To welcome in the New Year, the Royal Australian Mint has unveiled the new theme for the 2021 Gallery Press and Mintmark Suite coins.
The highly anticipated theme – Centenary of the Royal Australian Air Force – will be featured on the coins pressed on the Mint’s public gallery press throughout the year.
Chief of Air Force Air Marshal Mel Hupfeld joined Royal Australian Mint staff onsite in Canberra to unveil the theme and press the first coin of 2021.
“The opportunity to have Air Force members and aircraft featured on the 2021 Royal Australian Mint coin sets is a superb way to honour the sacrifice and service of our people over the past 100 years.
“Air Force’s contribution to the Australian Defence Force is one to be commemorated, particularly for our people serving today and as we look forward to continuing to evolve into the future.”
Air Marshal Hupfeld also announced Lorraine Edgar from Charleville, Queensland, as the lucky winner of the Mint’s nationwide First Coin of the Year online ballot.
As the winner of the First Coin of the Year, Ms Edgar will received a unique, one-of-a-kind coin set that includes the coin pressed by Air Marshal Hupfeld, along with the ‘C’ Mintmark and Privy coins, a Silver Proof coin and a certificate authenticating the coin.
The First Coin of the Year event is an annual tradition that sees keen coin collectors line up outside the Royal Australian Mint in Canberra on New Year’s Day in the hope that they will get to press the first coin of the year.
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, and to ensure the health and safety of staff and visitors, the Mint moved the event to an online ballot this year.
Acting CEO of the Royal Australian Mint Cristy England said it was import to ensure this much loved event went ahead despite the unprecedented circumstances presented in 2020.
“This is such an important event for the coin collector community, and after an unparalleled year, we wanted to be able to keep the First Coin of the Year tradition alive, in whatever way possible,” Ms England said.
“We are excited that so many people from across Australia embraced the new format of the First Coin of the Year event.”
The newly released 2021 Gallery Press and Mintmark Suite coins are legal tender and celebrate the Centenary of the Royal Australian Air Force.
Three iconic Royal Australian Air Force planes are depicted on the reverse of the coin, alongside a wedge tail eagle which is also featured on the RAAF badge.
The packaging of the 2021 Gallery Press coins includes the inspirational stories of some of the Royal Australian Air Force personnel from the past 100 years.