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frequently asked questions

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Does the Mint produce coins & notes?

The Mint produces coins only. Notes are produced by Note Printing Australia in Melbourne.

Can I return damaged or mutilated coins to the Mint?

No. The Royal Australian Mint does not accept deposits of coins directly from individuals, organisations or businesses. What you can do is deposit worn and damaged coins with your bank for full face value. But if you have mutilated coins, your bank will require you to complete a Mutilated Coin Claim Form and your deposit will be forwarded to the Mint for processing. If your coins are accepted the Mint will pay a scrap value, but not the full face value. For more information, see our Worn and Damaged Circulating Coin Policy and Worn and Damaged Coin Handling Guide.

Does the Mint buy back or value coins?

The Mint does not buy back or value coins. Many issues are involved in assessing the value of a coin including its rarity, condition of the coin and demand for the coin by other collectors. You may like to do some preliminary research yourself. A good place to obtain an approximate value is Greg McDonald’s "The Pocket Guide to Australian Coins and Banknotes" or "Renniks Australian Coin and Banknote Values", which are regularly available for sale at the Royal Australian Mint or through coin dealers.

If you decide to sell, you should contact a professional coin dealer who will need to see the coin to assess its condition so as to be able to give you a valuation on your coin and help you to secure the best price. Remember, knowledge about your coins will help you make a better judgement about whether you’re getting value for money.

How do I tell the difference between an official Royal Australian Mint product and a product produced as a corporate order?

From time to time the Royal Australian Mint custom mints coins that have been privately commissioned. These coins may be Australian legal tender bearing the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II or bear effigies from other countries. Please visit the Consumer Advice section to find out what you need to look out for to tell the difference between the two types.

How can I add my name to the mailing list?

You can receive our newsletters via email by subscribing to our mailing list

Does the Mint buy or refine gold and silver? Does the Mint sell bullion?

The Mint does not buy or refine either gold or silver. The Mint does not sell bullion. You might consider contacting the Perth Mint or looking for a local dealer under the 'bullion dealers' listing in the Yellow Pages.

Where can I purchase coins from previous years?

From coin dealers. The Mint sells current issues only. For a full list of Mint-accredited dealers go to Australian Dealers.


Legends


What is a Mint Legend?

In numismatic circles, a 'legend'; is the inscription on a coin that conveys important information about the coin's production. Similarly, Mint Legends members will be encouraged to do the same by providing us with important feedback to help improve our products and services.

The Mints Legends program is free to join, easy to use and it works by simply rewarding you for shopping with us as you would normally do. You'll always be among the first to know about the latest releases, newest products and most exclusive events.

How can I join?

Email your full name, address, telephone number and preferred email address to legends@ramint.gov.au

How am I rewarded for shopping with the Mint?

Your spend across the shop, eShop, and call centre will be tallied at the end of each week. When you reach a pre-determined amount (as outlined by the table below), your name will be placed into a voucher pool and you will be issued with a voucher.

Spend over...

Get access to exclusive made-to-order low mintage coins

First chance at special event coins/tokens at event prices

Receive a $50 Voucher

Receive a $250 Voucher

$150

 

 

 

$500

 

 

$1000

 

$5000

 


When can I expect my voucher in the mail?

 At present, vouchers are issued four times a year. The next release will be in May 2013. While we would like to be able to issue you with a voucher as soon as your spend warrants it, we don't have the capabilities to do this at the moment. This may change as the program develops.

Do I have to spend $1000 or more in one go to earn a voucher?

No. Your spend is cumulative, meaning that every time you purchase a product, that spend is added to your overall balance.

What time frame do I have to accrue my balance?

You have until 31 August 2013 to accumulate your spend. Balances for all Legends Members will revert back to zero on 1 September 2013 - and the fun starts again!

Does my balance reset once I'm issued with a voucher?

No. For example, if you spend $1200 on one purchase, you will be issued with a $50 voucher. That $1200 then stands as your balance. All other purchases up until midnight on 31 August 2013 will be added onto that total.

What other benefits come from being a Mint Legends member?

