The Royal Australian Mint has announced (1st January) the production of the world’s first coins minted in 2022, a tradition they have cultivated over the years and which collectors in the country eagerly anticipate. As part of the event, a four-coin set of $1 coins was specially developed with the theme “Dinosaurs Down Under.” Collectors from across Australia entered into a ballot in the hopes of winning the highly sought after first coin of the year and with the Royal Australian Mint CEO Leigh Gordon on hand, the coins were struck at the stroke of midnight by Dorothy the Dinosaur, Australia’s most famous dinosaur and much-loved friend of The Wiggles franchise. Mr. Gordon then announced Anne Raisbeck from the Upper Hunter region as the lucky winner of the Mint’s nationwide First Coin of the Year online ballot. As the winner of the First Coin of the Year, Ms. Raisbeck received a unique, one-of-a-kind six-coin set that includes the First Coin of the Year and accompanying certificate of authenticity numbered 001. The unique set includes the “Dinosaurs Down Under” “C” Mintmark and “B,” “M,” and “S” privy coin set and the “Dinosaurs Down Under” silver Proof coin.
The focus of the new 2022-dated coins features Australovenator, which simply means “southern hunter,” and is a genus of Megaraptora theropod dinosaurs of the Late Cretaceous-age and dated to 95 million years ago. Dinosaur discoveries on the Australian continent date back to the first fossils found in the state of Victoria in 1903 and the fossil featured on the coins is the most complete predatory dinosaur fossil remains discovered in Australia. Since then, dinosaur fossils have been found all over Australia, including Queensland, New South Wales, and Western Australia.
The reverse side of the coins is designed by RAM artist Adam Ball and features Australia’s most complete predatory dinosaur specimen, the carnivorous Australovenator dinosaur, intricately detailed as the main focus. Also included above the fossil is a rendition of the Australovenator as it may have appeared and recreated by palaeontologists from the most complete fossil remains, chasing three smaller Australovenators. The denomination of 10 DOLLARS (gold) or 1 DOLLAR (silver and base metal) is super-imposed and placed just over to the right of the fossil depiction.
The text AUSTRALOVENATOR is placed above the primary design along the upper edge with the inscription and name of the subject DINOSAURS DOWNUNDER placed along the lower edge. Each coin includes the Commonwealth effigy of HM Queen Elizabeth II created by British artist Jody Clark and introduced onto Australian coinage in 2019.
|One dollar x 4||
|9 g||25 mm||Brilliant Unc.||
|11.6 g||25 mm||Proof||
|3.1 g||17.5 mm||Proof||
The base metal Brilliant Uncirculated four-coin set is presented in a sealed lucite case. Individual $1 “C” mintmark Brilliant Uncirculated coins are also available in a coin-card format which includes illustrations of five different dinosaurs whose fossil remains have been discovered on the Australian continent. The gold and silver Proof-quality coins are each encapsulated and presented in a heavy gauge card case accompanied by a certificate of authenticity. For more information about this range of coins, please visit the website of the Royal Australian Mint.
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