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Minster unveils HMAS Sydney commemorative coin.



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NO.073

MINISTER UNVEILS HMAS SYDNEY COMMEMORATIVE COIN

Senator Nick Sherry, Minister for Superannuation and Corporate Law, has today launched a commemorative coin issued by The Perth Mint which marks the discovery of HMAS Sydney II after a mystifying 67-year wait.

“It is a solemn privilege to be involved in the commemoration of fallen defence force personnel, but in this instance there is something to be celebrated. At the very least, the recent discovery of the Sydney II has provided some relief for the families of those whose final resting places were unknown for decades.

“The enormous historical and cultural significance of HMAS Sydney II meant the discovery warranted a special tribute in the form of a commemorative coin.

“The Government and The Perth Mint hope the coin will be welcomed by serving and past members of the Royal Australian Navy and families who lost loved ones aboard HMAS Sydney II in 1941,” Minister Sherry said.

“This is a project that The Perth Mint has been exceptionally proud to undertake.”

Disappearing in November 1941 following a deadly engagement with the German raider Kormoran, the famous Royal Australian Navy cruiser was lost with all hands in the Indian Ocean. Her fate proved baffling until the Prime Minister Kevin Rudd announced on 17 March 2008 that the wreck of Sydney II was found on Sunday 16 March 2008, approximately 112 nautical miles off Steep Point on the Western Australian coast.

Issued as legal tender under the Australian Currency Act 1965, the superb tribute coin is struck from 1oz of 99.9% pure silver in proof quality.

The coin’s reverse portrays HMAS Sydney II, which served Australia with distinction in the Mediterranean during the early part of World War II. The design includes two significant dates - ‘19 November 1941’ and ‘16 March 2008’ - representing the frustrating length of time she lay undiscovered on the floor of the Indian Ocean.

Destined to be a rare collectable, just 7,500 coins will be struck by the Mint. Of these, 5,000 coins will be released in individual presentation packaging accompanied by a numbered Certificate of Authenticity. The remaining 2,500 coins are reserved for a premium HMAS Sydney II Coin, Medallion and Badge Set.

The set includes a 1oz silver proof medallion and two fascinating pieces of naval memorabilia. The medallion portrays HSK Kormoran, the disguised German raider that engaged HMAS Sydney II with such devastating consequences for both ships.

Lying some 12 nautical miles from her adversary, the wreck of the Kormoran was

Media Release of 03/11/2008

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discovered by the Finding Sydney Foundation on 12 March 2008. The medallion’s obverse depicts a fascinating diagrammatic representation of the ships’ courses during their fatal engagement and the coordinates of their final resting places.

The silver coin and medallion are accompanied by two replica badges. Inspired by haunting seabed images of HMAS Sydney II’s lifeboats still displaying their ship’s badge, The Perth Mint has created a blue enamel and gold-plated version of the ship’s famous badge. It is paired with a gold and silver-plated replica of the Kriegsmarine’s (German Navy’s) Auxiliary Cruiser Badge.

“The limited coin and set will be highly sought after by Australian collectors,” Minister Sherry said.

Available from The Perth Mint Shop, located at 310 Hay Street, East Perth, or on FREECALL 1800 098 817, the individual coin and set retail for $82.50 and $179.00 respectively.

Alternatively, collectors can order online at www.perthmint.com.au or check availability with their local Australia Post outlet and coin dealer.

PERTH 3 November 2008

Contact: Minister Sherry - Anna Fenech, 0417 454 811 The Perth Mint inquiries - Ron Currie, (08) 9421 7296 or 0412 559 067

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