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Commemorative $2 Coins and Royal Australia Mint issued rolls.

Robbie Colborne |

The Royal Australian Mint first issued commemorative $2 coins for general circulation in 2012. Two coins were released, the Red Remembrance Day poppy and the Gold Remembrance Day poppy. The following year, a single commemorative $2 coin was released to commemorate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. For these releases, the RAM didn’t issue RAM rolls. They are only available in either security bags or rolls. 

The RAM first released rolls in 2014. The first release was for the 2014 Remembrance Day coin, commonly known as the 'Green Dove'. There is some debate regarding if the 2014 green dove constitutes a RAM roll. However, this argument is outside the scope of this article; I defer to Renniks, who dutifully list them in their section on official mint rolled coins.

Since 2016, many commemorative $2 circulating coins haven't been placed into RAM issued and labelled rolls. These coins include those distributed by Woolworths. For example, the 2016 Olympic/Paralympic series, 2017 Possum Magic releases, 2018 Commonwealth Games releases, 2019 Mr Squiggle releases, 2020 Olympic/Paralympic releases and the 2021 wiggles releases.

At the time of this article, the following coins do have RAM rolls. The 2014 Remembrance Day ‘Green Dove’, 2015 Remembrance Day ‘Flanders Field’, 2015 Anzac Day ‘War Graves’, 2016 50 years of Decimal Currency ‘Changeover’, 2017 Anzac Day ‘Lest We Forget’, 2017 Remembrance Day ‘Rosemary’, 2018 Invictus Games, 2018 Anzac Day ‘Eternal Flame’, 2018 Remembrance Day ‘Armistice’, 2019 Anzac Day ‘Repatriation’, 2019 Police, 2020 End of World War, 2021 Indigenous Service, 2021 Ambulance Services, 2021 Aboriginal Flag. 

There are several points to understanding ‘RAM rolls’ as a collector. Firstly, in the early releases, the mint didn’t worry about the orientation of the top and bottom coins in the roll. Therefore, you could receive an 'official roll' that was heads/heads, heads/tails or tails/tails in orientation.  

More recently, the mint has declared that to qualify as an ‘official roll’ a coin must be orientated heads/tails. This means that whenever the mint creates a roll, there is a 50/50 chance it will qualify as an ‘official roll’. 

This has led to occasions where the mint has distributed rolls to security companies for distribution that are orientated heads/heads and tails/tails. Those rolls have been spared circulation by keen-eyed collectors and are now known as ‘reject rolls’. It is improper for these rolls to be advertised as RAM rolls. The mint has made clear that they do not count these coins amongst the coins they deem to be RAM rolls. 

Reject rolls have been found in the following coins: 2017 Lest We Forget, 2019 Repatriation and more recently, the 2020 End of World War II coins. There may be more, but I’m unsure of these at the moment. 

Lastly, a coin from a RAM roll is assumed to be within the uncirculated grades. Coupled with the limited release numbers attached to these rolls ensures that RAM rolls command a premium. This is true of both security rolls and bags and also coins that have been verified as uncirculated and rolled by private coin rolling companies. 

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