First coin of 2021 honours Air Force | Ralph Lauren

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The first coin struck in 2021 will commemorate the centenary of the Royal Australian Air Force.

The Royal Australian Mint unveiled the theme on Friday, as excited coin collectors around the nation monitored the coin pressing in Canberra.

Three Royal Australian Air Force aircraft are featured on the reverse side of the $1 coin, alongside a soaring wedge-tailed eagle as depicted on its badge.

Inspirational stories showcasing “Heroes of the Sky” will also adorn packaging and include pilot officer Rawdon Middleton, sky wing officer Doris Carter, and warrant officers Harry Allie, John “Snow” Coughlan and Len Waters.

Air Force chief Mel Hupfeld described the theme as “a superb way to honour the sacrifice and service of our people over the past 100 years”.

“Air Force’s contribution to the Australian Defence Force is one to be commemorated, particularly for our people serving today and as we look forward to continuing to evolve into the future,” she said.

Australian coin collectors traditionally line up in their hundreds outside the mint on New Year’s Day in a bid to press the first coin of the year.

However, the annual event has been converted into an online ballot this year due to COVID-19 restrictions.

Cristy England, the mint’s acting chief executive, said it was important to keep the tradition alive.

This year’s lucky ballot winner, Lorraine Edgar from Charleville, Queensland, will receive a one-of-a-kind coin set that includes the first 2021 coin, along with the ‘C’ mintmark and privy coins, a silver proof coin and a certificate of authentication.



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