The Royal Australian Mint released on Monday a new 50 cent silver coin to celebrate the International Year of Indigenous Languages. Struck in 99.99 pure silver, the new coin has been developed in collaboration with the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS).

The design of the coin, which features the word “coin” in 14 Australian indigenous languages, was developed in consultation with 14 Indigenous language groups from around Australia, including the traditional people of Adelaide, the Kaurna people.

"We hope the coins will serve as a tangible reminder of the important efforts being undertaken to preserve, protect and revitalize Indigenous languages in Australia,” the Mint CEO, Ross MacDiarmid said in a statement.

Only 120 Australian Indigenous languages are known to be spoken today, down from 250 Indigenous Australian languages spoken in 1788, according to the most recent report of the Second National Indigenous Languages Survey published in 2014.

The reverse of the new coin features the word "coin" in 14 indigenous languages. The Indigenous words are displayed amongst strata that symbolize the layered complexity of Australia’s Indigenous culture and its collective focus on the land as ‘place’ and ‘country’. The empty field within the design poignantly represents the many Indigenous languages that have been lost forever. The reverse also includes an inscription of “The international year of the indigenous languages" in the middle of the coin. “Fifty Cents” is inscribed on the bottom.

The obverse features an effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, with her name inscribed to the back of her image, while “Australia 2019” placed to the front.

The new coin has a limited mintage of 5000 coins. There is an uncirculated version of the coin priced at $10. The silver coin is priced at $80.

Source: Royal Australian Mint