The Aurora Australis also known as the Southern Lights are caused by a combination of sun particles and the Earth magnetic
field reacting in such a way that the incredible light display can be seen. The year 2007-2008 was celebrated as International
Polar Year, paying tribute to the fascinating region of the Antarctic. This three piece series of five Dollar fine silver
coins released progressively between 2008 and 2009 honours the unique fauna and flora of the icy continent as well as
the work and research performed at various stations and vessels with a significant Australian contribution. This particular
coin is the third and final in the series and the reverse features the
amazing colourful lights of the Aurora Australis. The two coins that accompany it in the Australian Antarctic Territory Silver
Proof Coin series celebrate the Skua bird and the Aurora Australis.
The reverse of the Australian Antarctic Territory - Polar Explorers
coin was designed by Wojciech Pietranik and was struck into a fine silver planchet and finished to the highest possible
standard by the Royal Australian Mint. The top half of the reverse features
the impressive Aurora Australis, depicted using colourful hologram technology. The sillhouette of a sailing ship, penguins
and a handful of people can be seen surrounded by the beautiful colours. The rest of the design takes elements from the previous
coins in the series including the map of the Australian Antarctic Territory with the scientific research stations marked
on it. The
above the map reads Australian Antarctic Territory. Below it says International Polar Year 2007-2008. The primary
on the reverse curves around the bottom edge and reads "AURORA AUSTRALIS".
The obverse of this fine silver
coin features the Rank-Broadley effigy of Queen Elizabeth II with the surrounding
that reads "ELIZABETH II AUSTRALIA 2009 5 DOLLARS". Each coin in the series was issued in a presentation case and packaged
in an illustrated outer box.
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