Mint in 2019 to commemorate the 100-year anniversary of Captain Ross Smith’s historic first flight from Hounslow, England to Darwin, Australia.

2018 $1 AUSTRALIA’S CONVICT ERA: In 2018, on the 150th anniversary of the last convicts transported to Australia, the Royal Australian Mint commemorated an important part of our history.

Very limited stock of the Australian $1 Non-Circulating Commemorative Coin Collection means you must sign up now to secure this offer and join the ranks of the elite few who are proud owners of these sought-after coins!

Downies Collectables turns 90 in 2022!

2022 is a special year for the numismatics community as it celebrates the milestone 90th anniversary of Downies Collectables – Australia’s most trusted, family-owned, one-stop-shop for all things collectable! With unwavering dedication to its founding principles of quality, passion, integrity and community, Downies has become Australia’s foremost purveyor of coins, banknotes, commemoratives and more – offering the finest and most innovative products & services on the market!

Established by pioneering founder Phil Downie, the business began with just 20 customers in 1932! Nine decades later, both the numismatics industry and Downies Collectables have navigated phenomenal change, with the small mail order company evolving into an online powerhouse that plays a huge role in bringing the best the world has to offer to Australian collectors.

One thing that has remained the same for ninety years……. the guiding principle of this family-run business is an unwavering passion to bring magic to the everyday by helping people collect the things they love!

A trailblazing family-run business

Following a move from New Zealand to Australia, Phil Downie’s company, originally named PJ Downie, was on a mission to locate the finest collectables & numismatic masterpieces and deliver them to Australians. The company grew from strength to strength and played a significant role in fostering the ever-expanding Australian collector market. By the time Phil retired in 1985, and entrusted Downies to his son, Ken, he had established Downies Collectables as the ‘go-to’ destination for Australian numismatics.

Having worked at the company for several years, Ken was in the ideal position to both consolidate and build upon this pre-eminent position. A leader in a variety of collector associations over the years, Ken played a key role in establishing Downies Australian Coin Auctions – Australia’s oldest, most respected numismatic auction house.

The ‘go-to’ destination for numismatics & collectors

A willingness to embrace the internet at a very early stage brought Downies into the homes of collectors worldwide. A spirit of innovation and exploration also allowed the company to move into broader fields and offer convenient subscription services through Macquarie Mint.

Today, Downies Collectables is well known to many hobbyists, numismatists and collectors as the leading destination for a wide range of coins, banknotes, collectables, stamps, military memorabilia, games, Trade Tokens, commemorative medallions and more! Offering a truly ‘complete’ collector experience - covering everything from pop culture and model cars, to sovereigns, Australian currency and rare ancient coins.

The quest for reputable and cutting-edge products has led to Downies partnering with some of the world’s most important mints as the official distributor for countries as diverse as Japan, France, and Canada. As well as sourcing the best new innovative coins from pioneering companies, resulting in a diverse range of coins & commemoratives that push the limits of technology, artistry and design. The secondary numismatic market remains a cornerstone of the company’s offerings and a knowledgeable team of numismatists continue to source treasures of enduring value that inspire and educate a new generation of collectors!

The future looks bright - 2021 GOLD COIN OF THE YEAR!

With 90 years under the belt, the future at Downies Collectables is exciting! Downies recently won ‘2021 GOLD COIN OF THE YEAR’ at the international commemorative coin contest, Coin Constellation - 2021, for the ‘Royal Portraits of Queen Elizabeth II’ 1oz Gold Coin. The professional jury of the competition includes the largest museums, auction houses, numismatic societies and commercial banks from around the world.

In addition, Downies Collectables commitment to the wider community remains a core value – with the company actively supporting several charities and organisations such as Legacy, Kidney Health Australia, the Melbourne Museum and many more!

With a third generation of the Downies family waiting in the wings to lead the company, and a hard-working team committed to bringing customers the best in coins and collectables, the future of this 90-year old powerhouse has never looked brighter.

A full year of celebrations ahead!

To celebrate their huge milestone, Downies Collectables has big plans ahead to make this momentous occasion one to remember. There will be celebrations all year! Customers and collectors of all persuasions should keep their eyes peeled on Facebook and Instagram, as well as the Downies Collectables website, for some really great giveaways and promotions in the coming months! 2022 promises to be a great year for the collector community!

A new era dawns in the Star Wars universe!

