The Royal Australian Mint has joined forces with Cricket Australia to release a new coin in celebration of one of the most fiercely contested cricket competitions, the Ashes.
The series is all tied up after Australia beat England in Perth over the weekend, ensuring the Vodafone Boxing Day Test to be a showdown.
Assistant Treasurer Bill Shorten said "Aussie coin collecting is a pastime that is even older than the Ashes themselves, so I think this is a terrific move by the Royal Australian Mint."
"There will be family cricket games going on all around Australia this summer. It would be great if some of these matches used this special Ashes coin to toss at the start of the backyard or beach proceedings."
Designed by world renowned sculptor and engraver, Wojciech Pietranik, this innovative design creates the illusion of a ‘six-stitcher’ cricket ball.
"This 20c coin celebrates the enduring sporting rivalry which has been alive since 1882 and the part that this great game plays in Australia’s national culture," said Ross MacDiarmid, Chief Executive Officer of the Royal Australian Mint.
"This coin is sure to be a hit with cricket fans and coin collectors from all over the world."
The new 20c will be used in the official coin toss at the Prime Minister’s XI on 10 January 2011 and sold in the new year to raise funds for the official charity for the match, the Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia.
The match and the charity will be promoted on the day by Men’s Health Ambassador and partner of the Prime Minister Tim Mathieson to help raise awareness of the disease among Australian men.
The 2011 20c Vodafone Ashes Series uncirculated coin is available to purchase from the Royal Australian Mint Shop in Canberra, online via www.ramint.gov.au or from Australia Post outlets.
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.