Among the many excellent First World War centenary coin programs currently available, here’s one you won’t want to miss.
Straightforward to collect with one issue per year between 2014 and 2018, it features five beautifully produced silver releases with colour. Unusual in coin collecting, each one is rectangle-shaped, a format ideally suited to the program’s fascinating theme – Australian Posters of World War I.
Huge numbers of posters were produced during the War to satisfy a wide variety of advertising and communication needs. War bond drives and recruitment for different services were two of the primary objectives of the many campaigns publicised through posters.
Many Australian war posters were remarkable works of art. The tradition of superb artistry in posters was established during the 19th century when famous European artists, including the great Toulouse-Lautrec, produced legendary pieces that could transform streets into colourful art galleries.
Australian poster art of World War I reflected these standards in bold, visually striking depictions with distinctive cultural pointers. Positioned around stations, hotels and other busy locations during the war years, they played on ideas of national peril, personal anxiety and even shame to spur men into enlisting in the Australian Imperial Force, give money for the war effort, or vote either in favour or against conscription. Today they are evocative reminders of the awful realities faced by ordinary citizens at that time.
The image shows the first three (of five) coins to be released in the Australian Posters of World War I series:
- Enlistment 2014 1oz Silver Proof Rectangle Coin
- Red Cross 2015 1oz Silver Proof Rectangle Coin
- War Bonds 2016 1oz Silver Proof Rectangle Coin
- Home Front 2017 1oz Silver Proof Rectangle Coin
- Peace Bonds 2018 Silver Proof Rectangle Coin
This year’s coin portrays a War Loan Bonds poster. Offered to the Australian public by the Government between 1915 and 1918, War Loan Bonds were promoted as having the ability to ‘save lives’, to ‘shorten the war’, and to ‘ensure victory and peace’.
The overtly emotive poster features a young boy and girl both dressed in white holding hands and flags. The Commonwealth Blue Ensign in the girl’s left hand distinguishes it as an Australian poster, while the Union Jack clasped by the boy reflects Australia’s determination to ‘rally to the Mother Country’. Beneath the pair is text reading
OUR DADDY IS FIGHTING
BUY WAR LOAN BONDS
HELP HIM WIN THE WAR
Appealing to patriotism and a notion of responsibility, it aimed to inspire Australians to do their part to financially support the War.
Produced by The Perth Mint in association with the Australian War Memorial, each coin in this remarkable First World War series is struck from 1oz of 99.9% pure silver. Issued as Australian legal tender, each encapsulated coin is housed in a latex case which allows the design on both sides to be displayed.
No more than 5,000 of each coin in the series will be released worldwide.
The Australian War Memorial logo is a registered trade mark of the Australian War Memorial TM © 2016.
The red cross emblem is an internationally recognised symbol used to identify those providing impartial humanitarian assistance and protect them from harm in times of armed conflict. The use of the emblem is restricted under both international and Australian law in order to ensure that this meaning continues to be understood. In Australia, the use of the emblem without the authorisation of the Minister of Defence is a criminal offence.