Description

The 70th anniversary of the Kokoda Trail campaign is marked by this special issue 50c released by the Royal Australian Mint. The coin has been issued as a collector item and is not intended for circulation. It has been released in a credit card sized collector card. It is struck in uncirculated quality and is housed in a capsule.

During the Kokoda Trail campaign, a series of violent conflicts occurred along the notorious Kokoda Trail from August to November 1942. While the Gallipoli campaign of WWI was Australia’s first military test as a new nation, the fighting during the Kokoda campaign represents the first time in the nation’s history that its security was directly threatened.

It was primarily a land battle, between the Japanese South Seas Detachment and Australian and Papuan land forces. The Japanese objective was to seize Port Moresby by an overland advance from the north coast, following the Kokoda Track over the mountains of the Owen Stanley Range, as part of a strategy to isolate Australia from the United States.

Obverse

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

ELIZABETH II AUSTRALIA 2012
IRB

Reverse

Depicts the Isurava Memorial, the Owen Stanley Range in the background and the stars of the Southern Cross.

One of the most desperate battles in Australian history was fought in August 1942 at Isurava in the Papua New Guinea Highlands. To commemorate the event, the Australian government commissioned the design and production of a memorial to coincide with the 60th anniversary of the event.

Visitors approach the site from an upper pathway and their first view is of the commemorative circle, a simple geometric form in a wild landscape that boldly states: Battle of Isurava Kokoda Track 1942. Four black Australian granite sentinel stones, each weighting 3.5 tons, were airlifted by helicopter for installation. Each stone is inscribed with a single word representing the values and qualities of those soldiers who fought along the Kokoda Track. Also, an interpretive platform looking out over the valley is concealed from the top memorial tier. This lower platform contains ten interpretive panels describing the time frame and significance of the event, while paying tribute to the local people.

Engraver: Wojciech Pietranik

70TH ANNIVERSARY OF THE KOKODA CAMPAIGN
FIFTY CENTS

Edge

50 Cents

4th portrait

70th Anniversary of Kokoda Trail

KM# 1855
Characteristics
Type Commemorative Issue (Non-circulating)
Material Cupronickel
Weight 15.55 g
Diameter 31.5 mm
Thickness 3 mm
Shape polygon
Sides 12
Alignment Medal
Mint
Royal Australian Mint (RAM)

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