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Coin Marks 40 Years of Hutt River Secession
hutt river prince leonard coinBy Kerry Rodgers, World Coin News
April 05, 2010
hutt river prince leonard coin

Forty years ago on April 21, 1970, Western Australia farmer Leonard George Casley declared his Hutt River farm independent of the Commonwealth of Australia. The upshot saw one of the world’s more enduring micronations come into being and, as they say, “The rest is history.” Prince Leonard, of the now 40-year-old Principality of Hutt River, says simply, “We are still here.”

To commemorate the 40th anniversary of secession, the principality has struck a $30 coin showing Prince Leonard’s star in the Constellation of Virgo.

Prince Leonard is a Virgo. He will turn 85 in August. In August 1999 star SAO 119916, located at RA: 13h 24m 42s, D: + 4° 24’ 08”, was named HRH Prince Leonard in his honor. In other star catalogs it is referred to as HIP 65442, PPM 159732 and HD 116621. (Stars would seem to be almost as bad as coins in having multiple reference numbers.)

The striking design for the coin’s reverse was the brainchild of Hutt River’s ADC, Sir Steven Baikie. Virgo, goddess of justice, agriculture and the harvest, is portrayed as a comely maid tastefully clad in classical Grecian style and carrying a sheaf of wheat in her left hand and a palm frond in her right. She is overlaid by the stars of her constellation with the position of HRH Prince Leonard shown at her right hip.

For Prince Leonard, Virgo’s wheat sheaf is a compelling symbol. Forty years ago, government-imposed draconian reductions in wheat quotas threatened to destroy the economic viability of his farm. It was to defend his harvest that he declared independence. In the constellation, the wheat sheaf is marked by the bright star Spica.

Prince Leonard’s star itself is a cool red type. It burns slowly at temperatures of about 4,000-4,500 degrees Celsius and can be expected to have a long life. It is about three-quarters the size of our yellow sun, which is also hotter at about 5,000-6,000 degrees Celsius. The light from HRH Prince Leonard takes 1,918.57 years to reach Earth. For any astronomers among the numismatic fraternity, its apparent magnitude is 7.65.

The dual gold- and silver-plated coin is struck on a 40-gram brass flan, 45 mm in diameter and 3.5 mm thick with a reeded edge. Virgo is picked out in matte gold, as is the prince’s effigy on the obverse. The lettering, including that defining the location of the prince’s star, is selectively-plated in matte silver. Mintage is 1,000 with each coin supplied in a capsule fitted into a plush dark blue velvet case that bears the 40th anniversary logo printed in gold on silken lining inside the lid. Each is accompanied by an individually numbered information card 0001/1000-1000/1000.

The official launch is set to take place in the principality on April 21, the 40th anniversary of the secession.

Any reader wanting to order one of the new coins can do so at the Hutt River Web site,, or e-mail, or snail mail Royal Mint of Hutt, Government Buildings, Principality of Hutt River, via Western Australia 6535, Australia.

More Resources:

• Subscribe to our Coin Price Guide, buy Coin BooksCoin Folders and join the NumisMaster VIP Program

2010 U.S. Coin Digest, The Complete Guide to Current Market Values, 8th ed.

State Quarters Deluxe Folder By Warmans

Standard Guide to Small-Size U.S. Paper Money, 1928 to Date

Strike It Rich with Pocket Change, 2nd Edition



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