14 June 2015

Magna Carta captured on antique rectangular coin for its 800th anniversary


Joint media release
the Royal Australian Mint

To mark the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, in a Royal Australian Mint first, a meaningful section of the Great Charter has been etched forever onto a unique rectangular collectible fine silver coin and launched today at Australian Parliament House’s official Magna Carta celebrations.

The coin features an intricate inscription in Latin, derived from the 1297 Inspeximus issue held at the Australian Parliament House and chosen for its continued relevance in today’s society, translated as: 'We furthermore grant and give to all the free men of our realm for ourselves and our heirs in perpetuity the liberties written below to have and to hold to them and their heirs from us and our heirs in perpetuity.’

Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer the Hon Kelly O’Dwyer MP said the inscription on the coin was one example of how Magna Carta is viewed as a cornerstone to western concepts of Government and shaped many of our current freedoms.

“Magna Carta became the foundation document of constitutional law and democracy and during this anniversary year we are increasing awareness of the relevance of this document and have extended that even more broadly through the creation of this beautiful and innovative coin to help share this story,” said Ms O’Dwyer.

The Mint’s first rectangular coin is fittingly symbolic of the shape of the Great Charter and each one has been hand-crafted and features an antique finish to provide a close and personal experience as the coins are not encased in capsules like other collectible coins.

Royal Australian Mint Chief Executive Officer Mr Ross MacDiarmid said such a significant document deserved greatness, which is why the Mint’s team worked hard to create something special and deserving of this honour.

“As the first rectangular Australian legal tender coin ever produced by the Royal Australian Mint, this piece not only marks an important milestone in minting history, but it also provides a special hands-on personal experience that encourages people to really immerse themselves in the significance and importance of this anniversary,” said Mr MacDiarmid.

The 800th anniversary celebrates the sealing of the 1215 Magna Carta. The Magna Carta has been reissued by monarchs throughout history, including the 1297 Inspeximus issue by Edward I, which now takes pride of place at the Australian Parliament House.

With only 10,000 available, the 2015 $5 Fine Silver Antique Rectangular Coin is made out of fine silver, retails for $120.00 and can be purchased by visiting the Mint’s eShop: https://eshop.ramint.gov.au or phoning the Contact Centre on 1300 652 020. Earlier this year, a 2015 20c Uncirculated Coin was released and retails for $8.00, featuring a representation of King John’s original seal on the 1215 Magna Carta.