The Royal Australian Mint has launched coins which honor the Australian recipients of the Victoria Cross. A frosted uncirculated silver coin carries a mintage of 30,000 pieces, while a larger sized copper coin with a mintage of 5,000 is offered via ballot.
These coins represent the latest releases in the Anzac Centenary Coin Program. The first release was the “Lest We Forget” triangular silver coin, which sold out of its 10,000 mintage within days.
The Victoria Cross (VC) is the highest military decoration awarded for valor “in the face of the enemy” to members of the armed forces of the Commonwealth countries and previous British Empire territories. It was introduced on January 29, 1856 by Queen Victoria to honor acts of valor during the Crimean War. The VC takes precedence over all other orders, decorations, and medals and may be awarded to a person of any rank in any service as well as to civilians under military command. There have been 100 Australians who were awarded the Victoria Cross throughout its history.
The $5 silver coin features a depiction of the Victoria Cross, which consists of a bronze cross pattée with Crown and Lion superimposed and the motto “For Valour”. A surrounding inscription contains the words “The Victoria Cross For Australia”. The obverse of the coin contains the Ian Rank Broadley effigy of Queen Elizabeth II with the denomination of “5 Dollars” and the “2014” date.
These coins are struck in one ounce of 99.9% silver with a frosted uncirculated finish. The diameter is 40 mm and the mintage is 30,000 pieces. The product page can be found here. Pre-orders are accepted for delivery after June 2, 2014.
The Royal Australian Mint is also offering a $10 copper coin with an antique finish to replicate the appearance of the actual medal. The reverse design features a depiction of the Victoria Cross, which is surrounded by the names of the 100 Australian recipients. The Mint used micro text, an innovative technical minting process, to include the names of the recipients.
These coins are struck in copper with a wide diameter of 57 mm. The mintage is only 5,000 pieces.
As the Royal Australian Mint has done in the past for other low mintage and high demand releases, the coins are available through a ballot process. Collectors can fill in a form available online or by mail for the chance to purchase one of the coins at the list price of $100. Ballot entries are one per person and must be submitted by May 30, 2014 at 5:00 PM AEST.