News

Official Launch Event For Downies New Southgate Store

On Friday, May 29 Downies held a special event to officially launch their new retail store at Southgate on the banks of the picturesque Yarra River in Melbourne's CBD.

_DSC2344_DSC2339_DSC2363

The event was attended by around 30 people, with clients, friends of Downies Coins and Downies staff in attendance. Ken Downie was also on hand to host the launch of the store which has been recently refurbished after relocating from the historic Block Arcade, where it resided for the past 21 years.

_DSC2419_DSC2428_DSC2494

As part of the launch party celebrations, the announcement of a winner for the Lucky Coin Offer was made - and while the $20,000 major prize did not get drawn, Mr C Hill of Woodbine, NSW did manage to pick up a $500 prize. Guests were also given exclusive pre-release access to the latest in the Deadly & Dangerous Silver Coin Series dedicated to the vicious Bull Ant.

_DSC2447_DSC2353_DSC2350

On hand to capture the event was a videographer who put together a terrific video package about the store, with some of our valued clients talking about what it means to be a collector, as well as sharing their opinions on the new store. Also interviewed were Downies CEO Ken Downie and Senior Numismatist David Jobson, who is based at our Sydney Town Hall store but attended the event as part of a visit to Melbourne to meet with customers.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2wijL0roMmY

Magna Carta 800th Anniversary Marked at Parliament House

Today marks the 800th anniversary of the creation of Magna Carta - a document that has formed the foundation of democracy across Western civilisation. As part of the anniversary celebrations, the Prime Minister, Tony Abbott, together with Bronwyn Bishop, Bill Shorten, Royal Australian Mint CEO Ross MacDiarmid and other dignitaries, are marking the occasion with a special event at Parliament House.

Magna Carta at Parliament House

In his speech about the famous document, Tony Abbott described Magna Carta as "the most important constitutional document of all time" and a "foundation of liberty".

A charter of the original Magna Carta was created in 1297 by King Edward I. It is this charter which now sits in Parliament House in Canberra, after being aquired in 1952 by then Prime Minister Sir Robert Menzies.

As a symbol of the importance of Magna Carta to the lives of every Australian, today's celebration also includes the giving of the special rectangular-shaped coin - issued to mark the Magna Carta anniversary - to students of Boggabri Public School in NSW.

 Magna Carta Antiqued Silver Coin Reverse  Magna Carta Antiqued Silver Coin Obverse

The coin was struck by the Royal Australian Mint and is the first rectangular coin the mint has issued in it's 50 years of operation. To further enhance and emphasise the theme of the anniversary being marked, the coin has been treated with a special antiquing process to give it a unique and eye-catching look, vastly different from almost every other commemorative coin issued through the RAM.

Visit our website where you can learn more about the 2015 $5 Magna Carta Antiqued Silver Coin and order it 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

The 2015 $1 Colour Poppy Coin is coming to Downies!

We are pleased to announce that the limited edition 2015 $1 WWI War Heroes Colour Coin featuring the red poppy motif is now available to order from Downies!

2015Red1Dollar

This official Australian legal tender coin was originally part of a promotion that saw fourteen 20 cent coins made available to the general public through newsagents over a two week period. The colour $1 coin was initially released exclusively to News Corp subscribers, and we were therefore surprised to learn that we would be soon receiving an allocation of the coin from the Royal Australian Mint. Thus, we are now able to pre-offer this exclusive $1 coin to the broader Australian collecting public.

This spectacular $1 coin features a poppy field design with a large central poppy motif rendered in an eye-catching red hue. At the top is the inscription ‘WWI – War Heroes’, while at the bottom is the coin denomination of ‘1 Dollar’. On the obverse side is the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, designed by Ian Rank-Broadley. Like regular one dollar coins struck by the Royal Australian Mint, the War Heroes coin is made from Aluminium-Bronze and measures 25mm in diameter. Unlike other dollar coins however, this colour release has been struck with a ‘frosted’ appearance, and only 13,500 coins have been minted for distribution worldwide.

12146packWhilst we have received confirmation of our allocation from the Royal Australian Mint, the nature of the News Corp promotion means that a fixed date for delivery of the coins from the RAM has not been confirmed at this stage. We are expecting, however, that delivery from the RAM will take place by early June. We will be sending an email notification to those who order this coin as soon as we receive a firm delivery date.

