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Australia 2018 Gold 100 Dollar Terrestrial Dome 1812 - A New Map of the World

Australia 2018 Gold 100 Dollar Terrestrial Dome 1812 - A New Map of the World

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An incredible example of the craftsmanship the RAM is capable of in 2018.

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Australia 2018 Gold 100 Dollar Terrestrial Dome 1812 - A New Map of the World

Diameter: 38.51mm

Weight: 31.1035g

Purity: 99.99%

AGW: 1.00 ozt

Mintage: 750

This coin is an incredible example of the craftsmanship the Royal Australian Mint is capable of in 2018.

Although it still sounds odd in 2018, the concept of a curved or domed coin is not particularly new - Australia's first domed coin was struck in 2012, and featured the Southern Sky constellation in colour on a convex reverse.

France was the first national mint to strike a curved gold coin - the 200 Franc struck in 2009 for the International Year of Astronomy. This was followed in 2014 by another 200 Franc gold coin, this time celebrating the Football World Cup in Brazil. The US Mint struck it's own series of curved coins in 2014 (including one in gold), honoring the sport of baseball.

The stunning effect seen on the curved Southern and Northern Sky series of Australian coins struck by the RAM proved to be incredibly popular with collectors - each of the six silver coins sold out within days of being released.

Looking at this coin in the hand, the domed shape of the planchet really complements and accentuates the reverse design of the map.

Australia's first curved gold coins apparently took longer for mint staff to master, as the first coin was not released until January 2017 - it was also on the Southern Sky theme, and referred to the "Celestial Dome".

A second "Celestial Dome" gold coin was released in July 2017, this time on the Northern Sky. Both of the domed gold coins sold out their entire mintage within days of being released.

One respected numismatic author in the United States described the Celestial Dome gold coin as being "....a truly magnificent example of minting craftsmanship, with impeccable quality combined with elegance in the design as well the presentation, a gorgeous lacquered wood box."

Terrestrial Dome 1812 - A New Map of the World

The 2018 gold domed coin is a terrestrial rather than a celestial dome - it features a section of a historic map across the concave reverse. The map concerned is of particular interest to Australians, in that it highlights the celebrated voyages made by Captain James Cook.

The most accessible detailed description of this map is found in a speech given to the  given by Professor Norman Thrower to members of the Jane Austen Society of North America in November 1992, during celebrations covering the 500th anniversary of Christopher Columbus visiting North America.

A New Map of The World with Captain Cook's Tracks, His Discoveries and those of The Other Circumnavigators"

A New Map of The World with Captain Cook's Tracks, His Discoveries and those of The Other Circumnavigators

The full title of the map is in fact "A New Map of The World with Captain Cook's Tracks, His Discoveries and those of The Other Circumnavigators." The map was prepared by Laurie and Whittle - publishers and engravers in Fleet Street, London from 1795.

As you can see from the image of the map above, the reverse of the 2018 Terrestrial domed coin features the "Eastern Hemisphere of the Old World."

For the non-cartographers amongst us, I am led to believe the map has been attributed as "...a double hemispheric stereographic projection with a ten degree grid of latitude, and a fifteen degree grid of longitude."  Apart from the coastlines of the continents, the most prominent feature of the map, as suggested by the subtitle, are the tracks of Captain Cook's three global circumnavigations, 1768 to 1779.

The obverse of the coin shows the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II in frosted relief on a mirrored background - when I consider that each of the domed gold coins released by other mints around the world features frosted surfaces, I can't imagine just how difficult it would have been to strike these incredibly detailed coins to this high level of quality.

We have only received a tiny allocation of these incredibly innovative, rare and attractive coins, so if they catch your eye, don't delay.

The Royal Australian Mint has certainly come a long way since the 1960's - this coin clearly demonstrates that more than half a century after being established, it remains at the forefront of innovation, quality and design in the world minting industry.