For collectors wanting a chance at a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to strike the last 2009 coin, or the first 2010 coin, the Royal Australian Mint is the place to be on the final day of this year and the first day of next year.
With the new year approaching, the Mint is planning to unveil its latest mintmark design on January 1st. Before that happens, however, one lucky individual will be given the chance at striking a coin for history.
On December 31st, beginning at 3 PM, visitors to the Royal Australian Mint’s facility in the Australian Capital Territory will each be given a raffle ticket. At 4 PM, one lucky ticket will be drawn. The holder of that ticket will have the distinction of being the last person in the world to strike an Australian $1 coin on the visitor press in 2009.
Then, on the next morning, January 1st, the Mint will open its doors at 10AM. Among those initial visitors, one person will be the first in 2010 to strike a $1 coin on the visitor press. Additionally, the first 100 individuals to strike coins on that day will also receive prizes.
The Royal Australian Mint offers free tours of its facility all but two days a year. While the factory is in operation, visitors can see staff and the automated robots creating the circulating coinage for the country. Then, take a few moments to go through the museum and gallery where where coins from the early days of Australia are featured. Finally, all interested individuals can take a crack at striking their very own coin to see how the process of creating coinage really occurs.
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.