Star Wars is entering the era of The Mandalorian! At the galaxy’s outer rim, in the chaos and lawlessness that follows the fall of The Empire, one man stands out - a mysterious bounty hunter who flies under the radar of the New Republic. The story of Din Djarin has all the makings of a classic. A decent man who lives by an ancient code in the lawless outskirts of the galaxy, trying to do right by his creed, and at the same time protecting a small child whose life has suddenly become entwined with his own.

By the end of season 2 the cheers were deafening and a consensus had emerged amongst fans - the connection between a lethal and lonely man and a lovable lost creature was a journey definitely worth the ride. The Mandalorian is fast developing into one of the best Star Wars adventures in recent times, delighting initiated aficionados and wide-eyed new recruits alike by offering a welcome return to the original spirit of the space fantasy. For those who spent their childhood captivated by George Lucas’s original movie masterpieces, The Mandalorian ties together various strands of Star Wars lore, bringing a fascinating new perspective to the much-loved universe.

The sketchy bars, colorful characters, bandits of all types and desolate towns in The Mandalorian have re-ignited a spark of nostalgia for the Star Wars of old, whilst offering up iconic new characters as well as Star Wars fan-favorites along the way. The irresistible enigma known to viewers as ‘Baby Yoda’ (officially ‘The Child’) has inspired thousands of memes and adoring new fans.

The Book of Boba Fett and an explosion of Mandalorian lore

So, what does the latest saga in the Star Wars universe have in store? The Book of Boba Fett is set to introduce a new side of the criminal underworld in the post-Empire galaxy, with the iconic green and red Mandalorian armor taking center stage in Boba’s very own spin-off story. Of course, there’s also Season 3 of The Mandalorian to look forward to…

When we last encountered Din Djarin he had defeated Moff Gideon and, by extension, become the rightful owner of the Darksaber and thus leader of the Mandalorians. Fans will be on the edge of their intergalactic seats to see how this development will be further explored in the story going forward.

In season 3 Pedro Pascal will be reprising his role as the gruff-voiced Mandalorian we all know and love, Carl Weathers will be returning as Greef Karga and Giancarlo Esposito as Moff Gideon. There has been a sugges

tion that a large number of Mandalorians will also be appearing in the upcoming season. Could this herald a return of the Mandalorian Protectors? If so, how will the destinies of our heroes be shaped? Whatever happens, fans are guaranteed a veritable explosion of new Mandalorian lore to look forward to!

The Mandalorian Collection has arrived on Aussie shores

If you are a Star Wars and Mandalorian super-fan, you will need something exciting to keep you going while you wait for all to be revealed in the new series! Why not check out officially-licenced The Mandalorian Collection, available exclusively in Australia from Downies Collectables. 

A thrilling adventure that will keep you on the edge of your seat, no matter what part of the galaxy you come from with 15 MASTERFUL tributes - plated in REAL GOLD! Including all your favourites like Din Djarin, Cobb Vanth, The Mythrol, Boba Fett, Grogu and more. There’s also the officially-licenced Star Wars Original Trilogy Collection for fans wanting to take a trip down memory lane with a breathtaking 12-commemorative journey spanning George Lucas’ three original movie masterpieces. An absolute must-have for every Star Wars fan – check it out today!

Celebrate Holden's legendary role in the history of motorsport with the Final Roar Collection!

Holden raced legendary cars for over half a century and produced a veritable pride of icons doing it! The brand is indelibly linked to Australian motorsport and the history of supercars in our country. But what does the future of Australian motorsport look like with the end of Holden still fresh in fans’ memories? Before we can consider Aussie motorsport in a post-Holden era it’s important to look back at the role Holden has played in the evolution of Australian racing.

Holden’s legends and the golden years of Australian racing…

The early 1990’s – 2020 represented the heyday of motorsport in Australia, characterised by the epic rivalry of Holden vs Ford. Whether you were red or blue, you loved every part of it! Huge crowds gathered all year round to watch legends like Peter Brock, Dick Johnson and, more recently, Craig Lowndes. A distinctly Australian phenomenon, the incredible longevity of the V8 era saw over a quarter of a century of jubilant crowds, mammoth TV / sponsorship deals and megastars, as well as its fair share of drama, crashes and unforgettable moments!

