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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.”

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.

SUBSCRIBE NOW!

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.

SUBSCRIBE NOW AND TAKE A TRIP THROUGH TIME!

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!

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE NOW

How You Can Support Kidney Health Australia

Kidney disease is predicted to impact 1 in 3 Australians at some point in their life.

Kidney Health Australia is a not-for-profit organisation dedicated to helping people living with kidney disease, with a view to improving their health outcomes and quality of life as well as that of their families and carers.

You can donate to Kidney Health Australia to aid their mission to save and improve the lives of Australians affected by kidney disease.

DONATE TO KIDNEY HEALTH AUSTRALIA HERE

Raising Funds for Kidney Kids Camps

Every year, Kidney Health Australia hosts the Kidney Kar Rally – where teams drive through the country to raise money for the Kidney Kids Camps. The Camps offer free care and respite for kids who are suffering from Kidney Disease. Fostering a strong support network is vital for young people with a chronic illness.

Retailing at just $15, all proceeds of the medallion will go
directly to Kidney Health Australia.

Struck to proof standard, the 40mm medallion is finished in genuine gold. It also comes presented in a colourful, informative pack.

With the limited edition set at just 1,000, you’ll want to secure yours quickly! 

 

Holdens Mark on Australian Culture Celebrated with New Gold-Plated Commemorative Collection

A chapter of Australian history is ending this year - with General Motors announcing the closure of the Holden brand for good. This is a devastating blow for car enthusiasts and the industry alike. Now, Macquarie Mint is launching the Holden Legacy Collection to remember the Australian legends.

Since the 1940s Holden has been raising the bar for Australian car manufacturing. Their desire to build ‘Australia’s Own Car’ resulted in the release of the ’48-215’ – simply known as the ‘Holden’.

Holden continued to produce a range of vehicles over the next 70 years. In that time, they released some of the most affordable high-performance cars on the market.

Generations of Australians have owned, driven, raced or modified a Holden. The good memories of most Australian’s involve a Holden or two.

Nine Commemorative Collection Honouring Holden

 

The 24-carat gold-plated commemoratives come housed in a FREE collection folder. Highly exclusive, the Holden Legacy Collection has a limited edition of just 10,000 collections worldwide. Officially licensed by Holden, this collection is a must-have for Holden fans! The Holden Legacy Collection features nine of the most iconic Holdens, with designs based on classic Holden advertising material.

Each medallion includes a free collector postcard, featuring the full design of the respective Holden Ad.

Some of the commemoratives feature… 

VFII Commodore Redline - The final vehicle to leave the Lion brand’s South Australian manufacturing line before production ceased. The most powerful Commodore ever, this car represents 39-years of Commodore manufacturing history.

HX Kingswood – Luxury and comfort at the right price! Owned by many families in the 70s, Gen Xers are likely to remember sitting in the back on family trips.

FJ Ute - A classic from the 1950s, the FJ Ute was considered an ‘all Australian car’. Many Aussies owned this as their first vehicle.

HK Monaro - Monaros have been in and out of production over the years. The original HK GTS featured the option of two Chevrolet V8s.

48-215 – ‘Australia’s Own Car’, produced in Fisherman’s Bend in 1948. The landmark car managed to wow everyone on launch day. Then PM, Ben Chifley, even exclaimed ‘She’s a beauty!

Other featured Holdens can be viewed at downies.com/holden-legacy.

Subscribe Today and Save!

Subscribers will receive nine gold plated medallions at the rate of one per month. The first shipment is available at the special introductory price of only $29.95 with free delivery! Further monthly releases are available at the subscriber-only price of $59.95 each (Plus $12 postage, handling & insurance). Subscribers will also receive a free collectors presentation folder to store their complete collection in, plus free collector postcards. 

This is a collection that will be in high demand! For you Holden fanatics, this is a must-have collection to keep for generations. With such a limited mintage, you must act immediately to secure yours!

Buy now at downies.com/holden-legacy or call 1300 788 358.

