Australia has created a coin unlike any other in the world. It is a new Australian $1 coin that can be spent like any other money but is intended to be given away to people in need. With an image of Queen Elizabeth II on one side of the coin, the other side is stamped with the message: “Donation Dollar: Give to help others”.
The special coin, which has a green center surrounded by gold, was designed in a bid to boost Australia’s declining levels of philanthropy. The initiative is the first of its kind and is backed by research that found most Australians—57 percent—said they would likely donate the coin if they were in possession of it. The Royal Australian Mint chief executive Ross MacDiarmid said the aim was to promote charity, even if that meant simply thinking about giving.
Australia has already begun pressing 25 million of these charitable coins, roughly one for every Australian. If every Australian gave one Donation Dollar a month, the government says, it could raise an additional $300 million for charity every year. The idea is that the more the dollar circulates, the more the green in the center of the coin will wear away to reveal a series of gold ripples, symbolizing the ongoing impact of the donation dollar.