This two Dollar Silver
coin is one piece from a set of four that makes up the 2003 Masterpieces in Silver series. The set is called the The
Port Phillip Patterns. This piece has a denomination of two Dollars and a reproduction 1/2 ounce coin whilst those accompanying
the coin to complete the set include a one Dollar coin, a five dollar coin and a ten Dollar coin. The complete set was launched
in July 2003 by the Royal Australian Mint and was instantly a popular purchase amongst collectors. There was a limited mintage
of just 10,000 and due to the fascinating story of the Port Phillip Patterns and the historical importance to Australia's
numismatic history, it is a highly sought after series.
Each of the coins were struck into a sterling silver planchet
. The reverse of the coin was designed by Wojciech Pietranik and along
with the additional three coins of the series features the Port Phillips Kangaroo Pattern. This coin features the original
pattern in the centre with enough room surrounding it for the legend TWO DOLLARS and some cross hatching either side. The
central Kangaroo Pattern features a Kangaroo with the
1853 in a central circle. Surrounding this is large and prominent letters is the legend PORT PHILLIP AUSTRALIA. The obverse of the coin features the Ian Rank-Broadley portrait of her Majesty Queen
Elizabeth II at the top, small and central and accompanied by the legend "ELIZABETH II AUSTRALIA 2003", all of which surrounds
the reproduction of the reverse from the Port Phillips pattern. This was the denomination 1/2 written inside a circle with
an outer ring and the legend "PURE AUSTRALIAN GOLD HALF OUNCE".
The entire series was issued with a long presentation case in which the coins were displayed largest to smallest from
left to right. Included in the set was a booklet that tells the story of the Port Phillip Patterns. The outer packaging was
stylishly designed with an image of Port Phillip and the title Master Pieces in Silver 2003 Port Phillip Patterns.
The story of the Port Phillips Patterns also known as the Kangaroo Office Patterns is an interesting and somewhat mysterious
one. It was Australia's first attempt at coin production and is therefore of significant importance to the numismatic history
of the country. In the end it became a failed business venture set up as an attempt to profit from the gold mining that was
happening around Victoria.
(Royal Australian Mint, 2003)
The Kangaroo Office was located in Melbourne and produced patterns that included the one featured on the coins in this
series. In 1854 when the business turned out to be unprofitable, it was closed and the press sold to Thomas Stokes. Although
the dies were thought to have been disposed of, they were discovered by Stokes in 1917.
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