First coin for New Year recognises Australia’s convict era


Early this morning over one hundred people eagerly awaited to see who would be the lucky individual to strike the first coin worldwide in 2018 at the annual Royal Australian Mint (the Mint) New Year’s celebrations.

The much anticipated event also saw the new visitor press theme and design revealed with this year paying homage to the contribution of convicts to parts of Australia’s history, heritage and folklore.

Mint CEO Mr Ross MacDiarmid said "Between 1788 and 1868, 162 000 convicts arrived in Australia and some of those were hardened criminals, whilst others were victims of poverty and desperation or political rebels."

“The whimsical illustrations and the interesting convict stories which appear on the packaging will share this history with over 120,000 people who come through the Mint’s doors throughout the year with this morning, seeing the very first 100.”

“While New Year’s Day is traditionally a day of celebration, our New Year’s Day coin striking goes one step further for collectors and public who attend every year, eagerly lining up to be one of the first 100 to strike a coin in the new year.”

“One lucky visitor to the Mint on New Year’s Day had the rare opportunity to strike one of the very first coins in the world for 2018.”

“The following 99 visitors who made a coin on the visitor press also took home their special coin with numbered certificate stating they were one of the first people in the world to strike a coin in 2018 at the Royal Australian Mint.”

The coin also marks the 230th anniversary of the First Fleet’s arrival and the 150th anniversary of the voyage of the Hougoumont, which bore the last of the convicts transported to Australia.

Those unable to make it to the Mint for one of these coins, there is a four coin set, a fine silver proof coin and gold coin also available. For more details please visit   

For more information or an image of the 2018 $1 ‘C’ for Canberra Mintmark Coin please visit or contact below.

For media enquiries contact:

Alexander Royston or 0434 602 598

Mintmark Rascals+Ratbags UNC_REV Download the Mintmark Rascals and Ratbags uncirculated reverse