The Big Coins
The Royal Australian Mint in Deakin, Canberra, has been the sole producer of all Australian coins in circulation since 1965. Next to the company, you will find the Big Coins, a group of nine massive sculptures displaying the Australian coins.
The company was opened by the late Prince Phillip, the Duke of Edinburgh, and has since become a popular attraction for locals and tourists.
A Brief History of the Australian Coins
The Australian coins have evolved since the barter trade era, where traders exchanged items such as food and tools with valuables like shells and ochres. When the first European settlers came to Australia, they introduced international coins, promissory notes and tokens into the trading system.
The first Australian coin, called the dump, was introduced in 1813, but two years later, the British pound was confirmed as the legal currency among the Australian colonies. The locals started using gold in the form of ingots and tokens for trading in the early 18th century, and by 1855, Australia began to manufacture its first gold coins.
The year 1910 witnessed the introduction of the national Australian currency. After its official opening, the first task for the Royal Australian mint was to introduce the decimal currency system currently used worldwide.
Each coin of the Big Coins sculptures represents a particular value of the Australian coins, including the one and two cents, which are no longer in circulation.
If you’d like to take a trip to ACT to see the Big Coins, you’ll be glad to discover that there are plenty of other Big Things to explore in this part of Australia.
Check out some great examples below!