Downies News

2010 Burke and Wills Royal Australian Mint Commemorative Sets

This month saw the release of the Royal Australian Mint’s annual Year Sets. As always, the inclusion of some exclusive coins has sparked the interest of collectors, not only in Australia, but also from around the globe. Following on from previous years, the RAM has kept up with appearances by releasing the 2010 versions of the ever popular Proof and Year sets, along with the extremely cute Baby Year Set (in both Proof and Mint quality), and the exquisite Wedding Set. However, it was more so the new 2010 Commemorative 2-Coin sets that attracted the attention of most!
Honouring one of Australia’s most famous missions of exploration, these new 2-coin sets commemorate the Burke & Wills Expedition of 1860.

Burke and Wills Unc Set

The History…

Gold was discovered in Victoria in 1851 and the subsequent gold-rush led to a huge influx of migrants, as a result Melbourne was slowly populated with gold seekers which rapidly led to the growth of schools, churches, libraries and learned societies. This large influx of European settlers spurred an interest in inland exploration and in 1854 The Philosophical Institute of Victoria was founded. Naturally many of the European settlers at the time were intrigued as to how expansive Australia really was and with the forming of the Exploration Committee by the Philosophical Institute in 1857, the catalyst to map out and explore Australia was too strong to resist. As a natural progression, Burke and Wills were later chosen to lead the ‘Victorian Exploring Expedition’ and then in 1860 they led an expedition of 19 men to cross Australia from Melbourne in the south to the Gulf of Carpentaria in the north, a distance of around 3,250 kilometers. At the time of their expedition most of the inland of Australia had not been explored by non-indigenous people and as a result was completely unknown to European settlers.

The expedition set off from Royal Park, Melbourne at about 4pm on 20th August 1860. The 19 men of the expedition included five Englishmen, six Irishmen, four Indian sepoys, three Germans and an American. They took twenty-three horses, six wagons and twenty-six camels. They had enough food to last them two years and ample amount of equipment fit for the expedition, however supplies were later left behind to lighten their load in the hopes they could increase their progress. Later in the expedition several men including second in charge George James Landells and the expedition’s surgeon, had all resigned. What was left of the expedition reached Menindee on October 12th, having taken two months to travel 750kms from Melbourne – the regular mail coach did the journey in little more than a week. By this time two of the expeditions five officers had resigned, thirteen members of the expedition had been fired and eight new men had been hired. Shortly after, Burke decided to split the group was he was concerned a rival explorer would beat him to the north coast and rob him of his title, and reward money which was offered by the South Australian Government.

Burke and Wills Proof Set

They halved expedition continued their journey to the Gulf of Carpentaria after deciding not to wait for the hotter weather to pass. The south-north leg of the journey was successfully completed; however they were sadly stopped by swampland just 5 kilometers from the northern coastline. On their way north the weather had been hot and dry, but on the way back the wet season broke and the tropical monsoonal rains began. This is where things began to take a turn for the worse, with a camel having to be abandoned and three other camels having to be shot and eaten, with their only horse later shot. Equipment was abandoned at a number of locations as the number of pack animals was reduced.

To extend their food supply they ate from the bush, with Burke and some of the others immediately coming down with dysentery. Charles Gray was the first to die on April 17th. The expedition later made it back to Coopers Creek where Burke, Wills and King continued on to make an attempt back to Melbourne. Their remaining camels later died and without pack animals Burke, Wills and King were unable to carry enough water to make it across the Desert to Mt Hopeless. As a result the three men were forced to return to Coopers Creek to wait for rescue from a search party. The three men lived on bush tucker and food given to them by local aboriginals. Towards the end of June 1961 Burke and King decided to return upstream to see if a rescue party had arrived. Wills became too weak to continue and was left behind as his own insistence. Burke and King continued upstream for another two days until Burke became too weak to continue – the next morning he died. King stayed with his body for two days and then returned downstream where he found that Wills had also died. King was later found by a search party, in pitiful condition, living with the Yandruwandha. He survived the trip back to Melbourne and died eleven years later aged 33 having never recovered his health.

