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Australia Todd

1995 Proof Five Dollar reverse 1995 Proof Five Dollar obverse

1995 Proof Five Dollar

Reverse Designer:Wojciech Pietranik Obverse Designer:Raphael Maklouf Size:39mm Weight:35.79g Edge:Reeded Composition:92.5% Silver
7.5% Copper


Sales History


This $5 silver proof coin commemorates the contributions of Charles Todd, for his role in astronomy and telegraphy 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 Charles Todd being commemorated in this culturally significant silver coin set are Colonel William Light, The Gold Rush, Cobb & Co and Elizabeth McArthur. 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 Charles Todd. Set back from his portrait is a long wire, which of course represents the telegraph wires in which he played such a major part in integrating all over Australia. Also featured are a number of stars which represent the passion he had for astronomy throughout his life. The legend on this side of the coin reads CHARLES TODD 1827-1910. Also featured on the reverse is the legend 5 DOLLARS. The obverse features the traditional Maklouf portrait of Queen Elizabeth II and is surrounded by the legend 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 mintage of 20,000 came with a certificate of authenticity.

Card Included in the 1995 Colonial Australia Collection Card Included in the 1995 Colonial Australia Collection

Sir Charles Todd (1826 - 1910) spend his early life studying astronomy and working in two of the most important Observatory's in England, Royal Greenwich Observatory and Cambridge University Observatory holding very high positions. Later on in 1855 he accepted the position of superintendent of telegraphs and government astronomer of the new colony in South Australia. Despite some very important findings in the world of astronomy including being one of the first observers of the planet Neptune, it would be his work on telegraph lines in Adelaide that really put him name on the map.

By 1856 the first line in Adelaide has opened linking to Melbourne. He rode personally through the country that would determine wear the line would pass. His next challenge involved building a transcontinental telegraph online that ran all the way from Port Augusta to Port Darwin. Convincing the local government to approve the idea was a challenge in itself which took him a number of years. He was finally approved although many other colonies were not in agreement on the idea but despite a number of complications on route he finally completed much of the work himself. The success led to his promotion to post master general and gained him the trust of all peers and government officials. The Telecommunications Society of Australia remembers him on a yearly basis at the presentation of the Charles Todd Oration and The Sir Charles Todd Building and the University of South Australia has been named after him.

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