Heritage etched in time on a coin

Australia’s World Heritage wonders range from prehistoric rainforest wilderness and ancient Aboriginal settlements to unique landscapes and natural attractions, as well as convict sites and iconic 20th century buildings.

All feature on a stunning new coin being launched in Sydney today by the Royal Australian Mint (the Mint).

The Mint has partnered with the International Council on Monuments and Sites (ICOMOS) to produce this coin in recognition of the 21st General Assembly and Scientific Symposium being held in Australia for the first time.

Designed by the Mint coin designer Tony Dean, the $5 frosted uncirculated coin features images of all 20 Australian World Heritage Properties in intricate detailed relief, which frames a full-colour, central image of a handprint, fan palm frond and a shell fossil to represent the natural and built icons and Australia’s Indigenous heritage.

The coin also features The Queen Elizabeth II Memorial Obverse, designed by renowned British engraver, Jody Clark.

The launch will take place at the Hyde Park Barracks, which is one of the World Heritage Australian Convict Sites featured on the coin.

This venue is beside the Sydney Mint, where the 20-member ICOMOS Board is meeting in Sydney for the first time.

ICOMOS President Teresa Patrício said ICOMOS has an important role as an Advisory Body to the UNESCO World Heritage Committee.

“Properties are inscribed on the World Heritage List only after a rigorous evaluation which ensures that they have Outstanding Universal Value for all humanity,” Prof Patrício said.

Prof Richard Mackay, the Convenor of the ICOMOS General Assembly, and former Chair of Australia’s World Heritage Advisory Committee, welcomed the new coin’s role in creating community awareness.

“This amazing coin highlights the diversity of Australia’s internationally-significant heritage and will encourage awareness of our unique biodiversity, deep Indigenous connections with Country and extraordinary cultural places.

“We are delighted that as cultural heritage experts from all around the world gather in Sydney, this coin celebrates our contribution to the world’s heritage” Prof Mackay said.

Assistant Minister for Competition, Charities and Treasury, Andrew Leigh said World Heritage status helped to protect and to publicise the existence of these extraordinary places.

“As Australians we’re fortunate to live in a country with so much natural beauty. By celebrating Australia’s World Heritage sites through this collectible coin the Royal Australian Mint is doing its bit to help the spread the word about our magnificent natural and built heritage,” Dr Leigh said.

Museums of History Acting CEO, Martyn Killion said heritage was our legacy from the past.

“Museums of History NSW is honoured to be a part of this recognition of Australia’s World Heritage sites,” Mr Killion said.

The $5 Australian Heritage Properties Sites coin is Australian legal tender and can be purchased through the Mint’s coin shop, call centre and authorised dealers from Thursday, 7 September, 2023. The collectible coin will also be available for purchase from the gift shops at the World heritage properties that feature on the coin.

Australia’s heritage sites depicted on the coin are: Australian Convict Sites, Budj Bim Cultural Landscape, Royal Exhibition Building and Carlton Gardens, Sydney Opera House, Australian Fossil Mammal Sites (Riversleigh/Naracoorte), Fraser Island (officially K’gari), Gondwana Rainforests of Australia, Great Barrier Reef, Greater Blue Mountains Area, Heard and McDonald Islands, Lord Howe Island Group, Macquarie Island, Ningaloo Coast, Purnululu National Park, Shark Bay (Western Australia), Wet Tropics of Queensland, Kakadu National Park, Tasmanian Wilderness, Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, Willandra Lakes Region.

Don’t miss your chance to own this extraordinary piece of history.

About the Royal Australian Mint

The Mint is an award-winning, world class Mint and a global leader in the mint industry. The Mint produces circulating coins for Australia and other countries; collectible and investment coins for domestic and international customers; and custom-made medals, medallions and tokens for individual or corporate clients.

The Mint is also a national cultural attraction that educates millions of Australians and international visitors on the history of Australia’s decimal currency, and the significance and value of coins.


Media Enquiries:          For media enquiries, or to request an interview, contact media@ramint.gov.au or 6202 3466