Australia 2017 6-Coin Proof Year Set
Effigy of an Era: Ian Rank-Broadley Portrait
This is the first Australian proof coin set to celebrate the heads side of our circulating coins.
Australia has been producing proof year sets ever since decimal currency was introduced way back in 1966. Proof coins are the same as those we see in our change, but are struck with specially prepared machinery on specially prepared blanks - the designs always stand out magnificently.
Several important milestones in the history of Australia's decimal currency coins were commemorated across 2015 and 2016, so the RAM returned to a traditional theme for the 2017 6-Coin Proof Year Set.
Each of the coins in the 2017 6-Coin Proof Year Set features the standard reverse design seen in circulation, and instead celebrates the obverse (heads side) design used this year - the Ian Rank-Broadley portrait of Queen Elizabeth II.
Effigy of an Era: The Ian Rank-Broadley Portrait
The design of the certificate and presentation case sleeve of the 2017 6-Coin Proof Year Set shows each of the four different effigies (carved portraits) of the Queen that have been used on Australian decimal coins since 1966.
The obverse design used on Australia's 2017 coins was sculpted by Ian Rank-Broadley - a highly regarded British sculptor who has produced many acclaimed works in addition to several designs seen on the coins of Britain and Australia. Philip Attwood, Keeper Of Coins & Medals at the British Museum, has stated that "Ian Rank-Broadley is one of Britain’s foremost medallic artists, balancing a sensual classicism with an aesthetic that is very much of our own time. With its sensitive combination of the real and the ideal, his portrait of the Queen on the current UK coinage will surely be long remembered as one of the great numismatic portraits."
In addition to his work on the coins of the British Commonwealth, Ian Rank-Broadley has more recently finished one of the most important war memorials built in Britain since WWII - a large sculpture at the Armed Forces Memorial.
Feels and Looks Like It Will Stand the Test of Time
The first thing you appreciate when you pick up the 2017 6-Coin Proof Year Set is the superb quality of the presentation case - it definitely feels like it has been well made.
Even to the untrained eye, the graphic design is elegant and restrained - the certificate and the presentation case sleeve have a timeless look to them, and are sure to look just as good in 5, 10 or 20 years time as they do today.
Most importantly, the coins themselves have an obvious, high quality finish - they are easily far better quality than the coins we see struck for circulation, and exhibit a vivid cartwheeling lustre.
Australia's 6-coin Proof year set for 2017 is unique as the first set to celebrate an obverse design, and is sure to stand the test of time.
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