In Toranas, Commodores and Monaros, Holden’s superstars have celebrated a total of thirty-four Bathurst victories, twenty-one ATCC/Supercars championships, four Australian Rally Championships and two Bathurst 24 Hours! The spiritual home of the iconic ‘Holden Lion’ has undoubtedly been the Mount Panorama Circuit in Bathurst, with Peter Brock effectively crowned ‘King of the Mountain’ with 9 record Bathurst wins in Holdens!

The first and final roar…

The 2020 Bathurst 1000 brought the curtain down on more than half a century of Holden’s distinct   influence on motorsport in Australia, which began with an effort led by noted journalist and driver David McKay. In 1968 McKay formed the Holden Dealer Racing Team - the first factory backed Holden team that ran 3 brand new Holden Monaro GTS 327's in the 1968 Hardie-Ferodo 500 at Mount Panorama, Bathurst. The winning Monaro being that of Bruce McPhee and Barry Mulholland.

The final round of the 2020 Supercars Championship, however, was a race like no other, marking the end of an era, with very few fans in attendance as a result of the COVID pandemic. Shane van Gisbergen and Garth Tander from Triple Eight Race Engineering started in fourth place and won the race, with Van Gisbergen securing his first Bathurst 1000 and Tander his fourth.

Life after the Commodore?

The sad fact remains - there will never be another factory Holden team in motorsport. This not only leaves the sport with an uncertain future, but also begs the question as to what happens to the substantial, and important, fan base that has been built up over the years. Mark Skaife, five-time champion of the V8 Supercar Championship Series, believes that these fans are essential to the future of motorsport in Australia and every effort should be made to re-engage them. “My dad told me it's much easier to keep a customer than it is to find a new one", Skaife has been quoted as saying. Skaife, who raced to three of his five Supercars victories in Holdens believes the way forward lies in bringing an ‘affordable’ yet ‘aspirational’ GM product into the series.

It’s not just Skaife who will be feeling Holden’s absence! It seems the old adage of keeping one’s friends close, but ‘enemies’ closer, rings especially true for Ford. Mark Rushbrook, Ford’s global head of motorsport, believes that his brand’s continued involvement in Australian motorsport as a factory-backed manufacturer hinges on the sport’s ability to re-create the old red vs. blue rivalry anew, with another manufacturer taking up Holden’s mantel. After all, Ford’s legacy in Australia was partly secured because they had a fantastic sparring partner!

Bring on Gen3!

With the introduction of Gen3 in 2022 just around the corner, Supercars has been feverishly working on what the next generation of V8 racers will look like, as well as overhauling the rules to make it easier, and cheaper, for manufacturers to get involved in the sport. Supercar’s head of motorsport Adrian Burgess says the Gen3 specification Supercars will now have even more relevance and ‘road car’ styling than initially planned. Boss Sean Seamer hinted the new design would result in better racing and safety.

The new V8 powered, front-engine, rear wheel drive cars will have smaller chassis, opening up the playing field and allowing a greater range of cars to compete in the future. This can only be good news. It is hoped that an emphasis on driver skill, as opposed to copious funds poured into R&D, will increase competitiveness and reduce costs. There’s also the idea that Supercars will start ‘homologating’ the cars – this means they will be developing the panels themselves - effectively allowing Supercars to represent the manufacturer’s product on the track.

"These are incredible looking race cars that give a nod to the supercar of the past, with as much attention given to the design and appearance of the cars as the new technologies. The Gen3 project will support the longevity of Supercars by increasing relevance to our fans and partners, reducing operating costs, and making the racing even fiercer.” Supercars CEO Sean Seamer.

Bathurst 2021

What about this year’s Bathurst? The iconic 6.2km Mount Panorama track has seen plenty of drama over the years, no less so in 2020 and 2021! The ‘Great Race’ will be shifted for the second year in a row from its early October start, as a

 result of the effects of the pandemic. New South Wales is battling one of the more serious COVID-19 outbreaks Australia has faced – effectively putting a lid on the annual Bathurst pilgrimage and fan experience. Supercars announced it will delay the Bathurst 1000 to November 4-7 to enhance the chances of a sizeable crowd at Mount Panorama.

