Halfpenny, Coin Type from Australia - detailed information

Halfpenny, Coin Type from Australia (issued 1911 - 1964)
Coin TypeHalfpenny

The Australian halfpenny (or half penny) coin was the smallest circulating denomination of the Australian Pound; unlike the British pre-decimal Pound Sterling, the Australian Pound had no smaller denominations like the British farthings and fractional farthings.

The Australian halfpenny has the same dimensions and composition as the British pre-decimal halfpenny, from which it is derived (for a time, the coins circulated in parallel and were interchangeable in Australia - but not in the United Kingdom; the currencies were fixed at par). 1/2 penny was worth 1/24 of a shilling, or 1/480 of a pound.

The reverse of the first type of Australian halfpenny coins features text only. In 1939, a new design superseded it - featuring the iconic leaping kangaroo; the old type of coins remained in circulation.

The coins were struck by a number of different mints, with various mint marks:
- Royal Mint, 1911 - 1914, no mint mark; 1951, letters PL
- Birmingham Mint (ex Heaton and Sons), 1912 - 1915, letter H; 1951, letters PL (as subcontractor for the Royal Mint)
- Calcutta Mint, 1916 - 1918, letter I
- Sydney Mint, 1916 - 1926, no mint mark
- Melbourne Mint, 1923 - 1959, no mint mark
- Bombay Mint, 1942 - 1943, dots before and after the denomination: .HALF PENNY., plus letter I on the obverse
- Perth Mint, 1942 - 1964, dot after the denomination: HALF PENNY. or a high dot after AUSTRALIA, or no mint mark

The coin was first minted in 1911 and minting ceased in 1964, excluding 1937, 1956 - 1958 inclusive. Counting the known mintages of proofs, a total of 422,882,890 (422 million) coins of the denomination were minted during its existence.

They circulated until decimalisation and were withdrawn in 1966, when Australia switched to its current Australian Dollar currency. Unlike some of the larger denominations, they were not re-denominated into units of the new currency. However, the halfpenny coins were never formally demonetised and are still legal tender for 5⁄12¢.

Obverse
Australia / Halfpenny - obverse photo

Effigy of the ruling British monarch, legend (in Latin). Being a Dominion of the British Empire, Australia used the Imperial legend of the monarch and not a "home" version of it.

Throughout the existence of the coin type, the monarchs were:
- King George V, 1911 - 1936, shown in his Crowned bust by Sir Edgar Bertram Mackennal
- King George VI, 1938 - 1952, shown in his Bare Head portrait by Thomas Humphrey Paget
- Queen Elizabeth II, 1953 - 1964, shown in her First Effigy by Mary Gillick

There were no coins released for King Edward VIII.

Obverse InscriptionLegend of the ruling British monarch
Reverse
Australia / Halfpenny - reverse photo

First reverse (1911 - 1939):

At centre within a circle of beads, the value and denomination ONE HALF PENNY in three lines above a plain scroll; around above, outside the circle of beads, COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA; below, the date · [year] ·.

Second reverse (1939 - 1964):
At centre a kangaroo leaping right; around above, AUSTRALIA; around below, the value and denomination HALF PENNY. The date [year] is below the kangaroo and the seven pointed Federation star follows the word PENNY. The artist's initials, KG (for [George] Kruger Gray) are below the kangaroo's tail near the rim.

Reverse Inscription
EdgePlain
Edge InscriptionNone
Notes

If you keep your coins in 2x2 cardboard holders, the best size for halfpennies is 27.5mm.

