Commemorative circulating coins are minted by the Royal Australian Mint (RAM) and have a unique design celebrating an important event or anniversary. They are therefore the non standard designs, but are still released for use as circulating currency and are legal tender. These are the main types:
- Commemorative circulating coins minted for use as currency can be found in your loose change. These are minted for circulation and distributed the same way as standard currency coins, mainly through the bank system, although some go to coin dealers who add value by putting them in special packaging to sell through retail outlets. For example, the Landcare coin shown above. These are type of commemorative coins that we will be discussing in this blog. We will be offering blogs on the other types, below, in later editions.
- NCLT coins (non circulating legal tender coins)
- Silver commemorative coins
- Coins minted just for the collector market
The minting of commemorative coins has been a relatively recent practice gaining momentum with the introduction of decimal currency in 1966.
Before that time there were only four coins which were florins that had commemorative themes:
- 1927 Parliament House
- 1934-35 Centenary Florin
- 1951 Federation Florin
- 1954 Royal Visit
In 1966 the mint minted around 2000 of better quality 50 cent silver rounds for a private dealer. However, it was not until 1970 that the first decimal commemorative coin was minted. This was a portrait of Captain Cook which celebrated the arrival of the 1st fleet on a 50 cent piece.
The 1986 Year of Peace Dollar was released marking the first commemorative $1. In 1995 the first 20 cent commemorative was released marking the founding of the United Nations. After that, various commemoratives were then regularly released.
As well as releasing these coins for circulation the mint marketed them by attractively packaging and promoting them through their retail outlets and Coin fairs.
Many coin dealers purchased these coins and packaged them in their own brand packaging . Private companies got in on the act and used coins as promotional material.
Coin in Folder
In 1995 the RAM began releasing the $1 commemoratives on cardboard folders. These had various mint marks and were usually released for the many coin shows or special events held in capital cities. They were often minted on mobile presses. The common mint mark’s are C S B A M (for Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide and Melbourne). These coins on folders have become a popular collectible item.
In the last 3 years the mint has issued $2 coloured commemoratives.
The $2 coloured have preformed very well and I would expect this to continue. Mint rolls I expect will give the best returns.
We have a large range of Australian decimal coins in our store so have a look at Silver Spirit Coins.