Mintage:19,546 Reverse Designer:Vladimir Gottwald and Wojciech PietranikObverse Designer:Raphael MakloufSize:39mmWeight:35.79gEdge:ReededComposition:92.5% Silver 7.5% Copper
This $5 dollar silver
coin bears the image of an Aborigine and is one coin out of a 5 piece set. 'The Explorers' is the title of one of the
Masterpieces in Silver
coin sets, which was released in two parts in 1993 and 1994. Each of the two parts contains five coins, which commemorate
the explorations done throughout Australia by various explorers. The other 9 coins that make up the complete set each feature
the image of one important explorer, with the exception of one which bears the faces of three men Lawson, Blaxland and Wentworth.
This coin commemorating the Aborigines is taken from the first half of the 'The Explorers' set released in 1993, from
which the remaining four coins commemorate the explorations carried out by Lawson, Blaxland and Wentworth, mentioned above,
Tasman, Flinders and Cook. The five coins that make up the second half, released in 1994 commemorate explorers Sturt, Leichhardt,
McDouall-Stuart, Forrest and Mawson. The reverse of this coin bears an
image depicting an Aborigine with a spear, the first people to truly explore Australia, against a map of the continent. The
reverse was designed by Wojciech Pietranik and has the
5 DOLLARS slightly overlapping the map written underneath. The obverse
features the traditional effigy of Queen Elizabeth II designed by Raphael Maklouf and the
ELIZABETH II AUSTRALIA 1993. The packaging, in which this first half of the set was presented was a simple black box
with the text 1993 MASTERPIECES IN SILVER written in block silver letters at the top centre and a logo representing 'The
Explorers'. A certificate of authenticity was included within the box which describes the coins and their designers.
Australia had been thoroughly explored well before any European navigators even knew that the continent existed. Aborigines
also known as Indigenous Australians, who would have arrived on the island via neighboring Asian countries after leaving
Africa and have been living off the land for around 50,000 years. The aborigines were primarily hunter gatherers and were
of course dependent on the land and remaining mobile in order to take advantage of the seasons and the changing availability
of food supplies. However, there were some permanent settlements in certain areas. Working only in order to ensure their
survival they were left with time to develop language, traditions and spirituality that created their rich culture. By the
time that Captain Cook and the First Fleet landed in Botany Bay in 1788, there was a network of aboriginal "clans", which
stretched throughout Australia and spoke over 250 different languages.
(Aboriginal Heritage, 2013)
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