Silver

Featured Coin Producer: Coin Invest Trust, Innovative Numismatic Developer

Modern collecting is often marked by a fervent desire for collectors to acquire the new and innovative. It's not everyone's cup of tea, but these unique modern issues are highly sought after - as long as they are also high quality. For many years now, Downies has partnered with, and been sole official Australian distributor for, one of the most innovative coin producers in the world - Coin Invest Trust (CIT).

2013 500 Togrog Mongolian Nature – Crying Wolf 1/2oz Silver BU 2013 500 Togrog Mongolian Nature – Crying Wolf 1/2oz Silver BU - Click image for more information

Established in 1970, CIT is a European firm that has been producing coins since 1982. Over the years CIT have won a number of high-profile awards for their ground-breaking releases, including the Coin Of The Year award for their 'Gulo Gulo' Wolverine coin, part of the Wildlife Protection Silver Series. They are known for a range of ground-breaking numismatic issues, including the Pearl Silver Proof Series, the Tiffany Glass $10 Series, and the Meteorite Silver Proof series, to name just a few.

The original Tiffany Glass offer made way back in 2004! The original Tiffany Glass offer made way back in 2004!

As an indication of the popularity of some of their coins, the first of CITs Tiffany Glass $10 Series was sold by Downies for $139.95 in May, 2004. It is now selling at up to $4,000 on the open market! It's no mere fluke, either, as each of the coins in that series (and many others) have sold out almost instantly each year since!

 Andorra 2013 5 Diners Swallowtail Butterfly 3D Colour Silver Proof - click image for more information Andorra 2013 5 Diners Swallowtail Butterfly 3D Colour Silver Proof - click image for more information

A big part of what makes releases by CIT so globally popular is that not only are they extremely innovative (3D coins with Butterfly wings, anybody?), but they are also crafted to the highest standards. CIT don't just create new coins - they craft innovative, high-quality collector pieces that push the boundaries of modern numismatics. Downies is happy to partner with them and share their story with our collectors.

February Footy Fever!

Footy Season has started!

An irresistible opportunity for fanatical football followers and passionate collectors alike, we are celebrating the start of the 2013 AFL season this weekend with some absolutely devastating discounts! Extremely exclusive, and officially licensed AFL products, the 2012 AFL Premiership Collection and the 2012 $1 AFL Premiership 1oz Silver Proof can now be yours at below the Official Issue Price! But only while stocks last!

2012 AFL Premiership Collection – SAVE A$50!

2012 AFL Premiership Collection

An officially licensed AFL product, the 2012 AFL Premiership Collection forms a prestigious keepsake of Sydney's memorable triumph. Headlined by the Royal Australian Mint's superbly struck .999 fine 2012 $1 AFL Premiers 1oz Silver Proof, this outstanding work of Australian sporting memorabilia also comprises a miniature replica of the 2012 AFL Premiership Cup, plus a replica of the 2012 AFL Premiers Medallion presented to the players of the winning side.

Strictly limited to an edition of 5,000 sets – each presented in a lavish timber case with a Certificate of Authenticity – this official AFL collection is normally A$295. A sensational celebratory saving, we will knock off a massive A$50 from the regular retail! Act now – only while stocks last!

2012 $1 AFL Premiership 1oz Silver Proof – SAVE A$15!

2012 $1 AFL Premiership 1oz Silver Proof

A must-have for footy fans and Silver Proof collectors alike, we also have the 2012 $1 AFL Premiership 1oz Silver Proof available individually – at under the Official Issue Price!

Struck to the apex of Proof quality from a troy ounce of .999 fine silver, the limited edition of this official Australian legal tender issue has been restricted to a mere 1,500 coins – each beautifully presented within an official RAM case. Normally A$115, this officially licensed AFL product can now be yours for less than A$100!

Year of the Snake – a fortunate year in numismatics!

Year of the snake

Happy New Year! Yesterday was the first day of the Lunar New Year, and everyone here at Downies hopes you have a prosperous and happy Year of the Snake!

