The Royal Australian Mint makes a range of collector coins to suit different budgets, interests and reasons for collecting. The best way to choose which type of coin is best for you is by understanding the different finishes we use on our collector coins.
These are the coins which form the basis of many coin collections. They may either have unique designs or be more special versions of the circulating coin designs. They are made from the same materials as circulated coins, but are struck at a slower rate with greater force, leading to a sharper image with more clearly-defined edges. They are also slightly more polished than circulating coins, and are typically packaged in presentation cards.
Using the same processes and technology behind uncirculated coins, these coins have the defining feature of a polished, more striking image against a frosted field (background). These coins often become highlights in an uncirculated coin collection, and are an effective way of expressing the passion that collectors have for particular themes or designs.
These coins are generally made with valuable metals such as gold and silver, with only a few thousand copies available, and come in presentation cases with numbered certificates of authenticity.
As the name suggests, antique coins are specially prepared to give the appearance of an old, treasured item. Like any other coin finish, antique coins are made of blanks which are specially cleaned, treated and struck to the Royal Australian Mint’s exacting standard. After they are struck, the coins go through a number of extra steps to give them a truly unique appearance.
Coins are immersed in an electrolysed chemical bath to be cleaned, and are then transferred to chemicals which blacken their surfaces. These darkened coins are then manually buffed on a polishing wheel. This results in a beautiful textured effect: raised areas of the coin are highly polished, lower areas retain their darkness. These buffed coins are coated with a layer of lacquer, which protects them from fingerprints or rubbing against other surfaces.
Unlike any other coin finish, antique coins are entirely handmade, and each piece has its own special characteristics to inspire nostalgic feelings.