Royal Australian Mint
Product Development Style guide
This document has been prepared to ensure consistent language, inclusions and tone in documents
prepared by the Product Development team of the Royal Australian Mint. The Australian
Government’s Style Manual should be consulted for further language matters not covered in the
most recent version of this style guide. This guide should be considered the authority on Product
Development document queries. This document may be reviewed and amended only through
consultation and discussion with the Communications teams. Where the rules herein conflict with
advice given in the Australian Government’s Style Manual, it is should be considered that it is due to
the special context of material which accompanies products from the Mint.
The Product Development team has a philosophy of col aborating with specialists on the topics being
commemorated on coins. Key information obtained from these specialists wil be col ated into a
writing brief for a copywriter (independently contracted or sourced from Mint staff). Through a
process of negotiation and editing, the copywriter and Product Development team wil finalise the
key concept and tone of the packaging.
The final copy may also be presented to the Communications team for their input at this stage,
before then being used to determine the content of a brief to be supplied to the designers. The Copy
Writing Brief should be consulted regarding changes to the substance of the copy at this time,
ensuring consistency and awareness of the original creative concept proposal.
After completion of the design for packaging and Certificates of Authenticity, the Communications
and Product Development teams wil proofread the designs for typographical, stylistic or typesetting
concerns. The completed design and text may be used to determine the content of the Product
Information Sheet (PIS), explained in detail below.
Coin title naming conventions
When creating a coin title, the fol owing naming conventions should be fol owed to maintain
consistency throughout the suite of Mint documents and products.
In order of precedence, the title should read:
Year Denomination Mark
Metal Finish Shape
Coin – Version/heading
The ‘Coin’ and ‘Version/heading’ should be separated by a space, en dash, space. When writing out
the ‘Version/heading’ al words other than prepositions, articles and conjunctions wil be capitalised.
For example, 2014 $10 Copper Antique Coin – For Valour: A History of the Victoria Cross.
Or, 2014 $10 ‘C’ Mintmark Gold Proof Coin – A Voyage to Terra Australis.
Weights are categorised as a ‘Feature’ and are not to be included in coin titles, except where
the weight is a key feature of the product. Examples of where weight would be included:
5 oz Gold Numismatic Products
1 kg Gold and Silver Product
Investment products as weight, metal and design are the key features.
The weight ‘Feature’ should be written as numeral, space, abbreviated weight
e.g. 5 oz or 1 kg
‘Mark’ category includes – Mintmark, Counterstamp and Privy Mark (written as seen here)
Colour printed uncirculated coins wil be referred to as ‘Coloured Uncirculated’ in the coin title, as
the base metals are not used in titling. Nominal specifications wil only state uncirculated as the
Colour printed proof coins wil be referred to as ‘Coloured Fine Silver/Gold Proof’ in the coin title so
there is no confusion between whether it’s a description of the metal or detailing there is a colour
print on the coin. Nominal specifications wil only state proof as the finish.
When the coin is of an unusual or distinct shape, other than circular, the ‘Shape’ should be listed
after the ‘Finish’ component. The descriptor of the shape should be used in the name, for example
Triangular, Domed or Tetradecagon. This is in preference to referring to the coin as triangle or
triangle shaped. There may be times when this is unavoidable especial y for more abstract shapes,
for example ‘Heart Shaped.’
There should be consideration given to coins featuring mintmarks or privy marks whether the mark
is mentioned in the coin title.
When referring to the coin in body copy, the coin title may be tailored and shortened for brevity. In
such an instance, the ‘Version/heading’ may fol ow the ‘Year’ and ‘Denomination’ and then be taking
precedence over ‘Shape’ (if applicable) and then ‘Coin.’ This is only done in supplementary materials
and should not appear on packaging or certificates.
For example, 2014 $5 Lest We Forget Triangular Coin.
Where a coin has an overly defining characteristic this may be more appropriate to include in the
shortened version of the title.
For example, 2014 $10 Copper Antique Victoria Cross Coin.
On these occasions shortening the ‘Version/heading’ if it is unwieldy, may be appropriate.
Sets or Col ections:
When including number of coins in product name where al denominations are the same, the
number of coins is mentioned last in coin title e.g. 2023 $1 Coloured Uncirculated Six-Coin Set
Where a set is a mix of denominations the number of coins can be included after the date in place of
the denomination e.g. 2023 Six-Coin Year Set
Col ection can be used for a group of coins e.g. AFL Col ection or Henry Lawson Col ection.
