Interview with Natasha Muhl, designer of the APMEXclusive 2014 1/2 oz Silver Australian Great White Shark

Natasha Muhl, designer at the Perth Mint We had the opportunity to chat with Natasha Muhl, the creative force behind the APMEXclusive 2014 1/2 oz Silver Australian Great White Shark. See below for some unique insights into her design process.

Where do you get your inspiration from?
I’m from the Kimberley in the North West of Western Australia, so I spent a lot of time outdoors in nature growing up. This would probably be my biggest inspiration, especially when it comes to designing Australian fauna-themed coins. While doing my research for any new series, I tend to look at a range of photography and watch nature documentaries. This helps me to accurately recreate the animal. I also take inspiration from coin collecting catalogs and numismatic magazines, as it’s always great to see what other mints are up to and keep ideas fresh.

How do you start the design process?
The Perth Mint Sales and Marketing team meet fortnightly to discuss potential concepts for each coin program. Once the theme has been determined, the designers are given a detailed creative brief to follow. As part of the research process we often take part in field trips. With the Great White Shark bullion coin for example, I visited the Aquarium of Western Australia and dived with a range of sharks. It was wonderful to come face to face with these amazing creatures and it really helped steer my creative process.

What are some of your favorite coins?
There are so many to choose from, but I would have to say The Perth Mint’s Famous Ballets Silver proof coin set, with its subtle pad printing details, is one of my favorites. More recently I’m really enjoying the Gods of Olympus series which is struck in high relief to a rimless format – a first for the Mint! These mythological gods are quite dark and moody so it is an exciting concept for the design studio. They have also proven to be extremely popular with collectors which is always great.

How did you get into designing coins?

2014 1/2 oz Silver Australian Great White Shark

2014 1/2 oz Silver Australian Great White Shar

I studied at Central Institute of Technology [in Perth], graduating with an Advanced Diploma in Graphic Design in 2009. Fellow Perth Mint designer, Tom Vaughan, was a previous classmate of mine and he kindly recommended me to the Mint when they were looking for a new illustrator. It’s always been my dream to become a designer, so I feel very fortunate to work for The Perth Mint as I get the chance to illustrate a broad range of themes for a variety of audiences.

Why a shark instead of another sea predator or animal?
The Great White Shark is probably the most feared and interesting predator in existence. Most people around the world have watched the movie Jaws and can imagine the terror of an encounter with this deadly creature. I think that’s what makes them so exciting and sought-after.

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6 fun facts about one of the world’s most innovative mints: The Perth Mint of Australia.

The Perth Mint

The Perth Mint (Photo credit: amandabhslater)

If you’re an APMEX customer, you may know The Perth Mint as the prized destination for our annual “Escape To Australia” contest. As an investor or collector, you probably know The Perth Mint for their products. Their Gold and Silver Lunar coins are among the most beautiful and collected Chinese Zodiac coins in the world. Here are a few surprising facts about The Perth Mint that you might not know.

Rare. Many Perth Mint coins are made in strictly limited mintages, giving even their most value-priced bullion coins a dimension of collectibility.

Same Location since 1899. The Perth Mint was established in 1899 as a branch of Britain’s Royal Mint. Today, it’s one of the oldest mints in the world to operate on its original premises, despite the name change.. The Perth Mint is actually incorporated as Gold Corporation and  has two wholly owned subsidiaries – Western Australian Mint and GoldCorp USA.

Created The First Gold Bullion Series. In 1986, The Perth Mint launched the Australian Gold Nugget Coin Series, the first bullion series with a reverse (back) design that changes every year. The first few coins featured Gold nuggets. In 1989, the design switched to a kangaroo. Today, we commonly call this series the Australian Gold Kangaroo.

Biggest and Best. In 2011, The Perth Mint unveiled the biggest, heaviest and inherently most valuable Gold coin in the world. Weighing in at 1,000kg (2,204.6 pounds), this coin contains one metric tonne of 99.99 percent pure Gold and is worth more than $42.6 million at current Gold prices.

