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2019 Australia $2 2-oz Silver First England-to-Australia Flight Antiqued Coin
Silver Coin Pays Tribute to An Epic Moment in Aviation History
Only a little more than a decade after the Wright Brothers made the world’s first powered flight, thousands of aircraft buzzed about the skies over Europe engaged in deadly dogfights. When World War I ended the public was soon captivated by the advances made by the new-fangled flying machines, making it the perfect time for aviators to spread their wings. One of the countries leading the way was Australia, where the government announced in early 1919 that it would award £10,000 – a prize worth more than $175,000 today – for the first flight from Great Britain to Australia. The rules stated that trip could take no more than 30 days, consist of only Australian aircrews and land before the clock struck midnight on December 31, 1920.
On the 100th anniversary of the first successful England-to-Australia flight, the world-famous Perth Mint has released an incredible coin struck in two full ounces of 99.99% pure silver that features an actual gold-plated propeller inset. This legal-tender $2 coin also features a unique antiqued finish to give its surface the look and feel of an aged artifact. The coin’s reverse depicts a map with the flight’s route marked above an illustration of a mountainous landscape. In the foreground is a representation of the Vickers aircraft that finished first and claimed the prize money.
Six teams started the race, but the one that claimed the prize was a four-man team consisting of Captain Ross Smith, his brother Lieutenant Keith Smith as co-pilot, and Sergeants James Bennett & Wally Shiers as mechanics. Their modified WWI Vickers “Vimy” bi-plane bomber made the 11,123-mile flight in 28 days, reaching a landing strip in Darwin, Australia on December 10, 1919. Before leaving on November 12, 1919, the crew painted the wings and fuselage of their plane with the registered letterings, G.E.A.O.U. Ross Smith quipped that these five letters really stood for “God ‘Elp All Of Us.” With no radio and only a handheld compass to guide them, they needed all the help they could get!
In 1919, aviation was in its infancy. Cockpits were open and instruments were rudimentary. There were no navigational aids and pilots often relied on school atlases or roadmaps as their guides. Getting lost was commonplace and landing in a field to ask directions was not unusual. Of the other five entries who attempted the feat, two crashed killing all their crew. A third crashed near a mental hospital in Crete with no injuries. A fourth was delayed after being arrested in Yugoslavia as suspected Bolsheviks. After resuming the race, it crash-landed in Bali where its crew was able to walk away with only slight injuries. One other entry DID finish the race, but it took them 206 days to complete the journey. Despite landing nearly 8 months after the winners and not finishing within the time limit, they claimed a £1,000 prize for finishing second.
Just 2,000 of these amazing coins will ever be struck and each comes in a classic display case with a clear lid and accompanied by a numbered Certificate of Authenticity. Let this coin take flight in your collection, add it to your cart today!
- 100th ANNIVERSARY OF FIRST FLIGHT FROM ENGLAND TO AUSTRALIA – This coin pays tribute to the 100th anniversary of the first England-to-Australia Flight. It features the plane that made the journey along with scenes from its flight path. The obverse features the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II with a pattern of lines surrounding a gold-plated propeller inset to signify wind and movement.
- STRUCK IN HIGHLY PURE SILVER – Each 2019 Australia First England-to-Australia Flight Coin was struck in two ounces of 99.99% pure silver.
- AUSTRALIAN LEGAL TENDER – These 2019 Australia Two-Ounce Silver First England-to-Australia Flight Coins are $2 legal tender in Australia.
- UNIQUE ANTIQUED FINISH – Your 2019 Australia Two-Ounce Silver First England-to-Australia Flight Coin has been antiqued by hand to give it a unique finish conveying the surface abrasions of an aged artifact.
- LOW WORLDWIDE LIMITED EDITION – The maximum worldwide limited edition for this commemorative coin has been set at just 2,000.
Pay tribute to an epic moment in aviation history with the 2019 Australia Two-Ounce Silver First England-to-Australia Flight Antiqued Coin.
|Year of Issue||2019|
|Mint Name||Perth Mint|
|Coin Weight||62.213 Grams - g|
|Weight||2 Ounces - oz|