Set and Col ection can be used interchangeably. Consistency should be maintained with annual year
sets and titling in series.
Packaging requires its own naming conventions due to the format commonly used, where the
‘Version/Heading’ is featured in a larger more striking size and sits apart from the descriptors of the
Coin packaging wil focus on the fol owing descriptors:
Packaging wil only refer to metal when the product is a precious metal coin.
For example, 2014 $1 Coloured Uncirculated Coin or $2014 $5 Silver Proof Triangular Coin.
The final packaging title should appear as fol ows:
A Voyage to Terra Australis
2014 $10 ‘C’ Mintmark Gold Proof Coin
2014 $1 Coloured Silver Proof Coin
In instances when the title is too long, the word Fine can be omitted from Fine Silver.
Product Information Sheets
The Product Information Sheet (PIS) is a double-sided A4 page used to promote coin products or
series to a range of audiences including dealers, retailers, internal stakeholders, Mint front of house
staff, partner organisations and potential y the media. The text for the front of the page wil contain
a release date, an embargo date and an introduction. The text on the back of the page contains the
sections ‘History and Significance,’ ‘Features and Design’ and ‘Nominal Specifications.’
PIS writing style for target market
The target market for coin releases and series should be identified prior to the commencement of
preparing materials including packaging and the PIS. This information may be found in the
copywriting brief or by discussing this with the Product Development team. The content particularly
regarding the ‘History and Significance’ of the product should be appropriate and tailored towards
the target markets. The PIS may include a reference to the target market in the introduction, but
should avoid statements explicitly saying that ‘the coin is targeted at ___.’ When preparing such a
document please be aware that some products may attract a wide variety of interest and target
markets may not be clearly defined.
Coin titles on PIS
Coin titles wil normal y have been determined prior to the creation of a PIS and wil adhere to the
style set out in the current Mint style guide. Should a coin title be in doubt or subject to questions,
refer to this guide’s direction on coin titles. However, the coin name which appears on the final
packaging of the coin should be regarded as the correct and final name for that product.
Appearing on the first page of the PIS, with a limit of 55 words, the introduction wil feature emotive
language to create a high-impact promotional message. It may highlight the coin’s design, subject or
theme and mention the Mint’s technical innovation to produce the coin. It may be appropriate to
identify the target demographic (please see above). Statements wil be factual but may be more
expressive or emotive.
History and Significance
This section appears on the second page of the PIS and will have a limit of 145 words, not including
the heading. It should be concise, upbeat and smart. This section wil state one or two notable
historical or social facts about the subject or theme featured on the coin. This is an opportunity to
catch people’s attention and sum up why this coin has been created.
It may also be appropriate to acknowledge the history of a coin design or series. For example, it may
be the eighth year in a row this coin has been released, the final release in a popular series or the
first time the Mint has made such a coin in more than two decades.
These statements may also include references to the positive public feeling towards the subject or
theme and its significance to Australians. It may also refer to the Mint celebrating or acknowledging
it for those reasons.
Features and Design
This appears on the second page of the PIS and is limited to 120 words. It wil feature a series of dot
points about the features of the product. It wil refer to the physical features of the product,
materials or production technique. Further points wil refer to the design, highlighting the
significance of certain elements of the coin and the product’s association with other Mint products.
The final dot point wil always describe the coin’s obverse, stating that it features the effigy of Queen
Elizabeth II and its designer. This is an opportunity to describe details which may not have been
already stated, it may refer to the designer, any awards won by the coin or by previous coins in a
series. It should be remembered that some people including col ectors may be more drawn to this
area to find information about the coin, in preference to the story behind it, which is covered in
‘History and Significance.’
Nominal specifications appear on the second page of the PIS, as a standard table across al coin
releases. This encourages consistency and provides a quick reference point for al PIS users.
Depending on the management of space on the PIS, the nominal specifications table may be
presented vertical y or may be divided into two columns which appear horizontal y on the page.
The table wil include 14 rows, should be titled as fol ows and in this order:
Denomination, Mass, Diameter, Mark, Year, Metal, Finish, Mintage, Packaging, Obverse designer,
Reverse designer, Product Code, Barcode, RRP.
Nominal Specifications on a Certificate of Authenticity are an abbreviated version of this and appear
in the fol owing form:
Denomination, Metal, Mass, Diameter, Finish, Mintage, Designer.