The Snake is the 6th animal in the Lunar Zodiac, exemplified by traits such as awareness, cunning, pride and decisiveness. People born in the Year of the Snake (especially with this year’s element, Water), are said to be insightful and influential, and can make great financial decisions. This affinity with money makes this Lunar Zodiac sign a particularly fitting and popular theme to feature on numismatic releases around the world.

There are some truly spectacular tributes to the Year of the Snake that have either just been released or are being awaited with great excitement. One innovative release is the Laos 2013 2,000 Kip Lunar Snake Jade 2oz Silver Proof, which contains a ring of real Jade and a gilded snake to commemorate this special year.

The Perth Mint has released some special editions that not only focus on the Zodiac theme, but emphasise its importance to the numismatic community of which we are all a part. One such release is the 2013 $1 Berlin World Money Fair Edition Year Of The Snake 1oz Coloured Silver BU – a limited edition of just 5,000, specially prepared for the Berlin World Money Fair which was held last week.

The Lunar Zodiac theme is often used by mints around the world to showcase the very best in the art and science of numismatics. It is well worth studying these new coins to see what has been achieved and what the future holds for modern coin collecting, but there are so many exciting new releases coming out to celebrate and commemorate the Year of the Snake, it can be hard to keep up.

For a handy list of this year’s Lunar Zodiac issues from around the globe, click here to visit Downies.com’s special Year of the Snake page.

Have a great Lunar New Year!

The END is nigh! Armageddon commemorated with coins

With a whiff of sulphur hanging in the air, mingling with the tortured screams of non-believers, the lines have been drawn on the final battlefield for the fight between good and evil – Armageddon!

The end of the world is currently firmly in the public consciousness, thanks to the link between the date December 21st, 2012 and the end of the Mesoamerican/Mayan long count calendar. A somewhat recent concern, many believe the ending of this calendar marks some sort of apocalyptic event. This view is not shared by scholars studying Mesoamerican culture, who argue that the Mayans expected the cycle to start again, much like the ending of a year in our standard calendar just means we need to buy a replacement for the fridge.

The end of the world has long been a subject of fascination throughout human history, with some going so far as to ascribe a location to the event. A place that has been the particular focus of much Western prophesying and speculation about the end of the world – dating back to the Book of Revelation – is over 10,000km away on the other side of the earth from Central America. Tel Meggido – the Hebrew name for the place commonly referred to as Armageddon and the location of the final battle according to the Bible – is of great cultural and archaeological significance.

Israel 2012 2NIS Armageddon 28.8g Silver Proof

Dating back to 7000 BCE, Tel Meggido has been the site of thirty different cities! A “tel” (or “tell” in English) is a settlement mound – a site where multiple settlements have built upon those existing previously through history; they are often places of great archaeological importance.  Occupying a position of strategic importance for numerous kingdoms, especially Assyria and Egypt, during the Canaanite and Israelite periods, Tel Meggido has already been pivotal in a number of great conflicts and trade routes through the ages.

In approximately the 15th Century BCE, the “Battle of Meggido” took place between Egyptian forces, led by Pharoah Thutmose III, and Canaanite states. This battle was important for a number of reasons; victory at this battle marked the start of the Egyptian Empires’ largest period of expansion, for example, and it was arguably the first reliably recorded battle in history. More recently, in 1918 during the First World War, Tel Meggido was the site of a battle between the Allied Egyptian Expeditionary Force and the Ottoman Yildirim Army Group, with the Allies gaining significant ground. Tel Meggido has also been the site of great cities at various times through the ages; for more information, see the Wikipedia entry on Tel Meggido.

Due to this fascinating and significant history, UNESCO decreed Tel Meggido a World Heritage Site in 2005. The Bank of Israel has chosen Tel Meggido as the subject of its fourth coin in the ‘UNESCO World Heritage Sites’ series and it has been struck by The Holy Land Mint.

