The Royal Australian Mint is now offering the 2009 $1 Inspirational Australian Steve Irwin Uncirculated Coin. This coin is the second in a series of Inspirational Australians that last year featured Mary MacKillip, who was beatified by Pope John Paul I in 1995.
Steve Irwin was a well-known celebrity who met an untimely fate in 2006. Host of the popular Crocodile Hunter series, Irwin was enthusiastically supportive of Australia’s wildlife.
His parents started the Australia Zoo and Irwin grew up around exotic creatures. He is attributed with wresting with his first crocodile at the age of nine. Not content with merely putting on a show, Irwin was adamant about educating the public about wildlife as well.
His Crocodile Hunter show won him international attention and he was quick to capitalize on it to foster more interest in his home country and what it had to offer.
Unfortunately, while shooting a show on the Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia, Irwin was stabbed through the heart by a stingrays barb. He died shortly thereafter.
The coin honoring this enthusiastic Australian features an image of his smiling face, surrounded by some of the native animals he so loved. A glass beading technique insures an attention grabbing detail. Surrounding the image are the inscriptions ‘Inspirational Australians: Conservation,’ ‘1 Dollar’ and ‘Steve Irwin 1962-2006.’ The reverse was designed by C. Goodall.
The obverse contains an image of Queen Elizabeth II with the inscriptions ‘Elizabeth II,’ ‘Australia’ and ‘2009.’
The 25mm coin ships in durable packaging and is available for AUD$12.95.
For more details or to make a purchase of the Steve Irwin coin, go to www.ramint.gov.au.
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.