Each coin on the PIS should have a single column for its specifications. A coin set should have a
column for each coin. Where the specifications between coins in a coin set differ complete each
column with common specifications appearing only once on the left side of the table.
Mass should be fol owed by the measurement that is used, contained in parenthesis. Grams should
be expressed as (g) and ounces as (oz). Mass in grams wil be stated in decimal notation to two
decimal places. Ounces wil be stated as a fraction.
Mintmarks, privy marks and counterstamps wil be stated in the ‘Mark’ specification. Marks wil be
expressed as a capital letter, or a description of the mark, where a letter is not used, fol owed by
whether the mark is a mintmark, privy mark or counterstamp. Where coins do not contain a mark,
this heading wil remain on the PIS template. The lack of a mark wil be indicated by a dash.
Mintmark and privy mark sets containing otherwise identical coins, should indicate the various
marks together, contained in parenthesis and separated by a comma (,) for example (C,B,S,M).
Numeric statistics (other than metal purity and mass in ounces) should use decimal notation to two
decimal places. A single period (.) wil be used as the decimal point.
Metal purity is included when describing the metal of coins made from gold or silver.
Silver content is expressed to one decimal point, for example 99.9%. Gold content is expressed to
two decimal points, for example 99.99%. There is no space between the numeral and the percentage
symbol. There is a space between the percentage symbol and the chemical symbol, as specified
under Metals. The ful name of the metal is not required on the nominal specification table.
The name of the designer should be the initial of the first name, ful stop, space with the designer’s
last name fol owing.
Style indicators – product packaging and Product
A or an
The pronunciation of the first letter wil determine whether ‘a’ or ‘an’ precedes it. Consonant sounds
are preceded by ‘a.’ Vowel sounds are preceded by ‘an.’
There are some exceptions to this rule, words such as ‘historic’ are considered transitional and are
preceded by either ‘a’ or ‘an.’ As historic is a word which is likely to be used by the Mint in its PIS,
the word ‘an’ should be used.
When using sets of initials, the pronunciation of the first letter wil determine whether ‘a’ or ‘an’
precedes it. Therefore, ‘a UN official’ and ‘an RSPCSA animal’ would be used.
Pronounceable acronyms wil be treated as whole words, and their initial sound wil determine
whether ‘a’ or ‘an’ precedes them. For example, ‘a RAAF pilot’ or ‘an Anzac tradition.’
Be aware of the misuse of superlatives when using absolute terms. Terms such as last, empty, ful ,
impossible, unique are absolutes by definition. You can’t get any more ‘unique’ than ‘unique’, so
phrases like ‘total y unique’ are unnecessary. Similarly the ‘very last’ is stil the last.
The term ANZAC is an acronym for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. The word should be
capitalised when referring specifical y to the corps. For example, ‘ANZAC soldiers landed at Gal ipoli
on 25 April 1915.’
When not referring specifical y to the corps, only the ‘A’ is capitalised. This signifies that you are not
using the acronym and instead are referring to the general use of the word. For example, ‘Anzac
Day,’ ‘Anzac Cove’ and when referring to the soldiers in general, ‘the Anzacs.’
Australian English usage
Copy should use standard Australian English spel ing. The fol owing are examples of some common
For words such as ‘practice’, ‘licence’ and ‘advice’, the ‘-ce’ ending wil be used when the word is a
noun; the ‘-se’ ending wil be used when the word is a verb.
‘Defence’, ‘offence’ and ‘pretence’ wil always use the ‘-ce’ ending.
In al words which end in either ‘ise’ or ‘ize’, the ‘-ise’ wil always be used.
The Australian English spel ing for words like colour, honour and neighbour use the ‘our’ ending.
Australian English has adopted the spel ing ‘program.’ This is used in preference to ‘programme’ in
The Australian variation of English has a strong history of col oquialisms, it is important to make
sound judgements on when it would be appropriate to use these informal references.
Cal ing Australian soldiers ‘Diggers’ came to prominence in the First World War, largely from the
Western Front campaigns. It refers to the role of many soldiers in digging the trenches common
across these battlefields. As a term with a great deal of history and significance to Australian
servicemen and women, ‘Diggers’ can be used in reference to Australian soldiers, including modern
The rule for using col oquialisms should depend highly on the recognition of the word and what it
refers to. Considerable weight should also be added at this point to the public’s feelings toward the
The evolution of what is acceptable has seen many col oquialisms and indeed people’s nicknames
dumped from public buildings etc. for being inappropriate.