Burke and Wills Proof Set

The Coins…

Available in Proof quality, these sparkling new sets from the RAM represent a fitting tribute to the 150th anniversary of the incredible achievements and great determination of the men who undertook this journey into the unknown. Sure to be hotly pursued by non-collectors, with Burke & Wills among Australia’s foremost ‘household names’, these sets are crucial to decimal collectors. The only way you can obtain the 20c and $1 Burke & Wills commemorative coins, with neither being issued for circulation and neither found in the 2010 Proof and Mint Sets, these new 2-coin presentations are essential to anyone keen to maintain a complete decimal collection.

  • Official tributes to Burke & Wills Expedition 150th anniversary
  • Available in both superb Proof quality
  • Includes the one-year-only 2010 20c and $1 commemoratives!
  • Housed in official, informative, attractive presentation packs
  • Offered at the same affordable Official Issue Price as last year!

For more information or to purchase online, please click on the appropriate link:

2010 Burke and Wills 2-Coin Proof Set
Australia
North America

2010 Burke and Wills 2-Coin Unc Set
Australia
North America


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Ned Kelly $1 Silver Proof Collection

The Early Years

Born in the mid 1850s, Ned Kelly seems to many to have been destined to live outside the law – and to die at its hands.
Growing up with the belief that the police targeted his family, Ned was at odds with the authorities from an early age. Charged with assault and theft offences as a teenager, and involved in cattle rustling in the 1870s, Ned’s transition from minor criminal to bushranger was sparked by an incident in April 1878. Constable Fitzpatrick claimed that the Kellys attacked him at their home, and that he had been shot in the wrist. The Kellys claimed that no guns were drawn and that Ned was in NSW at the time! To no avail, a reward was offered for the capture of Ned and Dan Kelly for their alleged role in the ‘attempted murder’, and they took to the bush, where Joe Byrne and Steve Hart joined them.

The Reward

The charge against Ned would soon be murder, when the gang confronted a police search party at Stringybark Creek, shooting dead Sergeant Kennedy, Constable Lonigan and Constable Scanlon. The reward for the gang, which had been £4,000, was raised to £8,000 following the bank robberies in Euroa Victoria and Jerilderie NSW. The gang then disappeared from view for over a year, only to reappear in June of 1880, when Joe Byrne and Dan Kelly killed one-time friend and alleged police informant, Aaron Sherritt.
A day later, the gang arrived at Glenrowan and took around 70 people hostage in the hotel. It was to be here that the Kellys’ last stand would take place, and where the gang’s famous suits of armour would make their one-and-only appearance in battle.

The Siege

Clad in the heavy iron suits, made from stolen or donated pieces of farm ploughs, the four men were besieged by police at the Glenrowan Inn before dawn on 28 June 1880. When bullets simply bounced off Ned’s armour – which was effective in stopping bullets fi red from further than nine metres – the troopers wondered aloud whether the figure in the mist was even human!
Although effective, the suit did leave parts of the body exposed, and Ned, in his final showdown with police, was ultimately brought down by bullets striking his legs. A police bullet killed Joe Byrne, whilst Steve Hart and Dan Kelly are alleged to have committed suicide. One policeman suffered a minor wrist injury, whilst two hostages were killed in the siege.

The Gallows

Although hit many times, Ned survived and was transported back to Melbourne to stand trial, where he was convicted of the murder of Constable Lonigan and sentenced to death. Although a petition to have the sentence commuted was signed by tens of thousands of people, Ned died on the gallows at Melbourne Gaol on 11 November 1880.
Although dividing opinion both during his life and in the 130 years since his death – to some a symbol of national pride, to others a simple criminal – the Ned Kelly legend is woven deep into the fabric of Australian culture.

Honouring the 130th anniversary of his death…

Imposing full-colour coins, luxury presentation, extremely restricted availability; pure precious metal... the 2010 $1 Ned Kelly Silver Proof Collection forms an outstanding tribute to one of Australia’s most famous historical figures. Issued to coincide with the 130th anniversary of the conclusion of Ned Kelly’s short life – ending on the gallows at Melbourne Gaol in 1880 – this spectacular collection is sure to be the ‘Most Wanted’ release of the year!

