Australian Convict Heritage Site Coins

Posted by admin on Tuesday, August 30th, 2011

The Royal Australian Mint has produced a stunning and unique set of collectible coins depicting six convict sites in Australia, and celebrating their inclusion in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The British Empire set up the six sites after it colonised the country and sent some of its prisoners there, never to return to their country of birth. The convict sites include Port Arthur, which started life as a penal settlement where its inhabitants had to engage in activities such as flour milling and shipbuilding. It is now one of the most popular tourist attractions in Australia.

Fremantle Prison began its life as a barracks for male prisoners in the mid-1800’s, and was still being used as a prison as recently as the 1960’s.

Although the transportation of prisoners to Australia began as early as the 17th century, it reached its peak between 1787 and 1868, when a total of over 150,000 prisoners were sent to Australia. The practice had begun as a way of punishing the worst crimes, but because of Australia’s need for labour, often criminals who had committed minor infractions of the law were deported. Children as young as nine were amongst these.

The coins are struck in 1/25 oz of .999 gold, and are encased in a soft leatherette box. The coin has a diameter of 14 mm, and the reverse is designed by engraver Wojciech Pietranik. The obverse will carry the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II found on all modern Australian legal tender coins, and be stamped with the denomination of $5.

A certificate of authenticity will accompany each coin, as well as an information card describing the site depicted. The mintage is limited to 3000 of each convict site.

The price for the six is set at AU$720, which is payable up front. Altogether, there are 6 coins in the set that celebrate 6 of Australia’s most important convict sites. The 6 coins are:

  • Hyde Park Barracks Coin
  • Cascades Female Factory Coin
  • Port Arthur Coin
  • Fremantle Prison Coin
  • Old Government House Coin
  • Coal Mines Historic Site Coin
australian convict heritage gold coins

The Australian Convict Heritage Gold Coin Set

More details, as well as information about ordering can be found at

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