Fifty Cents Silver, Coin Type from Australia - detailed information

Fifty Cents Silver, Coin Type from Australia (issued 1966 - 1966)
Coin TypeFifty Cents Silver

The 50 cent coin was first introduced with decimalisation on 14 February 1966. This original design featured the Commonwealth Coat of Arms struck on an 80 per cent silver coin. Silver prices rose above the face value of the coin in 1967 and striking of the coin was suspended in March 1968. Although it was rumoured that the Royal Australian Mint had lost money on striking these coins, all metal used in the manufacture of the 36.5 million coins produced was purchased before the price rises.

Apart from the uneconomic cost of continuing the issue of the silver 50 cents, significant negative comment arose from confusion of the circular coin with the 20 cents. The decision to reissue a 50 cent coin considered not only a change to materials but also different shapes to help solve confusion with the 20 cents. A new shape and alloy was reintroduced into circulation in September 1969. These new dodecagonal (12-sided) coins have been used since.

The composition of the 1966 coins is 80% silver and 20% copper (0.3394 ASW). They are still legal tender, although in practice they do not circulate.

Australia / Fifty Cents Silver - obverse photo

Australian decimal coins have carried four portraits of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second.

The inclusion of an effigy of the Queen on the obverse of Australia's coinage is mandated by Regulation 4 (c) of the Currency Regulations made under the Currency Act 1965. Portraits of Her Majesty have all faced to the right in line with a convention, said to have commenced with Charles II (1660-1685), that the new Monarch's portrait would face in a direction opposite to that of their predecessor.

Obverse Inscription ELIZABETH II AUSTRALIA 1966
Australia / Fifty Cents Silver - reverse photo

Arms of the Commonwealth of Australia, based on those authorised by Royal Warrant 19 September 1912 - composed of a shield divided into six parts, each containing a representation of the badge of a State. The shield is supported by a kangaroo and an emu. The shield sits on the denomination numerals, 50 [cents]; above the shield is the Federation star. The entire design is set above a field of stylized wattle leaves.

The artist's initials SD (for Stuart Devlin) in (very) tiny letters are in the field below the numerals.

Reverse Inscription 50
EdgeMilledEdge InscriptionNone

If you keep your coins in 2x2 cardboard holders, the best size for round fifty cent coins is 32.5mm.

Coin Type: Fifty Cents Silver - (1) Coins
Royal Mint
Royal Mint
Fifty Cents Silver: Details
CurrencyAustralian Dollar
Sub-type ofFifty Cents
Face Value50 (x Cent)
Material0.800 Silver
DesignerStuart Devlin
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
OrientationCoin Alignment (Axis 6)
Size31.6500 mm
Mass13.2800 g
Fifty Cents Silver: Photos
Proof Coin - 50 Cents, Australia, 1966
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Notes: Proof.
Proof Coin - 50 Cents, Australia, 1966
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Notes: Proof.