2011 $2 First Crossing of the Simpson Desert 1oz Silver Proof

Ted Colson – the man behind the milestone…

To many, Australia’s grand tradition of exploration ended during the wild colonial days of the 19th century – but this is not the case. Such is the nature of the ‘wide brown land’, the Australian Continent still had many secrets in the 20th century, and many men, driven by a thirst for knowledge and inspired by the deeds of their forefathers, bravely sought to reveal those secrets.

Ted Colson was one such man. An experienced bushman with a rich knowledge of indigenous cultures, and a cameleer and guide on previous missions of exploration, Colson was inspired by Madigan’s aerial crossing of the Simpson Desert in 1929, and decided to attempt the journey by camel during 1936. Some of Australia’s most famous explorers – including Charles Sturt, Ludwig Leichhardt and Burke & Wills – had penetrated or skirted the arid environment of the Simpson Desert, but none had actually made the crossing.

Despite being told that it was impossible, Colson left Blood Creek north-west of Oodnadatta in a bid to cross the desert from west to east on 26 May 1936, taking five camels and Peter Ains, an indigenous man of the Antakurinya tribe, as his assistant. Relying solely on his compass, Colson trekked across the inhospitable landscape with remarkable accuracy, and having clambered over a thousand steep, red sand-ridges, he and his companion marched into Birdsville a week earlier than was thought possible – on 11 June. After spending time recovering from the arduous journey, they then set off for Blood Creek, arriving on 29 June 1936.

An extraordinary achievement, with little support of financial reward, Colson trekked across nearly 900km of largely unexplored hostile country in just 36 days. Continuing to pioneer routes through Central Australia, before dying in a car accident in 1950 at the age of 68, Ted Colson will always be remembered as the first European to cross the Simpson Desert.

75th Anniversary Tribute to Ted Colson’s Expedition!

Tiny worldwide mintage a mere 2,000 coins!

An extremely exclusive tribute to one of the unsung heroes of Australian exploration, this official legal tender coin honours Ted Colson (1881 – 1950) – the first European to cross the Simpson Desert.

A largely unheralded achievement, Colson trekked by camel from Blood Creek northwest of Oodnadatta to Birdsville, and back again, in just 36 days, covering nearly 900km of mostly unexplored, inhospitable terrain. Graced with a fine portrait of this burly, cheerful, unassuming Aussie pioneer, this crown-sized 38.61mm full-colour coin captures perfectly both the hypnotic beauty and hostile nature of the foreboding Australian hinterland he crossed.

Produced by Swiss precious metal experts Produits Artistiques Métaux Précieux (PAMP), the worldwide mintage of this superbly struck .999 fine silver 1oz Proof has been set at low 2,000. Surely a major underestimation of demand given the broad interest in Australian exploration, and the voracious appetite of the collector community for full-colour coins honouring Australia and its icons, a sell-out of this meagre mintage is inevitable.

  • Exclusive! Tiny worldwide mintage restricted to just 2,000 coins!
  • Struck to immaculate Proof quality from a troy ounce of .999 fine silver
  • Beautifully presented within the plush confines of a large, stylish case
  • Accompanied by an individually numbered Certificate of Authenticity
  • Struck by PAMP as official Niue legal tender – spans 38.61mm in diameter

For more information or to purchase online, please click on the appropriate link:


North America

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