Australian fifty-cent coin
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|Thickness||2.80 mm (maximum) |
|Composition||75% Copper, 25% Nickel|
|Years of minting||1969–present|
Queen of Australia
|Design||Australian coat of arms|
The twelve-sided Australian fifty-cent piece is the third-highest denomination coin of the Australian dollar and the largest in terms of size in circulation. It is the only 12-sided coin of its size in the southern hemisphere. It was introduced in 1969  to replace the round fifty-cent coin issued in 1966.
The original, round, 50-cent coin was made of 80% silver and 20% copper; but as the value of a free-floating silver price became higher, the coin's bullion value became more valuable than its face value; so that version was withdrawn from circulation and replaced with the dodecagonal cupro-nickel version.
It is by diameter the largest Australian coin currently issued and second largest after the Crown of 1937–38. It is also the heaviest Australian coin in common circulation. Many commemorative designs have been issued, the large size allowing for detailed content.
With a diameter of 31.5 mm (1.24 in), the 50-cent coin is one of the largest in volume among those currently circulating in the world. Coins of larger diameter include the Costa Rican five-hundred-colones and the fifty-CFP Franc, both 32.9 mm.
As with all coins of Australia, the reigning monarch features on the obverse. Only Elizabeth II has been monarch during the coin's existence.
Unlike other decimal denominations, four different portraits of Her Majesty have been used on 50c coins. A unique effigy by Vladimir Gottwald was used for the 2000 Royal Visit commemorative fifty-cent piece. This is the only Australian decimal coin to have an obverse designed by an Australian and to have a portrait of the queen which is not also used on British currency.
The other three portraits have featured on all then-current denominations: from 1966 to 1984 one by Arnold Machin, from 1985 to 1998 one by Raphael Maklouf, and since 1999 a portrait by Ian Rank-Broadley. These portraits were introduced to British coins in 1968, 1985, and 1998 respectively.
The Australian fifty-cent coin was the first to display a variation of the reverse design in 1970 for the commemorating the bicentennial of Lieutenant James Cook's landing in Australia. Various other designs followed until the one-dollar and twenty-cent also included new designs.
|1970||Bicentenary of James Cook’s 1770 Voyage||16,500,000|
|1977||25th Anniversary of the Accession of Queen Elizabeth II||25,000,000|
|1981||Marriage of HRH the Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer||20,000,000|
|1982||Brisbane XII Commonwealth Games||49,600,000|
|1991||25th Anniversary of Decimal Currency||4,700,000|
|1994||United Nations International Year of the Family||21,300,000|
|1995||50th Anniversary of the End of World War 2 - Edward 'Weary' Dunlop||15,900,000|
|1998||200th Anniversary of the Voyage of Bass and Flinders||22,400,000|
|Visit of Queen Elizabeth II||5,100,000|
|2001||Centenary of Federation||43,100,000|
|Centenary of Federation - ACT||2,000,000|
|Centenary of Federation - NSW||3,000,000|
|Centenary of Federation - Norfolk Island||2,200,000|
|Centenary of Federation - NT||2,100,000|
|Centenary of Federation - QLD||2,300,000|
|Centenary of Federation - SA||2,400,000|
|Centenary of Federation - Tas||2,200,000|
|Centenary of Federation - Vic||2,800,000|
|Centenary of Federation - WA||2,400,000|
|2002||Year of the Outback||11,500,000|
|2004||Primary School Design Competition winner (John Serrano)||10,200,000|
|2005||60th Anniversary of the End of World War 2||26,600,000|
|Secondary School Commonwealth Games Design Competition winner (Kelly Just)||20,500,000|
|2014||50th Anniversary of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies||3,000,000|
|2016||50th Anniversary of Decimal Currency||6,911,000*|
|2017||50th anniversary of the 1967 Referendum / 25th anniversary of the Mabo Decision||162,000|
|"*" denotes partial numbers for 2016 - total production to be confirmed|
- Fifty Cents | Royal Australian Mint
- Coins from Australia / Coin Type: Fifty Cents - Online Coin Club
- "Australian Coin Collecting Blog - The Complete Guide to Australian 50 Cent Coins".
- "RBA Banknotes: Legal Tender". banknotes.rba.gov.au. Retrieved 2018-07-24.
- "Gottwald (2000) - Royal Australian Mint".
- "Gottwald (2000) - Royal Australian Mint".
- "Machin (1966-1984) - Royal Australian Mint".
- "Maklouf (1985-1998) - Royal Australian Mint".
- "Rank-Broadley (1999-present) - Royal Australian Mint".
- "The five portraits of Her Majesty The Queen". The Royal Mint. Retrieved 3 January 2018.
- "Fifty Cents". Royal Australian Mint. 8 January 2016. Retrieved 29 September 2017.
Australian 50 cent coin (round)
| Fifty Cents (Australian)