By Royal Australian Mint ……
Exactly 30 years ago, Australia’s two dollar note was retired and the two dollar coin was born. Today (20 June 2018) the Royal Australian Mint celebrates the two dollar coin’s 30th birthday, looking back at designs and themes the coin has marked over three decades.
The two dollar coin was introduced on 20 June 1988 following a decision by the Treasurer, Paul Keating, to replace the two dollar notes as they were damaged too easily. Since then approximately 864 million two dollar coins have been produced by the Mint.
Numerous designers were invited to contribute designs for the two dollar coin based on a brief to include a representation of the head and shoulders of an Aboriginal Australian, the Southern Cross and Australian flora. The chosen design was prepared by Mr. Horst Hahne, with inspiration taken from an original artwork by Mr. Ainslie Roberts.
“In 1988 the two dollar coin joined Australia’s circulating currency and with it came the opportunity to honour the original inhabitants of Australia on our coins,” says Ross MacDiarmid, CEO of the Royal Australian Mint.
“In the 30 years since, the two dollar coin has continued to celebrate Australia’s history and culture. There have been many special edition commemorative designs marking Anzac Day and Remembrance Day, as well as milestones such as Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II’s 60 years on the throne.”
To acknowledge 30 years of the two dollar coin, the Mint has produced a commemorative set that unites 12 of the designs that have entered into general circulation, including Anzac Day and Remembrance Day releases.
“The set is a celebration of the heritage, creativity and engineering excellence for which the Royal Australian Mint is renowned,” says Mr. MacDiarmid.
The 2018 $2 Twelve Coin Colored Uncirculated Set is available now from the Mint’s online store or Contact Centre at eshop.ramint.gov.au or 1300 652 020.
Did you know?
- The two dollar note was replaced with the two dollar coin because the note was only lasting six months or less whereas coins could circulate for up to 40 years.
- The decision to introduce the two dollar coin followed widespread community consultation, including with organisations representing the visually impaired, the vending machine industry, retailers and financial institutions.
- The size of the two dollar coin was determined after considering the needs of the visually impaired, alongside security considerations, a desire to avoid shaped coins and practical limitations to the diameter and thickness of coins.
- Former Treasurer and Prime Minister Paul Keating had the privilege of striking the first two dollar coin at the Mint in 1988.
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A few years ago I spent some time in “the land called Oz”. I also spent a lot of $2 coins, and found them to be convenient and easy to distinguish from other denominations. Their widespread use meant I rarely received more than a single $1 coin in change; the infamous “pocket full of dollar coins” that’s so feared in this country simply doesn’t happen.
Why can’t we be at least as clever and adaptable as our Australian friends?????