A Refinery and A Mint. There’s only one Gold refinery in Australia and it’s The Perth Mint. Between coins, bullion and industrial Gold, The Perth Mint produces more than 400 tonnes of Gold per year.

Visit Perth and The Mint. Located on the Western Shore of Australia, Perth is a bustling and beautiful city with beaches, parks and natural wonders unique to this island continent. You can also visit The Perth Mint while you’re there. In fact, you could…


Every fall, when the new Perth Mint coins come out, APMEX launches the “Escape To Australia” contest. Watch for it on this blog and

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Perth Mint Lunar Series II Year of the Horse. Interview with Ron Currie Marketing Director Perth Mint

Perth Mint Lunar SeriesTell us a little bit about the history of the Perth Mint.

The Perth Mint was established in 1899 as a branch of Britain’s Royal Mint to refine the gold from Western Australia’s eastern goldfields, and to turn it into sovereigns and half sovereigns for use throughout the Empire.

The Mint continued under British control until 1970, when ownership was transferred to the Government of Western Australia.

In the mid-1980s, following a major redevelopment initiated by the State Government, The Perth Mint became the home of the Australian Precious Metals Coin Program. By agreement with the Commonwealth Government, the Mint manufactures and markets an extensive range of legal tender gold, silver and platinum coins to investors and collectors worldwide.

Operated by Gold Corporation, The Perth Mint is committed to adding value to, and creating demand, for Australian precious metals in a worldwide market.

In addition to producing the world’s widest range of precious metal minted products, The Perth Mint operates Australia’s only precious metals refinery. It also offers a variety of investment options and storage facilities, and hosts a multi-award winning attraction which welcomes more than 80,000 visitors each year.

Can you please tell us more about the design for the Lunar Horse?

The Perth Mint has a dedicated team of six talented designers who together work with sculptors, engravers and engineers to create the intricate designs of our Australian Lunar Coin Program.

In 2014, the reverse designs of the gold coins depict a horse galloping in a stylised scene of mountains and clouds, which represents the highland regions of China. The horse symbolises freedom and reinforces the energetic characteristics of this spirited animal.

The design featured on the reverse of the silver coins depicts two horses standing in a Chinese landscape inspired by traditional Chinese painting styles. The two animals standing together represent the creature’s social nature and companionship.

What makes the Lunar Series special and collectable?

The Australian Lunar Series II is the most sought-after annual coin program released by The Perth Mint, with a number of the more popular issues selling out soon after they are released.

This result is due to the consistent high quality of our bullion coins, coupled with annual design changes and select mintages, which combine to create potential for numismatic appreciation above each coin’s investment value.

What can we expect in terms of a design next year

In 2015, we will unveil exciting new designs in celebration of the Year of the Goat. Here at the Mint, we work for more than one year in advance to perfect our Lunar design, and I can tell you that our designers are currently finalising a range of options for both the gold and silver issues.

The Lunar goat is renowned for peace, health and success; as such, our 2015 coins will reflect these attributes in our designs.

What can the winner look forward to during their trip to Perth?

A visit to The Perth Mint! As one of Western Australia’s leading tourist attractions, The Perth Mint offers a combination of unique exhibitions and demonstrations themed on gold.
The winner can enjoy a guided heritage walk, a traditional gold pour and view the Australian Kangaroo one tonne pure gold coin, recognised by Guinness World Records as the largest coin in the world. For more information, go to
Other popular Perth attractions include unspoilt white beaches, Kings Park, the Bell Tower, Perth Zoo, and Caversham Wildlife Park where visitors can see kangaroos, koalas, kookaburras and wombats.

