This one hundred fifty Dollar gold
coin issued in 2000 was the sixth 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 Cooktown Orchid, which is
the floral emblem of Queensland. Each emblem of the entire series is represented on three different coins. The first is a
$150 half Troy ounce
coin and the remaining two are both $100 one-third Troy ounce proof coins, one of which is an
(Royal Australian Mint, 2002)
With regards to the $150 coins there was a limited
of 1500. Credit for the design of the reverse of this coin goes to
Horst Hahne. The design is very simple and features the Cooktown Orchid, which takes up the majority of the space. The
150 DOLLARS is curved beneath the flower following the shape of the coin. The
obverse features the Ian Rank-Broadley portrait of her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and is surrounded by the
that reads ELIZABETH II AUSTRALIA 2000. 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 2000 $150 GOLD PROOF. Additionally a larger presentation case was made available, in which the
entire series can be housed.
The Cooktown Orchid also goes by the name of Vappodes phalaenopsis and features a purplish flower that can vary in shade
from quite pink to almost white and sometimes to a dark purple.The plants grow with canes on which the flowers are found
in bunches. They can survive and flourish in a range of habitats and are found in coastal trees and rocks to swamps and mangroves.
Thanks to over collecting the flower that was once prolific is now rarely seen in the wild. It is now found in a limited
area west of Cooktown in northern Queensland. When it was decided that the state should have it's own floral emblem, the
criteria included easily grown, found only in Queensland, decorative and distinctive. The Cooktown Orchid met all of these
criterium and was named the floral emblem of Queensland in 1959.
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