For the fans! The Final Roar Enamel Penny Set…  

If you are a Holden, or motorsport, super-fan and want a memento of racing’s golden years to revel in then the HOLDEN’S FINAL ROAR collection is not to be missed! An official Holden product, it includes seven GOLD PLATED genuine Australian pennies - featuring unforgettable cars from Holden’s racing history. From the first Holden to take part in an international racing event in 1953, through to the ‘Final Roar’ of the 2020 Bathurst win - this collection encompasses Holden’s triumphs through the decades! The perfect conversation starter, to reminisce about the good old days, as we wait to see what the future holds. Click here to view the great range of Holden and motorsport memorabilia at Downies Collectables and grab your HOLDEN’S FINAL ROAR collection today!

 

Dig archaeology? These crazy theories will have you scratching your head, not the ground!

The Pyramids of Giza, Stonehenge, Göbekli Tepe - splendid archaeological monuments set in stone, or mysterious historical relics hiding long-lost ancient knowledge, undiscovered technologies and otherworldly cultures?

Archaeology, a serious science, has long inspired endless conspiracy theories and fantastical claims. Scientists have patiently offered rational explanations for the enigmas presented by history, but people just don’t seem ready to accept that our ancestors might have known a thing or two! So, let’s delve into (how shall I put it), the more ‘creative’ theories that seek to shed light on the mysteries of the past.

A tale of druids, giants and a Neolithic health spa …
When Sir Richard Colt Hoare was contemplating Stonehenge in 1810, he wrote “How Grand! How Wonderful! How Incomprehensible!” This sentiment still exists over 200 years later. For what could possibly possess the otherwise rational inhabitants of Neolithic Britain to heave huge boulders over miles of rough terrain (probably in the rain)?

If you were Geoffrey of Monmouth, the answer was obvious! Merlin, the wizard of Arthurian legend, outsourced Stonehenge’s construction to a local, obliging giant. “Why?”, you may ask and “For what purpose?”. That didn’t really seem to matter - it was a good story and many, many people in the 14th century believed it!

Fast forward a few hundred years and the theories don’t get any less inventive. In fact, archaeological conspiracy theorists seem to be getting more ‘stoned’ as the decades wear on! An academic, or two, have even joined in the fun. It has been suggested, by Professor Tim Darvill, that bluestones from nearby Wales, near traditional healing springs, were lugged all the way to Wiltshire to set up a Neolithic health spa of sorts. You know, as a place people could go 5,000 years ago to unwind from all the tedious toiling, farming and fighting.

If that reasoning doesn’t work, you can always blame the druids! Those mystical hippies of yesteryear seem like exactly the types who would be responsible for such an inexplicable construction. Popular culture has long associated these ancient Celtic peoples with Stonehenge - you’ve probably seen a film in which a hooded druid performs some dodgy ritual on a moonlight night beneath the stones. The fact that Stonehenge pre-dates the druids by 2000 odd years isn’t important in Hollywood!

In all seriousness however, it seems the famous bluestones have been re-arranged multiple times over the eons and as a result Stonehenge is not one monument, but many! Performing numerous functions throughout history and meaning very different things to diverse groups of people.

The aliens did it!
A long way south of Stonehenge, archaeologists and historians have been conscientiously toiling away at decoding the secrets of another wondrous historical marvel- the Pyramids of Giza. They’ve come up with a few decent ideas, something to do with ancient tombs and Egypt’s dead pharos, but who wants to hear about that? Far too terrestrial!

Ever since Howard Carter declared that he saw “wonderful things” when opening Tutankhamun’s tomb, conspiracy theorists and mystics just haven’t been able to resist. After all, how could mere humans thousands of years ago have achieved such wonders?

Those who have such little conviction in humanity certainly put their faith in the otherworldly – in the form of little green men to be exact. A favourite theme of TV shows, books and tussle-haired ‘specialists’ on documentaries is that the aliens did it! Tons of ‘evidence’ has been presented in the form of Pharaoh Akhenaten’s elongated skull, ‘remains’ of human-alien babies and 12-foot giants that once roamed the dessert. Not forgetting the many ‘fragments’ of mysterious technology.

What’s more, everyone seems to have become an expert! Presidential candidate Ben Carson famously declared that the great pyramids were used as grain silos (that’s a lot of complicated grain storage) and instead of sticking to rockets, SpaceX Mogul Elon Musk has offered his 2 cents worth. Musk has not only claimed extraterrestrials built the awesome structures, but also that they may have used them to garner energy from our planet.

