About 300 people tried their luck to make national and international history this morning, and strike the first coin for 2024 at the Royal Australian Mint.
But only Izzy Zaharis, of Wollongong, as the first person drawn from the barrel, became the only person in Australia to take home the very first collectible commemorative coin featuring the new King Charles III effigy.
Royal Australian Mint CEO Leigh Gordon welcomed the early birds to the Mint at 7am this morning for the annual tradition – three hours before the award winning cultural facility was due to open to the public.
“I’m very excited to announce this year’s theme for our Mintmark program is Out of the World – Australia in Space,” Mr Gordon said.
“This year, we collaborated with the Australian Space Agency to showcase the incredible discoveries our astrophysicist are making in what is known as the final frontier or deep space.”
Astrophysicist, cosmologist, and currently a Research Fellow at the Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics, Mt Stromlo Observatory at the Australian National University, Dr Brad Tucker, was the invited guest speaker at the event.
“Our connection to space and the stars is always amazing. From Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders who have measured and connected with stars for 60,000 years, to the Apollo 11 landing, and beyond, we like to look up.
“Now, we can enjoy a bit of that connection on our coins. It is exciting to be a part of,” Dr Tucker said.
As part of this historical occasion, the first 100 coins minted received an official certificate of authentication.
“With a ballot system running, every person had an equal chance of being the selected history maker,” Mr Gordon said.