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SOUTHERN SKY CRUX Curved Silver Proof Coin 5$ Australia 2012


This innovative $5 dome-shaped coin features the Southern Cross spanning the coin as a celestial image and is framed by a rim featuring a compass design. It acknowledges the significance of the Crux constellation, in Southern sky and features an image that is present on the flags of Australia, Brazil, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Samoa.

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Crux, the Southern Cross, is the most familiar constellation in the southern hemisphere. This tiny constellation (the smallest in the entire sky) was once part of Centaurus, but the sight of such a brilliant cross in the sky was so compelling that it became a constellation of its own in the sixteenth century.
Besides the cross itself, the constellation contains a unique dark nebula, a famous star cluster, and a remarkable binary.
Apart from the four bright stars that form the cross, the constellation's stars are generally fourth-magnitude. Note that while gammaA and gammaB are labelled as binary components, these stars only form an optical double. The two theta stars are also not gravitationally bound to each other; on the other hand mu1 and mu2 do form a binary system (see below).
Thousands of years ago these four stars were an object of reverence in the countries of the Near East. In the Biblical days, two thousand years ago, they were just visible at the horizon. Some might find a religious connotation, linking their disappearance with the Crucifixion of Christ. Over the millennia precession has brought the cross far to the south; it is no longer visible at latitudes north of 25 degrees.
The principal star of note in the constellation is Acrux (alpha Crucis), a splendid binary (see below). The combined visual magnitude of both stars results in a magnitude of 0.72. The stars are 320 light years away, and each is approximately one and a half to twice the size of our Sun.
Beta Crucis (Mimosa) is the brightest star of the group, a blue-white giant (nearly five times the Sun's size) with a visual magnitude of 1.25. The star is an estimated 580 light years away, and has a luminosity of nearly 8000. The star is a variable (see below)
Gamma Crucis (Gacrux) forms the top of the cross. The reported distance may be erroneous; it's been calculated from the visual and absolute magnitudes. The resulting parallax is so large that it should be measurable.
Delta Crucis is the western arm, very similar in size and distance to alpha Crucis, and part of the star cluster mentioned above. The star is a beta-CMa type variable (see below).

  • CountryAustralia
  • Year2012
  • Face Value5 Dollars
  • MetalSilver
  • Fineness (purity)999/1000
  • Weight (g)31.1 (1 oz)
  • Diameter (mm)39.62
  • QualityProof
  • Mintage (pcs)10.000
  • Certificate (COA)Yes
  • Presentation case (box)Yes
This beautiful $5 coin acknowledges the significance of the Crux constellation. The stars present in the design played a crucial role as the symbol of the Eureka rebellion and subsequent Battle of the Eureka Stockade, an event in our history which was the culmination of democratic agitation in the Ballarat region during the Victorian gold rush era. For centuries this constellation has served as a navigational beacon for sailors and is one of the easiest to identify in the night sky. The coin is packaged in a rubber-laminate tin enabling the coin to be lifted vertically for presentation purposes. On the obverse the Raphael Maklouf effigy of Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II.