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…

WIN A FREE TRIP TO PERTH AND THE PERTH MINT!

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

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Product of the Week: 2013 Australian Gold Kangaroos

australiangoldOn Oct 1, 2012, the Perth Mint in Australia released the latest issue of a popular Gold bullion series: the 2013 Australian Gold Kangaroo. Much like the previous releases in this series, these Gold Kangaroos are issued as Australian legal tender and guaranteed by the Commonwealth Government of Australia.

The 2013 Australian Gold Kangaroos are offered in sizes of 1/10 oz, 1/4 oz, 1/2 oz and 1 oz, as well as the larger 1 kilo size. The smaller sizes (1/10 oz to 1 oz) have limited mintages of no more than 350,000, depending on size, which gives them high numismatic value. Their worldwide distribution facilitates easy purchase and liquidation, making them good investment pieces, as well.

The Australian Gold Kangaroos have been offered by the Perth Mint since 1989 and are one of the few Gold bullion coins to change its reverse design each year. This year’s issue depicts a kangaroo standing against the Australian outback. The kilo coin differs slightly, in that the image is instead a hopping Red Kangaroo. The “P” mint mark appears on the reverse of each coin, along with the inscriptions “Australian Kangaroo,” the date, size of the coin, and the purity, “9999 Gold.” The obverse of each coin shows the Ian Rank-Broadley likeness of Queen Elizabeth II, as well as the coin’s monetary denomination.

The Perth Mint opened in 1899, originally serving as a branch of Britain’s Royal Mint to help supply Gold sovereigns and half sovereigns, which were used as everyday circulating coins throughout the British Empire. In 1970, control of the mint passed from Britain to the Western Australian Government, which still owns it today.

To add these beautiful coins to your collection or your investment portfolio, shop APMEX’s selection of 2013 Australian Gold Kangaroo bullion coins. APMEX makes it easy to buy Gold by offering competitive Gold prices on all Gold coins and bars.

Click here to view our wide selection of 2013 Australian Gold Kangaroos as well as all previous years of Gold Kangaroos:

 

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Product of the Week: 2013 1 oz Silver Australian Kookaburra

2013 1 oz Silver Australian KookaburraIn 1990, the Perth Mint of Australia began minting an unusual Silver bullion coin: the Silver Kookaburra. These beautiful coins celebrate the very interesting bird native to Australia. The kookaburra is the world’s largest kingfisher and is sometimes called the “laughing jackass” because of its chattering calls. Each year features a different reverse design, and the 2013 is believed to be one of the stand-outs of the entire series!

The reverse of this year’s issue displays two kookaburras sitting on a tree branch, similar to the 1994 and 2001 designs, but in much nicer detail. Each 1 oz Silver Australian Kookaburra contains .999 fine Silver and includes prooflike frosting in the central design. The obverse of this Silver coin features a portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and lists the face value of the coin, which originally was $5, but was lowered to $1 in 1992.

The Perth Mint began in 1899 as a branch of Britain’s Royal Mint in order to help supply the Gold sovereigns and half sovereigns that were used as everyday circulating coins throughout the British Empire. In 1970, control of the mint passed from Britain to the Western Australian Government, which still owns it to this day.

Don’t miss your chance to own these beautiful collector’s items. Get your 2013 1 oz Silver Australian Kookaburra coins from APMEX today!

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

INTRODUCING THE 2013 PROOF YEAR OF THE SNAKE. PURCHASE BY OCTOBER 5, 2012 TO QUALIFY FOR A CHANCE TO 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.

BUY NOW* FOR YOUR CHANCE TO WIN

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.

TO QUALIFY, SIMPLY PURCHASE $250 OR MORE IN 2013 PERTH MINT COINS, LIKE THE LUNAR YEAR OF THE SNAKE, AND YOU WILL AUTOMATICALLY BE ENTERED TO WIN*.

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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