The beginnings of the idea that alien architects may have had something to do with the great pyramids emerged with the publication of Erich von Däniken’s 1968 publication of the book Chariots of the Gods? Unsolved Mysteries of the Past. Cue the emergence of ‘cult archaeology’ or pseudoarcheology that outlines bizarre theories ‘using’ actual archaeological objects to support its claims. Credence is further created by its appeal to authority - often with ‘professionals’ spouting many of the theories, or flights of fancy (depending on your perspective).

It is true that the pyramids have not revealed all their secrets, but we do know how the stone blocks were moved because there is a depiction on a tomb wall that tells us! Huge blocks of stone were moved over ground on sledges made slippery with liquid, they were then brought up ramps to their final position. Some genuine mysteries around the pyramids do remain, for example we know very little about the interiors of these structures and archaeologists are starting to use new methods to explore what’s not accessible with technology.

US Egyptologist Dr. Sarah Parcak has used infra-red satellite technology to identify 1000 tombs and 3000 ancient settlements buried beneath the sands- including 17 new pyramids! According to Parcak, "...only 1/100th of one percent of archaeological sites in Egypt have been discovered. Our entire understanding of Egyptian history is based on these few discoveries. What we have discovered so far is just the tip of the iceberg." Whether these new discoveries will reveal creatures from 100 light years away remains to be seen – but I have my doubts.

A 12,000 year old space observatory?
At the core of the fertile crescent, near the city of Şanlıurfa in Southeastern Turkey, you will find the world’s oldest temple, Göbekli Tepe, dating from roughly 12,000 years ago. But is it also the site of humanity’s first space observatory?  Many strange things have been uncovered beneath the sand - towering T shaped pillars, evidence of ritualistic behaviour and strange animal carvings. A topic of countless news articles, documentaries and endless debates since it was first uncovered in by Klaus Schmidt in 1963. Staggering in its scale, Göbekli Tepe pre-dates farming and hints at one of the world’s oldest known civilizations.

Many theorists have tried to assign astronomical significance to the site – imagining supremely advanced ancient individuals shuffling amongst the stones, making complex mathematical calculations. Archaeoastronomers have argued Göbekli Tepe is aligned to the night sky and the star Sirius. Giulio Magli from the Polytechnic University of Milan in Italy has proposed that the temple was built to follow the ‘birth’ of this particular star. “You can imagine that the appearance of a new object in the sky could even have triggered a new religion”, says Magli.

Some go even further and suggest that the ‘Vulture Stone’, or Pillar 43, points to a comet that struck the Earth some 13,000 years ago. Graham Hancock has argued in his book that sites like Göbekli Tepe are a “ghostly fingerprint of an advanced scientific knowledge impressed on the oldest myths and traditions of our planet.”

The dark side of the farce…
While it is important to keep an open mind, and pseudoarcheology certainly has its goofy side, there is dark side too! Alternate archaeology has been used in powerful, sinister ways to prop up bias, racism and nationalist agendas that have a profound impact on mass perceptions. Dangerous, as it has mostly been used to contradict conventional knowledge on archaeological monuments in Asia, South America and Africa - erasing the achievements of the ancient peoples of those continents and implying that some other explanation is necessary. Many examples exist of this tendency to search for alternate meanings throughout major archaeological sites -from Chichen Itza in Mexico to the Nazca Lines in Peru. These theories have very rarely been associated with the achievements of ancient Europe such as the Parthenon, or Colosseum. I leave you to draw your own conclusions.

Could the truth be stranger than fiction?Mysteries of the World Collection
While mysteries certainly remain, and we should continue debating, searching and wondering - perhaps we should also accept that where the history of humanity is concerned, sometimes truth is stranger than fiction. Maybe we don’t need aliens, crazy technology and giants. The tenacity and ingenuity of the human spirit is enough.

As Alice Stevenson at University College London’s Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology notes about these ancient treasures, “They’ve been a source of wonder for many, many centuries,” she says. “I think that’s the nature of monuments - they transcend generations.”

We have some exciting info FOR YOUR EYES ONLY…. so do pay attention!

No Time For COVID!

It seems even Bond couldn’t escape COVID. No Time To Die was originally intended to hit cinemas in April 2020 - the London premiere was cancelled (along with everything else) when cases began to overtake the UK. Thankfully, after months of delays, the latest Bond installation is just around the corner, with a new release date confirmed for October 8, 2021. Good news for Bond’s birthplace - the UK will be able to get a first look at the latest adventure on September 30!

