The discovery of gold in Australia set off a wild chain of events that ultimately led to Federation and the development of modern Australia. An unexpected hero of the gold rush was the hardy camel, an animal imported to Australia by enterprising ‘Afghan’ cameleers, responsible for bringing water and supplies to remote miners and settlers in places unreachable by horses.
Camels and their Afghan handlers played crucial roles in the development of Western Australia’s gold mining industry. After gold was discovered in Western Australian, large numbers of cameleers travelled to the region.
Camels were ideal animals for the vast distances of Western and South Australia. They travelled well in a desert climate, could manage for a long time without water, and could feed on the scrubby local vegetation. They were able to carry large amounts, and soon became invaluable for hauling food, water and equipment to prospecting sites.
The descendants of many cameleers and their charges still live in Australia. Their stories are celebrated in this set of four 2020 $1 Mintmark and Privy Mark coins.
The discovery of gold in Australia set off a wild chain of events that ultimately led to Federation and the development of modern Australia. Among the many stories of the Gold Rush was the thrilling 1869 discovery of the enormous Welcome Stranger nugget by two fortunate Cornish miners. Stories like theirs enticed thousands of hopeful prospectors to settle in Australia.
The Welcome Stranger was the discovery of miners John Deason and Richard Oates, seasoned gold prospectors hoping to find their fortune in Victoria. They were working in Bulldog Gully, near Moliagul in Central Victoria. On the morning of 5 February 1869, Deason was working around the roots of a tree when his pick struck something hard a few centimeters beneath the surface, and broke. He is purported to have exclaimed in annoyance ‘I wish it was a nugget’.
It turned out to be a single nugget of alluvial gold that weighed around 70kg. This extraordinary discovery, estimated to be worth millions in today’s money, encouraged thousands of hopeful prospectors to come to Australia to try their luck. The excitement and drama of the Gold Rush has inspired this 2020 $1 ‘C’ mintmark silver coin, featuring selective gold plating.
The discovery of gold in Australia set off a wild chain of events that ultimately led to Federation and the development of modern Australia. In the Victorian city of Bendigo, Chinese prospectors came to find gold and brought with them Gum Loong, or Golden Dragon, a magnificent Imperial dancing dragon. Loong and his descendants still reside in Bendigo today
The contributions made to Australia’s development by new and growing communities during the gold rushes, are celebrated in this stunning 2020 $10 ‘C’ Mintmark gold proof coin.
By 1854, there were approximately 5,000 Chinese residents on the goldfields at Bendigo. Despite prevalent anti-Chinese sentiment, many Chinese miners stayed to make their homes in the region.
In 1869, the Bendigo community held the first annual Easter Procession, and two years later, the Chinese community were invited to participate. Gum Loong, the Imperial dragon, was imported from China by the Bendigo Chinese Association to perform dragon dances during the parades. The dance performances raised funds for local charities – a way for the Bendigo Chinese Association to contribute back to the community, and a tangible link with their Chinese heritage. Loong and his two dragon descendants still reside in Bendigo.