At the end of the First World War, the Australian Government launched a series of ‘Peace Loan’ campaigns. These were managed by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia with the aim of recouping the costs of the war and helping to fund the pensions of returned servicemen. In the same way War Loans had functioned between 1915 and 1918, the public was asked to purchase bonds which were repaid with interest.
The first peace loan was announced on 30 July 1919. The amount requested was £25 million, equivalent to approximately £1.1 billion today. As with the war loans campaigns, promotional posters were developed and published in newspapers encouraging the general public to get involved.
One of the first subscribers to the second peace loan issued in July 1920 was Edward VIII, the Prince of Wales, who later became King Edward VIII. The Prince was travelling around Australia at the time thanking the population for the sacrifices and contributions they had made during the war. The third and final loan, known as the ‘Diggers Loan’, was launched in August 1921.
The fifth and final release from the Australian Posters of World War I coin series features a poster from the initial Peace Bonds promotional campaign of 1919.
The poster depicted a young veteran in uniform being welcomed back to civilian life by an elderly farmer declaring “Well Boy – You’ve done your Bit. What will Australia do for You?” The artwork symbolised that even those who had not been not eligible for recruitment could still make a useful contribution to their country.
Vividly portrayed in colour on the rectangular 1oz silver coin, it is headed by the inscription AUSTRALIAN PEACE BONDS.
Reflecting the development of a recognisably Australian style in poster art and its effectiveness as an advertising and promotional medium at the beginning of the 20th century, this series is produced by The Perth Mint in association with the Australian War Memorial. Issued as Australian legal tender, each coin in the special series is individually encapsulated in latex cases which allows the design on both sides to be displayed.
No more than 5,000 of each coin in the series will be released worldwide.
The Australian War Memorial logo is a registered trade mark of the Australian War Memorial TM © 2018.