5th Annual APMEX & Perth Mint Australian Getaway

Perth_Email_BannerAPMEX and the Perth Mint once again join forces for the 5th Annual APMEX & Perth Mint Australian trip giveaway. Simply purchase any 2014 Perth Mint coins from APMEX, and you will automatically be entered for a chance to win a vacation for two to Perth, Australia. Take advantage of this great opportunity to own 2014 Lunar Year of the Horse Coins in Gold or Silver and the 2014 Silver Australian Kookaburra coins. You could win an amazing vacation package that consists of:

  • Round-Trip Coach Class airline tickets to Perth, Australia
  • Hotel Accommodations
  • $1,000 AUD for use during your trip
  • Private VIP Tour of the world renowned Perth Mint

Shop the 2014 Perth Mint collection for your chance to win!
*Purchase not necessary to enter. Click Here for complete rules.

2013 Year of the Snake Just Arrived. Win A Trip To Australia.


In Chinese Mythology, the snake is a symbol of grace, charm and independence, and it is believed that those born under this sign embody these characteristics. The latest release of the Perth Mint’s Lunar Series II is the 2013 Proof Lunar Year of the Snake, available in Gold & Silver and in multiple sizes.

The reverse, or back, of the stunning Silver coin depicts a snake curled around a tree branch, while the Gold coin depicts the snake curled in grass and bamboo shoots. The Proof finish adds to the coin’s beauty with a mirrorlike background that enhances the raised design.


APMEX and the Perth Mint are teaming up for our 4th Annual Escape to Australia. The winner receives round trip airfare for two to Perth, Australia, hotel accommodations, $1,000 AUD in spending money and a private VIP tour of the Perth Mint. But hurry, eligibility closes on Friday, October 5, 2012.


You can choose from 2013 designs like the Year of the Snake designed for Perth’s Lunar Series II or the 2013 Silver Australian Kookaburra.

So take advantage of this great opportunity to own some of the most beautiful coins minted for 2013 and the chance to escape to the exotic land down under – Australia!

*Purchase not necessary. Click Here for complete rules and details.

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G’Day APMEX Mates! Announcing the Annual Australian Vacation Giveaway!

giveaway, free, freebie, gold, gold coins, gold bullion, buy gold, gold prices

APMEX has partnered with The Perth Mint of Australia to sponsor our annual vacation giveaway,“Escape to Australia.”  APMEX customers are automatically qualified to win a trip for two to Perth, Australia by purchasing $250 or more of 2012 Perth Mint coins from prior to October 15, 2011. The “Escape to Australia” giveaway includes round-trip airfare for two to Perth, Australia, hotel accommodations, $1,000 (AUD) in spending cash and a VIP tour of The Perth Mint. For details, go to Escape to Austrailia.  

The Perth Mint is one of the world’s premier mints and has a reputation for innovation and superb quality in its bullion and collectible coins including the 2012-dated Year of the Dragon Gold coins and Silver coins. The dragon is the only mythical creature on the Chinese lunar calendar; it will not be featured again on a coin until the year 2024. Don’t miss this opportunity to win a free trip down under.

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Market Recap 6/10/11

Sovereign debt trouble in the U.S. and Europe were the running theme this week. The U.S. experienced a hangover from last Friday’s disappointing economic news.  On Monday, Jim McCaughan, CEO of Principal Global Investors, said that the U.S. might be recovering from their financial collapse of 2008, but Europe has not seen theirs yetIn Portugal, Prime Minister Jose Socrates was soundly defeated in weekend elections by the opposition party, led by Pedro Passos Coelho. Portugal’s parliament had already blocked austerity measures proposed by Prime Minister Socrates for being too severe. Now Portugal has a new party to lead them through a difficult future.

On the heels of the U.S. dollar falling to a one-month low,  Ben Bernanke, the Federal Reserve Chairman, answered questions at his press conference on Tuesday.  “Until we see a sustained period of stronger job creation, we cannot consider the recovery to be truly established,” he said. After the press conference, both metals and stocks lost ground that was gained early in the day.  President Obama met with German Chancellor Angela Merkel and spoke out against rumors of a double-dip recession.

