• golino_edited

    Modern Numismatics

    Louis Golino has been a collector of American and world coins since childhood and has written about coins since 2009. He writes about modern coins and other numismatic issues for Coin World. He is a founding member of the Modern Coin Forum.

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  • Interesting Issues from Down Under

    ?New wedge tailed eagle variety

    Most Australian silver bullion coins have always featured reverse proof finishes, a feature that made them different from most other world bullion issues.  But to my knowledge, there has not been until now a reverse proof silver coin that is also struck in high relief.

    Now the Wedge Tailed Eagle series that began in 2014, which has included a dizzying array of coins over the past couple years, has a new type of release for 2017: a high relief reverse proof coin that takes the place of the high relief proof coins issued in the past three years.

    Those coins, which have a mintage of 10,000 pieces, are probably the most popular variety within this series. 

    It will be interesting to see how collectors respond to the new type of high relief silver issue.  I have seen an example, and I think it looks great and adds a touch of elegance to the design.

    Last year a second wedge tailed eagle design in which the bird is perched on a tree rather than flying with wings spread out, as in 2014 and 2015, was introduced for the entire line of coins.  Both are the handiwork of John Mercanti, former Chief Engraver of the U.S. Mint.

    Kookaburra set
    Another interesting recent Aussie release that was first announced at the beginning of March is a special 2-coin Kookaburra silver coin set that includes a regular bullion coin (which is reverse proof) and proof issue that is only available in the set, whose mintage is 1,000 units. There are very few proof Kookaburras over the past three decades, and the one in this set is by far the lowest mintage of those few proofs.

    The sets were sold directly by Perth for $100, and they sold out quickly in early March, but it turns out they were produced at the initiative of APMEX, which presumably received a large portion of the mintage and which began selling them last week, but for $200.

    Perth confirmed to me that only it and APMEX sold the sets.  A couple German dealers also have them, and some have been sold on eBay, and those all appear to have been purchased from Perth and are priced around the same level as APMEX’s sets.

    Last week one of the popular online coin forums had an entire thread about these sets, and whether APMEX had priced them too high. Many agreed, while others said APMEX was actually pretty restrained and could have asked for more. They appear to be selling well at APMEX, but it is hard to tell how many are left since the company lists such products in batches.

    I initially felt the $200 level was probably as high as they would go, but once the sets on the market are all sold to collectors around the world, who will probably mostly want to keep them, the price for any sets sold down the line should be higher.