A striking remembrance of Australia’s ‘wild colonial days’, this stirring new collection comprises four eye-catching $1 legal tender coins – each struck by The Perth Mint from 1oz .999 silver. Superbly enhanced with full-colour, each 40mm coin portrays one of the key moments in the lead-up to Ned’s capture, trial and execution. Depicting the £8,000 reward notice issued in February 1879, his world famous coat of armour, the Glenrowan siege and Ned’s execution respectively, the four coins unite to form a unique chronicle of the last months of Ned’s reign as Australia’s most wanted outlaw – and a collector acquisition of immense quality.

Housed within an attractive timber case, and complete with a FREE limited edition Ned Kelly Print, this memorable presentation is defined by a tiny worldwide limited edition of just 1,880 sets. Immediate action is highly recommended – sure to sell out at speed, this collection will soon be as hard to hunt down as the legendary bushranger himself!

An outstanding tribute to Australia’s legendary bushranger, each of these stunning collections is...

  • Taken from a tiny worldwide limited edition of just 1,880 – sure to sell out
  • Comprised of four 40mm 1oz .999 fine silver Proofs – struck by The Perth Mint as official Tuvalu legal tender
  • Housed within a lavish timber presentation case, set in an eye-catching outer box
  • Accompanied by an 8pp historical booklet, incorporating a numbered Certificate of Authenticity
  • Complete with a FREE individually numbered limited edition Ned Kelly Print! Valued at A$29.95
  • Absolutely sensational value-for-money at Official Issue Price – act now!

For more information or to purchase online, please click on the appropriate link:
Australia
North America


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Perth Mint New Releases - Battles, Orbital & Sea Life Series!

Last week saw the release of three new Perth Mint silver coins. Two from already popular on-going series and the third from a fresh new series dedicated to Australian sea life. Read on for full details!


Battle of Balaklava

The 4th and second-last release in the ‘Famous Battles In History’ series see’s the famous Battle of Balaklava re-created. The series itself is dedicated to commemorating famous battles throughout history, with previous issues focusing on the battles of Hastings, Cannae and Thermopylae. All have been extremely beautifully designed coins effectively depicting their respective battles, with the latest release being no exception!

AQ404

Fought on 25th October 1854 during the Crimean War, the bloody Battle of Balaklava was part of the Anglo-French-Turkish campaign to capture the port and fortress of Sevastopol, Russia’s principal naval base on the Black Sea. The 40.6mm Silver Proof bears a full-colour depiction – as painted by brilliant artist Richard Caton Woodville (1825-55) – of one of the most famous moments of the Battle of Balaklava – the ill-fated ‘Charge of the Light Brigade’, in which Lord Cardigan, after a misinterpreted order, led a 600-strong contingent of mounted British troops into the ‘valley of death’ against a huge Russian army. With over 110 British troops killed, and over 270 wounded, this battle went down in history as one of Britain’s most disastrous military defeats.AQ404_pack

With the earlier coins in the series all selling out at phenomenal speed many collectors were left empty-handed and considering the previous sales and high demand this series has created, it would be safe to say that this is definitely a coin that is again set to attract massive interest in collectors, not only from Australia, but also from across the globe.

For more information or to purchase online, please click on the appropriate link:
Australia
North America


Man on the Moon Orbital

Celebrating landmark events in space exploration, the Perth Mint’s ‘Orbit and Beyond’ series has commanded attention of collector’s right round the globe. Starting back in 2007, the series has seen one coin released each year with an innovative “orbital” function that allows the reverse design to rotate around a central image of the planet earth. With the previous issues having highlighted the 50th Anniversary of Sputnik, the First man in Space and the First Space Walk, there was always a sneaking suspicion that humanity’s greatest technological triumph – putting a man on the moon – would feature in this spellbinding series, and the Perth Mint has not let us down!

