By SHARON MASIGE – Business Insider
The Royal Australian Mint has unveiled a new dollar coin that is designed to be donated to charities – and 3 million have already been released into circulation.
The Mint unveiled the Donation Dollar as part of a world-first donation initiative. While the dollar is legal tender, the Mint is encouraging Aussies to use it wherever cash donations are accepted to help people or organisations that are in need.
Each of these coins feature the call to action “Give to Help Others”. There’s also a green centre with a gold ripple design, which represents the ongoing impact each donation makes to those in need. According to the Mint, three in five Australians said they would be likely to donate this coin if they saw it among their change.
The first lot of three million coins has been released into circulation, with millions more to be released in the coming years. If every Australian donated one of these dollars, it could possibly raise an extra $300 million a year for those who are disadvantaged.
The Australian Generosity Report found one in five Australians said they’ll need some level of aid over the next 12 months, either for themselves or for their family.
Royal Mint CEO Ross MacDiarmid said in a statement the organisers believe the donation dollar has the “power to make a real difference.”
“The Royal Australian Mint has a rich heritage of producing coins to meet the needs of every Australian,” he said. “So we’re extremely proud to introduce the world’s first Donation Dollar and tap into the Australian spirit of generosity. Like any other one dollar coin, the cycle of a Donation Dollar is ongoing, as is its potential for positive impact.”
The coins come in the lead up to the International Day of Charity on September 5, a UN initiative which calls on people all over the world to help others not just during a crisis but at any time of the year.
While some people might be thinking of collecting these new coins, the Mint is discouraging this idea. In its FAQ document about the Donation Dollar, the organisation said it aims to produce 25 million of these coins – one for every Australian – so “the Donation Dollar will be anything but collectable.”
The Royal Mint often releases commemorative coins for various occasions. In honour of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation’s (ASIO) 70th anniversary in 2019, it released a coin with a secret code, similar to those used by operatives during the Cold War.