Top secret: Mint launches coins for spooks

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2019 50c Uncirculated ASIO coin.

ONE of the Royal Australian Mint’s more unusual ventures took place this week with the release of a new, limited-edition coin collection commemorating the 70th anniversary of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO).

Part of the release is a new 50c coin believed to be the first to feature a secret encrypted code similar to that used by operatives during the Cold War, revealing the presence of a Soviet spy ring active in Australia and prompting the UK to urge Australia to establish a security service, leading to the establishment of ASIO in 1949.

Coin packaging.

“Spooks and spies is an intriguing theme and often the stuff of novels and film.  It is exciting to see this theme interpreted in such a creative and enduring way,” says director-general of security, Duncan Lewis.

Mint CEO, Ross MacDiarmid has also announced  “Coincryption”,  a competition entered by writing the secret message on their coin to go in the draw to win the only ASIO Proof 50c coin, entry details at

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