In 2000 HRH Queen Elizabeth II and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh visited Australia. The Royal Australian
Mint released this Royal Visit fifty cent coin as part of the celebration. The coin is significant in Australian
numismatic history as it is the first time since 1936 that an Australian coin features a royal effigy designed by an Australia.
It is convention that the Royal Australian Mint use the portraits
developed by the Royal Mint. For this piece, and this piece only,
special approval was acquired from Buckingham Palace to use a design by the Australian designer Vladimir Gottwald. The portrait
had been submitted to the Royal Mint in 1997 as part of the official
competition to find a new portrait of HRH Queen Elizabeth II. Gottwald's design eventually lost out to the portrait by British
sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley.
The reverse of this piece was also designed by Gottwald and depicts
the Australian flag flying above Parliament House. Beside the flag is St. Edward's Crown, which was used to crown HRH Queen
Elizabeth II, and below this is the caption "ROYAL VISIT 2000". The coin was issued in both circulating and fine proof silver
variety was issued in a red presentation case with a numbered certificate of authenticity.
(Royal Australian Mint, 2000)
HRH Queen Elizabeth II and HRH The Duke of Edinburgh arrived in Australia with a full itinerary which included visiting
almost every state and territory.
(Status Quo, 2013)
They visited the Olympic village and stadiums in Sydney ahead of the forthcoming Olympic Games that were to be held in
October that year. The Royal couple attended various functions, openings, schools, memorials and other causes. The Princess
Royal, commonly known as Princess Anne, also visited Australia to attend the parade marking the 75th anniversary of the Royal
Australian Corps of Signals in 5th July 2000.
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