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Kingsford Smith

1997

Legendary flying ace, Sir Charles Edward Kingsford Smith, was famed for being an adventurer of the skies. The Royal Australian Mint decided to commemorate 100 years since his birth with this commemorative one dollar. The reverse was designed by Wojciech Pietranik and features an effigy of Smith along with a map of the world and the Lady Southern Cross aircraft in which he made his last flight. The legend reads "SIR CHARLES KINGSFORD SMITH 1897-1935" as well as the denomination"1 DOLLAR". The obverse shows a Raphael Maklouf effigy of HM Queen Elizabeth II crowned and facing right with necklace and earrings. It also has the legend "ELIZABETH II AUSTRALIA 1997". The 1997 commemorative issues were struck in two types, one as part of the mint your own dollar program and the other for circulation, mint and proof sets.

Sir Charles Kingsford Smith was born in Hamilton near Brisbane. His working life started with an engineering apprenticeship but soon enlisted in the Australian Army. He served in World War I with the Royal Flying Corps but was brought down by enemy fire which cost him part of his left foot. Following his service with the newly-formed Royal Air Force, he indulged in a variety of flying positions but was also planning his Pacific crossing. For this epic journey, he would need a special plane so he went to America with his friend Ulm and purchased a Fokker VIIb-3m, which they renamed the Southern Cross. It was decided to have four crew for the crossing and to fly via Hawaii and Suva, Fiji. The journey between Hawaii and Suva was the most arduous with Kingsford Smith being totally exhausted but they managed to arrive safely. Many thousands of people had come to greet them upon their arrival in Brisbane but a massive 300,000 had amassed in Sydney to welcome the national hero.

The legend of Kingsford Smith then continued with his daring and hunger for adventure saw him then fly to England and also the first around the world flight. In November 1935, Kingsford Smith and a co-pilot, Tommy Pethybridge, left England for Australia. This was to be his last flight. His plane was lost south of Rangoon, Myanmar. The Royal Air Force searched extensively along his chosen route but his plane was never found. Approximately four years later, a local fisherman found some remains of the plane.

A coin struck differing from the standard design to commemorate an eventThe tails side of the coinThe inscription around the inner edge of the coinThe heads side of the coinA coin struck from specially prepared dies to strike a superior quality coin not intended for circulation
Type I1997Type II1997
  MintageAU50AU55AU58MS64MS65MS66MS67MS68MS69Kingsford Smith Type I1997-S 50,858         Kingsford Smith Type I1997-M 27,4306.80101326303448240310Kingsford Smith Type II1997 24,479,4436.409.701224283538190250Kingsford Smith Type I1997-B 28,6165.608.301019222435170230Kingsford Smith Type I1997-A 25,4036.309.401223263042210270Kingsford Smith Type I1997-C 102,2137.9012163236424862310  MintagePR65DCAMPR66DCAMPR67DCAMPR68DCAMPR69DCAMPR70DCAMKingsford Smith Type II1997 Proof36,1604350576572360Kingsford Smith Type II1997 Silver Proof4,000      Kingsford Smith Type I1997 Silver Proof13,6112829313234130Values are in AUD and are retail price estimations based on past sales of coins certified by PCGS or NGC and as such values only related to such graded coins. Uncertified coins or coins graded by other services would likely be worth significantly less. For wholesale pricing please refer to the Red Sheet. While all attempts to ensure accurate pricing, data entry errors can occur and as such no warranty is expressed or implied as to the accuracy of any information published on this website. It is important to verify all published sales to ensure the accuracy of the pricing when making any purchase decision. Any personal information provided to us is protected by the Privacy Act 1988.