AC/DC coins feature ‘high voltage’

The Royal Australian Mint marked the 45th anniversary of Australian rock royalty this October with the release of “high voltage” AC/DC coins.

In the spirit of AC/DC and their hit single Thunderstruck, the mint partnered with the Australian national science and technology centre to strike the coins with a bolt of man-made lightning. The experiment was conducted in an exhibition that produces lightning using a Tesla coil. A total of 10 AC/DC 50-cent pieces, which appropriately feature the famous high voltage logos and design elements from the band’s albums, were struck with 3.5 million volts of lightning.

“AC/DC is famous for their electrifying energy. It’s in their music, the titles of some of their songs, even their insignia,” said Royal Australian Mint Chief Executive Officer Ross MacDiarmid. “The mint thought that such an iconic band deserved high voltage coins and an electrifying launch to match.”

The mint’s production of two AC/DC coins adds legal tender status to the band’s list of accolades.

“We weren’t sure what effect the lightning would have on the coins, but we discovered that because the coins are such excellent conductors of electricity, the lightning’s mark is only visible under magnification,” added MacDiarmid. “Striking these 10 coins with lightning adds a uniquely AC/DC element to this release.”

The second coin struck to mark AC/DC’s 45th anniversary is the Royal Australian Mint’s first ever nickel-plated coin.


The second coin minted for AC/DC’s 45th anniversary is the mint’s first ever nickel-plated coin. Not only black, its detailed design is minted on a triangular blank to resemble a guitar pick. The design elements have also been drawn from AC/DC’s album artwork and the amp-inspired packaging includes an actual guitar pick.

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