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New coin to celebrate year of Indigenous languages

9 Apr 2019

The next time you look into your purse you may see something interesting shining back up at you.

A brand new 50 cent coin has been released to celebrate the 2019 International Year of Indigenous languages. The Royal Australian Mint launched it in Adelaide today but officially entered the coin into circulation on April 8.

The coin’s design was created in consultation with 14 Indigenous language groups from around Australia, including the traditional people of Adelaide, the Kaurna people. The coin features 14 different languages in its design, all stating the word ‘coin’ or ‘money’ and the Royal Australian Mint has created an interactive webpage to give visitors a deeper understanding of the languages displayed on the new coin.

It was produced with help from the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS). 

AIATSIS CEO Craig Ritchie said that remaining connected to language strengthened wellbeing and self-esteem in Indigenous communities.

‘Indigenous languages carry more meaning than the words themselves, so too does currency carry meaning beyond its monetary value,’ he said.

‘The release of these coins is another milestone in recognising the diverse cultures that shape our national story of over 60,000 years,’ he said.

Mr Ritchie is also a co-chair of the UNESCO International Year of Indigenous Languages Steering Committee.

Collectors may wish to purchase the coins online from the Mint.

A frosted uncirculated version is available for $10 and a fine silver proof version is available for $80.00 from the Mint’s website or Contact Centre (1300 652 020). 

Find out more

The Royal Australian Mint has created an interactive webpage to give visitors a deeper understanding of the languages displayed on the new coin.

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