Wednesday brought about an important meeting which was touted as “…one of the worst meetings OPEC has ever had.”  The point was to bring production up, but this dissolved quickly.  Oil prices soared on the news.  In other news from the Middle East, Muammar Gaddafi’s reign in Libya is expected to come to an end.  NATO’s chief is appealing to the UN to help Libya transition to a democratic state.  NATO’s airstrikes are still in placeIn Syria, a number of civilians were killed in clashes between demonstrators and the government’s security forces.  The  situation in Yemen was similar as protestors rallied at the Capitol of Sanna.

The weekly jobless claims report in the U.S. was expected to show a modest dip of around 7,000 claims; however, it ended up swelling by 1,000 claims.  The stock market broke its six-day losing streak on Thursday but lost momentum, closing well off the day’s earlier highs.  The European Central Bank (ECB) met Thursday, and kept interest rates the same, as expected, but indications are that there will be a rate hike in July.  Estimates of a new bailout package for Greece now top 120 billion euros.

Mario Blejer, an Argentine economist wrote an article for Marketwatch titled “Why a Greek Default is Inevitable.”  It explains how the European Central Bank is making the Greek dilemma worse and there is no alternate ending available for Greece.  When that occurs, will it push other debt-troubled countries closer to default, such as Portugal and Ireland, who hold some of Greece’s debt?

Spot Gold prices opened this week at $1,543.00. The high during the week was on Monday, June 6th at $1,555.00, while the low for the week occurred on Friday, June 10th at $1,526.70. Gold ended the week down $11.00 at $1,532.00. This week, the most popular Gold bullion products were 2011 Gold American Eagles, 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Gold Bars, and 2011 1 oz. Gold Maple Leafs.

Spot Silver prices opened this week at $36.22. Silver reached a high of $37.86 on Friday, June 10th while this week’s low for Silver occurred on Wednesday, June 8th at $36.07. Silver ended the week up $0.02 at $36.24. The most popular Silver products on this week were 2011 Silver American Eagles, 2011 Silver Maple Leafs, 1 oz. Silver Buffalo Rounds and 10 oz. APMEX Silver Bars.

Spot Platinum prices opened this week at $1,817.40 and ended the week up $1.70 at $1,819.10. Popular Platinum products this week included, 1 oz. Platinum Bars, 1/10 oz. Platinum American Eagles, and 1 oz. Platinum American Eagles.

Spot Palladium prices opened this week at $785.30 and ended the week up $24.50 at $809.80. Palladium investors preferred 1 oz. Pamp Suisse Palladium Bars and Palladium Canadian Maple Leafs this week at

Featured Bullion Product: Australian Lunar Coins – Series 2

The most important of the traditional Chinese holidays, the Chinese New Year, also known as the Chinese Lunar New Year, is a much-celebrated event in China and in countries all around the world. Beginning on the first day of the first month of the traditional Chinese calendar, the festival of the New Year is a centuries-old celebration which includes red decorations, presents, food, clothing and corporate family preparations for luck and good fortune in the upcoming year.  2011 is the Year of the Rabbit in the traditional Chinese calendar. According to Chinese tradition, the Year of the Rabbit will be a welcome change after the Year of the fierce Tiger in 2010. The Rabbit, an emblem of longevity in Chinese mythology, represents grace and kindness and will usher in a period of peacefulness and wise counsel in 2011.

In order to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year, APMEX offers Year of the Rabbit Lunar Coins which commemorate this event in the Chinese calendar. The Lunar Coins are a great addition to any coin collection since the theme of the coin’s design draws its inspiration from China’s ancient Lunar Calendar. The stories indicate the twelve calendar animals have profound influence over those born under their ‘rule.’ Offered in both Gold and Silver, the Year of the Rabbit Lunar Coins commemorate the Rabbit’s place in the lunar calendar.