This $5 silver
coin commemorates the contributions of Colonel William Light, for his role in the design of Adelaide and therefore to
the development of the country as an effective and successful colony. This coin is just one out of a five piece set of five
dollar coins, each struck in sterling silver and each of which commemorates a person, place or event that played an invaluable
role in turning the continent of Australia from the penal settlement it once was into the thriving nation it is today. On
first arrival the Australian terrain provided a harsh and somewhat hostile environment in which to survive, but thanks to
these early efforts in pioneering the country was able to celebrate industry, communications, transport and economy. All
of these things helped to improve the quality of life that could be sustained by the people. Joining Colonel William Light
being commemorated in this culturally significant silver coin set are Elizabeth McArthur, The Gold Rush, Cobb & Co and
Charles Todd. The set, released in 1995 is one from the Masterpieces in Silver collection and is named "Colonial Australia."
The reverse of the coin, designed by Wojciech Pietranik bears the
portrait of Colonel William Light. Set back from his portrait are a number of lines and shapes, which of course represent
the map and overall design of Adelaide in which he played such a major part. The
on this side of the coin reads COL. WILLIAM LIGHT 1786-18339. Also featured on the
reverse is the
5 DOLLARS. The obverse features the traditional Maklouf portrait
of Queen Elizabeth II and is surrounded by the
ELIZABETH II AUSTRALIA 1995. This coin along with the remaining four to complete the set was originally packaged in a
simple black box stamped on the outside of the lid with the text 1995 MASTERPIECES IN SILVER and the inner side with ROYAL
AUSTRALIAN MINT. The original collection of which there was a limited
of 20,000 came with a certificate of authenticity.
Card Included in the 1995 Colonial Australia Collection
Colonel William Light (1786-1839) was a British military officer who later found himself in the position of Surveyor-General
in the new colony of South Australia. It was during his time in this role that he completed the work that would make him
famous and well regarded as one of the men who contributed most significantly to the successful colonisation of Australia;
selecting the location for and designing the city of Adelaide. He used his skills and good judgment to identify the best
location to build the city that would promote agriculture and industry, therefore proving a sustainable and improved quality
of life for the new colony. He chose the area based on the presence drifting of the clouds over Adelaide Hills to identify
areas of plentiful rainfall, ideal for agriculture as well as its close proximity to fresh water that could supply the colony.
He designed the streets of Adelaide in a grid formation and rallied hard for the city to be surrounded bypark-landsin order
to avoid the polluted air from which many European cities had suffered. His input is known today as "Light's vision" and
a statue Montefiore Hill commemorates his life and contributions to the colony.
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