kc664

Comprising 1oz of 99.9% pure silver, with a central core made of non-previous metal, this coin displays an utterly unique appearance - one suitably fitting for such a monumental occasion. Representing the ideal format to celebrate the 40th anniversary of such a crucial juncture in human history, the coin’s reverse portrays Apollo 11 during the different phases of its historic mission.KC664_pack

Combining the unique qualities of the coin and the importance of its historic theme will ensure massive demand for the 2009 $1 Man on the Moon Orbital 1oz Silver Proof, both in Australia and overseas. With most of the mintage destined for the international market, collectors would be wise to make the most of any opportunity to guarantee supply of this dramatic commemorative coin.

For more information or to purchase online, please click on the appropriate link:
Australia
North America


Australian Sea Life – Lionfish

A spectacular start to a fantastic new series, to be issued progressively until May 2010, the Perth Mint has just released the 2010 50c Lionfish 1/2oz Siler Proof! A mesmerizing tribute to one of the nation’s most exotic marine inhabitant’s, this sensational new Australian legal tender coin is an essential acquisition for anyone enchanted by the mints incomparable full-colour expertise.

AQ405

Portraying the truly majestic Lionfish in full colour glory, the reverse of the coin does well in highlighting such a beautiful Australian sea creature. The ideal candidate for the application of the Perth Mint’s state of the art full-colour minting technology, the Lionfish is distinguished by strong black and red bands, and very prominent dorsal and pectoral fins – all of which are superbly recreated upon the new crown-sized 36.60mm flan of this unique legal tender coin.AQ405_pack

Housed within an official case with a numbered Certificate of Authenticity, as typical with Perth Mint releases, this coin also comes in a vividly illustrated outer box, that when placed with the outer boxes of the remaining four coins in the series, forms on complete, eye catching marine photo!

An outstanding opportunity to build a complete, attractive, exclusive coin collection in just a matter of months, you must not miss the crucial first element of the 2010 Australian Sea Life Series.

For more information or to purchase online, please click on the appropriate link:
Australia
North America

SOLD OUT!


Downies currently has all three sets in stock and available for sale via our website. To stay up to date with our current product releases follow us on Twitter, or add yourselves to our mailing list.


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Perth Mint New Releases - Battles, Orbital & Sea Life Series!

Last week saw the release of three new Perth Mint silver coins. Two from already popular on-going series and the third from a fresh new series dedicated to Australian sea life. Read on for full details!


Battle of Balaklava

The 4th and second-last release in the ‘Famous Battles In History’ series see’s the famous Battle of Balaklava re-created. The series itself is dedicated to commemorating famous battles throughout history, with previous issues focusing on the battles of Hastings, Cannae and Thermopylae. All have been extremely beautifully designed coins effectively depicting their respective battles, with the latest release being no exception!

AQ404

Fought on 25th October 1854 during the Crimean War, the bloody Battle of Balaklava was part of the Anglo-French-Turkish campaign to capture the port and fortress of Sevastopol, Russia’s principal naval base on the Black Sea. The 40.6mm Silver Proof bears a full-colour depiction – as painted by brilliant artist Richard Caton Woodville (1825-55) – of one of the most famous moments of the Battle of Balaklava – the ill-fated ‘Charge of the Light Brigade’, in which Lord Cardigan, after a misinterpreted order, led a 600-strong contingent of mounted British troops into the ‘valley of death’ against a huge Russian army. With over 110 British troops killed, and over 270 wounded, this battle went down in history as one of Britain’s most disastrous military defeats.AQ404_pack

With the earlier coins in the series all selling out at phenomenal speed many collectors were left empty-handed and considering the previous sales and high demand this series has created, it would be safe to say that this is definitely a coin that is again set to attract massive interest in collectors, not only from Australia, but also from across the globe.

