Medallion No. 5
This medallion was issued to commemorate the Olympic Games in Melbourne in 1956.
These Games of the 16th Olympiad were held from 22 November to 8 December 1956 and were the first Olympic Games to be held in the southern hemisphere. However, due to Australian quarantine regulations, the equestrian events were held in Stockholm, Sweden in June.
A total of 3342 competitors (2958 men and 384 women) from 67 nations competed. Australia’s team of 314 consisted of 270 men and 44 women; their medal tally was 13 gold, 8 silver, and 14 bronze placing Australia third in the final medal standing.
This 38 mm diameter medallion was designed and struck by K G Luke, Melbourne in the following metals:
¨ Sterling silver (60, numbered 1 to 60)
¨ Oxidised bronze (40, numbered 61 to 100)
All medals were individually numbered.
Seven trial strikes are known to exist in lead for both obverse and reverse.
The obverse design features an ancient Greek coin showing the head of Bacchus (rather than the head of Zeus) with a laurel branch and the legend “XVI ΟΛΥΜΡΙΝΑ Melbourne” – an interesting mixture of Greek, Latin, and English!
The reverse design has the text: “IN THIS MEDAL WE COMMEMORATE THE OLYMPIC GAMES IN MELBOURNE NOVEMBER 22 TO DECEMBER 8 1956” in the centre and with “NUMISMATIC ASSN OF VICTORIA” below on a scroll.