Australian Dollar Coins - 2005 Gallipoli Dollar

November 5, 2009

2005 Gallipoli One Dollar
On April 25th 1915 Australian and New Zealand troops landed on a small bay on the Gallipoli peninsula that was defended by the armies of the Ottoman Turkish Empire. The combined force from the Southern Hemisphere was known as the ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) force, and the bay on which they landed has become known and Anzac Cove or more simply Anzac. The ANZAC force was just one part of a major invasion that included both British and French forces landing at the end of the Gallipoli peninsula at Cape Hellas and Suvla Bay. The ANZAC's were supposed to act as a diversion and possibly cut off the peninsula from reinforcements and allow the advance of the British and French. The Gallipoli Campaign was Intended as a second front to relieve the now static Western Front. The whole plan was championed by First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill, the very same man who lead the UK through the Second World War. Ultimately the campaign was a dismal failure showing the futility of men attacking an entrenched defensive force armed with modern machine guns. Towards the end of December the only real success of the entire campaign was achieved through the brilliant evacuation of the entire force of 200,000 men with just 2 casualties suffered. Before this had happened the ANZAC's had suffered an estimated 34,000 casualties during the 8 month campaign, with about 10,000 of these killed. These figures are dwarfed by the nearly quarter of a million Turkish casualties and 150,000 British and French.

ANZAC Day, the 25th of April is now the single most important military holiday in both Australia and New Zealand and has surpassed both Remembrance Day and VE/VJ as important days on the calendar. 2005 was the 90th Anniversary of the Gallipoli landings and the RAM was directed to issue a standard 25mm, 9gram aluminium bronze one dollar to celebrate the event. The obverse of the coin depicts the normal Ian Rank-Broadley portrait of QE2, and the reverse depicts a 'digger' in his slouch had with a bugle. Interestingly the reverse was a team effort between the two leading RAM coin designers Vladimir Gottwald and Wojciech Pietranik.

The Gallipoli dollar was minted with several mint marks:

  • G (Gallipoli, 40,000 minted),

  • C (Canberra, 88,424 minted),

  • S (Sydney, 38,965 minted),

  • B (Brisbane, 38,719 minted), and

  • M (Melbourne, 38,727 minted).

The G mintmark was minted at the RAM and on a portable press at the Australian War Memorial, the S, B, and M mintmarks were also struck at the RAM and portable presses in the respective cities. For the exact split between portable press and normal press mintages please take a look at the 2005 Australian Dollar Coin Issues and Mintages blog entry.

17,749 of the coins were also minted in fine silver to a proof standard. Interestingly there are reported examples of the aluminium bronze coin without the mint mark though these are extremely rare and worth well more than $1,000.

Posted by mnemtsas at November 5, 2009 12:38 PM
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