Pennsylvania Association of Numismatists (PAN) President and Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) member Tom Uram received a FedEx package and wanted retired U.S. Mint 12th Chief Engraver John Mercanti to be the one to open it during his visit to the PAN Fall Coin Show on Friday October 28, 2016.
John and his wife Marianne were sitting at the PAN book signing table when Tom approached and asked if he wouldn’t mind because he would surely be interested in the contents. John carefully peeled away the packing and was surprised to see that it was the delayed release Australian Wedge-tailed Eagle 2016 Bimetallic Coin from The Perth Mint that he was contracted to design. Mr. Mercanti had not seen his finished creation.
Only a few firms had the coin available for sale and Tom was able to acquire this one from a German company. John and Marianne were quite drawn to how beautiful the finished product had turned out.
John has been doing work for the Perth Mint since his retirement from the U.S. Mint. He remarked how delighted he has been at the popularity of his wedge tailed eagle designs on previous silver coins from Perth. The look on Mr. and Mrs. Mercanti’s faces was wonderful to catch. The majestic eagle perched in a .999 gold centerpiece with the .999 silver border includes the inscription AUSTRALIAN WEDGE-TAILED EAGLE, the 2016 year-date and The Perth Mint’s ‘P’ mintmark was beyond his expectations with a commanding elegance, simplicity, and beauty. The bi-metal coin depicts the Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and the monetary denomination on the obverse.
PAN invited John to be a guest at the coin show to honor his American Silver Eagle design on the 30th anniversary of the popular silver bullion coin. As with any birthday celebration, it is very nice to open a package and PAN was fortunate to be the venue for the birthday surprise. Just to be clear, Tom kept his coin. There is a limited mintage of only 750 and they are pricy. The Perth Mint has put out a very creative product in the bi-metal silver and gold and clearly recognizes John Mercanti’s artistic talent. There are some available through larger coin companies and distributors. The cost for the 1/2 oz silver, 1/2 oz gold coin is somewhere in the $1,700 USD range.
John will have to buy his own.
Australian Wedge-Tailed Eagle Coins Currently Available on eBay