AC/DC‘s 45th anniversary is being commemorated by the Australian government through the release of a new collection of coins. The Royal Australian Mint — the government agency which is the sole supplier of Australia’s circulating coinage — has partnered with Questacon, the National Science and Technology Centre, to strike its AC/DC coins with a bolt of man-made lightning.
The experiment was conducted in the “Caged Lightning” exhibition at Questacon, which produces lightning using a Tesla coil. Ten AC/DC 50 cent pieces, all featuring the famous high voltage logos and design elements from AC/DC albums, were jolted with 3,500,000 volts of lightning.
Royal Australian Mint chief executive officer Ross MacDiarmid said, “The Mint thought that such an iconic band deserved high voltage coins and an electrifying launch to match. 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.”
The 10 coins that were “Thunderstruck,” out of the 30,000 that were made, will be randomly sent to 10 customers who order their AC/DC anniversary coin through the Mint’s online store or Contact Center.
The second coin minted for AC/DC’s 45th anniversary is the Mint’s first-ever nickel-plated coin. It’s black and 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. The new coins are both officially licensed AC/DC merchandise and legal tender in Australia.