Royal Australian Mint strikes The Bold, The Bad and the Ugly to launch 2019’s numismatic schedule

It isn’t just the first country in the world to have their fireworks displays to celebrate the New Year, it’s also a tradition at the Royal Australian Mint that they strike the first new coins of the year as well. At 9.15 am in the mints headquarters in Canberra, the first 100 customers were given the opportunity to strike a coin. The coins in questiuon were the mints first release of the year in their new ‘The Bold, the Bad and the Ugly’ range. The lucky (and patient) collector that got their first received a one-off coin set including the coins from the mintmark and privy mark sets and a proof version, accompanied by certificate number 1.

The coin delves into the colourful history of the less than upstanding elements of early Australian settler society – Bushrangers. So, what is a Bushranger? Basically, a thief, and often a violent one. Despite the grudging affection many Australians have for these people, much like Billy the Kid, Dick Turpin or Jesse James in the US and Britain, they were quite simply criminals. The first Bushrangers appeared around the turn of the 19th century and reached a peak during the Gold Rush years of the 1840’s and 1850’s. With names like ‘Brave’ Ben Hall, Captain Moonlite, Captain Thunderbolt, and ‘Mad Dog’ Morgan, you can see how they’ve captured popular imagination. Ned Kelly was one of the last of them.

A fine looking design, the reverse face of the coin features three characters in a foreground composition and each of them appears expertly crafted. The title is partly placed on an overhead sign and there’s a small series image that looks suspiciously like Ned Kelly’s iron mask. A ‘C’ mintmark (for Canberra) sits in the background. Interestingly, the base metal coin comes in four mintmark variants with the aforementioned ‘C’, as well as ‘B’ (Brisbane), ‘M’ (Melbourne) and ‘S’ (Sydney) versions.

The precious metal issues stick with ‘C’ only and comprise an 11.66 g 0.999 silver release, and a 3.11 g 0.9999 gold. The design on both is identical, as is the neat coin box, bar a different colour highlight and outer shipper artwork. The 5,000 silver and 1,000 gold mintage limits are pretty standard for the Royal Australian Mint and seem reasonable enough. Availaable to order now, we like this one and look forward to new designs carrying on with the theme.

MINTS DESCRIPTION

Continuing the Mint’s highly anticipated annual New Year’s Day event, collectors and coin enthusiasts waited hours to observe the unveiling of the exciting new theme for the year ahead. The Mint announced that its iconic new theme this year will be ‘The Bold, the Bad and the Ugly: Australia’s wild colonial bushrangers’.

The new theme acknowledges the contribution that Australian bushrangers have made to the nation’s folklore and identity. This year also marks the second year of a three year series of themes focused on colonial Australia.

Mint CEO Ross MacDiarmid says that the new theme celebrates a key era in Australia’s unique history and the significant role that bushrangers have played in shaping the nation’s identity.

“This year, we are celebrating another era in Australian history by focusing on the stories of legendary Australian bushrangers,” said Mr MacDiarmid.

“It is important to recognise the lasting impact that the bushranging era has had on Australia, including its role in shaping Australian art, literature, music and our everyday way of life.”

Colonial Australia was a dangerous place, with lawless renegades known as bushrangers haunting the roads and settlements. Frederick Ward and his partner Mary Ann Bugg were known far and wide as ‘Captain Thunderbolt’ and ‘The Captain’s Lady’. Their boldness and acts of gallantry earned them a certain amount of public sympathy. With this Silver Proof Coin, the Royal Australian Mint recalls Australia’s bushrangers and their legacy of art, folklore and identity.

Colonial Australia was a dangerous place, with lawless renegades known as bushrangers haunting the roads and settlements. One story tells of the extraordinary John Francis Peggotty, known as the ‘Birdman of the Coorong’: a distinctive figure who held up travellers from the back of a riding ostrich. With this Gold Proof Coin, the Royal Australian Mint recalls Australia’s legendary bushrangers and their legacy of art, folklore and identity.

SPECIFICATION
DENOMINATION $1 Australia $10 Australia
COMPOSITION 11.66 grams of 0.999 silver 3.11 grams of 0.9999 gold
DIMENSIONS 25.0 mm 17.53 mm
FINISH Proof Proof
ENHANCEMENTS None None
MINTAGE 5,000 1,000
BOX / COA Yes / Yes Yes / Yes
R.R.P. $60.00 AUD $300.00 AUD
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By |2019-01-02T21:16:53+00:00January 2nd, 2019|Categories: History, Australia, Gold, Silver, Royal Australian Mint|3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Bob January 3, 2019 at 18:46 - Reply

    This issue looks to portray the characters Captain Thunderbolt in the immediate foreground with the Captain’s Lady behind him on his left. I assume the other character on horseback to be an Australian trooper maybe?
    Are the standing rectangles some sort of road block ? Can’t quite figure just what they portray.

    • Mik Woodgate
      Mik Woodgate January 3, 2019 at 19:10 - Reply

      I literally don’t know what the frames are. Unusual, to say the least. Really hoping they do a Peggotty coin. A bandit riding an ostrich will definitely be a coin first…

      • Bob January 4, 2019 at 00:01 - Reply

        I agree, Peggotty on the back of an ostrich with smoking six guns in hand, that would be one “bizarre” looking bandit for sure.
        It does looks like they show him on the beauty box issued with the $10 gold coin. Hopefully they produce one similar to that.

        I’m a bit disappointed they decided to go with the smaller weights on these, not a big fan of the smaller diameters.
        I’m assuming they wanted lower price points to attract more buyers, I guess?

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