The Australian Royal Mint is honouring Prince Harry’s Invictus Games with a special one-off coin that pays tribute to “the unconquered spirit” of wounded, injured and ill service personnel and veterans.
The new coin is the first in Australian history to feature braille text and showcases an image of a wounded competitor, which the Royal Mint hopes will symbolise how sport can help heal, inspire recovery and support rehabilitation.
The Games are incredibly close to Prince Harry’s heart, having founded them in 2014 after he served with the British Army in Afghanistan. And as Australia now prepares to welcome the prince as well as the competitors to Sydney in October, the Royal Mint hopes the coin will be a fitting tribute to the strength of all those involved and their families.
The braille text on the $1 collectable coin spells out Sydney 18, while the image shows a wounded athlete preparing to sprint down a race track.
“The coloured $1 collectable coin combines innovative colour print technology with braille text – a first for the Royal Australian Mint and for Australia – and has been released alongside a fine silver selectively gold-plated coin,” Royal Australian Mint CEO Ross MacDiarmid said.
She continued: “Together these coins honour the service and sacrifice of those competing in the Invictus Games Sydney 2018 and are a tangible demonstration of the Mint’s support of the event.”
Invictus Games Sydney 2018 CEO Patrick Kidd added: “While these Games honour the sacrifice of all Australians who have given their lives for their country, they also recognise the many veterans who live amongst our communities as well as the families who are united by service in Defence. Above all they celebrate the incredible competitors who use sport as a vehicle to recover and rehabilitate and themselves are unconquered.”
While the $1 Coloured Frosted Uncirculated Coin’ (featuring braille) is available for $15.00, there is also a $5 Fine Silver Selectively Gold Plated Proof Coin available for $150.00.
Buckingham Palace announced previously that Harry and his wife Meghan would be making their first intercontinental trip since tying the knot in May, with the pair set to visit Commonwealth countries New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga, as well as Australia.
Harry, who is a former veteran himself having completed two tours of Afghanistan, created the Paralympic-style games as a way to inspire wounded soldiers toward recovery.
He gave a rousing speech at the games 2017 opening ceremony in Toronto, where he recalled the exact moment he knew he had to do something for his wounded comrades.
“As I was waiting to board the plane, the coffin of a Danish soldier was loaded on by his friends. Once on the flight, I was confronted with three British soldiers, all in induced comas, with missing limbs, and wrapped in plastic. The way I viewed service and sacrifice changed forever. And the direction of my life changed with it,” he told the packed stadium.
“I knew that it was my responsibility to use the great platform that I have to help the world understand and be inspired by the spirit of those who wear the uniform.
“In a world where so many have reasons to feel cynical and apathetic, I wanted to find a way for veterans to be a beacon of light, and show us all that we have a role to play; that we all win when we respect our friends, neighbours, and communities.
“That’s why we created Invictus. Not only to help veterans recover from their physical and mental wounds; but also to inspire people to follow their example of resilience, optimism, and service in their own lives.”
To buy one of the new coins, visit the Australian Royal Mint website here.