For more information or to purchase online, please click on the appropriate link:
Australia
North America


Man on the Moon Orbital

Celebrating landmark events in space exploration, the Perth Mint’s ‘Orbit and Beyond’ series has commanded attention of collector’s right round the globe. Starting back in 2007, the series has seen one coin released each year with an innovative “orbital” function that allows the reverse design to rotate around a central image of the planet earth. With the previous issues having highlighted the 50th Anniversary of Sputnik, the First man in Space and the First Space Walk, there was always a sneaking suspicion that humanity’s greatest technological triumph – putting a man on the moon – would feature in this spellbinding series, and the Perth Mint has not let us down!

kc664

Comprising 1oz of 99.9% pure silver, with a central core made of non-previous metal, this coin displays an utterly unique appearance - one suitably fitting for such a monumental occasion. Representing the ideal format to celebrate the 40th anniversary of such a crucial juncture in human history, the coin’s reverse portrays Apollo 11 during the different phases of its historic mission.KC664_pack

Combining the unique qualities of the coin and the importance of its historic theme will ensure massive demand for the 2009 $1 Man on the Moon Orbital 1oz Silver Proof, both in Australia and overseas. With most of the mintage destined for the international market, collectors would be wise to make the most of any opportunity to guarantee supply of this dramatic commemorative coin.

For more information or to purchase online, please click on the appropriate link:
Australia
North America


Australian Sea Life – Lionfish

A spectacular start to a fantastic new series, to be issued progressively until May 2010, the Perth Mint has just released the 2010 50c Lionfish 1/2oz Siler Proof! A mesmerizing tribute to one of the nation’s most exotic marine inhabitant’s, this sensational new Australian legal tender coin is an essential acquisition for anyone enchanted by the mints incomparable full-colour expertise.

AQ405

Portraying the truly majestic Lionfish in full colour glory, the reverse of the coin does well in highlighting such a beautiful Australian sea creature. The ideal candidate for the application of the Perth Mint’s state of the art full-colour minting technology, the Lionfish is distinguished by strong black and red bands, and very prominent dorsal and pectoral fins – all of which are superbly recreated upon the new crown-sized 36.60mm flan of this unique legal tender coin.AQ405_pack

Housed within an official case with a numbered Certificate of Authenticity, as typical with Perth Mint releases, this coin also comes in a vividly illustrated outer box, that when placed with the outer boxes of the remaining four coins in the series, forms on complete, eye catching marine photo!

An outstanding opportunity to build a complete, attractive, exclusive coin collection in just a matter of months, you must not miss the crucial first element of the 2010 Australian Sea Life Series.

For more information or to purchase online, please click on the appropriate link:
Australia
North America

SOLD OUT!


Downies currently has all three sets in stock and available for sale via our website. To stay up to date with our current product releases follow us on Twitter, or add yourselves to our mailing list.


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Saltwater Crocodile - SOLD OUT!

It has come as no surprise that just a week after the Saltwater Crocodile 1oz Silver Proof was released, it has sold out at Downies! As Downies had a large allocation as official distributor for the Perth Mint it illustrates the sheer popularity and demand the coin has generated.

As with the previous releases in the Deadly and Dangerous series, the Red Back, Blue Ring Octopus and Great White have all run a similar course - with allocations selling fast after initial release dates. It further shows what a stunning and glorious series this has been!

Other dealers have also seen similar results with most already, or close to, selling out.croc_sold


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4th Coin in the Deadly and Dangerous Series!

This week saw the release of the fourth coin in the Deadly and Dangerous series, the 2009 $1 Saltwater Crocodile 1oz Silver Proof.

Found in suitable habitats throughout Southeast Asia and Northern Australia, the Saltwater Crocodile is the largest of all living reptiles. Known to grow over 6 meters long and weigh over 1,500kgs, these enormous reptiles can take on prey as large as a 1 tonne Water Buffalo. Salt Water Crocs are opportunistic predators whom often lie in wait for their victims just below the surface of the water, and without warning, quickly strike. They will often kill their prey with one snap of their powerful jaws. If not, they will drown it with a "death roll", dragging it down under the surface of the water.

croc_coin

The latest coin in the infamous Deadly and Dangerous series honors the Saltwater Croc by delivering a vivid design upon its 40.6mm flan. Whilst effectively capturing the sheer strength and power of such a Deadly and Dangerous creature, the coin itself displays a stunning example of the peerless full-color minting techniques The Perth-Mint has become so famous for.

croc_package


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Cooks Cottage Commemorative Coin

On Saturday 17 October 2009, Cooks Cottage, Australia’s ‘oldest building’, will celebrate its 75th anniversary in Melbourne. To help celebrate this momentous occasion, the Perth Mint has arranged for the release of an absolutely stunning .999 silver proof coin. Read on for full details!