All Coins of Type: Halfpenny (51)
Coin NameMintageEffigyLegend
Halfpenny 1911 2,832,060 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Bertram Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Halfpenny 1912 2,400,000 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Bertram Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Halfpenny 1913 2,160,000 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Bertram Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Halfpenny 1914 2,640,000 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Bertram Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Halfpenny 1915 720,000 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Bertram Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Halfpenny 1916 3,600,025 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Bertram Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Halfpenny 1917 5,760,000 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Bertram Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Halfpenny 1918 1,440,000 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Bertram Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Halfpenny 1919 3,326,400 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Bertram Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Halfpenny 1920 4,113,600 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Bertram Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Halfpenny 1921 5,280,000 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Bertram Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Halfpenny 1922 6,924,000 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Bertram Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Halfpenny 1923 1,113,600 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Bertram Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Halfpenny 1924 681,600 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Bertram Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Halfpenny 1925 1,147,200 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Bertram Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Halfpenny 1926 4,132,800 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Bertram Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Halfpenny 1927 3,072,050 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Bertram Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Halfpenny 1928 2,318,400 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Bertram Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Halfpenny 1929 2,635,200 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Bertram Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Halfpenny 1930 638,406 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Bertram Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Halfpenny 1931 369,600 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Bertram Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Halfpenny 1932 2,553,600 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Bertram Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Halfpenny 1933 4,608,000 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Bertram Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Halfpenny 1934 3,816,100 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Bertram Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Halfpenny 1935 2,916,100 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Bertram Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Halfpenny 1936 2,562,200 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Bertram Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Halfpenny 1938 3,014,250 King George VI - Bare Head, by Thomas Humphrey Paget GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Halfpenny 1939 Commonwealth of Australia 4,382,400 King George VI - Bare Head, by Thomas Humphrey Paget GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Halfpenny 1939 Kangaroo 504,100 King George VI - Bare Head, by Thomas Humphrey Paget GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Halfpenny 1940 2,294,400 King George VI - Bare Head, by Thomas Humphrey Paget GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Halfpenny 1941 5,011,200 King George VI - Bare Head, by Thomas Humphrey Paget GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Halfpenny 1942 11,054,400 King George VI - Bare Head, by Thomas Humphrey Paget GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Halfpenny 1943 39,988,806 King George VI - Bare Head, by Thomas Humphrey Paget GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Halfpenny 1944 720,000 King George VI - Bare Head, by Thomas Humphrey Paget GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Halfpenny 1945 3,033,600 King George VI - Bare Head, by Thomas Humphrey Paget GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Halfpenny 1946 13,747,200 King George VI - Bare Head, by Thomas Humphrey Paget GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Halfpenny 1947 9,292,800 King George VI - Bare Head, by Thomas Humphrey Paget GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Halfpenny 1948 30,160,800 King George VI - Bare Head, by Thomas Humphrey Paget GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Halfpenny 1949 22,310,400 King George VI - Bare Head, by Thomas Humphrey Paget GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX FIDEI DEF.
Halfpenny 1950 12,014,400 King George VI - Bare Head, by Thomas Humphrey Paget GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX FIDEI DEF.
Halfpenny 1951 41,422,080 King George VI - Bare Head, by Thomas Humphrey Paget GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX FIDEI DEF.
Halfpenny 1952 1,831,680 King George VI - Bare Head, by Thomas Humphrey Paget GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX FIDEI DEF.
Halfpenny 1953 23,967,376 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait, by Mary Gillick + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA
Halfpenny 1954 21,962,880 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait, by Mary Gillick + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA
Halfpenny 1955 9,343,021 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait, by Mary Gillick + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA
Halfpenny 1959 10,167,906 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait, by Mary Gillick + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Halfpenny 1960 17,812,870 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait, by Mary Gillick + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Halfpenny 1961 20,184,080 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait, by Mary Gillick + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Halfpenny 1962 10,259,624 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait, by Mary Gillick + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Halfpenny 1963 16,411,300 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait, by Mary Gillick + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Halfpenny 1964 18,230,401 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait, by Mary Gillick + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
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Halfpenny: Details
CountryAustralia
CurrencyAustralian Pound
Sub-types Halfpenny - Commonwealth of Australia
Halfpenny - Kangaroo
From1911
To1964
Face Value1/2 (x Penny)
CurrentNo
MaterialBronze
Designer
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
ShapeRound
OrientationMedal Alignment (Axis 0)
Size (mm)25.4000
Mass (g)5.6700
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Halfpenny: Photos
ImageDetails
Specimen Coin - Halfpenny, Australia, 1911
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: Commonwealth of Australia reverse (1911 - 1939).
Source
Proof Coin - Halfpenny, Australia, 1939
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: Kangaroo reverse (1939 - 1964).
Source
Specimen Coin - Halfpenny, Australia, 1911
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: King George V (1911 - 1936).
Source
Australia 1938 half penny
Copyright: CoinFactsWiki / CC BY-SA
Author:
Notes: King George VI, Emperor of India (1938 - 1948).
Source
Proof Coin - Halfpenny, Australia, 1950
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: King George VI (1949 - 1952).
Source
Proof Coin - Halfpenny, Australia, 1953
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: Queen Elizabeth II (1953 - 1955).
Source
Australia 1959(m) half penny
Copyright: CoinFactsWiki / CC BY-SA
Author:
Notes: Queen Elizabeth II, Defender of the Faith (1959 - 1964).
Source