Each month we will draw a Mint Legends Lucky Barrel prize, which will go out to one lucky Legend. We have coins, vouchers, and experiences to give away.

You will receive the Mint Issue, our quarterly magazine, ahead of everyone else - meaning you have preferential access to any special offers or events.

Throughout the year, you will be offered exclusive made-to-order coins, which will be available only to Legends members.

You will receive members' discounts to the many events the Mint holds each year.

You will have direct access to the experts at the Mint through the legends@ramint.gov.au inbox - ask us questions, let us know what you think of our services!

Will Collection by Selection be available this year?

Collection by Selection was a system whereby you could pre-order all of the Mint's products at the start of the year. Due to operational changes, this system will not be made available again for the foreseeable future and has been replaced by the Mint Legends program.


About the Mint


What are the Royal Australian Mint’s contact details?

The Mint's contact details are available on our Contact page.

When was the Royal Australian Mint opened?

On Monday 22 February 1965. More information is available on our About the Mint page.

Does the Mint produce coins & notes?

The Mint produces coins only. Notes are produced by Note Printing Australia in Melbourne.

Does the Mint provide free samples of coins?

 No.

I would like to visit the Mint. What can I expect to see?

In 2009, the Royal Australian Mint completed its refurbishment project and opened its new and modern tourist facilities. Admission and parking are free and tours are self guided.

For a close-up view of our factory floor, look through our floor to ceiling observation windows. From this birds-eye view you can watch Australian coins being made and see one of the world's strongest robots hard at work.

Our new theatrette presentation will take you behind the scenes at the Mint  and will explain the coining process to you. There are also early, rare and historically significant coins on show from our National Coin Collection as well as displays illustrating the history of Australian coins.

There are also a number of TV screens in the foyer which display footage from cameras within the building, like the view of our giant robot tipping drums of coin blanks. The footage is live on weekdays and pre-recorded on weekends and public holidays. In the Coin Shop you can make your own coin on our visitor press and don't forget to check out our souvenirs, latest collector coin issues and really unique gift ideas.

The Royal Australian Mint is open to the public on:

  • Monday - Friday: 9am to 4pm
  • Saturday, Sunday and public holidays: 10am to 4pm
  • Please note we are closed on Christmas Day and Good Friday

Can I return damaged or mutilated coins to the Mint?

No. The Royal Australian Mint does not accept deposits of coins directly from individuals, organisations or businesses. What you can do is deposit worn and damaged coins with your bank for full face value. But if you have mutilated coins, your bank will require you to complete a Mutilated Coin Claim Form and your deposit will be forwarded to the Mint for processing. If your coins are accepted the Mint will pay a scrap value, but not the full face value. For more information, see our Worn and Damaged Circulating Coin Policy and Worn and Damaged Coin Handling Guide.


About Coins


What coins can I use in my Christmas pudding?

Traditionally white-coloured pre-decimal silver coins were added to a Christmas pudding. Decimal white-coloured coins are struck on cupro-nickel and do not contain silver. Decimal coins may react with the ingredients of a Christmas pudding and should not be used.

What is the difference between circulating, uncirculated, frosted uncirculated and proof coins?

Go to Uncirculated, Frosted Uncirculated, Proof and Circulating.

What is the origin of $ sign?

The origin of the “$” sign can be traced back to the reverse design of the Spanish Eight Reales. This coin was widely used by many countries during the late 18th and 19th centuries. It was used in Australia by Governor Macquarie in 1813 to make the famous “Holey dollar” and “Dump”. The reverse design of the eight Reales shows two columns with an intertwining ribbon which are also known as "Pillars of Hercules with a snake". It is this design and the fact that the coin was often known as the “Spanish dollar”, that is thought to have inspired the familiar $ symbol.


About Australian Coins


What is Australia’s rarest coin?

The 1930 penny. Only six proof versions of the 1930 penny are known to exist: three in private hands, one in the Museum of Victoria, the National Gallery of South Australia and the British Museum. In 1998, a privately owned 1930 penny was sold for $225,000.

How is the quantity of the coins to be produced per year (or, mintage) determined?

