Sydney Cove Medallion Portrayed on High Relief Silver Australian Coin

March 9, 2010 by · Leave a Comment 

In a pairing that can only be called unique, the Perth Mint of Australia is releasing a coin and accompanying collectible china plate that celebrates a design created for a young Australia and first seen on a piece of Wedgwood pottery in 1789. The Sydney Cove Medallion Silver Proof Coin recalls that classic design which has earned a place of honor among many native Australians.

Sydney Cove Medallion Silver Proof Australian Coin (Click to Enlarge)

Sydney Cove Medallion Silver Proof Australian Coin (Click to Enlarge)

Created by the famous Josiah Wedgwood (considered the ‘Father of English Potters’), the design was placed on a piece of Wedgwood’s Staffordshire pottery. However, in a departure from normal practice, the pottery was made from clay shipped to England from the countryside of the the infant British colony of Australia.

Sydney Cove Design

Its design reflected the then-current practice of neo-classicism and featured four figures on the shores of a bay (Sydney Cove). To the left, a figure called Hope is standing on a rock in front of an anchor. She is extending her right hand to three figures meant to portray the Australian colonists.

The first of the colonist figures is a female known as Peace with an olive branch in one hand and a horn of plenty at her feet. The second figure is also a female, but she is known as Art and holds a painters palette. The last figure is male and holds a sledgehammer over his shoulder. His name is Labour, and he represents the hard work of the colonists.

Underneath the figures is the inscription ETRURIA 1789. 1789 is obviously the year in which the design was created and Etruria was the name of the main Wedgwood factory which was in operation for 1769-1950. It took its name from the ancient Etruscans whose classic ceramics inspired many Wedgwood pieces.

Silver Coin Specifications

Wedgwood plate (Click to Enlarge)

Wedgwood plate (Click to Enlarge)

The silver coin contains one ounce of 99.9% pure silver and is struck to a proof finish with a maximum mintage of only 5,000. Considered legal tender under the Australian Currency Act of 1965, these coins feature a face value of AUS $1 and have an image of Queen Elizabeth II on their obverse.

The Australian coin has a gross weight of 31.135 grams, a diameter of 32.60 mm and a thickness of 6.00 mm.

Each coin ships with a presentation case, a numbered certificate of authenticity and a fine bone china plate made by the Wedgwood Company with the same Sydney Cove design. All ship in an illustrated shipper.

The proof coin and Wedgwood plate set is prices at AUS $180.91 (~US $164.31) and may be purchased from around the world by going directly to The Perth Mint Web site.

The Perth Mint Australia

About the Perth Mint

The Perth Mint ( wholly-owned by the State Government of Western Australia, is the official issuer of the Australian Federal Government’s Gold and Silver Bullion Coin Program. The Mint opened in 1899 in response to the discovery of rich gold deposits in Coolgardie and Kalgoorlie. It was Australia’s third branch of Britain’s Royal Mint – the others being the Sydney Mint and the Melbourne Mint (both closed).

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