Watch the Video

 

Downies Collectables Celebrates DJR Team Penske with 10-Coin Enamel Penny Set

DJR Team Penske is cemented in Australian culture as one of our oldest and most successful racing teams. They’ve come a long way since their humble beginnings in Dick Johnson’s Brisbane garage, having seen success over many decades on the track, both at home and overseas.

From Dick Johnson’s extraordinary run of five wins in the 1980s through to Scott McLaughlin’s most recent back-to-back championships, the team has truly made their mark on the Australian Motor Sport scene – and deserves to be celebrated.

A New 10-Coin Set Finished in 99.9% Pure Gold!

With the Supercheap Auto Bathurst 1000 still ringing in people’s ears, Downies Collectables has just released a new 10-coin collection celebrating the achievements of DJR Team Penske.

Officially licensed and approved by DJR Team Penske, the set features ten Australian King George VI pennies each finished in 99.9% pure gold. Individually brilliant, the full-colour designs honour all ten Driver Championships won by Dick Johnson Racing and DJR Team Penske, including Scott McLaughlin’s most recent win for 2020!

 

OWN IT NOW

With Christmas around the corner, this is the ultimate gift for lovers of Australian motor racing.

Highly Exclusive - Immediate Action Essential – Own it Now*!

In honour of Dick Johnson’s first triumph, the limited edition is set at just 1,981. This is a must have officially licensed product for V8 Superfans everywhere, so you must secure yours now!

Buy the DJR Team Penske Enamel Penny Collection

For just $169 you will receive the 10-coin set, housed in a beautiful black case along with a numbered Certificate of Authenticity.

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Exclusive 9-coin Enamel Penny Collection Pays Tribute to Holden's Iconic Torana

The Holden Torana remains a centrepiece in Holden’s impressive portfolio of iconic vehicles.

Initially released in 1967, the Torana was named after an Aboriginal word meaning ‘to fly’. Hundreds of Australians were lucky enough to own one of these special vehicles, be it brand new or second hand.

Production on the Torana ceased in 1979 – making the little beauty a rare vintage car. But now the Torana legacy now lives on in a different way…Many Australian’s still have fond memories 

of road-tripping around the country in their Torana, and watching it break records in races and rallies. The Torana certainly lived up to the name as the little battler stumped giants on motorsport circuits throughout the seventies.

A New Nine-Coin Enamel Penny Tribute finished in 99.9% Gold!

Downies Collectables are excited to bring you a 9-coin collection devoted to this icon of Australian auto history – the Holden Torana Enamel Penny Collection.

GET YOURS NOW 

An officially licensed Holden product, this collection contains nine genuine Australian King George VI pennies. Each finished in 99.9% gold, eight of the pennies feature unique full-colour designs featuring one of Holden’s classic Toranas. The ninth penny features Holden’s iconic ‘When you’re Hot, you’re Hot’ Torana logo – the perfect centrepiece.

Watch the Video:








Don’t Delay – Own the entire collection now! 

The collection is housed within a black presentation case and includes an individually numbered Certificate of Authenticity.

With a strictly limited mintage of just 5,000 sets worldwide, this collection is highly exclusive!

The Holden Torana Enamel Penny Collection is available exclusively from Downies Collectables for just $149 – gets yours now! The Torana Penny Collection is sure to be as popular as our previous Holden tributes – so get yours now before it’s too late!

Celebrate the 20th Century’s Greatest musical icons with the Legends of Music Collection!

Downies Collectables celebrates Pop Culture with easy to collect coins and medallions that get delivered strait to your door!

We are excited to bring you the Legends of Music Collection, a brand-new subscription that celebrates seven great musical icons of the 20th Century music scene. This new subscription contains seven , 24-carat gold-plated medallions struck to Prooflike collectors quality! On the generous 44mm flan, each musical icon is depicted in full-colour recreations of Sidney Maurer’s distinctive portraits, then finished in genuine 24-carat gold!