New 2015 Colour Lest We Forget $2 Coin Design Revealed

The design for the new 2015 Lest We Forget colour $2 circulation coin has been revealed today at a special ANZAC Commemoration Ceremony held in Melbourne. The event was held at the Malvern Cricket Ground in Melbourne's inner east, hosted by the Honorable Kelly O'Dwyer MP (Federal Member for Higgins & Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer) and Cr Melina Sehr, Mayor of City of Stonnington and featuring a number of other dignitaries.

DSC_4264

Scroll down to see more photos from the Anzac Ceremony, including the $2 Lest We Forget Colour Coin

Hundreds of people braved the temperamental Melbourne Autumn weather to attend the ceremony which stared with a march from Malvern Gardens, up High St and finished at the Malvern Cricket Ground. Around the grounds were tents for various local entities such as schools and businesses, as well as Kelly O'Dwyer's mobile office which had on display one of the $2 colour commemorative coins due to enter circulation from tomorrow.

2dollar

The coin features red stripes in a circular pattern in the middle, framing the words "Lest We Forget", with a design around the coin consisting of 5 crosses among a ring of poppies. In the bottom portion is the coin denomination of Two Dollars.

Unlike previous colour $2 coins issued into circulation, the 2015 Lest We Forget $2 coin will not be available to buy in Uncirculated condition through the Royal Australian Mint. Approximately 1.5 million coins will begin to be released into circulation by the Reserve Bank of Australia as of tomorrow, Monday April 20th, although it may take several days or even weeks for them to be fully released.

However much like previous colour $2 issues, there is little doubt that due to the poignant nature of the commemoration and sheer difference in design of these coins from the regular $2, people will hoard them away instead of spending them, making them quite hard to find in a short space of time. The same has happened with the 2014 $2 Remembrance Day Green Colour Coin, the 2013 $2 Coronation Purple Colour Coin and the 2012 $2 Poppy Red Colour Coin. The latter being distributed through the national RSL Red Poppy Appeal rather than through the Reserve Bank of Australia.

Canada is the only other country to have released colour coinage into circulation - and this is only the 4th Australian circulating coin to be issued in colour - making this a significant commemoration of the ANZAC Centenary as we approach the 100th anniversary of the battle at Gallipoli.

So keep your eye on your small change over the coming days and weeks and if you find one of these colour commemorative $2 coins be sure to post a picture below or on our Facebook Page.

More photos from the Anzac Ceremony

New 2015 Poppy Red Gallipoli $2 Coin Issued For Circulation

It has been announced that a newly designed $2 coin will be issued into circulation as of Monday, April 20, 2015. 2015Red2Dollars The surprise announcement was made on the 3AW radio station yesterday, when Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer Kelly O'Dwyer was discussing the events to be held at Malvern Gardens as part of the 100th anniversary of Gallipoli commemorations.

Struck by the Royal Australian Mint, the coin will be unveiled at the Anzac Centenary March that kicks off at 11am on Sunday, April 19, 2015 at Malvern Gardens on the corner of High St & Park St, Malvern, Victoria.

This will be only the 4th coloured $2 coin issued in Australia, starting with the Red Poppy Remembrance Day $2 coin in 2012. In 2013 there was a Purple $2 issued to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, and in 2014, a Green $2 was released into circulation to honour Remembrance Day.

Collectors and the general public alike have delighted in finding and hoarding away these coloured coins over the last few years, and you would now be very lucky to find any of them in your change. The new 2015-dated Red Poppy $2 will undoubtedly be no different.

"It's an incredible design." Mrs O'Dwyer said. Going on to describe the coin as "Poppy red" with a design consisting of crosses and poppies. The Australian Government currency determination website describes the design of the coin as having the inscription 'LEST WE FORGET', with a series of red coloured stripes arranged in a repetitive circular pattern surrounding the central circle. The coin will also carry a representation of poppy flowers between 5 stylised representations of crosses, along with the coin denomination of TWO DOLLARS.

So, be sure to keep your eye out for this special new colour $2, and let us know when you find one!

The Royal Australian Mint Offers Production Coins in Downies Auction

In it's 50th year the Royal Australian Mint will be making available around 1,100 unique production pieces in the next Downies Australian Coin Auctions, to be held at the Box Hill Town Hall in Melbourne's eastern suburbs from May 26-28.

Royal Australian Mint Logo 50 Years

The announcement of the RAM's participation in ACA sale 319 was posted on their Press Release Page yesterday afternoon and you can read the whole release here.

