The Australian tenth-ounce gold piece (abbreviated as 1/10 oz and designated with Au for "gold") is a bullion coin format. Uniquely, in Australia there are two mints authorised to strike legal tender: the Royal Australian Mint (which also makes the country's circulating coinage) and the Perth Mint which only makes collector and bullion coins, as well as other bullion products.
Both mints endeavour to create coins with attractive designs, and to introduce new designs and themes often, in order to raise the numismatic value of the coins over the value of previous metal used.
The Royal Australian Mint released these one tenth-ounce gold coins in January 2020 to pay tribute to the era of Australia’s famed gold rush, which started in 1851. New South Wales was the scene of the country’s initial discovery of large deposits of gold when Edward Hammond Hargraves, a gold prospector, claimed to have found gold in 1851, effectively starting an Australian gold rush.
Before the end of that year, the gold rush spread to many other parts of the state where gold had been found, not just to the west, but also to the south and north of Sydney. When the rush began in Ballarat, then a small town in Victoria, diggers discovered it was indeed a prosperous gold field. The territory’s lieutenant-governor paid a visit to the site and watched five men uncover a staggering 136 ounces of gold in just one day. The settlement of Mount Alexander was even richer than Ballarat, as it was discovered that gold was sitting just under the surface, the shallowness allowing diggers to unearth huge gold nuggets easily. In only seven months, 2.4 million pounds of gold was transported from Mount Alexander to nearby capital cities. Ultimately, the gold rushes caused a massive influx of people from overseas. Between 1852 and 1860, 290,000 people alone migrated to Victoria from the British Isles, with 15,000 coming from other European countries, and 18,000 emigrated from the United States where there had been a similar gold rush in California in 1849.
The Australian gold rushes went on to fundamentally change the convict colonies into more progressive cities with the influx of free immigrants. One particular import due to the gold rush was that of camels which were believed ideal for the transport of provisions. The remote desert landscapes of Western Australia needed supplies, and camels were ideal for the job. Camels were imported into Australia by Afghan cameleers and were proven to be crucial to Western Australia’s gold industry (thus the image on the packaging). Today, Australia is the second-largest producer of gold in the world.
The coins were issued individually boxed, in Proof FDC grade.