The Royal Australian Mint has launched a new coin collection to commemorate the centenary of the Royal Australian Air Force. Flying under the name “A Century of Air Power – 2021” this set will contain 11 coins featuring color depictions of RAAF aircraft from the beginning with the S.E.5a bi-plane to the present with the F-35A Joint Strike Fighter.
Speaking at the launch of the coins, the Mint’s new CEO Leigh Gordon, AO, CSM, said collaborations like this one with the Royal Australian Air Force continue to help the Mint showcase the important work of Australian organizations.
“Through our coin releases, the Mint aims to commemorate significant events, anniversaries and organizations that are meaningful to the Australian people. Over the last century, the Royal Australian Air Force has made a significant impact on Australia and the Australian way of life.”
Mr. Gordon was joined at the launch by the Deputy Chief of Air Force, Air Vice-Marshal Stephen Meredith AM, DSM who went on to say that, “This series traces the evolution of technological advances in air power and Air Force’s contribution to the Australian Defense Force over the past Century.”
But even more importantly, “The Royal Australian Mint coin sets, are a fitting way to honor the service and sacrifice of past and present members who have contributed to our growth making us the potent world class Air Force we are today as we look forward to continuing to evolve into the future.”
This eleven coin collection does a great job of telling the hundred year tale of aircraft innovation and technological advancement in the RAAF. The coin cards offer fascinating historical details of each aircraft and are beautifully illustrated. The design work on this set is marvelous and includes all those little touches I always look for to distinguish superior coin designs.
The collection also features an exclusive commemorative coin that pays tribute to the 350,000 air force personnel who have served over the last one hundred years. It features a classic design which illustrates the evolution of those who have served in the RAAF from 1921 through 2021.
It is clear that each aircraft featured in this set has played a significant role in the safety and security of Australia. They’ve been used in conflicts around the world including the Second World War and the Vietnam War, as well as in support of the global community in humanitarian missions and disaster relief.
From a historical viewpoint this is a great aviation set. For the topical collector of aircraft coins, I would say it’s a must have, which should be added to your collection before any secondary market forces drive up prices. Right now you can still order the set directly from the Royal Australian Mint website and the mintage should keep it available for a while.
The complete 11 coin set in colorful cards comes housed in a nifty airplane hangar tin when you buy directly from the mint website. What a great packaging idea! The mint has also designed associated items for the Heroes of the Sky coins including a bag tag, key ring and bucket hat, all of which can be found on their website. Additionally the Mint is offering a circulating coin package including a nice RAAF Centenary token, poster and a plane model all in a drawstring bag, which is perfect for young collectors at the retail price of only about $12.00 US.
The Centenary of the Royal Australian Air Force is also being commemorated on precious metal in the Heroes of the Sky $10 gold and $1 silver coins, but you will have to locate these from a distributor or on the secondary market, as the mint website indicates the pre-order period is closed. Card-cover bronze $1 uncirculated strikes of the Heroes of the Sky coin design will also be available at about $23.00 US.
A Century of Air Power – 2021 colored uncirculated 11-Coin Set is available in a limited mintage of 15,000 and retails for $135.00 U.S. dollars on the Royal Australian Mint website store at https://eshop.ramint.gov.au/newproducts.
These coins are legal tender in Australia, though of course you will never find them in circulation. However, if you happen to be in Australia, visitors to the mint can press their own Royal Australian Air Force coin from the Gallery Press. In Australia you can call the mint’s Contact Centre at (1300 652 020) or visit their onsite retail shop at the mint for more details and shopping options. There are also authorized distributors for the Royal Australian Mint, but remember, everyone is experiencing shipping delays during the pandemic, so please be patient.