This Waratah one hundred fifty Dollar gold proof coin issued in 1995 was the first to be released
from a series of nine entitled Floral Emblems of Australia. The set was released between the years of 1995 and 2003 with
a coin featuring the floral emblem of each state as well as the Commonwealth, the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern
Territory. This particular coin features the Waratah, which is the floral emblem of New South Wales. Each emblem of the entire
series is represented on three different coins. The first is a $150 half Troy ounce proof coin
and the remaining two are both $100 one-third Troy ounce proof coins, one of which is an uncirculated
(Royal Australian Mint, 2002)
With regards to the $150 coins there was a limited mintage of 1500. Credit for the design of
the reverse of this coin goes to Horst Hahne. The design is very simple and features the New South
Wales Waratah, which takes up the majority of the space. The legend 150 DOLLARS is curved beneath
the flower following the shape of the coin. The obverse features the Raphael Maklouf portrait of her Majesty Queen Elizabeth
II and is surrounded by the legend that reads ELIZABETH II AUSTRALIA 1995. The $150 coins were
issued in a Tasmanian Blackwood presentation case and accompanying it was a Certificate of Authenticity and booklet of information
pertaining to the different floral emblems. The outer box was a burgundy colour and features the text FLORAL EMBLEMS OF AUSTRALIA
written above a picture of the flower represented within. Below was written 1995 $150 GOLD PROOF.
The Waratah or sometimes even the New South Wales Waratah is the more common name for the shrubs scientific name of Telopea
Speciosissima. It is endemic to the state of New South Wales and in 1962 it was officially named as the states emblem, although
it had been used informally as such for many years prior to that.It is a fairly large shrub at around 4 metres high and has
dark green leaves and a woody base. In the springtime it produces vibrant dark red flower heads, each of which contains hundreds
of florets. It is these stunning flower heads that makes the Waratah so striking. It is regularly featured in the works of
various artists and in folklore stories and has over a very long period of time become symbolic of New South Wales.
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