Coins of the Australian pound

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Federation in 1901 gave the Commonwealth a constitutional power to issue coins and removed this power from the States. However, British coins continued in use until 1910, when Australian silver coins were introduced. These included florins, shillings, sixpences and threepences. They had a portrait of King Edward VII on one side. Australian pennies and half-pennies were introduced into circulation the following year. In 1931 gold sovereigns stopped being minted in Australia. A crown or five-shilling coin was minted in 1937 and 1938.

Australian £sd[edit]

Australian 1963 shilling, 1936 penny and 1948 half penny.
Australian 1961 half penny and 1964 penny with Kangaroos.
Australian 1958 three pence with wheat.
Australian 1951, George VI, six pence with coat of arms.
Australian 1959, Elizabeth II, six pence with coat of arms.
a silver copy of the extremely rare 1930 penny

In 1898 the British government allowed two colonies, New South Wales and Victoria, to mint silver and bronze coins at their mints in Sydney and Melbourne respectively.

Revaluation[edit]

In 1947, due to costs incurred during WW2, the silver content of the coins was reduced from 0.925 to 0.500 of the coin weight, which lasted until decimalisation on 14 February 1966. One coin highly sought after by collectors is the 1930 Penny. Its rarity is so well known amongst Australians, that demand for what is akin to a blue chip investment has pushed prices to approximately 26,000 Australian dollars for an average standard example. A proof example of the same coin recently changed hands for over 620,000 Australian dollars, making it the most expensive copper coin in the world.

Coins[edit]

1910 Series
Value Diameter Weight Composition Edge Obverse and Title Reverse Minted Year
3 pence 16 mm 1.41 g 92.5% silver
7.5% copper
Plain EDWARDVS VII D: G: BRITT: OMN: REX F: D: IND: IMP: 1908 coat of arms 1910
6 pence 19mm 2.82 g Reeded
1 shilling 23.5 mm 5.65 g
2 shillings = 1 florin 28.5 mm 11.31 g
1911 Series
Value Diameter Weight Composition Edge Obverse and Title Reverse Minted Year
½ penny 25.5mm 5.67g Bronze(97% copper, 2.5% zinc, 0.5% tin Plain GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: Value 1911 – 1936
1 penny 30.8mm 9.45g
3 pence As previous series 1908 coat of arms
6 pence
1 shilling
2 shillings = 1 florin
1937 Series
Value Diameter Weight Composition Edge Obverse and Title Reverse Minted Year
½ penny Bronze GEORGIVS VI D: G: BR: OMN: REX F: D: IND: IMP: Value 1938 – 1939
½ penny Kangaroo 1939 – 1948
1 penny 1938 – 1948
3 pence As previous series three stalks of wheat and a ribbon 1938 – 1944
6 pence 1908 coat of arms 1938 – 1945
1 shilling Merino ram's head 1938 – 1944
2 shillings = 1 florin 1912 coat of arms 1938 – 1945
5 shillings = 1 crown 28.28 g 92.5% silver 7.5% copper Milled Crown 1937 – 1938
1945, 1949, 1953, 1955 Series
Series Composition Obverse and Title ½d 1d 3d 6d 1s 2s
1946 50% silver, 40% copper, 5% zinc, and 5% nickel As previous series None None 1947, 1948 1946, 1948 1946, 1948 1946, 1947
1949 ½d & 1d as 1937 series, the rest as previous series GEORGIVS VI D: G: BR: OMN: REX FIDEI DEF 1949 – 1952 1950 – 1952 1951 – 1952
1953 As previous series ELIZABETH II. DEI GRATIA REGINA 1953 – 1955 1953 1953 – 1954
1959 ELIZABETH II. DEI GRATIA REGINA F: D: 1959 – 1964 1955 – 1964 1955 – 1963 1956 – 1963

See also: Half penny, Penny, threepence, sixpence, shilling, florin, crown.

Pre-decimal commemorative coins[edit]

Florin = 2 shillings

References[edit]

External links[edit]