25 September 2023

Mint rocks and rolls with AC/DC coins

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The 45th anniversary of the Australian rock’n’roll band, AC/DC has been marked at the Royal Australian Mint.

In the spirit of AC/DC and its hit single, Thunderstruck, the Mint partnered with Questacon — The National Science and Technology Centre in Canberra – to strike a selection of its AC/DC coins with a bolt of lightning.

The experiment was carried out in the Caged Lightning Exhibition at Questacon, which produces lightning using a Tesla coil.

Ten AC/DC 50c pieces, appropriately featuring the famous high voltage logos and design elements from AC/DC albums, were ‘Thunderstruck’ with 3,500,000 volts of lightning.

Chief Executive of the Royal Australian Mint, Ross MacDiarmid said AC/DC was famous for its electrifying energy.

“It’s in their music, the titles of some of their songs, even their insignia,” Mr MacDiarmid said.

The Mint thought that such an iconic band deserved high voltage coins and an electrifying launch to match,” Mr MacDiarmid said.

“We weren’t sure what effect the lightning would have on the coins, but we discovered that because the coins are such excellent conductors of electricity, the lightning’s mark is only visible under magnification.”

He said the 10 coins which were ‘Thunderstruck’ will be randomly sent to 10 customers who order through the Mint’s online store or contact centre.

“To help the 10 lucky customers identify their ‘Thunderstruck’ coins, we have added unique frosting to the coin’s AC/DC logo,” Mr MacDiarmid said.

A second issue minted for AC/DC’s 45th anniversary is the Mint’s first ever nickel plated coin.

Mr MacDiarmid said it was not only black but its detailed design was minted on a triangular blank to resemble a guitar pick.

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