Halfpenny - Kangaroo, Coin Type from Australia - detailed information

Halfpenny - Kangaroo, Coin Type from Australia (issued 1939 - 1964)
Coin TypeHalfpenny - Kangaroo

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 featured text only. In 1939, this new design by George Kruger Gray superseded it - featuring the iconic leaping kangaroo.

The coins were struck by a number of different mints, with various mint marks:
- Melbourne Mint, 1939 - 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
- Royal Mint, 1951, letters PL
- Birmingham Mint (ex Heaton and Sons), 1951, letters PL (as subcontractor for the Royal Mint)

Counting the known mintages of proofs, a total of 341,725,324 (341 million) coins of this type 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 They circulated until decimalisation and were withdrawn in 1966, when Australia switched to its current Australian Dollar currency.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 - Kangaroo - 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 VI, 1939 - 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 Inscription Legend of the ruling British monarch
Reverse
Australia / Halfpenny - Kangaroo - reverse photo

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 AUSTRALIA [year] HALF PENNY
EdgePlainEdge InscriptionNone
Coin Type: Halfpenny - Kangaroo - (23) Coins
Coin NameMintageEffigyLegend
Halfpenny 1939 Kangaroo 504,100 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Halfpenny 1940 2,294,400 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Halfpenny 1941 5,011,200 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Halfpenny 1942 11,054,400 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Halfpenny 1943 39,988,806 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Halfpenny 1944 720,000 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Halfpenny 1945 3,033,600 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Halfpenny 1946 13,747,200 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Halfpenny 1947 9,292,800 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Halfpenny 1948 30,160,800 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Halfpenny 1949 22,310,400 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX FIDEI DEF.
Halfpenny 1950 12,014,400 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX FIDEI DEF.
Halfpenny 1951 41,422,080 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX FIDEI DEF.
Halfpenny 1952 1,831,680 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX FIDEI DEF.
Halfpenny 1953 23,967,376 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA
Halfpenny 1954 21,962,880 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA
Halfpenny 1955 9,343,021 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA
Halfpenny 1959 10,167,906 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Halfpenny 1960 17,812,870 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Halfpenny 1961 20,184,080 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Halfpenny 1962 10,259,624 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Halfpenny 1963 16,411,300 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Halfpenny 1964 18,230,401 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
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Halfpenny - Kangaroo: Details
CountryAustralia
CurrencyAustralian Pound
Sub-type ofHalfpenny
From1939
To1964
Face Value1/2 (x Penny)
CurrentNo; withdrawn 1966
MaterialBronze
DesignerGeorge Kruger Gray
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
ShapeRound
OrientationMedal Alignment (Axis 0)
Size25.400 mm
Mass5.670 g
Halfpenny - Kangaroo: Photos
ImageDetails
Proof Coin - Halfpenny, Australia, 1939
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: Kangaroo reverse (1939 - 1964).
Source
Australia 1938 half penny
Copyright: CoinFactsWiki / CC BY-SA
Author:
Notes: King George VI, Emperor of India (1939 - 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