To commemorate the 150th running of ‘the race the stops a nation’ (many Australians stopping normal activities at 3pm on race day to watch or listen to the event), the Royal Australian Mint and the Victorian Racing Club, are releasing these uncirculated Non Circulating Legal Tender (NCLT) coins as part of a year-long celebration. In spite of its humble beginnings, this race has grown to become one of the biggest annual sporting events in Australia and one of the most prestigious horse races in the world. The 1861 race had seventeen starters and was run before a crowd of 4000 spectators. Today, it is broadcast to an audience of around 700 million people worldwide.

The coin comes displayed in a capsule pushed into an informative card depicting champion thoroughbred Phar Lap. Both the card and coin were designed in collaboration with the Victorian Racing Club and feature elements of their trademarked logos.


Fourth crowned portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II facing right, wearing the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland tiara.

The Girls of Great Britain and Ireland tiara was a wedding present in 1947 from her grandmother, Queen Mary, who received it as a gift from the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland in 1893 on the occasion of her marriage to the Duke of York, later George V. Made by E. Wolfe & Co., it was purchased from Garrard & Co. by a committee organised by Lady Eve Greville. In 1914, Mary adapted the tiara to take 13 diamonds in place of the large oriental pearls surmounting the tiara. At first, Elizabeth wore the tiara without its base and pearls but the base was reattached in 1969. The Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara is one of Elizabeth's most recognisable pieces of jewellery due to its widespread use on British banknotes and coinage.

Engraver: Ian Rank-Broadley



Depicts horses and jockeys crossing the finishing line at Flemington Racecourse, the venue for the cup race.

Engraver: Wojciech Pietranik

1861 2010


50 Cents

4th portrait

150th Anniversary of the Melbourne Cup

KM# 1524
Type Commemorative Issue (Non-circulating)
Material Cupronickel
Weight 15.55 g
Diameter 31.5 mm
Thickness 3 mm
Shape polygon
Sides 12
Alignment Medal
Royal Australian Mint (RAM)

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