The list of items on offer as part of the Royal Australian Mint Master Collection - consigned exclusively to Downies Australian Coin Auctions - will be presented in an official catalogue, which will be made available to the public at the end of April. The list will also be published on the ACA website just prior to the printed catalogues being made available.

With around 1,100 items being included by the Royal Australian Mint alone, on top of the several thousand coins, banknotes and collectables submitted by the general public, sale 319 is shaping up to be our biggest auction yet!

Prospector uncovers 87-ounce gold nugget worth $135,000

Mick Brown has discovered one of the largest gold nuggets found in recent years, when he uncovered the "fair dinkum nugget" worth around $135,000 in Central Victoria.

Gold Nugget

Mick, from the Victorian town of Wedderburn - just over 2 hours drive North East of Melbourne - found the nugget under a few inches of dirt using his Minelab metal detector. As luck would have it he was out there on account of his wife. Mick had recently quit smoking and as a result was being grumpy around the house, so his wife told him to leave and get some fresh air. It was then he headed to a regular prospecting spot and not long after discovered the nugget buried in the dirt.

Central Victoria has a long and continuing history of gold discovery. Ballarat is a town synonymous with the Australian Gold Rush of the late 19th Century, with a 177-ounce gold nugget being discovered near the town as recent as 2 years ago. The biggest nugget found in Australia, the 256-ounce "Pride of Australia nugget", was found in 1981, in the same region that Mr Brown made his remarkable discovery.

The Royal Mint Unveil Fifth Distinctive Portrait of Queen Elizabeth II

Today the Royal Mint unveiled what is to be the fifth and last portrait of Queen Elizabeth II to be featured on commemorative and circulating legal tender.

Fifth Difinitive Portrait

Unveiled at a ceremony in London's National Portrait Gallery this morning, the portrait has received a positive response from both the industry and the general public.

This is an historic occasion in Commonwealth currency, as it will be the last portrait of Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth II to feature as the obverse effigy for circulating coinage in Great Britain and several other countries in the commonwealth. The design was chosen by a closed competition commissioned by the Royal Mint Advisory Committee, with the winning entry by Royal Mint engraver, Jody Clark. He is the first Royal Mint engraver to be chosen to create a definitive royal coinage portrait in over 100 years. At 33 years of age when his design was chosen, Jody is also the youngest of the five designers to have created the portraits of The Queen that have appeared on UK circulating coin during her 63 year reign. Previous portraits of the Queen have been designed by Mary Gillick (1952-1968), Arnold Machin (1968-1985), Raphael Maklouf (1985-1998), Ian Rank-Broadley (1998-2015).

The announcement of the new design was made in January, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the passing of Mary Gillick, who designed the first effigy in 1952. The new design comes in the year that Queen Elizabeth II is to become the longest reigning monarch of the United Kingdom, surpassing Queen Victoria's reign of 63 years and 216 days.

The new portrait design will start to appear in circulating coinage later in the year but is available now through a variety of Royal Mint 2015 coin sets.

It is likely, given the history of the obverse design of coinage from the United Kingdom, that Australia will be adopting this new design for it's circulating and collector coinage soon.

Mint of Poland Strikes World First Spherical Coin

Seven Wonders of the New World Silver Coin

Mennica Polska (The Mint of Poland) has, in the past, presented the world with an array of innovative numismatic products - from the Amber Road series to the Fortuna Redux. They once again raise the bar on just what is possible in numismatics when they unveiled the world's first globe coin at the recent World Money Fair in Berlin.

The silver globe, known as the "Seven Wonders of the New World" coin, has been struck from 217.7 grams (7 ounces) of 99.9% fine silver to a diameter of 34mm. It has a total worldwide mintage of just 1,007. Struck using minting technology specifically developed by the Mint of Poland, the design of the coin is taken from the world map "Nova totius terrarum orbis geographica ac hydrographica tabula" - hand drawn by Dutch cartographer Willem Janszoon Blaeu in 1638. At seven points on the globe are embedded Swarovski crystals to signify the location of the Seven New Wonders. The New Wonders of the World are: Chichen Itza (Mexico), Christ the Redeemer statue (Brazil), the Great Wall of China, Machu Picchu (Peru), the ancient city of Petra (Jordan), the Taj Mahal (India), and the Roman Colosseum (Italy).

The coin is presented in a themed case, designed to look like a suitcase. More information about the unique minting technology can be found at Coin World's website.

1 2 3 4 5 6