Inspirational Australians $1 Coin Series

In 2008, the Royal Australian Mint launched the first coin of the Inspirational Australians coin series. The coins recognize and celebrate individual achievements and commemorate Australians who have made an extraordinary contribution to society.

The annual releases have included the following:

  • Mary MacKillop (2008) – The first Australian Saint who founded an order which established schools and charitable institutions devoted to the care of orphans, neglected children, the homeless, sick, and aged.
  • Steve Irwin (2009) – A television personality, wildlife expert, and conservationist known around the world.
  • Fred Hollows (2010) – An ophthalmologist known for restoring eyesight to thousands of people and pioneering modern cataract surgery.
  • Dame Joan Sutherland (2011) – A remarkable female opera singer who reigned over many international stages during a 40 year career.
  • Sir Douglas Mawson (2012) – An Australian geologist, Antarctic explorer, and academic who was knighted for his achievements in leading the Australasian Antarctic Expedition between 1911 and 1914.

All coins of the series have been struck in aluminum bronze with of weight of 9 grams and diameter of 25 mm. Each is packaged on a themed display card with an illustration on the front and information on the person being honored on the back.

I have written about a number of these releases over the years, and it is always a pleasure to read and learn about the individuals being honored on the coins. I was so engrossed when reading about the Australasian Antarctic Expedition and the hardships and ordeals of Sir Douglas Mawson and his team that I felt compelled to order one of the coins. (Here is the Wikipedia recap of the expedition and a Flickr photo set.)

Although it is a base metal coin, it is sharply struck, semi-proof like, and mark free. The themed packaging also adds to the appeal.

Besides this particular coin, I also like the concept of the ongoing series. In many cases, themed series tend to focus on geographic regions, animals, or the lunar calendar. Even general commemorative series often focus on events, institutions, places, or anniversaries. This series focuses exclusively on individuals and highlights achievements from a broad range of fields.

I look forward to the future releases of the series and learning a little bit more about some other inspirational Australians.

Perth Mint New Product Releases on Monday

Australia’s other mint, the Perth Mint will release a number of new products soon. For those of us in the United States, the release will occur on October 1, 2012 at 12:01 PM Eastern Standard Time. At that time, you can start looking for the new products in the recent releases section.

The new releases include:

  • 2013 Year of the Snake 1 oz. Silver Typeset
  • 2013 Year of the Snake 1 oz. Silver Proof High Relief Coin
  • 2013 Year of the Snake 1 oz. Silver Colored Edition
  • 2013 Year of the Snake 1 oz. Silver Gilded Edition
  • 2013 Year of the Snake 1 kg Silver Gemstone Edition
  • Australian Bush Babies Possom 1/2 oz Silver Proof coin
  • Animal Athletes Rocket Frog $1 Coin

The product which is most likely to sell out the fastest is be the 1 oz. Silver Typeset, which similar to last year’s product, will include four 1 oz. silver coins with different finishes. I will have a post published on Monday with further details and images of the products as soon as they are released.

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  1. Psychdr says

    I think only 1500 sets to be sold, should sell out in no time. Pictures of the set and pre-sales already up on eBay

  2. Hidalgo says

    I am uncertain why there is such huge interest in the Perth Mint coins when relatively few of their coins command significant premiums on the secondary market. Yes, there are exceptions to the general rule, but if you look at its extensive catalog, you’ll see that many coins remain available for months.

    I guess flippers would enjoy these coins. However, with the being said, it would be difficult for a flipper to make a quick profit on most of these coins since the premium would be just a fraction of the purchase price. Who knows what a coin’s final value will be? Would it be worth the chance of spending $$ in the hopes of making a profit?

  3. says


    The interest is driven primarily by their Lunar series and a couple other “big” series. Many releases of those coins command good premiums on the secondary markets, especially right after sellouts. Big money for flippers.

    My interest is more generalized, beyond just the Lunars, because I think they produce a lot of good pieces with good artwork.

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