The coin…
Distinctive, eye-catching and exclusive, this official legal tender 1oz Silver Proof commemorates the anniversary of one of Australia’s most iconic architectural structures – Cooks’ Cottage.

Known as ‘the oldest building in Australia’, the family home of Captain James Cook was taken – brick by brick – from its original location in England and rebuilt in Melbourne’s Fitzroy Gardens in the early 1930s. A visionary tribute to the ‘Discoverer of the east coast’, the cottage was officially unveiled in 1934 as the focus of the centenary celebrations of European settlement in Victoria.

Celebrating the 75th anniversary of one of Australia’s most internationally renowned, most visited tourist attractions, this unique, one-year-only legal tender $1 coin captures Australia’s rich history within the powerful parameters of modern minting. Shaped like one of the hundreds of bricks transported from Great Ayton in Yorkshire, this flawless precious metal coin is graced with an innovative, intricately detailed design of the Cooks’ home – superbly struck in high-relief Silver Proof. An exquisite illustration of The Perth Mint’s mastery of full-colour minting techniques, the 32.7mm x 32.7mm flan is also distinguished by a vivid portrait of the legendary explorer.

A fine complement to any full-colour coin collection, the limited edition 2009 $1 Cooks’ Cottage 1oz Silver Proof forms an outstanding tribute to one of the most important figures in Australian history.

  • Taken from a tiny worldwide mintage of just 5,000 coins
  • Crafted to the pinnacle of Proof quality from 1oz of .999 fine silver
  • Struck by The Perth Mint as official Cook Islands legal tender of $1
  • Housed within a plush presentation case, within a stylish outer box
  • Accompanied by a numbered Certificate of Authenticity

The history…
When James Cook Snr built the Cooks’ family home in the Yorkshire village of Great Ayton, England, little could he have imagined that it would one day end up 12,000 miles away in Australia, standing as a monument to his famous son – Captain James Cook. Built in the 1750s, the Cook family home was put up for auction by the then owners in 1933. In an excellent state of preservation, and visited by antiquarians and historians from all over the globe, the prospective sale of the cottage attracted great attention worldwide – including from Victoria, which at that time was preparing to celebrate the 100th anniversary of European Settlement in the state.

Local author Hermon Gill instantly seized upon the idea of purchasing and relocating the cottage to Melbourne, where it would form the focal point of the centenary celebrations. Leading Victorian businessman and philanthropist Russell Grimwade (later Sir Russell), was enthusiastic when presented with the idea, and purchased the cottage for £800 on behalf of the people of Victoria.

An extraordinary, elaborate process, the cottage was carefully disassembled and transported in 253 cases and 40 barrels, with key elements safely packed within concrete. Individually identified and numbered, the components of the Cottage were shipped from Hull to Australia aboard the Dunedin. After some controversy over the appropriate location, Cooks’ Cottage was reconstructed ‘brick-by-brick’ in Melbourne’s Fitzroy Gardens.

Officially opened to the public on the 15th of October 1934, Cooks’ Cottage was instantly popular, with 23,000 people visiting in the first two months. In the 75 years that have since passed, hundreds of thousands more Australian and international visitors have viewed the iconic structure, marveling at the rich history inherent in one of Australia’s most famous landmarks.

The Cook Islands 2009 $1 Cooks’ Cottage 1oz Silver Proof coin is now available from Downies at official issue price!

For more information and to purchase online, please click on the appropriate link:
Australia & International

North America


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