A reader recently mentioned in comments that the Perth Mint’s Sydney Cove Medallion High Relief Silver Proof Coin was available to order. This product was first released back in March 2010, and surprisingly has not yet sold out of its 5,000 maximum mintage.
I had tried to order this coin at some point in the past, but I believe the product was not eligible to be shipped to the US. For whatever reason, this is no longer the case and my order went through and shipped promptly.
The Sydney Cove Medallion is an artifact that was made by Josiah Wedgwood in 1789 from clay found near Sydney Cove. It depicts time’s opening scenes in the new Australian colony with four classical figures representing Hope, Art, Labour, and Peace on the shores of a bay with a ship in the background. The full title of the work was Hope encouraging Art and Labour under the influence of Peace to pursue the employments necessary to give security and happiness to the infant colony.
Beneath the scene is the legend “ETRURIA 1789″. Etruria was the main Wedgwood factory from 1769 to 1950.
The Perth Mint recreated the original design of the medallion as the reverse design of a high relief one ounce silver proof coin. Similar to the Perth Mint’s other high relief coins, it has a smaller diameter and extra thickness to create concave surfaces for both the obverse and reverse.
The obverse features the Ian Rank Broadley effigy of Queen Elizabeth II, with the legal tender denomination of “1 Dollar” and the “2010″ date.
In hand the coin is absolutely stunning. Many of the Perth Mint’s coins tend to focus on animals or natural scenes, so it is a treat to see their craftsmanship applied to a scene of classical human figures. This has become my favorite Perth Mint high relief silver coin.
The one (sort of) downside to the offering is that the coin only comes together with a Wedgewood Plate bearing the same design. While the plate is nice, I just don’t have an appreciation for Wedgwood plates in the same way that I have an appreciation for coins. The plate makes a nice accompaniment and is certainly relevant to the coin, but it adds to the cost, which is listed at US $181.60.
While I probably would have ordered multiple examples of this coin, it somehow would seem odd to order multiple Wedgwood plates, so I only ordered one.
I suspect that the added plate and the earlier apparent issues with shipping to the United States are the reasons that this beautiful coin has not sold out after more than two years. The Perth Mint’s product page can be found here.
Another previously issued high relief silver proof coin from the Perth Mint that still remains available for sale is the Pheidippidis’ Marathon Run 2,500th Anniversary Coin. These coins were issued in 2010 as legal tender under the authority of the Government of Tuvalu. The limited mintage was 5,000 pieces.