News

Day 1 at the Melbourne 2017 FIAP International Stamp Exhibition

Day one of the 2017 International Stamp Exhibition proved to be one of the busiest mornings I’ve seen at a trade show in quite some time. From the moment, the doors opened hordes of enthusiasts flocked to the Australia Post pop up shop to secure their Day One souvenir products.

Once everyone began to settle into the show we found that quite a few attendees were very keen to have their collections appraised and some were quite surprised with just how much their little old bread tin filled with old coins was truly worth!

International Coin ExhibitionDownies Numismatist, Steve Kirby was run off his feet with a fantastic array of old and new coins being consigned for our upcoming July Auction.

Gilded 1932 Penny

The Gilded 1932 Penny which celebrates the 85th Anniversary of Downies Coins was another unexpected pleasant surprise for our customers who made a purchase today. The only way to secure one of these beautiful coins is by making a purchase at one of the upcoming trade shows. These coins will not be available anywhere else so make sure you drop in and say hello!

 

Contributed by Matthew Thompson (Downies Staff)

History of Sydney Harbour Bridge in numbers!

final2_SHB1,400 – the number of men it took to construct the Bridge

8 – the numbers of years it took to build the Bridge

122,000 – the cubic metres of rock excavated for the foundations

6,000,000 & 53,000 – hand-driven rivets and tonnes of steel used in construction respectively

272,000 – the litres of paint required for the initial three coats!

96 – the number of locomotives positioned in various ways to test the load capacity of the Bridge before declared safe

£6.25m – the cost of the construction. The equivalent of A$492,250,000 today, it took 56 years for this amount to be paid off!

1,149m – the length of the Bridge, making it the sixth longest long-span bridge in the world

134m – the height of the Bridge from the top of the arch to the water level, making it the tallest long-span bridge in the world

48.8m – the width of the Bridge – the widest steel span arch bridge until 2012

11,000 & 160,000 – the approximate average daily traffic in 1932 and 2017

85 – the number of years since officially opened on March 19, 1932

Today, the Bridge stands as one of Australia’s foremost landmarks – an instantly recognised symbol of our nation. To mark the 85th anniversary of this iconic structure on March 19, new Gold & Silver Proofs have been issued!

Gold & Silver Proof

To know more or to place an order please CLICK HERE.

New and exciting range of historical Ancient Greek & Roman Coin Books available now at our Downies Southgate store

Downies Southgate Melbourne Store has just received a new and wide range of Ancient Greek and Roman Coin and Historical Books in-store - all at competitive prices! The range of these books covers the entire period of Ancient Greek and Roman History from Alexander the Great through to the last emperors of the Roman Empire. These books are written by well-known world experts in the field including:

  • David Sears: Royal Coins and their values
  • Wayne G Sayles: Ancient Coin Collecting
  • David L. Vagi: Coinage and History of the Roman Empire
  • William E. Metcalf: The Oxford handbook of Greek & Roman Coinage

To compliment the books, Downies Southgate has a good range of Ancient Greek and Roman Coins in stock, and is currently giving customers a 10% discount on each coin purchased.

Ancient Coin Book Display

Whether you are a beginner or an advanced collector, Downies Southgate can help you with building up your interest, enjoyment and knowledge with Ancient Greek and Roman Books in-store now.

Downies Southgate Store is open 6 days a week
Monday to Thursday 9.30am – 5pm
Friday 9.30am – 6pm
Saturday 10am – 3.30pm

New and exciting range of historical Ancient Greek & Roman Coin Books available now at our Downies Southgate store

Downies Southgate Melbourne Store has just received a new and wide range of Ancient Greek and Roman Coin and Historical Books in-store - all at competitive prices! The range of these books covers the entire period of Ancient Greek and Roman History from Alexander the Great through to the last emperors of the Roman Empire.

Read more

Perth ANDA Money Expo Appointments Available!

Presented by the Australasian Numismatics Dealers Association (ANDA), and sure to attract dealers, collectors and investors from right across Australia, the Perth Money Expo will be held at the Domain Stadium, Subiaco on February 11 & 12.

Highlighted by the presence of the Perth Mint, along with 15+ dealers, large crowds are expected to attend the Perth Money Expo this year. Downies will be at Western Australia’s premier numismatic festival, of course, with our Numismatist Steve Kirby.

Steves-photo

Steve will be available at the Downies Stand from 10am to the end of each day.

Assisting with your personal coin and banknote needs, as well as helping with all rarities enquiries, Steve’s services also include:

  • Buying and selling coins, gold and silver bullion and other collectables
  • Free appraisals of your treasured collectables
  • Specialist advice on all aspects of your collection
  • Auction services – appraisals, consignments, and selling

Please call us on (03) 9686 8411 or email skirby@downies.com to arrange an appointment while he is visiting WA and the Money Expo – but hurry!

There are a limited number of appointments available.

We hope to see you at the Perth Money Expo!

Downies – inspiring collectors for 85 years

Founded by Phil Downie in 1932, during the depths of the Great Depression, Downies celebrates its 85th anniversary in 2017. Here are just a few of the key highlights on our long journey to become the undisputed leader in Australian coins and banknotes.

YoungPhilage16
Young Phil in 1932

1932 – The beginning…

A young man with a big dream, 16-year-old Phil Downie established the Palmerston North Stamp Company in New Zealand. Within a short space of time, the business grew enormously, and was helping leading stamp collectors across the world achieve their goals.