Israel 2012 10NIS Armageddon 1/2oz Gold Proof

The legal tender coin is issued in both silver and gold, with the silver available in 1 and 2 New Shekel denominations, and the gold available in a 10 New Shekel variety. Extraordinarily exclusive given the global significance of the theme, only 1,800 of the silver 1 New Shekel have been made, with mintages for the silver 2 New Shekel and the gold 10 New Shekel a mere 2,800 and a miniscule 555 respectively. The obverse of the coin features an 8th century BCE seal found during an archaeological dig. The reverse features a jug, and the surprisingly advanced aqueduct system discovered at this most remarkable location.

Whether or not you believe the world will end in a month’s time or not, Tel Meggido remains a site of immense archaeological and cultural significance. It is a fitting world heritage location and subject for tribute in coin form. If you are interested in acquiring these special coins commemorating such a remarkable location, visit Downies.com. You might want to get your orders in by December 21st, just in case…

Israel 2012 10NIS Armageddon 1/2oz Gold Proof

Israel 2012 2NIS Armageddon 28.8g Silver Proof

Poppy palaver: The coin that came in from the cold

Donning cloaks and drawing daggers, the Royal Canadian Mint issued the first colour coin for circulation, the Canadian 2004 Coloured Poppy 25c. Given that Australia has just had its first circulating colour coin issue the 2012 $2 Remembrance Day commemorative – which also features a poppy and has been garnering a lot of attention – what better time to explore the inadvertently clandestine past of Canada’s infamous ‘Spy Coin’?

Issued in 2004, the Canadian quarter featured a brand new technology for circulating coins; colour! This unique concept so startled some travelling American army intelligence contractors that in 2007 they not-so-intelligently feared the coins were some sort of advanced espionage tool powered by nanotechnology. For those of us not embroiled in the world of tiny gadgets and secret agents, nanotechnology is any technology that manipulates matter on an atomic or molecular scale, usually meaning the manufacture of very tiny devices or structures. The contractors feared that the coins had some kind of tracking or listening device embedded in them, with some going so far as to claim that some of the dastardly coins had been planted on them! The confusion caused somewhat of an international incident and a flurry of concerned emails on both sides.

Cook Islands 2012 $10 Nano Earth - The World In Your Hand Silver Proof

Eventually the mess was sorted out and American spies accepted that the coins were nothing more than an innovative tribute for Remembrance Day, honouring fallen soldiers, much like Australia’s recent $2 featuring a colour poppy. What may startle some spies today is the existence of a coin that really does feature nanotechnology! The 2012 $10 Nano Earth Silver Proof has a tiny yet extremely detailed map of the world embedded in it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IlmfxWelbIk

It’s so tiny, in fact, that you need a microscope to fully appreciate it in all its detail! The legal tender coin also features a full colour picture of the earth and is struck from 50g of sterling silver. Given the remarkable nature of the coin and a mintage almost smaller than the map itself – at only 1000 struck worldwide – this coin is sure to make a perfect conversation piece over a martini (shaken, not stirred, of course)! If you are interested in securing your own cutting-edge ‘spy’ coin, there are a limited supply at Downies.com – and don’t forget to pick up a microscope while you’re at it!

Benin Strikes Back! 2011 100 Francs Lily of the Valley Scent Colour Silver Plated BU

With innovation driving the future of numismatics, Benin has broken the mould, releasing their fourth issue in the state of the art, ‘rub & sniff’ collection - the 2011 100 Francs Lily of the Valley Scent Colour Silver Plated BU.

Benin 2011 100 Francs Lily Scent Coloured Silver Plated BU

Featuring the Convallaria Majalis, commonly known as the ‘Lily of the Valley’, this official legal tender, silver plated Proof is a fine testament to the modern minting skills seen throughout this diverse industry. Releasing the fragrant aromas of the Lily of the Valley when the reverse is rubbed, each coin is accompanied by a Certificate of Authenticity attesting to the 2,500 coin mintage.

Set to take the collector market by storm – be sure to head on over to Downies.com to secure yours today!

The verdict is in… 2011 Series of the Year

Undeniably a captivating series, the Gothic Cathedrals collection has been awarded second prize in the Fifth International Commemorative Coins Contest - the 2011 Coin Constellation.

Held September 28 2011 in the Marble palace of St Petersburg, Russia, more than 200 coins from 25 countries lined up to be judged on concept, artistic solution, original technology, design and series development.