Meet The Icons

Queen, Mick Jagger, David Bowie, Michael Jackson, Madonna, Bob Marley and Elvis Presley are all featured on the medallions.

SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

Considered to be pioneers of their respective musical genres, each artist has pushed the boundaries of their music, in ways that are still very much evident in today’s music! Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody is the most streamed song from the 20th Century and Bowie’s Space Oddity is considered to be a musical phenomenon.

Featuring Original Portraits by Sid Maurer

Maurer boasted a genuine passion for music and pop-art. In the 60s he brought a visual aspect to sound by designing album covers for a range of famous artists as an assistant art director at Colombia Records.

An icon in his own field, he collaborated with many high-profile artists, including Andy Warhol!

Maurer made a point of painting people who he believed to have made the world a better place. He has painted portraits of over 350 great musical artists, including the seven featured in this collection.

His unique style and contribution to music and art is now encapsulated in every portrait in the Legends of Music Collection.

Own it now!

The Legends of Music Collection is available exclusively at Downies Collectables in Australia. Be among the first to collect by subscribing today! You’ll receive your first gold-plated medallion at the special price of $39.95 (saving $20 off the series price) Throughout your subscription, you will also receive a FREE presentation folder to house and display your collection. Don’t delay, place your order now!

 

Downies pays homage to Elton John with The Royal Mint's Limited Edition Coins

 

Fans of Sir Elton John may still be reeling from his Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour and retirement announcement.


But some relief may be found in The Royal Mint’s announcement to produce a series of coins that pay tribute to his legacy.

In his time, Elton John has made more than 4,000 performances and sold over 300 million records worldwide. Producing an incredible number of hit singles, Elton is undoubtedly one of the world’s truly great music superstars.

The legal tender coins come in 99.9% pure gold, silver and non-precious metal and feature his iconic glasses and straw boater hat on the reverse side.

Sir Elton is pleased to have his contribution to the music industry recognised this way. "The last few years have contained some of the most memorable moments of my career, and this is another truly humbling milestone on my journey", he said.

Downies has secured a small allocation of the collection as an official distributor for the Royal Mint, so get in quick and secure yours today! 

Shop the Elton John 2020 Range Today

 

 
 
 
 

Royal Australian Mint Master Collection Coins of Interest

While the Royal Australian Mint's Master Collection - being auctioned on May 26 at Box Hill Town Hall as part of Downies Australian Coin Auctions Sale 319 - is in and of itself a special event, on account of every item in the auction being a special production unit coin and not included in the official mintage, we've picked out a small selection of items that we feel are extra special and deserve a bit of added attention.

995

Lot 995 - 2009 $5 Silver Gold Plated Proof International Polar Year FDC
Particularly significant on account of being a gold plated version commissioned by the Royal Society of Victoria, only 500 coins were struck within the official mintage, with the above example being outside that mintage figure. Estimated at $300.

1046

Lot 1046 - 1993 $10 Silver Proof Bird Series UNEP Cockatoo FDC
This coin has rarely been seen and was struck as part of the United Nations Environment Programme. Little is known about this release but it should be noted that on this production unit the strike is noticeably weaker than the standard and piedfort versions, and as a result appears to be missing feathers. Estimated at $250.

492

Lot 492 - 2004 $1 Eureka Stockade Al-Br Unc
Struck for the 150th anniversary of the Eureka Stockade and in the highest rarity BU quality, this coin is especially significant for having no mintmark. The regular mintage of coins were produced for the ANDA show mobile press and as such carry a counterstamp. We expect a lot of interest in this coin. Estimated at $1,000.

1141

Lot 1141 - 2012 $3000 Gold Proof Like Lucky Dragon 1 Kilo FDC
With a worldwide mintage of just 99 coins, this 74.77mm 1 Kilogram Gold Coin (in exquisite FDC quality) is undoubtedly the headlining piece of the Master Collection and sure to pique the attention of every collector, regardless of their ability to bid within the $60,000 estimate.

You can view the entire Master Collection catalogue online at http://www.downies.com/aca/pages/catalogue_319A.asp

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