Coins of the Australian pound

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Early Australian Imperial Coins—1926 half penny, 1911 penny, 1923 threepence, 1928 sixpence, 1936 shilling, 1936 florin, 1927 florin, and 1937 crown.
Late Australian Imperial Coins—1954 half penny, 1964 penny, 1963 threepence, 1960 sixpence, 1960 shilling, 1962 florin, 1951 florin, and 1954 florin.

The Coins of the Australian pound arose when the Federation of Australia gave the constitutional power to Commonwealth of Australia to mint its own coinage in 1901. The new power allowed the Commonwealth to issue legal tender rather than individually through the six former British self-governing colonies of Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia, and Western Australia.

However, with the adoption of a Federal government in Australia, British coins continued to be used until 1910 when the first Australian silver coins were introduced. These new coins, which included florins, shillings, sixpences and threepences, were all minted with a portrait of Edward VII. A year later Australian pennies and half-pennies entered circulation. In 1931 gold sovereigns stopped being minted in Australia. A crown or five-shilling coin was minted in 1937 and 1938.

Coinage of the Australian pound was replaced by decimalised coins of the Australian dollar on 14 February 1966. The conversion rate was A$2 = A£1.

Australian £sd[edit]

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 1946, due to costs incurred during World War II, 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 A$26,000 for an average standard example. A proof example of the same coin recently changed hands for over A$620,000, making it the most expensive copper coin in the world.

Coins[edit]

