2001 was a momentous year in the short history of Australia, it marked the 100th anniversary of the Federation of the nation of Australia. The ‘Federation’ took place on January 1 1901 when the six Australian self governing colonies of Great Britain (Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Western Australia, and Tasmania) agreed to the Constitution of Australia and became States of the new nation, the Commonwealth of Australia. Both the Royal Australian Mint and the Perth Mint took the opportunity to release a flood of commemorative non circulating and circulating coins onto the market. The RAM took the somewhat unusual step of releasing circulating commemorative 20c, 50c, and $1 coins. The 20c and 50c coins were released with a number of different designs to celebrate the event, while the one dollar coin was released with just one design. These designs can be seen in the master list of 2001 Australian Centenary of Federation Series Circulation Coins.
With a mintage of 27.9 million coins the 2001 dollar coin is not a difficult coin to find, and they still show up regularly in pocket change. Seen above the obverse of the coin depicts the Ian Rank-Broadley portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. The reverse of the coin was designed by RAM designer, Wojciech Pietranik. It depicts a stylised map of Australia with the legend Centenary of Federation 1901-2001. Interestingly the proof version of the coin only had the legends on the coin with the map of Australia painted on using the pad printing process.
The Centenary of Federation one dollar is one of the very few Australian dollar coins that was released with a major minting error (along with the 2000 $1/10 cent Mule). During at least one die run the obverse die was not fixed correctly and rotated during the course of production resulting in coins with the obverse and reverse sides of the coins not being aligned correctly. This type of error is known as an upset. The Centenary of Federation one dollar upset has been found with upsets pretty much varying between 1 degree and 359 degrees indicating that one of the dies was moving right through the production process. In fact, some collectors of these upset coins have produced ‘clock faces’ of upsets with error coins at 1 o’clock (30 degrees), 2’o’clock (60 degrees) and so on. One collector I know of is trying to put together a clock face with upsets for each minute of the clock face!
For accurate coin mintage data please see the 2001 Australian 1 Dollar Coin Mintages table.