I’ve spent the last few days with my head in the Royal Australian Mint Annual Report that was published late last month. In particular the Appendices which include mintage numbers so the data in this Blog can be updated for the reference of everyone. Of particular interest and information I always update first is the one dollar coin mintages. There have been changes in the 2011 issues and coin mintages, 2013 coin mintages and of course information on all the new coins minted in 2014. There were no additional 2012 dated dollar coins to add to the mintage information.
A standout in the mintage numbers is the surprisingly low number of coins minted in the Legends Subscriber exclusive series. The Australian Decimal Effigies series began in 2012 with a tribute to the 1966 Arnold Machin portrait with the Mint striking 100 silver proof and 100 gem unc coins, then a 2013 coin which was a tribute to the Maklouf portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. The Mint then struck a low 310 coins in proof and 330 coins in gem uncirculated quality. This series is made to order so the Mint will only strike the number of coins required. Given they capped that mintage at 5,000 coins there may have been a decidedly slower collector uptake with that series possibly due to poor communication and poor advertising. In 2014, the last coin in the series celebrates the three portraits of Elizabeth II including the current Ian Rank-Broadley portrait and was much more popular with the RAM striking 1,000 and 750 of those coins. The reverse of the 2014 coin is a combination design of the three portraits used through the years (forgetting the Gottwald portrait of 2000).
The Mint accepted more than 13,000 ballot entries for the 5,000 2014 For Valour: A History of the Victoria Cross copper antique coins available. A hugely popular and successful issue with the finish of each coin produced by hand and the Mint stating this coin was the largest application of microtext in Mint history.
Another popular issue included in this report is the 60th Anniversary of the Queen’s Coronation $2 we know as the purple 2 dollar only the second* application of colour to a circulation coin in Australia. At the 2014 Mint Directors conference in Mexico this coin was awarded the Most Technical Advanced Circulating Coin.
The Mint located in Deakin, Canberra also produces coins for other countries. Their South Pacific Island clients doubled in this fiscal year from 2 to 4 countries adding Cook Islands and Tonga to the list. The Mint already produces coins for Samoa and New Zealand. We will shortly see Papua New Guinea also added to that list.
*The first was the RSL issue 2012 Remembrance Red Poppy, a fundraiser sold for $10 each. Packaged on a card this issue was really a collector coin and it’s the non-coloured poppy coin that you’ll find in your change. The Mint however regards this coloured coin as having entered circulation and is included in circulating coin production in the 2012-2013 Mint Report.