1939 – Foundations for the future

After moving to Australia in 1938, Phil opened the Myer Philatelic Bureau in 1939. He and his wife Zita ran the bureau at the famed Myer store in Bourke Street, Melbourne. When Phil stepped up to serve the nation in the Australian Army during the Second World War, Zita did what many women of the era had to do – she stepped out of the shadows and ran the bureau single-handedly.

With a strong foundation having thus been established, Phil and Zita’s fledging philatelic business quickly grew to become an Australian industry leader. From stamps, the Downies business eventually expanded into all fields of collectables, including coins and banknotes.


Myer Philatelic Bureau October 1955
Philatelic Bureau October 1955

1963 – An auction venture
The 1960s was a time bristling with opportunities, and, in 1963, Phil took the bull by the horns and launched his auction business. It proved to be an unmitigated success. The first public sale of stamps and coins was held at Amethyst Hall in Melbourne, and attracted around fifty bidders. From these humble beginnings, Phil’s auction venture expanded rapidly.

Known today as Downies Australian Coin Auctions (ACA), Downies auction department attracts hundreds of participants to its regular public sales, with collectors attending in person, or bidding online or by post. Australia’s oldest numismatic auction house, Downies ACA will celebrate its 55th anniversary in 2018.


1977 – The next generation

Young Ken with Phil 1986 at ACA Sale #200
Young Ken with Phil 1986 at our ACA Sale No. 200

Phil’s son, Ken joined the company in 1977. Ken’s vision and passion for numismatics created a greater focus on coins and banknotes – both new and old – and the company moved from strength to strength.


1984 – Downies in print

Money Cover May 1990
Money Cover May 1990

In 1984, Ken introduced the journal Spotlight on Numismatics. In 1990, this became Money, a magazine which is still in print today. For nearly four decades, Downies has provided a full mailorder service through a variety of general and specialist publications, bringing its clients a wide array of products. Today, customers are able to place their order by phone, fax, mail and email.


1991 – Retail – the personal touch

Retail
Our Southgate store in Melbourne

Downies launched retail outlets in Sydney and Melbourne in 1991 and 1994 respectively. This enabled the company to bring an extensive array of items to collectors, and helped to share Downies love of coins with the widest possible audience.

Downies ‘personal touch’ also extends to the major Money Expo coin & banknote shows held across Australia. Ken often attends, and continues to share his love of coins and banknotes with numismatic enthusiasts, both young and old.


1998 – Moving Online

Downies Website
Downies Website

In March 1998, Downies launched its website, www.downies.com. Helping to pioneer online services for collectors, downies.com features a vast array of exciting numismatic and other material, including all the latest releases from Australia and around the globe.


RBA Cover
RBA Cover

2005 & 2015 – ‘The auction house of choice…’

A major highlight in the company’s long history, Downies Australian Coin Auctions was chosen to host the Auction of the Gold Coins of the Reserve Bank of Australia – arguably the most exciting, most prestigious sale in the history of Australian numismatics. Downies was selected in 2015 to disperse the Royal Australian Mint’s Master Collection – an assemblage of utterly unique ‘production standard master’ coins, used to ensure the highest quality in the creation of Australia’s coinage.


2012 & 2015 – Continuing to grow…

Downies continues to expand, and, in a bid to accommodate our ever-growing workforce, we established spacious new headquarters in Melbourne’s east in 2012. Likewise, the growing nature of our retail business meant that we needed to find new premises for our Melbourne store. The perfect setting, our Melbourne retail outlet moved to Southbank in 2015 – one of the city’s most important shopping precincts.

 

Today and tomorrow – a global powerhouse

Downies proud history continues, with a third generation of the family having now entered the business. Australia’s largest coin and collectables dealer, we are also the world’s largest distributor of numismatic products for the Royal Australian Mint and Perth Mint.

Downies is the official representative in Australia for many international mints, including Britain’s Royal Mint, the Royal Canadian Mint, the Austrian Mint and the Mint of Japan.

We continue to work hard to cater for the needs of our customers. So whether you are buying a coin for a child’s birthday or sourcing an exclusive Australian rarity, we offer the same care and attention that Phil Downie did back when the company started in 1932.

Although we are proud to have achieved this major 85th anniversary milestone, we will never rest on our laurels. Indeed, Downies 85th anniversary celebrations will see us reaffirm our long-term commitment to providing the best range, service and value in the industry. We hope you will join us in the celebrations!

 

Numismatic Dealer Wanted in Melbourne

Downies maintains a strong retail presence in Melbourne, with Downies Coins located in the CBD. A new specialist position has just been established for our Melbourne shop and, given that those who visit our website are knowledgeable in the field of numismatics, this is the perfect place to announce this. If you or someone you know might be interested in joining the Downies team, then you should read this message from our HR Department.

Our business is only as strong as our people…

At Downies, we understand the importance of having a strong team to look after our customers and our business. It’s why we’ve been a leader in Australian numismatics for over 80 years, and why we are Number One today.

Knowing that people are at the heart of our business, we’re looking for the right person to join our retail team in Melbourne as a Numismatic Dealer. Your brief will include looking after our customers seeking to sell or trade their collections, or collectors wishing to purchase from our extensive range of numismatic and other collectable material.

Our retail store is in the prestigious Southgate complex in the centre of Melbourne’s art precinct – just a few minutes’ walk from Flinders Street Station. A bright, modern store makes coming to work a pleasure, and you will have the rare chance to progress your career in a specialist market with real growth opportunities. In addition, when you work with Downies, you’re supported by our history and reputation, as well as access to the structure and resources of a large company.

If you would like to know more about what it’s like to work with Downies, visit our Careers Website – www.downiescareers.com – and submit your expression of interest in joining us as a Numismatic Dealer.

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