Coins and Australia - 1 dollar 1997 - Charles Kingsford Smith - Articles on Australian coins

You are: Home » Australian coins » Articles » 1 dollar 1997 - Charles Kingsford Smith

1 dollar 1997 - Charles Kingsford Smith

By CAA    |   Monday, 2 October 2023

1 dollar 1997 - Charles Kingsford Smith

Sir Charles Edward Kingsford Smith was born on February 9, 1897. He is known as World's Greatest Pioneering Aviatior. He piloted the first transpacific flight and the first flight between Australia and New Zealand. To commemorate the centenary of Sir Charles Kingsford Smith's birth, the Royal Australian Mint produced a special dollar coin in 1997.

Kingsford Smith joined the Australian Army in 1915 and was a motorcycle despatch rider on the Gallipoli campaign. He later transferred to the Royal Flying Corps and was awarded the Military Cross in 1917 after being shot down.

The coin, minted at more than 24 millions copies, was designed and sculpted by Wojciech Pietranik.

Sir Charles Kingsford Smith, was born at Hamilton, Queensland on 9 February 1897. He spent the greater part of his life at the controls of aeroplanes, setting distance records between Australian capital cities and other continents.

He created the England-Australia record in 1927, followed by the first Trans-Pacific flight in 1928 and numerous Trans-Atlantic crossings between 1933-34. Sir Charles is still regarded as one of the greatest pilots ever. He possessed all the abilities that are essential for piloting aeroplanes under the conditions required to set records.

- Royal Australian Mint


  • Mintage: 24,381,000
  • Weight: 9 g
  • Composition: Aluminum Bronze
  • Diameter: 25 mm

Mint Sets

1 dollar 1997 Set - Charles Kingsford Smith

Most years since 1966, the Royal Australian Mint has released uncirculated and proof sets containing examples of Australia's circulating coinage. Proof dollar coins have a different and more refined manufacturing process than circulation coins. The dies are polished to give a cameo-like/mirror-like or matte finish.

In 1997, the 1 dollar coin original design (group of kangaroos) was replaced with the Sir Charles Kingsford Smith in these sets. They consists of six coins:

  • Five Cents
  • Ten Cents
  • Twenty Cents
  • Fifty Cents
  • Sir Charles Kingsford Smith One Dollar
  • Two Dollars

To commemorate the centenary of Sir Charles Kingsford Smith's birth, The Royal Australian Mint, in accordance with their tradition of honouring great Australians, is proud to release this $1 coin as part of the 1997 uncirculated set.

- Royal Australian Mint

Mint marks (A, B, C, M, S)

1 dollar 1997 Set - Charles Kingsford Smith

In major cities where agricultural shows are held, the Mint allowed the public a chance to mint their own collector coins. This involves the addition of a mint mark to the coin's reverse image. These coins were sold for 2 dollars each.

The mint mark on these uncirculated coins can ben found on the upper-left of the reverse:

  • A - Adelaide
  • B - Brisbane
  • C - Canberra
  • M - Melbourne
  • S - Sydney

Sir Charles Kingsford Smith is regarded as the greatest man ever to fly. He is most well known for two record breaking adventures - circumnavigating continental Australia and crossing the Pacific Ocean.

1997 represents the centenary of Sir Charles Kingsford Smith's birth. Being of slender build and standing only 170 centimetres, Kingsford Smith was, physically, ideally suited to the cramped cockpits of aroplanes from the 1920s and 1930s. But what he lacked in height he more than made up for with raw courage and a spirit for adventure that none of his contemporaries could rival.

Sir Charles Kingsford Smith met his fate with long time co-pilot Tommy Pethybridge in November 1935, off the coast of Burma. The exact time, location and circumstances are still a mystery. What is certain, the world lost its greatest aviator and Australia lost a hero.

- Royal Australian Mint

Kingsford Smith on Australian Banknote

From 1966 to 1993, Charles Kingsford Smith and Lawrence Hargrave appeared on the $20 note. They symbolised Australia's significant contribution to aviation and aeronautics.

Twenty dollars 1966 to 1993 - Banknote of Australia

A unique set containing a 1997 Kingsford Smith silver proof coin and a 20 dollars banknote with ADK prefix was also available at the Mint.4,000 of these sets were made. The silver coin was also sold by the RAM encapsulated in a green case.

20 dollars 1966 to 1993 price guide and values »

Related numismatic tools, articles and links

Share this page:

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our newsletter and stay updated.