Five hundred collector coins from the Royal Australian Mint will have the trip of a lifetime in a commemorative flight over the Antarctic to mark the centenary of the attainment of the South Magnetic Pole. At their recent 2009 product launch, the Royal Australian Mint released its third coin in their Polar Series – Antarctic Explorers. Today [17 Jan.] this coin is fittingly onboard the South Magnetic Pole Centenary Flyover, organised by the Royal Society of Victoria.
In recognition of the centenary, the Antarctic Explorers coin features members of the 1907-09 Earnest Shackleton Expedition: Sir Douglas Mawson accompanied by Tannat Edgeworth Casey and Forbes Mckay, who were the first group to reach the South Magnetic Pole.
"This is a very significant anniversary for the nation. It was the beginning of Australia’s exploration and involvement with Antarctica. The journey also showed such courage and determination amongst the explorers," Acting Chief Executive Officer Graham Smith said, who is onboard the flyover.
"To further commemorate this centenary, the coins flying over the Antarctic today will be presented in special montages and available for purchase to the public later this year. It will be a unique opportunity to own a piece of history," Mr Smith said.
HRH Prince Richard the Duke of Gloucester will be among some of the special guests onboard the flight. Keen coin collectors and history and science enthusiasts should keep on the look-out for this limited edition product!
The Royal Australian Mint has been undergoing the most substantial upgrade to its facilities since its original construction in 1965. The refurbished Mint will offer a modern and innovative visitor experience for the 200,000 people who visit the Mint each year.
The Mint is open to the public from 9am to 4pm on weekdays, and 10am to 4pm on weekends and public holidays, except Christmas Day and Anzac Day.
For more information or to purchase this coin please visit the Mint (Denison Street, Deakin ACT) or alternatively visit www.ramint.gov.au or call 1300 652 020.
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About the Royal Australian Mint
His Royal Highness, The Duke of Edinburgh, officially opened the Royal Australian Mint, Canberra, on Monday 22nd February 1965. The Mint was commissioned to produce Australia’s decimal coinage, which was to be introduced into circulation on 14th February 1966. The Royal Australian Mint holds a place in history as the first mint in Australia not to be a branch of the Royal Mint, London.
Since opening in 1965 the Mint has produced over eleven billion circulating coins and has the capacity to produce over two million coins per day, or over six hundred million coins per year.
The Royal Australian Mint has struck coins for a number of South Pacific nations. Export coins were first struck in 1969 for New Zealand and, since then, coins have been produced for Papua New Guinea, Tonga, Western Samoa, Cook Islands, Fiji, Malaysia, Thailand, Nepal, Bangladesh, Israel and Tokelau.