Sixpence, Coin Type from Australia - detailed information

Sixpence, Coin Type from Australia (issued 1910 - 1963)
Coin TypeSixpence

The Australian Sixpence (or six pence) is a small silver coin which was used in the Commonwealth of Australia prior to decimalisation. It has the same dimensions and composition as the British pre-decimal sixpence, from which it is derived (for a time, the coins circulated in parallel and were interchangeable in Australia - but not in the United Kingdom). 6 pence were equal to half a shilling, or 1/40th of a pound.

The pre-decimal sixpence was minted from 1910 until 1963, excluding the years 1913, 1915, 1929 - 33 inclusive, 1937, 1947 and 1949. It is the only pre-decimal Australian coin which never had the design on its reverse altered; the rest of the coinage was re-designed at the beginning of King George VI's reign. That is especially surprising given that the Coat of Arms (1908) depicted was obsolete for almost all of that time, having been superseded in 1912.

The coins were initially struck by the Royal Mint, then mostly by the Melbourne Mint; during World War II its production was supplemented by coinage produced by the United States Mint:
- Royal Mint, 1910 - 1914, no mint mark; 1951 letters PL for mint mark
- Melbourne Mint, 1916 - 1963, letter M to 1920, then no mint mark
- Sydney Mint, 1921 - 1926, no mint mark
- United States Mint, San Francisco, 1942 - 1944, with S mint mark
- United States Mint, Denver, 1942 - 1943, with D mint mark

From 1910 to 1945 Australian sixpences were of sterling silver (0.925 fine) with 7.5% copper; from 1946 to 1963 they were reduced to 0.500 fine silver with composition of 50% silver, 40% copper, 5% nickel and 5% zinc.

After decimalisation on 14 February 1966, the sixpence was re-denominated as 5 cents and continued to circulate for a time, along with the new 5¢ coins which were the same size and weight (but made of copper-nickel). Even though they were practically withdrawn from circulation in 1966, the sixpence coins were never formally demonetised and are still legal tender.

Obverse
Australia / Sixpence - 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 Edward VII, 1910 only, shown in his Crowned bust by George William de Saulles
- 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 - 1963, 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 / Sixpence - reverse photo

The reverse features the Ensigns Armorial of the Commonwealth of Australia, as authorised by Royal Warrant 7th May 1908.

At centre, simple shield enclosing a cross of Saint George on which are five six-pointed stars, around the outside of which are six small escutcheons (small shields). The shield is supported by a kangaroo and an emu standing on a grassy mound. Above the shield a crest, the seven-pointed star of Federation on a wreath and on a ribbon at the base the motto ADVANCE AUSTRALIA is inscribed.

Around above, the denomination SIXPENCE; below, between arrow heads, the date [year].

Reverse Inscription SIXPENCE [year] ADVANCE AUSTRALIA
EdgeMilledEdge InscriptionNone
Notes

If you keep your coins in 2x2 cardboard holders, the best size for sixpence coins is 20mm.

Coin Type: Sixpence - (45) Coins
Coin NameMintageEffigyLegend
Sixpence 1910 3,046,635 Portrait by George William de Saulles (Crowned Bust) EDWARDVS VII D: G: BRITT: OMN: REX F: D: IND: IMP: ·
Sixpence 1911 1,000,000 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Sixpence 1912 1,600,000 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Sixpence 1914 1,800,000 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Sixpence 1916 1,769,025 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Sixpence 1917 1,632,000 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Sixpence 1918 915,000 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Sixpence 1919 1,521,000 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Sixpence 1920 1,476,000 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Sixpence 1921 3,795,288 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Sixpence 1922 1,488,000 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Sixpence 1923 1,453,038 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Sixpence 1924 1,038,191 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Sixpence 1925 3,266,307 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Sixpence 1926 3,609,000 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Sixpence 1927 3,592,040 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Sixpence 1928 2,721,000 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Sixpence 1934 1,024,100 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Sixpence 1935 392,000 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Sixpence 1936 1,800,000 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Sixpence 1937 (pattern) unknown None
Sixpence 1938 2,864,250 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Sixpence 1939 1,600,000 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Sixpence 1940 1,600,000 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Sixpence 1941 2,912,000 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Sixpence 1942 24,968,000 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Sixpence 1943 12,000,000 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Sixpence 1944 4,000,000 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Sixpence 1945 10,096,000 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Sixpence 1946 10,024,000 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Sixpence 1948 1,584,000 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Sixpence 1950 10,272,000 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX FIDEI DEF.
Sixpence 1951 33,784,000 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX FIDEI DEF.
Sixpence 1952 2,112,000 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX FIDEI DEF.
Sixpence 1953 1,152,000 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA
Sixpence 1954 7,672,000 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA
Sixpence 1955 14,249,200 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F: D:
Sixpence 1956 7,905,500 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F: D:
Sixpence 1957 13,753,256 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F: D:
Sixpence 1958 17,945,506 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F: D:
Sixpence 1959 11,729,506 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F: D:
Sixpence 1960 18,593,509 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F: D:
Sixpence 1961 9,153,506 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F: D:
Sixpence 1962 44,818,016 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F: D:
Sixpence 1963 25,061,042 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F: D:
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Sixpence: Details
CountryAustralia
CurrencyAustralian Pound
From1910
To1963
Face Value6 (x Penny)
CurrentNo; withdrawn 1966
MaterialSilver
DesignerWilliam Henry James Blakemore
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
ShapeRound
OrientationMedal Alignment (Axis 0)
Size19.000 mm
Mass2.820 g
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Sixpence: Photos
ImageDetails
Australia 1910 6 pence
Copyright: CoinFactsWiki / CC BY-SA
Author:
Notes: Same reverse throughout the history of the coin (1910 - 1963).
Source
Australia 1910 6 pence
Copyright: CoinFactsWiki / CC BY-SA
Author:
Notes: King Edward VII (1910).
Source
Australia 1911 6 pence
Copyright: CoinFactsWiki / CC BY-SA
Author:
Notes: King George V (1911 - 1936).
Source
Proof Coin - Sixpence, Australia, 1938
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: King George VI, Emperor of India (1938 - 1948).
Source
Proof Coin - Sixpence, Australia, 1950
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: King George VI (1950 - 1952).
Source
Australia 1953 6 pence
Copyright: CoinFactsWiki / CC BY-SA
Author:
Notes: Queen Elizabeth II (1953 - 1954).
Source
Australia 1960 6 pence
Copyright: CoinFactsWiki / CC BY-SA
Author:
Notes: Queen Elizabeth II, Defender of the Faith (1955 - 1963).
Source