The Australian Antarctic Territory Silver Proof Coins are a series of strikes from the Perth Mint of Australia. Each coin in the series features a different reverse design emblematic of the importance of the Australian Antarctic Territory to Australia as well as the rest of the world.
These silver proof coins started appearing in 2004 and featured a release rate of one per year after that debut. Each one is struck from one ounce of 99.9% pure silver with the reverses containing a colorization treatment to enhance the design.
A majority of the coins of the series have sold out indicating just how popular they are with collectors. Enhancing their desirability is the fact that the Perth issued the strikes with a maximum mintage of only 7,500 per coin.
2004 Mawson Station Silver Proof Coin
Appearing as the first release of the Perth Mint’s Australian Antarctic Territory series was the Mawson Station Silver Proof Coin. The reverse of the coin features a design emblematic of Mawson Station which is one of three permanent Australian bases in the Antarctic.
To represent the station on the coin, the reverse contains the outline of the Antarctic Continent on it. Inside that outline, Mawson Station is depicted complete with some of its original and newer structures along with an Emperor Penguin with its chick. Reverse inscriptions include "MAWSON STATION: 1954-2004," "AUSTRALIAN ANTARCTIC TERRITORY" and "1 OZ 99.9 SILVER."
2005 Leopard Seal Silver Proof Coin
The Leopard Seal Silver Proof Coin was the second release of the series and appeared from the Perth Mint in 2005. On the reverse of the coin, a colorized image of leopard seals is shown.
Those seals are shown inside an outline of the Antarctic Continent. Surrounding the design are the inscriptions of "LEOPARD SEAL: 2005," "AUSTRALIAN ANTARCTIC TERRITORY" and "1 OZ 99.9 SILVER."
2006 Edgeworth David Base Silver Proof Coin
In its third year with the release of the Edgeworth David Base Silver Proof Coin, the Australian Antarctic Territory series continued to realize sell-outs as collectors enjoyed both their unique designs as well as their limited mintages. The strike features a reverse depiction of the base named after Australian geologist and explorer Sir Tannant William Edgeworth David. This individual led the first successful ascent the Antarctic’s only active volcano Mount Erebus, as well as directed the first team to reach the Magnetic South Pole in 1907.
Inside the outline of the Antarctic on the reverse of the coin is a scene emblematic of the location of the Edgeworth David Base. This includes a patch of permanent sea ice which was suitable for aircraft landings and take-offs as well as Albatross and its chick. Aside from the standard inscriptions of the series, also included is "EDGEWORTH DAVID BASE:1986-2006."
2007 Davis Station Silver Proof Coin
Struck from one ounce of .999 fine silver like other coins of the series, the Davis Station Silver Proof Coin marked the fourth release of the program. Shown on the reverse of the coin is a design emblematic of Davis Station, located on Cooperation Sea on the Antarctic Continent.
To honor the station, an image emblematic of the site is located on the reverse colorized within an outline of the continent where it resides. Also shown is an image of the ice breaker Kista Dan which helped to establish the station. Reverse inscriptions include "DAVIS STATION: 1957-2007" along with "AUSTRALIAN ANTARCTIC TERRITORY" and "1 OZ 99.9 SILVER."
2008 Humpback Whale Silver Proof Coin
The reverse of the Humpback Whale Silver Proof Coin contains a design showcasing the large creature. This strike was released as the fifth of the series.
Inside an outline of Antarctica, a colorized image of a humpback whale is depicted amidst the icy landscape of the area. Reverse inscriptions include "HUMPBACK WHALE : 2008" as well as the other standard reverse inscriptions of the series.
2009 South Magnetic Pole Silver Proof Coin
Marking 100 years since the first recorded explorers reached the location, the South Magnetic Pole Silver Proof Coin honored a man largely responsible for the achievement – Sir Douglas Mawson. His image is shown on the reverse along with two other Antarctic explorers.
In keeping with the previous strikes of the series, the outline of the continent is depicted on the reverse along with the colorized image of the aforementioned scene. Additional inscriptions aside from the series standards include "100 YEARS" and "SOUTH MAGNETIC POLE : 1909 – 2009."
2010 Husky Silver Proof Coin
The 2010 release of the series was the 2010 Husky Silver Proof Coin. It was created to acknowledge the important contributions that dogs made to the exploration of Antarctica.
Inside the outline of the continent, a colorized sky is shown behind a mostly black and white sitting Husky. Additional design elements include a team of huskies pulling a sled along with the inscriptions of "2010: HUSKY," "AUSTRALIAN ANTARCTIC TERRITORY" and "1 OZ 99.9 SILVER."
2011 Killer Whale Silver Proof Coin
Appearing in 2011 as the eighth strike of the series was the Killer Whale Silver Proof Coin. This strike, like the others before it, featured a reverse complete with an outline of Antarctica and a colorized scene inside that outline.
That scene included an adult killer whale and its calf shown beneath the surface of the water. Jumping above the water, another adult is shown. Reverse inscriptions include "2011: KILLER WHALE," "AUSTRALIAN ANTARCTIC TERRITORY" and "1 OZ 99.9 SILVER."
Australian Antarctic Territory Silver Proof Coin Specifications
|Face Value:||AUS $1|
|Mintmark:||‘P’ for Perth Mint|
|Obverse Design:||Queen Elizabeth II of England|
|Obverse Designer:||Ian Rank-Broadley|
|Reverse Design:||depiction of a famous naval battle|
|Reverse Designer:||varies based on year|