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Australia Bicentenary

1988 Proof Ten Dollar reverse 1988 Proof Ten Dollar obverse

1988 Proof Ten Dollar

Reverse Designer:Stuart Devlin Obverse Designer:Raphael Maklouf Size:34mm Weight:20g Edge:Reeded Composition:92.5% Silver
7.5% Copper


Sales History


In 1988 there was much celebration and a number of coins and medallions issued to pay tribute to 200 years of European settlement in Australia. One example is this commemorative Ten Dollar coin, which was issued by the Royal Australian Mint, Canberra to mark the day that First Fleet arrived in New south Wales - January 26th 1788. Approximately 200,000 pieces were minted in both proof and specimen strikes. They are made from sterling silver and are today traded mainly as silver bullion.

The reverse of the coin was designed by Stuart Devlin and represents the arrival of the First Feet to the shores of Australia. A number of ships are clearly evident on the water and a rowing boat can be seen in the foreground, sending the first settlers to the shore. The only legend included on the reverse is the denomination 10 DOLLARS. The reverse features the Raphael Maklouf portrait of her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and surrounding her effigy is the legend ELIZABETH II AUSTRALIA 1988. The coin was sealed and packaged in the standard plush presentation case with a flip open lid. The original outer packaging is a green box that simply reads ROYAL AUSTRALIAN MINT $10 PROOF COIN 1988. In the corner is also says Australia 1788-1988. A booklet is included with the coin, which contains a description of the coin and some information pertaining to the First Fleet.

There were 11 ships that made up the First Fleet and they all left Great Britain in order to establish the first European Colony on Australia on 13th May 1787. The entire journey which included stops at Tenerife, Rio de Janeiro and the Cape of Good Hope took a total of 252 days. On board all 11 ships were a total of 1044 passengers. This was made up of officers, their families, free settlers and convicts. (Wikipedia, 2013) The fleet was commanded by Captain Arthur Phillip who would become the first Governor of the colony at New South Wales and included the flagship HMS Sirius, HMS Supply, Charlotte, Scarborough and Friendship. The ships arrived over a 3 day period with HMS Supply arriving first on Botany Bay on the 18th January and the final ships of the fleet arriving on the 20th. Despite 48 people dying on route, the voyage was considered extremely successful as not a single ship was lost. It soon became evident that Botany Bay was not a suitable location to start the colony as they were unprotected, fresh water was sparse and the soil was poor. Phillip's went searching for somewhere more suitable and on the 26th January the colony was moved to Port Jackson. The 26 of January is celebrated annually as Australia Day.

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