Saturday, March 14, 2009

Dollar coins

$1 coins... The normal tail side. 5 kangaroos.

Old whatsherface...

New whatsherface...

1986 tail's side. International year of peace. Hard to argue with that. Definitely in favor of peace.

1988 This is a cute one. It looks like a kangaroo... but apparently it's for the 100th anniversary of the "first fleet" landing. I'm a bit puzzled by the connection. There's a little shame around the imperialist plunder associated with early colonists. So showing a flotilla of invading ships maybe isn't that warm and fuzzy. You see the dash-speckled pattern in aborigine art quite a bit. Still though, would it make sense to be like "Happy Columbus Day" (cute kitten here):

Probably not, I dunno. 

1993 Landcare Australia. A group for preserving landscapes, specifically soils it seems. Almost like my old agency, which used to be called the Soil Conservation Service, except that this looks like a mix of volunteers and such.

1996 Sir Henry Parkes 100 year anniversary of his death. Father of the federation and one of the most influential of early politicians. But it kind of seems strange that they'd put his title in "scare quotes". Not sure why its sideways either. 

1997 Charles Kingsford Smith, 100 year anniversary of his birth. Famous aviator, flew all over the place. First to fly across the pacific. Went missing while flying. They only recovered parts of his plane.

1999 International year of older persons. "The concentric petals or lines draw attention to the independence and interdependence of the generations, factors which blend to create a dynamic and reciprocal exchange of encouragement, enablement and caring."

As an aside, I googled "older people" and it got 14 million hits, "older persons" got 1 million. Just because more people (persons?) use it, does it make it right? Some more googling and persons seems to mean a group of a certain size whereas people is a lot of people, some indefinite large amount, like "People love to go to these kind of things but I know two persons that didn't go to the laughing club in the park today because it was raining like nobody's business and there was just no way we were going to go out in that" or maybe "people like to people-watch at the casino. But tonight at the casino, there were some persons that had eye-stingingly plant-wiltingly make-a-dog-put-his-paws-over-his-nose-and-whimper-ingly strong body odor. Christ almighty."

2001 100 year anniversary of the federation. The seven points on the star are for the six states plus the territories (the northern territory [even though it's huge, it's not an actual state I guess], the capital and Jervis bay). There's a mess of islands too.

2002 Year of the outback. This may be what the windmill on the 50 cent coin is about.

2003 100 years of women's suffrage. In favor, no doubt. New Zealand came first (1893) in the world some say.

Another from 2003 about volunteers. You know, it might be worth it to write a little about volunteering and service later. In the last couple years I've starting having doubts about how good an idea volunteering is. It's tough though, who's against volunteering? It's like being against kittens:

How could you! Shame

2005 60th anniversary of world war II again. The photo has an interesting story, it's the dancing man. When victory was announced they captured a guy on film in the streets of Sydney, doing a little softshoe. But everybody and their brother claims to be him.

2007 Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting. There's 21 points for 21 countries. It's like the WTO or something. Fat cat bureaucrats in smoky back rooms no less. 

2008 and finally the scouts. Kind of like boy scouts.

Strangely enough, the recent coins are the rarest. I don't have a lot of coins before 1997 or after 2005 and I could only find one scout coin (but friggin 16 of the 2002 coin). Originally I thought maybe the outback lobby is powerful and was able to convince the government to produce a lot of coins, whereas the scouts maybe knew someone in the mailroom at the mint and came forward with a $2,000 check and the mint said "we'll see what we can do, but no promises". I wonder if it has to do with how long it takes for coins to reach people, that all the 2008 coins are mostly still in banks... and all the 1970s are lost in couch cushions. Some genius mathematician could even use the age-distribution to guess the average age that coins last. I would guess you lose half your population of coins from a certain year every 10 years.

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