Niue 2010 $1 Gothic Cathedrals – Cologne Cathedral Silver Proof

Renowned for its unique oval shape and the spectacular obverse and reverse designs, the Niue $1 Gothic Cathedrals Cologne Cathedral Silver Proof truly lives up to its winning title. Combining state-of-the-art minting capabilities with the innovative inclusion of a genuine stained glass window – this captivating issue recreates the beauty of one of the world’s favourite landmarks.

With what’s left of the 5,000 coin mintage sure to be snapped up by eager collectors and investors alike, head on over to Downies.com to secure 2011’s Series of the Year!

2012 Lunar Dragons Coloured

With every commemorative for 2012’s Year of the Dragon receiving an abundance of interest throughout the global market, the Royal Australian Mint has just announced the addition of two releases that no one anticipated to be issued into their product portfolio – comes a 1oz Silver Proof and a 1/10oz Gold Proof.

Celebrating the world’s favourite lunar sign, each pad printed coin depicts the RAM’s signature dragon upon a vivid coloured background. Struck to the highest of Proof quality from .999 fine silver, the 40.00mm Silver Proof is restricted to a global mintage of just 18,000 coins. A highly exclusive, matching, 17.53mm Gold issue, crafted also to Proof quality from .9999 fine gold – this exquisite coin is limited to a mintage of just 8,000 coins.

Issued as official Australian Legal tender, and struck specifically for an international corporate order – only a minuscule number of each the 1oz Silver Proof and 1/10oz Gold Proof will be available on the market – immediate action is needed to secure what is sure to be one of the most popular RAM releases yet!

2011 Beijing International Coin Exposition East Meets West 1/2 oz Two-Coin Set

2 days and over 2,000 sets – the 2011 Beijing International Coin Exposition East Meets West 1/2oz Two-Coin Set is undoubtedly one of the most highly pursued 2-coin sets this year. With over two thirds of the mintage selling out at the Beijing Show – after a lengthy search we have finally been able to secure a small allocation to offer to our most avid of collectors.

Beijing Show

A release that combines the cultural elements of both countries – the East Meets West 1/2oz Coin Set features the Perth Mint’s renowned Year of the Dragon coin together with an iconic Australian Koala asleep in a eucalyptus tree. Struck as official Australian Legal Tender both coins are housed within an illustrated presentation card.

With only a small allocation secured from the mint – immediate action is obvious! Head on over to Downies.com to secure yours!

Obama Down Under

In celebration of the 60th anniversary of the signing of the ANZUS Defence Alliance, today Mr Barack Obama will touch down in Australia for the first time as being President. After three set-backs, President Obama’s Australian visit has been a long awaited one, and, as the strongest ally and greatest friend of the Australian nation, will be welcomed with open arms.

With 2011 also marking the 10th Anniversary of the devastation witnessed by the American nation on September 11 2001, President Obama’s visit to the land down under is sure to tighten the already secure ties between Australia and the United States. With Mr Obama’s itinerary still under wraps, it has however, been announced that he will address the Australian Parliament on November 17 2011.

Cook Islands 2010 $5 Obama & King Antique Silver BU Pair
Driven by trying to achieve freedom, justice and equality throughout the United States, Noble Prize winner and icon of the American nation, President Obama is one of the most influential political figures across the globe. Issued in celebration of powerful American legends – the 2010 $5 Obama & King Antique Silver BU Pair is still available at Downies. With each legal tender issue brilliantly designed and flawlessly struck to pay homage to two of the greatest instigators for change in the history of the United States – President Obama and civil rights activist Martin Luther King – head on over to Downies.com for your piece of great American history.

USA 2011 September 11 Silver Proof Commemorative MedalIn the wake of perhaps America’s greatest triumph in bringing the leader of al-Qaeda, Osama Bin Laden to justice, a decade after the merciless attacks that saw 2,974 people from over 90 countries lose their lives –the 2011 September 11 Silver Proof Commemorative Medal is also still available at Downies. With all proceeds donated to the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, each commemorative medal is an official tribute to the immense loss that occurred on that fateful day.

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