40th Anniversary of the Sydney Opera House 1 Dollar Coin

July 25, 2013

Australia 2013 40th Anniversary of the Sydney Opera House 1 Dollar (image courtesy www.ramint.gov.au)

The 20th October 2013 marks the 40th Anniversary since the opening of the Sydney Opera House, an iconic building that sets apart the Sydney skyline from anywhere else in the world. The Sydney Opera House sits on Bennelong Point, a rock arm on the eastern end of Sydney Cove, Australia. To mark this occasion a special 1 dollar coin will be minted and is set to be released on September 2nd.

From the 1940's a need was seen for a theatrical venue in Sydney and in 1955 an international design competition was held to design the Sydney Opera House. Of 233 entries from 32 countries Danish architect Jørn Utzon was the winner announced in 1957 and he was awarded prize money of 5,000 pounds. This great artistic monument is constructed of huge pre-cast concrete shells the "design inspired by the simple act of peeling an orange" he said, the shells if formed together would produce a complete sphere.

It took 14 years to build with many architectural hurdles to overcome. This was almost 6 years longer than originally expected and ten times more than its original estimated cost. Such a large project was always going to have problems in construction and complexities and disagreements forced Utzon to resign from the project entirely and he didn't attend the opening nor was his name mentioned at the event. It was opened on 20 October 1973 by Queen Elizabeth II on a special royal visit for the occasion. It wasn't until the late 1990's that the trust began a reconciliation with Utzon and in 2007 a space was rebuilt and named the Utzon Room. He died in 2008.

In June 2007 the Sydney Opera House was inscribed onto UNESCO's World Heritage Sites list to protect and preserve this great urban sculpture as one of the greatest architectural works of the 20th century. UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization) will ensure over time it is protected and preserved for it's cultural and iconic value to society so it may be appreciated by many more generations.

Today there are over 40 shows each week held at the Sydney Opera house showcasing not just Opera (in the Joan Sutherland theatre) but Ballet, Symphony and Orchestral masterpieces along with hosting all sorts of events and performances. More than seven million people visit each year just to marvel at it's design.

This October on the 40th birthday of the Opera House the historic significance of the building with a special commemorative one dollar coin struck by the Royal Australian Mint, the reverse design with those iconic vaulted sails by the Mints' own Aleksandra Stokic. Each coin is struck in uncirculated quality on an aluminium bronze 9 gram planchet. The 25 millimetre $1 is housed in a capsule in a collector card and is issued for $13.50. Mintage of this coin is unlimited at this time. This design is also being struck in a 1 ounce fine silver proof with a mintage of 5,000 coins.

The Sydney Opera House has been seen before on legal tender coins the most memorable a 1997 10 dollar coin and in 2006 a 1/25 oz 5 dollar gold proof from the Perth Mint.

Posted by harrisk at July 25, 2013 12:34 PM
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