Florin (Pattern), Coin Type from Australia - detailed information

Florin (Pattern), Coin Type from Australia (issued 1909 - 1909)
Coin TypeFlorin (Pattern)

When designs were being considered for the new Australian silver coinage during the first decade of the twentieth century, the pattern Australian florin illustrated here was put forward. Its reverse, designed by William Henry James Blakemore, a resident engraver at the Royal Mint, was very different from the heraldic devices that had hitherto held sway and it was given serious enough consideration for trial pieces to be prepared.

The forces of tradition prevailed in the end and another design by the same artist, very much heraldic in theme, was selected instead of the map of Australia. Whatever its drawbacks, it stands out as an unusual item and it even attracted the attentions of the well-known counterfeiter David Gee, who concentrated on Australian rarities and who had access to the Royal Australian Mint collection in Canberra. Perhaps its very distinctiveness caught his eye. He made copies, including one paired with an obverse using an original die for a double sovereign.

The Royal Mint Museum lists a uniface pattern, but also supplied a photo of an obverse with the King's effigy by de Saulles; note though that it carries the "colonial" legend (in English) and not the one finally adopted on Australian coinage, which was the same as on the Imperial coinage (in Latin).

Australia / Florin (Pattern) - obverse photo

Crowned and robed bust of King Edward VII facing right; the King is wearing the Imperial Crown, the ermine Robe of State and the Collar of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath.

Below the bust truncation, in small letters are the artist's initials DES (for [George William] de Saulles).

Around, the monarch's legend: EDWARD VII KING & EMPEROR.

Obverse Inscription EDWARD VII KING & EMPEROR
Australia / Florin (Pattern) - reverse photo

The reverse shows, within a beaded border, a detailed map in relief of Australia. Overlaid on the map, AUSTRALIA.

Around above, the value and denomination ONE FLORIN - TWO SHILLINGS.

Below, the date 1909.

EdgePlainEdge InscriptionNone
Royal Mint
Royal Mint
Florin (Pattern): Details
CurrencyAustralian Pound
Face Value2 (x Shilling)
Material0.925 Silver
DesignerWilliam Henry James Blakemore
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
OrientationMedal Alignment (Axis 0)
Size28.5000 mm
Thickness2.5000 mm
Mass11.3100 g