A Royal strike


The Royal Australian Mint has struck a very special commemorative 50c coin to celebrate the visit to Australia of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

A new effigy of the Queen will appear on the commemorative 50c coin to be released on 17 March 2000 for the Queen’s visit to Australia. On what will be the most numismatically significant coin to be issued this year, for the first time since 1936 a Royal effigy appears on an Australian coin designed by an Australian.

Royal Australian Mint designer Vladimir Gottwald created the new effigy, which was specially approved by Buckingham Palace for this once only use. This unique new effigy of HM the Queen is released only for this 50c Royal Visit coin. Only 25,000 proof silver 50c collector coins will be minted for sale worldwide.

This new effigy already has an interesting history. In 1996 the Royal Australian Mint was invited to submit designs for a new effigy of the Queen to be used in Commonwealth countries. Vladimir’s design was amongst the final three selected and was viewed by the Queen before the final selection.

Like the Ian Rank-Broadley portrait which now appears on all of our circulating coin, the Vladimir Gottwald portrait presents a more contemporary image of the Queen. There are differences however, which can be detected by the discerning eye.

In the new effigy, the Queen is wearing Queen Mary’s ‘Girls of Great Britain and Ireland’ Tiara, earings from the Queen’s private collection given in Queen Mary’s era and The King Faisal of Saudi Arabia Necklace.

The reverse side of the Royal Visit silver proof coin features the Australian flag flying above Parliament House in Canberra. Also featured is St Edward’s Crown, believed to contain gold from the crown of Edward the Confessor, who is thought to be the first monarch to assemble a regalia.

Every coin is packed inside a red velvet case with a crown on the lid, and the case fits into an outer box which features an embossed silver image of St Edward’s Crown. A numbered Certificate of Authenticity validates each coin as one of only 25,000 of its kind.

Five million circulating versions of this coin are to be released by the Reserve Bank of Australia during the year. Details of the release date as circulating currency will be given as soon as this is known.

Vladimir enjoys a very successful career as a designer and sculptor. He studied at the National Conservatory, after which he worked at the National Museum, both in Czechoslovakia. During his employment at the Bohemia Porcelain factory, Vladimir also exhibited his works at Casanova’s Castle. Vladimir emigrated to Australia in 1980 and joined the Mint in 1990. Since then he has designed many of Australia’s coins, and his 1995 Waltzing Matilda design for the $1 coin was awarded the prestigious Trade Coin of the Year prize.

The Royal Visit collector coin can be secured by contacting the Royal Australian Mint for the cost of a local call on phone 1300 652 020.