Australian Map-Shaped Coins

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In the world of bullion investment and numismatic collection, size, weight, and purity isn’t everything. While those three distinct qualities are staples in choosing what kind of bullion one should invest it, those three by themselves don’t always equate to greater premiums, or even better investment for that matter. In bullion investment and numismatics, as with antique investments, the variety and uniqueness of a piece of gold bullion coin can mean all the difference between a valuable gold, silver, or platinum coin and a truly remarkably precious bullion coin. Oftentimes it is not only the weight and the purity of a coin’s metal that ultimately decides its market value, but its rarity, uniqueness, and of course, the demand for just such a coin.

Due to these often vague prerequisites, a number of mints from all over the world have tried for years to create coins of strange and individual designs that would make it stand out amongst a nearly uniform lot. While sword-shaped, nugget-shaped, scallop-shaped, fan-shaped, pentagonal, square, and oblong coins have been thought of and minted, each with their own varying aesthetic virtues, never before has there been any attempt to create a truly outlandish, yet stunning and appropriate tribute and representation of the country it was minted in, not merely in the symbolism of the coin, but in the overall demeanour and appearance of the coin itself.

Renowned for their mastery in the meticulous and fine art of coin-crafting, the Perth Mint has created a new series of coins that have never-before graced the world of numismatics. Using a specialized method to create coin blanks that are shaped like the continent of Australia, these map-shaped coins will showcase the unique endemic wildlife of the country, complete with highly detailed full-colour backgrounds. Made of 99.9% pure silver and weighing one troy ounce, these uniquely-shaped numismatic wonders are legal tender in Australia, with a face value of A$1. The Map-shaped Series will feature a number of different animals endemic to Australia, presented in meticulously shaped bullion pieces that are nothing short of a scaled representation of the Australian continent – a numismatic aesthetic never before seen in any other type of currency anywhere in the world.

Depicting Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth on the obverse, it presents a unique portrayal of the queen’s portrait set against a stark mirror-finish background. As with all standard Australian coins, it bears the legends ‘ELIZABETH II AUSTRALIA’ along with its date of mintage and its face value. The series jumpstarted with the introduction of the Map-shaped Silver Kookaburra early in 2012, which depicted the said animal in stark proof silver high-detailed relief set against a background of a detailed Australian ‘farmstead’ landscape.[1] The coin also featured legends of the bird’s name, the weight of the coin, the date of mintage, the silver fineness, as well as the mintmark of the Perth Mint.

The Map-shaped Silver Kookaburra was shortly followed by another coin – this one featuring an emu, another endemic Australian bird known to be one of the largest flightless birds in the world. Depicting the emu in high-relief in proof silver, it is set in stark contrast against a richly detailed background of its natural desert habitat. As with the kookaburra before it, this Map-shaped coin also featured the bird’s name, as well as pertinent details regarding the coin’s weight and fineness on the obverse, alongside the distinctive mintmark of the Perth Mint.[2]

Owing to the unique nature of these coins and the fact that they make for excellent small-time investments that can give large returns in the long run, the series has proven to be quite popular, with the Mint setting out to make other coins in the series depicting other Australian wildlife sometime within the next year. Because it is a one-of-a-kind coin, each of these Map-shaped coins come in a limited mintage of only 6, 000 coins, making them prime collector’s and investor’s items in due course.

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