Directed by Cary Joji Fukunaga, with a script co-written by Phoebe Waller-Bridge, it’s Daniel Craig’s fifth and final tour of duty as the iconic spy. It promises to be quite the swan-song, with Craig noting, "I just want to go out on a high note, and I can't wait.” He is still oozing enough style to leave the audience breathless and anticipation is at fever pitch! With fans starved of their hero for so long, there has been much speculation, multiple trailers, clips, hints and interviews.

Producer Barbara Broccoli has revealed that No Time To Die is “a culmination of everything that his [Bond] portrayal of the character has been through, and it ties up all the storylines. It’s a pretty epic film, I have to say.” There’s plenty to talk about – so let’s jump right into it!

In the beginning, there was… Jamaica!

The opening of the film seems to find a rather chilled James enjoying some much-deserved R’R in Jamaica with Ms. Swann, the French psychologist and daughter of mysterious SPECTRE member, Mr. White. Bond seems to have found some Zen in retirement, blissfully in love, living a tranquil life. Unfortunately, events don’t bode well for Bond, who just can’t seem to catch a break, poor guy! The peace is shattered when Felix Leiter, an old friend from the CIA, arrives asking for help…

Valdo Obruchev, a scientist of some kind, seems to have disappeared and only our beloved 007 is equipped to sort it all out! Of course, Valdo didn’t get lost walking his dog in the park – he has been abducted, and Bond must confront a scheming villain whose evil machinations could result in the death of millions. The plot involves some sort of new and mysterious technology that, rumour has it, involves genetic warfare. If this is all sounding frighteningly familiar, we hear you! Here’s hoping it’s not the next variant of the Corona Virus!

Betrayal, an evil Rami Malek and a new 007!

No Time To Die will carry on directly from Spectre with heavy themes of betrayal thrown into the mix! The trailer presents Bond addressing Madeline Swann with the delectable line ‘We all have our secrets… we just didn’t get to yours yet!’ Ooooh … interesting!

There is a new villain to look forward to (cue maniacal laughter) in the form of ‘Safin’, played by the delightfully talented Rami Malek – who seems to really be relishing the role of the bad guy. “I promise you all I will be making sure Mr Bond does not have an easy ride of it in this, his 25th outing”, Malek quips. We can’t wait… there also seems to be a Blofeld return! Other familiar faces include Ralph Fiennes (M), Ben Whishaw (Q), Naomie Harris (Moneypenny), Rory Kinnear (Tanner) and Jeffrey Wright (Felix Leiter).

Hang on! A new 007?

There is also a 007 that’s not Bond - fresh out of whatever dark vault MI6 seems to keep their agents! When it was announced that there would be a new 007, rumours swirled that Daniel Craig’s replacement was, in fact, a woman. That wasn’t entirely true – the woman in question will NOT be playing the new Bond. Instead, she took over his secret agent number (007) after he left MI6 at the end of Spectre.

Nomi, played by British actress Lashana Lynch, is the new ‘007’– a formidable spy, well-versed in witty retorts, who whole-heartedly takes on the role. One of the most important characters in No Time To Die, she also embraces many of the 007 tropes, driving a black Aston Martin, and is totally in her element as a smooth operator at glitzy events. From the few snippets we’ve seen, she keeps up nicely with Bond!

What about the song? Enter Billie Eilish!

“Fool me once, fool me twice. Are you death or paradise?” … so croons Billie Eilish in the theme song for No Time To Die. The lyrics tantalisingly imply more deceit and betrayal for poor James in a very dramatic ballad! At 18, Eilish is the youngest singer to record a song for the franchise.  "Now you'll never see me cry," she concludes. "There's just no time to die." The spine-tingling words seem to confirm the theory that Daniel Craig's final tour as Bond will see him double-crossed by Madeleine Swann.

BOND voyage Daniel!

As the curtain draws to a close on Daniel Craig’s legacy as Bond, here’s hoping all questions are answered and he leaves us with some form of closure on the emotional character arc that began with 2006’s Casino Royal.

If you are a Bond super-fan, and let’s face it, if you’ve read this far you are, you need the awesome, James Bond Official Coin Collection in your life. Indulge in some nostalgia with a subscription collection of 25 pure silver coins struck by the Perth Mint, honouring all the iconic Bond films. Each coin comes with its own Certificate of Authenticity, featuring the original official poster artwork. A sweeping piece of cinematic history, all the blockbusters are included – From Russia With Love all the way to the Daniel Craig’s last, No Time To Die.

