2018 $1 AlBr 'M' Counterstmp Australias Convict Era - Rascals and Ratbags
In 2018 we commemorate the 80 years of Australia’s convict era. Coin collectors, descendants of convicts and history buffs in Melbourne and surrounds will have the opportunity to remember our convict past as the mobile press travels to Melbourne in September. With an exclusive ‘M’ for Melbourne counterstamp, this coin will be a sought-after variant to our popular visitor press coin.
HISTORY AND SIGNIFICANCE
In the past Australians were reluctant to acknowledge their convict ancestors, nowadays to be descended from a convict is considered a badge of honour. Almost 20 per cent of Australians are currently descended from the convicts who were transported to Australia in the 80 year period between 1788 and 1868.
The convicts were a mixed bunch. Some were hardened criminals and scoundrels, some were political prisoners, and some were simply victims of desperate poverty. Many remained in Australia after gaining their freedom, to build new lives. This significant period of migration changed the face of Australia forever and helped create a nation of mixed heritage.
Some convicts lived infamous lives, such as Alexander Pearce. Their stories have entered Australia’s folklore and led to the creation of books, films and artworks that have influenced our understanding of this challenging period of history.
FEATURES AND DESIGN
• Commemorating Australia’s convict era and the varied convict characters who changed our history
• Coin’s reverse features an artistic depiction of a tree with a canopy representing Australia, and the convict symbols of the Broad Arrow and chains at its roots
• ‘M’ for Melbourne counterstamp, exclusive to Melbourne
• Packaging features an illustration and story of convict Alexander Pearce, the Van Diemen’s Land Cannibal
• Coin’s obverse features Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II effigy sculpted by Ian Rank-Broadley
• Australian legal tender