By Royal Australian Mint ……
A moment in history was struck on January 1 by one lucky coin enthusiast at the Royal Australian Mint’s long awaited New Year’s traditions, receiving the highly sought-after honor to produce the first coin worldwide in 2017.
Each year ahead of the Mint’s New Year traditions, anxious collectors wait for hours and, for some enthusiasts, even days to observe the unveiling of the ongoing theme for the respective year, this year being wowed by the design and artwork on the coins, commemorating a centenary of the Trans-Australian Railway which united Australia from east to west.
Mint CEO Mr. Ross MacDiarmid said that it was vital for Australians to recognize the influence that the Trans-Australian Railway has had on Australia’s development, and this popular annual event was the ideal way to kick off the centenary celebrations.
“One hundred years ago the wide brown land of Australia was a spectacular, but impassable, terrain – the east and west was divided – but then a 1698 kilometer track was opened, stretching from Kalgoorlie to Port Augusta, crossing the scorched Nullarbor Plain,” said Mr MacDiarmid.
“Since then, freight, mail and passengers have all been carried across the railway line with journeys ranging from practical and functional to whimsical and extravagant.
“It is important for Australians to celebrate the infrastructure that assisted in our country’s advancement through the 1900s, resulting in Australia becoming a more united and progressive nation – the Trans-Australian Railway did just this.
“As is the case each year, a certificate will be provided to the first 100 people in the queue authenticating that they were amongst the first people worldwide to strike a coin in 2017. For many of our collectors and the general public, this is a memento of great personal value.
“The most envied position for collectors is that of the fortunate person to be at the front of the line on New Year’s Day who has the rare opportunity to strike the very first coin in the entire world for 2017, taking home a one of a kind coin set to be treasured for years to come.”
These annual traditions see members of the public line up overnight, sometimes for days, for the opportunity to be in the exclusive group of 100 collectors that receive a certificate authenticating their piece as a keepsake to keep forever.
The first person in line received a one-off coin set including the coins from the mintmark and privy mark set and the fine silver proof version, accompanied by certificate number 1.
The ‘C’ for Canberra Visitor Press coin, retailing for $3, is only available by visiting the Mint in Canberra, other coins in the Trans-Australian Railway Centenary series are available via the Mint’s eShop – https://eshop.ramint.gov.au or by calling the Contact Centre on 1300 652 020.
The Trans-Australian Railway Centenary design features a stylised version of the G Class locomotive and accompanying carriages that were used on the original journey one hundred years ago.
This design will also be struck in stunning fine silver (limited number of 4,500 for $50 AUD each) and in gold (limited number of 1,000 for $300 each).
Australian Commemorative Coins Currently Available on eBay