One thing’s for sure – whoever comes next as 007 has some pretty spectacular shoes to fill!

The Sesame Street Official Coin Collection by Macquarie Mint

“This is Sesame Street. A place where people, birds and monsters all live in perfect harmony…”

Elmo has some great news for all his fans (young and old). His friends at Macquarie Mint love him so much they’ve decided to dedicate an entire coin collection to the Sesame Street gang! Treat yourself and be transported back to a time when things were simpler and just plain delightful with memories that will make you smile. Ahead of its time, Sesame Street has been dispensing wisdom for over 50 years with its wacky characters, jammy jingles and love of learning.

The fun times won’t stop with the new officially licensed Sesame Street Coin Collection that celebrates the show that defined generations! New or old, what really gives Sesame Street its universal appeal is its line-up of characters. Each unique, smart, funny and endearing.

Enter stage left Elmo, Cookie Monster, Bert & Ernie, Big Bird and The Count to name a few. These coins present the most lovable personalities like you’ve never seen them before. Cookie Monster was even said to have exclaimed “Om nom nom nom, these coins look good enough to eat!” when they were presented for his approval. That’s some serious praise!

Sweeping the Clouds Away

Beautifully designed, with eye-catching colours that really pop against mirror-like 24K gold plating. Each pristine, Proof quality coin spans 45mm and can be stored in a fantastic complimentary folder to keep the whole gang together.

Macquarie Mint are offering subscribers an exclusive deal to kick off the collection with a bang! Your first delivery includes a second coin – COMPLETELY FREE! This is a special 2-for-1 deal exclusive only to subscribers. There are some other special surprises along the way too!

Collecting with Macquarie Mint offers subscriber only benefits! Convenient monthly deliveries and peace of mind whilst keeping you in control at the same time. Subscribe now and you’ll be secure in the knowledge that each item has been sourced at the highest quality.

Start Collecting the Fun Now!

Fans and collectors alike will need to act fast though, as only 10,000 collections are available worldwide. With legions of collectors not wanting to miss the show, swift action is recommended. You will be very grumpy if you miss out - no offence Grouch.

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Once upon a time… a life and legacy remembered!

Celebrating “the queen of people’s hearts” on her 60th birthday

60 years have passed since the birth of the beloved “people’s princess” and a flurry of commemorations have been planned for this important milestone. We remember the vibrant woman who left her mark on so many lives, on what would have been Diana’s 60th birthday on July 1st.

The most poignant celebration is the installation of a statue in the garden of Kensington palace on July 1st by her sons William and Harry. Created by the artist Ian Rank-Broadley, the sculpture is said to recognise Diana’s “positive impact”. Famed for creating the iconic effigy of the queen that is found on British and Commonwealth coins – the choice of this artist is by no means inconsequential!

The unveiling of the statue could present an opportunity for the best post-humous gift Diana will receive on this significant occasion. Not the statue itself, but the opportunity for her sons to rekindle their brotherly bond, which has been plagued with rumour and speculation over “Megxit” and the separation inflicted by the COVID pandemic.

Diana’s London apartment will also receive a blue plaque from the charity English Heritage. A blue plaque traditionally marks spaces associated with noteworthy Brits, and Diana’s will be placed at her Coleherne Court flat to honour the late princess. Diana shared this flat with friends before her marriage to Charles, and fans of The Crown will recognise the building from season four when Diana announces her engagement to her friends.

A trailblazing English rose

Remembered for being so much more than a representative of The House of Windsor, Diana really was a woman ahead of her time. Taking life into her own hands and blazing her own path as a fashion icon, humanitarian and a remarkably compassionate human being.

Possessing buckets of charisma and drive, one cannot help but wonder what more she may have accomplished and who she may have been in 2021. She would, no doubt, have taken pride in her sons’ work with mental health and their continuation of her charitable legacy!

Her sons’ continuing work with The Royal Foundation would make Diana immensely proud of their concerted efforts to shatter the stigma around mental health by starting conversations - and they are leading by example! Both the Duke of Cambridge and The Duke of Sussex have discussed their own mental health challenges publicly in recent years (especially with respect to their mother’s untimely death). Through their mental health campaign, Heads Together, they hope to encourage people to talk openly about their experiences of depression, anxiety and suicidal thoughts.