Image Value Technical parameters Description Date of Dated years of issue
Obverse Reverse Diameter Mass Composition Obverse Reverse Edge First issue Withdrawal
1911-Australian-Halfpenny-Obverse.jpg 1911-Australian-Halfpenny-Reverse.jpg Half penny (½d) 25.5 mm 5.67 g Bronze (97% copper, 2.5% zinc, 0.5% tin) Portrait of King George V. Designed by Sir E. B. Mackennal. At centre within a circle of beads, the denomination "ONE HALF PENNY" in three lines above a plain scroll; around the circle of beads, "COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA" and date. Designed by W. H. Blackmore. Plain 1911 14 February 1966 1911–1936
1938-Australian-Halfpenny-Obverse.jpg Portrait of King George VI. Designed by Thomas H. Paget. 1938 1938–1939
1939-Australian-Halfpenny-Reverse.jpg Kangaroo facing right, "AUSTRALIA" above and "HALF PENNY" below, date above denomination. Designed by George Kruger Gray. 1939 1939–1952
1953-Australian-Halfpenny-Obverse.jpg Portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. Designed by Mrs Mary Gillick. 1953 1953–1955, 1959–1964
1911-Australian-Penny-Obverse.jpg 1911-Australian-Penny-Reverse.jpg Penny (1d) 30.8 mm 9.45 g Portrait of King George V. Designed by Sir E. B. Mackennal. At centre within a circle of beads, the denomination "ONE PENNY" in three lines above a plain scroll; around the circle of beads, "COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA" and date. Designed by W. H. Blackmore. 1911 1911–1936
1938-Australian-Penny-Obverse.jpg 1938-Australian-Penny-Reverse.jpg Portrait of King George VI. Designed by Thomas H. Paget. Kangaroo facing left, "AUSTRALIA" above and "PENNY" below, date above denomination. Designed by George Kruger Gray. 1938 1938–1952
1953-Australian-Penny-Obverse.jpg Portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. Designed by Mrs Mary Gillick. 1953 1953, 1955–1964
1910-Australian-Threepence-Obverse.jpg 1910-Australian-Threepence-Reverse.jpg Threepence (3d) 16 mm 1.41 g Sterling silver (92.5% silver, 7.5% copper) Portrait of King Edward VII. Designed by George W. De Saulles. At centre, 1908 Australian coat of arms. Motto in the ribbon "ADVANCE AUSTRALIA", "THREEPENCE" above and date between arrow heads below. Designed by W. H. Blackmore. 1910 1910
1911-Australian-Threepence-Obverse.jpg Portrait of King George V. Designed by Sir E. B. Mackennal. 1911 1911–1912. 1914–1928, 1934–1936
1938-Australian-Threepence-Obverse.jpg 1938-Australian-Threepence-Reverse.jpg Portrait of King George VI. Designed by Thomas H. Paget. Three ears of wheat held by a curved ribbon, AUSTRALIA", below divided into two by the stalks of the wheat "THREE PENCE", above, across the middle of the coin the date divided into two by the ears. Designed by George Kruger Gray. 1938 1938–1944
50% silver, 40% copper, 5% zinc, 5% nickel 1947 1947–1952
1953-Australian-Threepence-Obverse.jpg Portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. Designed by Mrs Mary Gillick. 1953 1953–1964
1910-Australian-Sixpence-Obverse.jpg 1910-Australian-Sixpence-Reverse.jpg Sixpence (6d) 19 mm 2.83 g Sterling silver (92.5% silver, 7.5% copper) Portrait of King Edward VII. Designed by George W. De Saulles. At centre, 1908 Australian coat of arms. Motto in the ribbon "ADVANCE AUSTRALIA", "SIXPENCE" above and date under the crest below. Designed by W. H. Blackmore. Redded 1910 1910
1911-Australian-Sixpence-Obverse.jpg Portrait of King George V. Designed by Sir E. B. Mackennal. 1911 1911–1912, 1914, 1916–1928, 1934–1936
1938-Australian-Sixpence-Obverse.jpg Portrait of King George VI. Designed by Thomas H. Paget. 1938 1938–1945
50% silver, 40% copper, 5% zinc, 5% nickel 1946 1946, 1948, 1950–1952
1953-Australian-Sixpence-Obverse.jpg Portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. Designed by Mrs Mary Gillick. 1953 1953–1963
1910-Australian-Shilling-Obverse.jpg 1910-Australian-Shilling-Reverse.jpg Shilling (1/-) 23.5 mm 5.65 g Sterling silver (92.5% silver, 7.5% copper) Portrait of King Edward VII. Designed by George W. De Saulles. At centre, 1908 Australian coat of arms. Motto in the ribbon "ADVANCE AUSTRALIA", "ONE SHILLING" above and date under the crest below. Designed by W. H. Blackmore. 1910 1910
1911-Australian-Shilling-Obverse.jpg Portrait of King George V. Designed by Sir E. B. Mackennal. 1911 1911–1922, 1924–1928, 1931, 1933–1936
1938-Australian-Shilling-Obverse.jpg 1938-Australian-Shilling-Reverse.jpg Portrait of King George VI. Designed by Thomas H. Paget. Ram's head facing left, "AUSTRALIA" above, two Federation stars, "SHILLING" and year below. Designed by George Kruger Gray. 1938 1938–1944
50% silver, 40% copper, 5% zinc, 5% nickel 1946 1946, 1948, 1950, 1952
1953-Australian-Shilling-Obverse.jpg Portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. Designed by Mrs Mary Gillick. 1953 1953–1963
1910-Australian-Florin-Obverse.jpg 1910-Australian-Florin-Reverse.jpg Florin (2/-) 28.5 mm 11.31 g Sterling silver (92.5% silver, 7.5% copper) Portrait of King Edward VII. Designed by George W. De Saulles. At centre, 1908 Australian coat of arms. Motto in the ribbon "ADVANCE AUSTRALIA", "ONE FLORIN – TWO SHILLINGS" above and date under the crest below. Designed by W. H. Blackmore. 1910 1910
1911-Australian-Florin-Obverse.jpg Portrait of King George V. Designed by Sir E. B. Mackennal. 1911 1911–1928, 1931–1936
1927-Australian-Florin-Obverse.jpg 1927-Australian-Florin-Reverse.jpg Portrait of King George V. Designed by Sir E. B. Mackennal. Old Parliament House within an oval frame set above crossed scepters. Superimposed on the scepters is a raised oval with the date 1927 incuse, "PARLIAMENT HOUSE AUSTRALIA" above, ONE FLORIN below. Designed by George Kruger Gray. 1927 1927
1934-Australian-Florin-Obverse.jpg 1934-Australian-Florin-Reverse.jpg Portrait of King George V. Designed by Percy Metcalf. Naked rider advancing to the left holding a flaming torch aloft; in exergue, "FLORIN", "CENTENARY . VICTORIA . MELBOURNE . 1934–35." above. Designed by George Kruger Gray. 1934/35 1934/35
1938-Australian-Florin-Obverse.jpg 1939-Australian-Florin-Reverse.jpg Portrait of King George VI. Designed by Thomas H. Paget. Based on the arms of the Commonwealth of Australia, as authorised by Royal Warrant 19 September 1912. "FLORIN" above between two seven pointed stars. below, in the exergue the date, "AUSTRALIA" below. Designed by George Kruger Gray. 1938 1938–1945
50% silver, 40% copper, 5% zinc, 5% nickel 1946 1946–1947, 1951–1952
1951-Australian-Florin-Reverse.jpg A scepter and sword crossing below a crown and above the Federation Star with the stars of the Southern Cross around, "AUSTRALIA" above, "FLORIN" below and split into two parts by a star, to left "1901" and to right "1951". Designed by William Leslie Bowles. 1951 1951
1953-Australian-Florin-Obverse.jpg Portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. Designed by Mrs Mary Gillick. Based on the arms of the Commonwealth of Australia, as authorised by Royal Warrant 19 September 1912. "FLORIN" above between two seven pointed stars. below, in the exergue the date, "AUSTRALIA" below. Designed by George Kruger Gray. 1953 1953–1954, 1965–1963
1954-Australian-Florin-Reverse.jpg A lion and a kangaroo standing together on a curved ground line facing right, "AUSTRALIA FLORIN" above, below in exergue, "1954". Designed by William Leslie Bowles. 1954 1954
1937-Australian-Crown-Obverse.jpg 1937-Australian-Crown-Reverse.jpg Crown (5/-) 38.5 mm 28.27 g Sterling silver (92.5% silver, 7.5% copper) Portrait of King George VI. Designed by Thomas H. Paget. At centre the Imperial crown with the date below, "COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA" above, "ONE CROWN" below. Designed by George Kruger Gray. 1937 1937–1938

Pre-decimal commemorative coins[edit]

Florin = 2 shillings

References[edit]

  • Ian W. Pitt, ed. (2000). Renniks Australian Coin and Banknote Values (19th ed.). Chippendale, N.S.W.: Renniks Publications. ISBN 0-9585574-4-6.
  • Krause, Chester L.; Clifford Mishler (2003). 2004 Standard Catalog of World Coins: 1901–Present. Colin R. Bruce II (senior editor) (31st ed.). Krause Publications. ISBN 0873495934.

External links[edit]