The Royal Australian Mint, in collaboration with Australia Post, has released a most unusual collection of commemorative one-dollar coins, which features some of the country’s more popular tourist landmarks. The 10-coin series features some of the most iconic structures affectionately known as “Aussie Big Things,” one from each state and territory. The designs celebrate the weird and wonderful big things found across Australia, which have become loved and a part of the local landscape. It’s a little-known fact that Australia has more than 1,000 “big things” scattered across the country, and it isn’t surprising that debates and topics of conversation often arise as to which new big thing belongs to which hometown. Australia’s love of out-sized, outdoor sculptures has seen hundreds of big things pop up in regional towns and along highways nationwide since the 1960s. These larger-than-life big things actually took their cue from California during the 1920s, when large novelty structures began to gain attention as a means to lure customers off the highways to stop at food stalls. Since then, they have long been a way for regional towns to pay tribute to their local industry, history, or native fauna and put themselves on the map.
According to the Royal Australian Mint, choosing the 10 big things for its coins was a huge challenge, and initially, a list of “big things” was compiled from research internally. This was then split into each Australian state or territory and was surveyed through a market research study. Not surprisingly, Larry the Lobster was the most popular choice from South Australia in the market research study. According to Australia Post’s own research, The Big Banana and the Big Pineapple are the most visited “big things” in Australia, but topping the “must see” wish lists are the Big Tassie Devil in Mole Creek, Tasmania, and the Giant Koala in Dadswell Bridge, Victoria. Owing to such a huge spectrum of sites and landmarks, choosing just 10 big things for its coins was a huge challenge, but once they were determined, owners were contacted for permission and to provide images.
Designed by Aleksandra Stokic, each of the 10 reverse sides depicts one of the country’s most easily recognisable and appreciated large-sized and quirky landmarks, which also include various identifiable elements pertaining to the area or state. As part of the backdrop to each coin and in reference to the road trips many Australians embark on each year to tour these big things, a depiction of roads and highways are included. The landmark is also accompanied by the name of the attraction off-centred. The obverse side of each coin includes the memorial Commonwealth effigy of Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II (1926–2022) created by engraver Jody Clark and includes the year of the Queen’s reign, 1952 – 2022. The year of issue 2023 is incorporated into the design, and the denomination 1 DOLLAR is shown below the Queen’s likeness.
|9 g||25 mm||Brilliant Unc.||
Each of the 10 designs is presented in a sealed coin-card format or in a 10-coin tube, along with a folder to insert each coin. As a special incentive, purchasers of the 10-coin tube format have a one-in-10 chance to obtain a colour-designed Giant Murray Cod coin, which is produced in very limited numbers. The coins are distributed by Australia Post, which offers each coin individually or as a complete set with or without a display folder. There are also a limited number of Proof quality sets available by clicking here.
The full Australia Post Aussie Big Things coin collection includes:
- The Big Pineapple — Sunshine Coast, Queensland
- The Big Banana — Coffs Harbour, New South Wales
- Giant Koala — Dadswell Bridge, Victoria
- The Big Tasmanian Devil — Mole Creek, Tasmania
- The Big Blue Heeler — Muswellbrook, New South Wales
- The Big Jumping Croc — Wak Wak, Northern Territories
- The Big Lobster — Kingston, South Australia
- Giant Ram — Wagin Western Australia
- Giant Murray Cod — Swan Hill, Victoria
- Big Swoop Canberra — Australian Capital Territory