Australian Dollar Coins 2009 International Year of Astronomy Dollar

March 7, 2010

With 2009 being declared the International Year of Astronomy the Royal Australian Mint used this theme for their year sets and a special commemorative one dollar coin and 20c. The theme "The Universe, Yours to Discover" aimed to raise awareness of Australia's contributions to astronomy and encourage young people to become involved in this exciting science and hobby. 2009 realises 400 years since Galileo first recorded observations with a telescope in 1609.

This one dollar design features the Parkes radio telescope in NSW, Australia. This 64 metre movable radio dish is probably the most well known because of the audio and images it captured and relayed of the Apollo 11 lunar mission in which 600 million people watched and listened to Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, the first men on the moon July 21st 1969.

The reverse is sculpted by RAM designer Caitlin Goodall and features the Parkes dish in the rural landscape of NSW. The design depicts sheep grazing in the fenced pasture dwarfed by the size of the telescope. The obverse is the standard Ian Rank-Broadley portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. This dollar coin issue is the standard 25mm,9 gram aluminium bronze dollar you would ordinarily find in your change but this design was not released into circulation.

This commemorative $1 was included in the 6 coin proof set (issue price $115) and the two coin uncirculated mint sets (issue price $15) and this is the only way to obtain one of these coins. For the mintages of these please see the 2009 one dollar mintages table.

Below is one of the displays at the Royal Australian Mint in Canberra showing the designers sketches and plaster from the manufacturing and design process of the production of this coin.

Posted by harrisk at March 7, 2010 2:14 PM
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