Tasmanian coin among best in the world


Tasmania is on top of the world as The Royal Australian Mint receives four nominations in the international 'Coin of the Year' competition.

A commemorative 20c coin featuring a design by a Tasmanian college student will be up against the world's best for the prestigious awards, co-ordinated by Krause Publications of the USA.

The coin, designed by Abbey MacDonald in late 2000 when she was a Year 11 student at Launceston Church Grammar School, was part of a special coin series commemorating Australia's Centenary of Federation.

Abbey's design represented Tasmania with the legendary figure of a Thylacine, more commonly known as the Tasmanian Tiger, spanning a map of the state.

"This is such a thrill," said Abbey, "not only for me but also for Tasmania to be nominated among the world's best."

The Thylacine is one of the most fabled animals of all of Australian native fauna.

The last known Thylacine died 65 years ago in Hobart Zoo on 7 September, 1936. However, the incidence of reported thylacine sightings has continued.

The Tasmanian coin has been nominated in the 'Best Trade' (Circulating) Coin category and is one of four nominations in different categories for the Royal Australian Mint, reflecting the diversity of the various artists across Australia.

Continuing to pursue her passion for design, Abbey is currently studying Fine Arts at the University of Tasmania in Hobart.

Other nominees include Aboriginal artist, Jeanette Timbery from NSW who has been nominated for her 2001 'Silver Kangaroo' in the 'Best Crown' category and Peter Soobik in the 'Most Artistic' category for the third in his Millenium Coin Series - 'The Future.' The fourth coin, celebrating the life of Sir Donald Bradman, has been nominated for Most Popular Coin.

The winners will be decided by an international panel of judges including international mints, dealers, designers, and numismatic experts.

Controller of the Royal Australian Mint, Dr Vivienne Thom, said the nominations justified Australia's growing reputation in international circles after the Royal Australian Mint won two Coin of the Year categories in 2001.

"It is a compliment to Australia's artistic and coin production talent that we are consistently recognised at the highest levels in the coin minting world."

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