The Sydney 2000 Olympics Five Dollar 'Early Settlement' Silver Coin is part of a collection containing 16 pieces. It was
struck in sterling silver and were designed to represent both Australia's cultural history and environment. The set comprises
of Festival of the Dreaming, Kangaroo, Early Settlement, Great White Shark, Immigrants, Frilled Neck Lizard, Commerce, Emu,
Sports and the Arts, Koala, Sydney Harbour, Platypus, Opera House, Echidna, Air and Kookaburra. They are all in a Five Dollar
denomination. The set was released in 2000 following the successful Olympic Games from Sydney, Australia.
The reverse of the coin, designed by Stuart Devlin has an intricate
design with a ring of 19 Sailing ships around the inside edge of the coin. Inside this is a map of Australia with some early
style sketches of footprints and Aborigines. Included at bottom is the official Sydney 2000 Olympics logo with the five coloured
rings signifying the Olympics. The obverse features the traditional Raphael
Maklouf 4th portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, crowned, facing right, with necklace and earrings and is surrounded by the
ELIZABETH II AUSTRALIA 2000 5 DOLLARS. This coin along with the remaining fifteen to complete the set was originally
packaged in a wooden display case and with a numbered certificate. On the outside of the lid is stamped with the text THE
SYDNEY 2000 OLYMPIC SILVER COIN COLLECTION and the inner side with ROYAL AUSTRALIAN MINT and the PERTH MINT.
The early settlement started in Sydney back in January 1788. After America had won her independence, Britain was looking
elsewhere as its own prisons were overcrowded. It was James Cooks' discovery of Botany Bay, along with Sir Joseph Banks,
that led to the recommendation of the area for settlement. Initially around 850 convicts
(Parliament of New South Wales, 2013)
arrived in nine prison ships accompanied by two warships. The actual date of the arrival in Sydney Cove, (26th) became
'Australia Day' and is celebrated annually.
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