The quantity of circulating coins is determined by the Royal Australian Mint in collaboration with the commercial banks, based on a number of factors including expected levels of economic activity.

To see a listing of the number of pieces of particular currency produced in various years visit our Reverse Coin Designs pages.

When was the name dollar first approved?

The preferred name for Australian currency, dollar, was approved in 1963. Other names considered by the Government of the time were royal, merino and austral.

Which coin and note denominations were in use during the time of Federation?

At the time of Federation Australia used British coins. The first Australian coins were produced in 1910 (silver) and 1911 (bronze). But, in 1901 the following denominations were considered legal tender:

Coins:

  • Farthing (quarter penny)

  • Halfpenny

  • Penny (used for ‘two up’)

  • Threepence

  • Sixpence

  • Shilling

  • Florin (or, two shillings)

  • Half crown

  • Crown (or, five shillings)

  • Half sovereign (or, half a pound)

  • Full sovereign (or, one pound)

Notes:

  • 10 shillings

  • 1 pound

  • 5 pounds

  • 10 pounds

When was decimal currency introduced in Australia?

On 14 February 1966.

What coin denominations were introduced for decimal currency in 1966?

1c, 2c, 5c, 10c, 20c, 50c (all designed by Stuart Devlin). The Decimal Change Over Song lyrics are:

Decimal Change Over Song

In come the dollars and in come the cents
To replace the pounds and the shillings and the pence
Be prepared for change when the coins begin to mix
On the fourteenth of February 1966.

Chorus:
Clink go the coins, clink, clink, clink
Change over day is closer than you think
Learn the value of the coins and the way that they appear
And things will be much smoother when the decimal point is here.

In come the dollars and in come the cents
To replace the pounds and the shillings and the pence
Be prepared folks when the coins begin to mix
On the fourteenth of February 1966.

Lyrics written by Ted Roberts

When was the $1 coin first released?

1984

When was the $2 coin first released?

1988

Who is on the $2 coin?

The image is a representation of an Aboriginal tribal elder, based on the original artwork of Ainslie Roberts and designed by Horst Hahne. It is not intended to depict any person in particular. For other coin designs go to Reverse Coin Designs.

What is the nominal metal composition of circulating coins?

Metal composition figures are available at Reverse Coin Designs.

When were 1c & 2c coins taken out of circulation?

The last one cent coins were dated 1990 and the last two cent coins were dated 1989. They were progressively removed from circulation starting in 1992.

Are 1c & 2c coins still legal tender?

Yes, 1c and 2c pieces are still Australian legal tender, but they are not considered as ‘currency’ (or, money that is officially released for circulation). This means that you can take your old 1c and 2c coins to the bank and exchange them for currency totalling the same face value.

Are coins produced by the Mint legal tender?

Yes, all coins (including collector coins) currently produced by the Mint are Australian legal tender. Collector coins may be used to purchase goods and services to the value stated on the coin (or ‘face value’), or can be exchanged at a bank for regular circulating currency to the same face value. The Mint does not exchange collector coins for circulating coins.

Are the ‘Holey Dollar’ and ‘Dump’ coins still legal tender?

The Holey Dollar and Dump are the only Australian coins which have had their ‘legal tender’ status removed, or been ‘demonetised’.

Is there a limit on the number of coins I can hand over to the shopkeeper in a store?

Yes. The Currency Act stipulates the rules outlined in the table below.

Denomination Quantity
1c & 2c Maximum of 20 cents
5c, 10c, 20c & 50c Maximum of $5
$1, $2, $5 & $10 Not exceeding ten times the face value, inclusive ie a maximum of $100 for $10 notes (10 x $10)
Any other denomination To any value

For more information, please also refer to the Currency Act on the ComLaw website.

What is on the obverse (or heads) of Australian coins?

An image of the reigning monarch. Currently, Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II whose latest portrait was designed by Ian Rank-Broadley.

How many different portraits of the Queen have appeared on Australian coinage?

