Northern Territory's floral emblem issued on a gold collector coin


The Royal Australian Mint will release on 16 July 2002 the 8th coin in its FLORAL EMBLEMS OF AUSTRALIA series featuring the Northern Territory's emblem, Sturt's Desert Rose. The Floral Emblem will be struck on solid gold collector coins of two different dimensions; one coin will contain ? ounce and the other 1/3 ounce of pure 24 ct gold.

The Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer, Senator Ian Campbell, who has responsibility for the Mint, said: "They are beautiful and highlight one of the Territory's wonderful emblems. These coins will be sold throughout Australia as well as internationally and will give added publicity to the Northern Territory. By issuing coins that feature aspects of all the various States and self -governing Territories of Australia as well as so many of our icons, cultural, sporting and historical, the Mint is making our collector and circulating coinage interesting to look at and collect for many millions of Australians as well as overseas visitors and collectors". He said the gold used in the production of these coins all came from Australian mines and if sales were at the same level as last year, then over1300 ounces of gold would be used at a current value of around $750,000.

The Floral Emblem in both its common and botanical names, Sturt's Desert Rose (Gossypium sturtianum) honours its discoverer, the inland explorer Captain Charles Sturt (1795-1868). Adopted as the floral emblem of the Northern Territory in 1974, Sturt's Desert Rose is to be seen in many symbols and insignia of the Northern Territory.

The plant's generic name, Gossypium, comes from the Latin 'gossypion' used by Pliny for the cotton tree, appropriate as this species includes commercial cotton.

The plant grows in rocky soil and stony slopes of dry creek beds throughout arid regions of Australia and was collected by Sturt during his travels in central Australia in 1844 -1845. It grows in southern parts of the Northern Territory, north eastern South Australia and western Queensland and New South Wales as well as in parts of northern Western Australia.

The coins are the penultimate release in the Mint's nine coin series, FLORAL EMBLEMS OF AUSTRALIA, which features the emblems of all the other six States and the Commonwealth so far. Only the ACT's floral emblem remains to be released next year and the nine year series will then be completed.

The ? and 1/3 ounce coins are produced in proof format in special presentation cases with a numbered Certificate of Authenticity. The prices of the proof coins are $580.85 (1/2 oz) and $350.34 (1/3 oz). The 1/3 ounce coin also comes in an uncirculated finish, retailing at $260.44.

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