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Year of the Outback - 50 cents and 1 dollar 2002

By CAA    |   Wednesday, 27 March 2024

The Royal Australian Mint released in November 2001, the first 2002 dated Collector coin sets which commemorates the Year of the Outback in 2002.

Two coins specifically commemorate the Outback theme. The $1 coin depicts the official Year of the Outback logo, whilst the 50c coin design features the wanes of a windmill. The coins were also produced for circulation.

The Year of the Outback aimed to celebrate the history, culture and achievements of the Outback, and to give recognition to its contribution and importance in the life of the nation.

The year 2002 marks Australia's celebration of the Year of the Outback. The Australian Outback is a part of Australia both geographically, and ideologically, that has never been defined and may mean something different to every Australian. To most Australians, it means simply out there and conjures up images of vast contrasts in landscape across vast distances. To thos in the east it's out west, to those in the west it is somewhere back towards the east, while those in the north and south feel it is somewhere out there in between them.

The Year of the Outback has been selected for 2002 to focus attention on inland Australia. It is about evoking the quintessential Spirit of the Outback so it touches every Australian and international visitor, giving them a genuine understanding of the uniqueness and potential of the Australian Outback.

- Royal Australian Mint

50 dollar 2002 - Year of the Outback

50 cents 2002 Year of the Outback

The design of the commemorative 50c coin features a windmill, an icon of inland Australia. Windmills are scattered all over the Australian continent like tireless sentinels standing guard over precious water supplies that give and sustain life. The windmill is a fitting symbol of the outback - representing perseverance in a harsh environment, a sense of timelessness, and the contribution of the outback as a wellspring for the Australian ethos.

Specifications and features

  • Mintage: 11,507,000
  • Alloy: Cupro Nickel
  • Weight: 15.55 g
  • Diameter: 31.51 mm

50 cents 2002 - Price guide and values

1 dollar 2002 - Year of the Outback

1 dollar 2002 Year of the Outback

The logo for the Year of the Outback depicted on the $1 coin was designed by Elizabeth Robinson, a student at Charles Sturt University, Wagga, New South Wales. The logo depicts a stylised outline of Australia, with the top of the outline reflected in the nation's interior.

The logo also incorporates the Southern Cross, a well-known symbol of Australia and guide for travellers over the ages. Reaching towards the Southern Cross are a series of trails, representing the stories or marks that were left first by Aborigines and then by white settlers, explorers and pioneers in the outback.

Specifications and features

  • Mintage: 34,074,000
  • Alloy: Aluminium Bronze
  • Weight: 6.6 g
  • Diameter: 20.5 mm

1 dollar 2002 - Price guide and values

1 dollar 2002 Year of the Outback

In proof versions, the $1 coin features the Year of the Outback logo in colour. The theme colours of the logo are blue and red, representing the night sky and red earth of the inland. This was third year that colour has been used on proof versions of selected commemorative coins produced by the Royal Australian Mint.

The coins were featured in the 2002 Six Coin Sets and the 2002 Baby Coin Sets, which were available in both proof and uncirculated versions. These sets include the commemorative $1 and 50c coins as well as the standard coin designs for the 5c, 10c, 20c, and $2. The proof version of the $1 coin have colour, whilst the uncirculated version of the $1 coin and the 50c proof and uncirculated coins were produced in the more familiar format in struck relief.

The Outback is a remote, vast, sparsely populated area of Australia. The Outback is more remote than the bush. While often envisaged as being arid, the Outback regions extend from the northern to southern Australian coastlines and encompass a number of climatic zones, including tropical and monsoonal climates in northern areas, arid areas in the "red centre" and semi-arid and temperate climates in southerly regions.

2002 was declared the Year of the Outback.

Mint marks (A, B, C, M, S)

Mints mark were added on some of uncirculated 1 dollar Outback coins:

  • B - Brisbane
  • C - Canberra
  • M - Melbourne
  • S - Sydney

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