Since The Queen’s coronation in 1953 five effigies of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II have appeared on Australian coin obverses. Previous effigies were designed by Mary Gillick (1953), Arnold Machin (1966), Raphael Maklouf (1985), and the current effigy by Ian Rank-Broadley (1998). During 2000, Royal Australian Mint designer Vladimir Gottwald’s effigy was used on the 50c Royal Visit coin only.

Where can I find out what commemorative coin design have been released?

You can get a full listing from our Reverse Coin Designs pages.

Can I use an image of a coin on a non-coin product or in a design?

Please see the section Using Coin Designs for further information. If you want to use designs on banknotes, please refer to the Reserve Bank of Australia website for regulations pertaining to notes.


Buying and valuing coins


Where can I purchase coins from previous years?

From coin dealers. The Mint sells current issues only. For a full list of Mint-accredited dealers go to Australian Dealers.

How do I tell the difference between an official Royal Australian Mint product and a product produced as a corporate order?

From time to time the Royal Australian Mint custom mints coins that have been privately commissioned. These coins may be Australian legal tender bearing the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II or bear effigies from other countries. Please visit the Consumer Advice section to find out what you need to look out for to tell the difference between the two types.

Does the Mint buy back or value coins?

The Mint does not buy back or value coins. Many issues are involved in assessing the value of a coin including its rarity, condition of the coin and demand for the coin by other collectors. You may like to do some preliminary research yourself. A good place to obtain an approximate value is Greg McDonald’s "The Pocket Guide to Australian Coins and Banknotes" or "Renniks Australian Coin and Banknote Values", which are regularly available for sale at the Royal Australian Mint or through coin dealers.

If you decide to sell, you should contact a professional coin dealer who will need to see the coin to assess its condition so as to be able to give you a valuation on your coin and help you to secure the best price. Remember, knowledge about your coins will help you make a better judgement about whether you’re getting value for money.

Does the Mint buy or refine gold and silver? Does the Mint sell bullion?

The Mint does not buy or refine either gold or silver. The Mint does not sell bullion. You might consider contacting the Perth Mint or looking for a local dealer under the 'bullion dealers' listing in the Yellow Pages.

How can I add my name to the mailing list?

You can receive our newsletters via email by subscribing to our mailing list

How can I order coins from the Mint if I live outside Australia?

You can mail order them directly from the Mint through our e-shop or by contacting the Mint directly. This way you are automatically added to the Mint’s mailing list, ensuring that you are among the first to find out about new releases.

Are numismatic coins only for collectors?

No. Numismatic (or collector) coins make great gifts and mementoes, often commemorating important events and other issues of interest to the general public. For more information go to Collector coins.

Can I purchase brand new circulating coins featuring the standard designs of our circulating coins (5c to $2) from the Mint?

The Royal Australian Mint does not sell circulating coins (in bags or individually). From time to time, the Mint does sell rolled coins which are available from our Mint Shop or online ordering system. Visit the Mint Shop for more information.

I received damaged collector coins in the mail. What can I do?

If you purchased your collector coins directly from the Mint you can send them back within 3 months with your picking slip & letter explaining what is wrong with the coins. The Mint will investigate and contact you as soon as possible. Please contact the Mint before returning the damaged coins.

If you purchased the Mint products from a coin dealer or Australia Post please direct your enquiry to your supplier.

How long does it take to process an order?

From the time we receive your order it will take approximately 4-6 weeks. If you have not received your order within six weeks from the time you were billed, it’s likely that your parcel was lost in transit after dispatch from the Mint. In this case, you will need to write a short letter to the Mint to authorise us to look into the whereabouts of your parcel. We will investigate on your behalf, and let you know the results. Please include in your letter all of the following details:

  • Your name

  • Address (including post code)

  • Daytime phone number

  • Customer number

  • Date you placed the order (approximate date if exact is not available)

  • Date your credit card/cheque account was deducted

  • A short statement confirming that you have not received the parcel

  • Your signature

HINT: When placing your next order use the ‘Registered Delivery’ option. This ensures that Australia Post won’t deliver the parcel without obtaining a signature from someone in your household, and if the parcel is lost in transit to your house it can probably be traced.