Iconic status should not overshadow the very real person we honour today

Public interest in Diana remains high, particularly as we remember her on the occasion of her 60th birthday. We should remember Diana not only as the woman who “stole the show” with iconic outfits, but also the very real person and her struggles. Significantly, only now, 26 years later, is the BBC being held to account over the Martin Bashir interview that had such dire consequences for Diana, her family and the monarchy.

How you can remember Diana this July…

Australia most certainly has its legions of Diana fans who will no doubt be looking for a way to commemorate her legacy on what would have been her 60th Birthday.

If you’re looking for an exclusive limited edition keepsake for yourself, or a friend, why not consider a commemorative you can treasure forever? Downies Collectables is offering a tribute of immense beauty to mark the occasion of Diana’s 60th birthday - an 99.9% pure silver-plated medallion featuring an enchanting full-colour portrait of the princess, available for a special pre-release price of just $10! Plus receive FREE delivery!

Click here to find out more.

 “I know that I can give love for a minute, for half an hour, for a day, for a month, but I can give. I am very happy to do that and I want to do that”

- Diana, Princess of Wales.

Celebrate the Age of Dinosaurs with the 99.9% Pure Gold Collection!

It’s hard to imagine now, but long before humans, dinosaurs roamed and ruled the earth.

Through old fossils, paleontologists have made exciting discoveries about the prehistoric era and the creatures that were. Even now, there is still a lot we don’t know about dinosaurs, but researchers continue to make fascinating discoveries. Each finding brings us closer to understanding these ancient creatures.

It’s rare that we get the chance to celebrate this amazing era in history, but Macquarie Mint is now presenting customers with a golden opportunity to do just that with the Age of Dinosaurs Gold Coin Collection!

Comprising twelve 99.9% pure 0.5g gold coins, this collection is as rare and precious as dinosaur fossils. Limited to just 2,500 collections, only a tiny allocation is available in Australia.

Customers will receive a new coin each month celebrating a unique type of dinosaur. Each 11mm coin’s design detail is artfully struck, bringing each one of these dinosaurs to life!

The obverse confirms the coin’s legal tender status from the Solomon Islands and is housed in a card confirming the specifications. Each card fits into the custom-designed FREE collection case and you’ll also receive a FREE magnifier to enhance your view of each 11mm coin.

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Start your collection with the ‘Tyrannosaurus Rex Gold Coin’ – for the subscriber-only price of just $119. You will also receive FREE DELIVERY on this coin.

Future releases will be conveniently shipped every four weeks, direct to your door, for the affordable series price of $199 (plus $12 Postage). Plus, the collection case and magnifier – available throughout your subscription – FREE for subscribers.

With an exclusive mintage limited to only 2,500 worldwide, you’ll want to order now to secure each and every gold coin!

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Remembering the life of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh

On April 9th 2021, the world was saddened by the news of the sad passing of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.

In his 99 years, Prince Philip’s contribution to the world was unmistakable.

He spent over 10 years in the Royal Navy, British Army and Royal Airforce – even fighting against the Nazi’s in World War II.  

In 1939 he was asked to escort King George VI’s daughters through the Royal Naval College in Dartmouth. It was there that he fell in love with his future wife – Elizabeth II. The two exchanged letters over the following years and eventually married in 1947.

Proactive as ever, the Queen insisted Philip have “place, pre-eminence and precedence" next to her at all times when possible.

Philip has supported his wife, Queen Elizabeth II throughout her reign. Standing by her side at ceremonies, dinners and world tours, Philip was a vital bone in the body of the British Royal Family.

As the longest-serving British Royal consort, he was a patron of roughly 800 organizations, but his legacy will be most felt in his establishment of the Duke of Edinburgh Award.

To help younger generations thrive, Philip pioneered the Award in 1956. It has since expanded to 144 nations. Over 775,000 young Australians have participated in the award, which recognises adolescents who undertake self-improvement activities. Many young people have seen their lives enriched as a direct result.

The Royal Family on Coins

Over the years the Royal Family’s milestones and achievements have been celebrated on coins and commemoratives. Further tributes to Prince Philip and Queen Elizabeth II are available online at Downies.com.

Pay tribute to the man who gave the Queen ‘constant strength and guide’ throughout their life together.

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