By the Royal Australian Mint….
With some fans queuing overnight, coin collectors and Canberra public today joined the iconic Royal Australian Mint New Year’s celebrations seeing one lucky collector strike the first coin worldwide in 2016.
At the pinnacle yearly event for collectors, the latest gallery press design was unveiled paying tribute to the uniquely Australian sovereign first struck at the Sydney Mint in the late 1850s, in the boom of the gold rush.
Mint CEO Mr. Ross MacDiarmid said that with the 50th anniversary of decimal currency fast approaching this year, the design was fitting for this popular tradition that is one of the most sought after on the events calendar for the Mint.
“We’ll see Australia celebrating the 50th anniversary of decimal currency in February so we thought we’d take this opportunity to reach further back into Australian coinage history and see where it all started – Australia’s First Mints,” said Mr MacDiarmid.
“Many Australians get nostalgic about familiar coins from the past and we know that many of the people are here today because it’s a special anniversary year and this coin will be the perfect New Year souvenir to mark the occasion.
“The first 100 collectors in the queue at 10 am make international history with the Mint, being the only people to strike a coin in 2016 at that time. As you can imagine, this opportunity is highly sought after within the numismatic community.”
Each year, keen collectors line up outside the Mint awaiting the opportunity to be among the first 100 in the world to mint a coin in the New Year. Receiving a certificate authenticating their piece, the first 100 people to strike a coin will have a special memento to keep forever.
The collectible coin in unique packaging is adorned with a ‘C for Canberra’ mintmark on it and is only available from the gallery press located at the Mint in Canberra, retailing at $3 each.
This design has also been produced on precious metal – silver coin (limited number of 5000 for $50 each) and gold coin (limited number of 1500 for $300 each).