The Australian 2 dollar banknote was replaced with the 2 dollar coin on 20th June 1988. The 30th anniversary of the two dollar coin was celebrated by issuing a set of 12 coins depicting some of the old designs and themes that have been featured over these years.
Treasurer, Paul Keating decided to replace notes with coins as the notes were getting damaged easily within 6 months whereas coins could last for 40 years. People from various communities like the visually impaired, the vending machine industry, retailers and financial institutions were consulted before the introduction of new coins. The size was decided based on the needs of the visually impaired, apart from security measures. They did not want to go with shaped coins and also considered practical limitations to the diameter and thickness of coins. Former Treasurer and Prime Minister Paul Keating struck the first two dollar coin. It honoured the original inhabitants of Australia for the first time on National currency. Almost 864 million two dollar coins have been produced in the last 30 years which have celebrated the nation’s history and culture. Commemorative 2 dollar coins have been issued for Anzac Day and Remembrance Day and Queen Elizabeth II’s 60 years of monarchy.
For the new coins, several designers were asked to include the head and shoulders of an Aboriginal Australian, the Southern Cross and Australian flora. Mr. Horst Hahne’s design was chosen finally which was inspired by an original artwork by Mr. Ainslie Roberts. The latest coin combines 12 designs that have been already featured so far, including Anzac Day and Remembrance Day releases. The set represents heritage, creativity and engineering excellence as per Mint officials.
Image Courtesy: Royal Australian Mint