Australian Dollar Coins - 2001 Centenary of the Australian Army Dollar

August 15, 2009

Australia 2001 Centenary of the Australian Army 1 Dollar

The military land force of Australia, the Australian Army was officially formed on March 1 1901, two months after the federation of Australia. Any Australian troops fighting before this time were dispatched by one or more of the Colonial governments, and indeed at the time of the formation of the Australian Army there were active colonial contingents fighting in South Africa. When the Army was formed these troops were transferred to the Australian Army but remained under state control until later in 1903 when legislation was finally passed bringing control of all units under a unified command. At the same time civilian (militia) forces were also forbidden from serving outside of Australia. The Australian Army is best known world wide, perhaps, for the heroic failure at Gallipolli in WW1 and the numbers of troops it sent to serve mother England in that same war, which ended up being 13% of the adult male population of the country. The only commonwealth force in WW1 to be a totally volunteer force the Australian Army suffered more than 60% casualties, more than any other national force in the entire war. The Australian Army has served in a number of major and minor conflicts since this time, including WW2, Malaya, Korea, and Vietnam. It has been heavily involved in UN operations including East Timor, the Gulf War, and various African conflicts. It continues active combat operations to this day in Afghanistan.

The Centenary of the Australian Army dollar is an NCLT coin that was minted in Aluminium Bronze and Silver. The AlBr coin was minted with an C mint mark (125,186 minted) that was struck on a visitors press at the RAM and was available through coin dealers. The C mint marked coin had two varieties of the obverse, with the designers intitials IRB joined and separate. The AlBr coin was also minted with an S mint mark (38,095 minted) which had no obverse varieties. The final type of AlBr coin minted had also had a C mintmark and was available only in a PNC (postal numistmatic cover) celebrating the Centenary of the Army. With just 27,209 of these PNC's made and appealing to both coin and stamp collectors not surprisingly these have the highest CV of the different types and are currently retailing for over $100. Finally the Centenary of the Army Dollar coin was struck in sterling silver to proof standard, just 17,839 of these coins were available to collectors in individual cases.

Seen above the obverse of the coin depicts the Ian Rank-Broadley portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. The reverse is sculpted by Vladimir Gottwald and shows the the iconic 'Rising Sun' Australian Army badge surrounded by the legend The Australian Army 1901 - 2001. The Rising Sun badge originates back to 1902 when a badge was required for Australian colonial forces operating in South Africa during the Boer War. The badge is very recognisable and synonymous with Australian historical events such as Gallipoli and the Kokoda campaign. The badge depicts the Imperial Crown and a banner with the words The Australian Army. The 'sun rays' or rising sun are in fact not that at all, originally they were to depict a semi circle of thrusting swords and bayonets around the crown which in 1902 was to depict the co-operation between the navy (the swords) and the army (the bayonets).

For accurate coin mintage data please see the 2001 Australian 1 Dollar Coin Mintages table.

Posted by mnemtsas at August 15, 2009 5:10 PM
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