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Australia Western Australia

1990  Ten Dollar reverse 1990  Ten Dollar obverse

1990 Ten Dollar

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


Sales History


This commemorative ten dollar coin is one piece from the eight coin 'State Series' set. They were released on an annual basis between 1985 and 1993 only excluding 1988. Each coin commemorates a different Australian State or Territory and bears the Coat of Arms of each one. This coin was issued in 1990 and pays tribute to Western Australia. It is joined by Victoria, South Australia, New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia, Northern Territory, and the Australian Capital Territory. Each of the coins were produced in sterling silver in both proof and mint-state conditions.

The reverse of the coin was designed by Horst Hahne and features the Coat of Arms of Western Australia. The legend reads 10 DOLLARS at the bottom and WESTERN AUSTRALIA at the top. The obverse features Raphael Maklouf's portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II with the legend reading "ELIZABETH II AUSTRALIA 1990." The two different versions of the coin were issued in different kinds of packaging. The proof coin was issued in a black, hinged presentation box. The outer box of which reads ROYAL AUSTRALIAN MINT, $10 PROOF COIN, STATE SERIES, 1991. The mint state specimen was sealed onto a card and presented into a wallet style case also using a description card which provided a brief introduction to the history of the state. Once the entire series had been released a large black presentation case was issued suitable to house the entire series.

Unlike most other Australian states, Western Australia was not settled as a British penal colony. The first European settlement occurred in 1826 when Albany was settled as a military outpost. (Western Australian Museum, 2017) The population remained small until the 1880s and 1890s when the discovery of gold draw diggers into the states. In 1901 Western Australia became one of the states to form the Commonwealth of Australia. A variety of Western Australian official imagery, including the state flag, features a Black Swan.

The large numbers of Black Swans in the area lead Dutch Navigator, Captain Willem de Vlamingh to name the substantial river that today runs through Perth 'Swan River'. The Black Swan was an important scientific discovery that continues to be used today as a scientific symbol. (Tim Low, 2016) Prior to the discovery of Black Swans by Willem de Vlamingh in 1697 it was commonly believed that all Swans were white. Tim Low states that "Like purple cows and flying pigs, the black swan was a symbol of what was impossible. In medieval Europe, unicorns had more credibility." Author Nassim Taleb has since popularised the 'black swan theory' which states that dramatic and unexpected events - like the discovery of black swans - matter more to history than regular expected events.

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