Referring to Mint employees as Minties is another such example. It is recognised within the Mint and
possibly among col ectors, but wider audiences are unlikely to connect with it. It may be appropriate
in informal usage, but its presence wil likely require explanation, using additional word space.
It is important that the naming conventions as wel as the terminology for defining characteristics of
coins are used with consistency. The first indicator should be the coin title. Al references to the coin
in the PIS should reflect this name.
Characteristics such as coloured or colour printed, should be used consistently.
Coloured or Colour Printed
References to colour printed coins should describe them as ‘coloured.’ Awareness of sensitivities
around this word, which has been used derogatorily in the past, should determine if it is
appropriate. In instances where ‘coloured’ may be inappropriate ‘colour printed’ is the next
When using dates in copy the correct form is XX(date) Month XXXX (year). The use of st, nd, rd and
th is not required.
If starting a sentence with a date reference it should be separated from the rest of the sentence by a
comma, for example ‘In 1915,’or ‘In April,’.
The use of el ipsis (…) is a grammatical device to indicate an omission, a trailing off or hesitation. It
should be avoided when preparing materials. The exception would be when using selected parts of a
direct quote, for example, “The only two certainties… death and taxes.” Where ‘in life are’ has been
Foreign words and phrases
Non-English words or phrases wil appear in italics, with only proper nouns being capitalised. Where
these words or phrases are fol owed by English translations, the English text wil appear within single
Honorifics are words or titles used to convey esteem towards the subject, most often a person who
has attained a certain office or recognition of service.
Members of Federal and State Parliaments (excluding the ACT) who serve as a Minister of the
Government are afforded the title, ‘the Honourable’ (the Hon.). This title remains with them even
after departing that office.
From March 2014, a Governor-General also becomes a Knight or Dame of the Order of Australia; the
title is now "His/Her Excel ency the Honourable Sir/Dame" in office, and "the Honourable Sir/Dame"
Knights and Dames of the Order of Australia are referred to as Sir or Dame fol owed by their ful
name in the first instance along with any post-nominal (AO, OAM etc.). In subsequent references
they may be referred to as Sir or Dame fol owed by their first name only.
For Royal honorifics, see the Royal Family below.
For military honorifics, see Military References.
Hyphens are used to join words to improve the sense of a sentence, for example ‘the design is state-
An en dash is used to indicate spans or estimates of time, distance, or other quantities, for example
There should be no spaces on either side of the en dash.
A hyphen is a brief punctuation mark (-) it is not interchangeable with an em dash (–) which is
noticeably longer. An en dash wil always be found in a coin title.
Hyphens are used to connect numbers up to ninety-nine that comprise two words.
When describing the metals used in coins, the fol owing terms are used:
The term ‘fine silver’ or ‘fine gold’ is commonly used to indicate the purity of the metal. It is more
common in international markets, where precious metal products are available in a variety of purity
levels. Fine silver is recognised as 99.9% Ag and fine gold is 99.99% Au.
When to use ‘fine’
Fine silver is to be used in the coin title and wil always be used in copy text on the certificate of
Fine gold should not be used to refer to the purity of the gold.
There are many conventions already established for the Australian Military, those which wil be most
commonly encountered by the Royal Australian Mint are outlined below.
Capital initials should be used when referring to the Australian Defence Force (ADF). The individual
services are the Royal Australian Navy, Australian Army and the Royal Australian Air Force. This is
also their order of precedence, based on when they were official y formed. When listed, the services
should be in this order.
Men and women of the ADF are referred to as servicemen and women.
The reference for servicemen and women within each of the services is: sailors, soldiers, airmen and
women. This terminology can be used to describe al members of the service, including the enlisted
It is incorrect to refer to al servicemen and women as soldiers, as this refers to just members of the
Army. The same rule applies when saying ‘troops’ as this also indicates soldiers.
References to servicemen and women should include their rank. When describing historic actions,
the reference to the person should use the rank held at the time of the action.
When referring to mints general y, this word is written in lowercase. When referring to or implying
the Royal Australian Mint, the word wil be capitalised, irrespective of the presence of the words
When referring to the Mint as an entity, it wil be preceded with the word ‘the’, in lowercase where
the word does not begin a sentence. If, however, ‘Royal Australian Mint’ is used to modify a noun
(with phrases such as ‘Royal Australian Mint facilities’ or ‘Royal Australian Mint designer’), the use of
‘the’ is unnecessary.
