Royal Australian Mint launches treasure hunt

The Royal Australian Mint have set Australians a treasure hunt challenge, by secretly distributing three million $1 coins each stamped with either an “A”, “U” or “S” underneath the body of the largest kangaroo. The coins have 2019 on the reverse side and the number 35 is also discreetly imprinted onto the coins to mark the $1 coin’s 35th anniversary next year.

For those embarking on the treasure hunt, their challenge is to find a $1 coin of each letter for the chance to win prizes, with the winners announced on May 14, 2019.

Speculation as to what the coins represented first gained traction on sites such as Reddit, with several users picking up on the unique appearance of coins pre-stamped with the year 2019, with many believing it was blunder by the Mint.

Chief executive officer Ross MacDiarmid said the Mint was being unapologetic about the competition’s aim to introduce coin collecting and understanding the value of money to a new generation, in a time when the use of cash is in decline due to the popularity of electronic payment including payWave. “How are we going to get people to understand financial literacy when they just swipe their card or actually just use a tap and go?” Mr MacDiarmid said.

According to a survey of 1000 people commissioned by the Mint, most thought saving pocket money and collecting coins helped develop financial literacy, particularly among children. As part of the major prize for the treasure hunt, eight winners from each state will get a trip to Canberra for four people, as well as the opportunity to visit the Mint for a private tour and to produce their own giant one kilogram silver coin. Officially the coin would be worth about $750 but being a collector’s piece, it is expected to be much more valuable.


  • Check your $1 coins to see if they have a tiny “A”, “U” or “S” stamped on the front. They also feature the 2019 date and are marked with a tiny “35”.
  • Once you get all three, register at to get one of 5000 free folders available to store the coins.
  • You will go in the draw to win the major prize of a Canberra trip including two nights accommodation at Jamala Wildlife Lodge at the National Zoo and Aquarium, and a one kilo silver coin worth at least $750.
  • You could also win one of 250 gift vouchers worth $150 to spend on any Royal Australian Mint product.
  • For more information go to

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