Avoid abbreviating ‘Royal Australian Mint’ to ‘RAM,’ the normal shortened form should be ‘the
When preparing materials which are specifical y aimed at the international minting community, the
shortened form ‘RAM’ is acceptable, as ‘the Mint’ becomes confusing when dealing with multiple
A mintage is a limited figure by definition. Terms like ‘limited mintage’ or ‘maximum mintage’ are
superfluous, but may be used to add a sense of importance. The phrase ‘limited to a mintage of…’
may be used when describing the mintage of a coin.
When writing numbers there are several conventions which must be fol owed, depending on the
number of figures and where it is being used.
In body copy, for numbers containing four or fewer numerals, there is no spacing or punctuation
required, for example 2000 or 4500.
Five or more numerals wil be divided into groups of three numerals, counted from the end of the
number. These groups wil be separated by a comma (,) for example 100,000 or 1,250,000.
The numbers one (1) to ten (10) should be written as words, rather than in numerals. When required
to write numbers between 21 and 99 as words, a hyphen should be used between the words. For
example, twenty-one, seventy-five and ninety-nine.
Starting a sentence with a number should be avoided wherever possible. If unavoidable the number
must be written in words, such as one mil ion two hundred and fifty seven thousand one hundred
In nominal specifications, numbers containing four or fewer numerals there is no spacing or
punctuation required, for example 2000 or 4500.
Five or more numerals wil be divided into groups of three numerals, counted from the end of
number, these groups wil be separated by space, for example 100 000 or 1 250 000. The reason
being, a comma is interpreted as a decimal point in some countries.
Post nominal are earned titles attributed to a person. When referencing that person, it is general y
appropriate to list their post nominals.
Where products are priced with complete dol ar amounts, the Recommended Retail Price (RRP) wil
feature a decimal point fol owed by two zeros, for example $85.00.
Where quoted text appears in the copy for packaging, Certificates of Authenticity or Product
Information Sheets, double quotation marks (“ ”) are favoured.
Single quotation marks (‘ ’) are used to add emphasis or to separate words from the rest of a
When concluding a sentence with words requiring quotation marks, punctuation marks should be
placed inside the quotation marks. For example, ‘it was a beautiful coin.’ Or ‘did you see that?’
The Royal Family
The Royal Family is regularly featured on Royal Australian Mint coins, and there is a number of
naming protocols which should be noted and included when preparing materials associated with the
An effigy of the reigning Monarch is included on the obverse of al Australian legal tender coins.
When describing the effigy it is referred to as “the effigy of Queen Elizabeth I by Ian Rank-Broadly”.
Majesty and Royal Highnesses
When making other references to the Queen, she should be named as ‘Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth
The Queen’s consort is His Royal Highness (HRH) the Prince Phil ip, Duke of Edinburgh.
Other members of the Royal Family are also referred to as His or Her Royal Highness, fol owed by
their name and their title. For example His Royal Highness, Prince Wil iam, Duke of Cambridge, or
Her Royal Highness, Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge.
It should be noted that when a King reigns with his Queen alongside, both are granted the honorific
Any references to previous monarchs should fol ow the format of:
King/Queen Regnal name
For example: King Charles II, Queen Elizabeth II, King George VI.
Where there were multiple monarchs with the same regnal name, it is appropriate to style the first
such monarch with the Roman numeral I for the sake of clarity. However, this wil not be necessary
for any instances in which only one monarch has been styled with a particular regnal name.
Therefore, ‘Queen Elizabeth I’ and ‘King George I’ would be appropriate, as would ‘Queen Victoria’
and ‘King Stephen’.
When describing Queen Elizabeth II in an historical context, it wil not be necessary to use the
preface ‘Her Majesty’.
Where reference is made to the title of a published work, title of a coin or series title in body copy,
the titles wil appear in italics, using maximal capitalisation (al words other than prepositions,
articles and conjunctions wil be capitalised). This could include ‘Banjo Paterson’s Waltzing Matilda,’
‘The Little House on the Prairie’ or ‘the release of the 2014 $5 Lest We Forget Triangular Coin’ or
Ensure series title is consistent throughout series release.
Do not include the title and series name in the copy when it already appears in the titles above.