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especially surprising given that the Coat of Arms (1908) depicted was obsolete for almost all of that time, having been superseded in 1912.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 Even though they were practically withdrawn from circulation in 1966, the sixpence coins were never formally demonetised and are still legal tender.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 NameReverseObverseDetails
Sixpence 1910 Australia / Sixpence 1910 - reverse photo Australia / Sixpence 1910 - obverse photo Material: 0.925 Silver
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 3,046,635
Sixpence 1911 Australia / Sixpence 1911 - reverse photo Australia / Sixpence 1911 - obverse photo Material: 0.925 Silver
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 1,000,000
Sixpence 1912 Australia / Sixpence 1912 - reverse photo Australia / Sixpence 1912 - obverse photo Material: 0.925 Silver
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 1,600,000
Sixpence 1914 Australia / Sixpence 1914 - reverse photo Australia / Sixpence 1914 - obverse photo Material: 0.925 Silver
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: 1,800,000
Sixpence 1916 Australia / Sixpence 1916 - reverse photo Australia / Sixpence 1916 - obverse photo Material: 0.925 Silver
Mint: Melbourne Mint
Mintage: 1,769,025
Sixpence 1917 Australia / Sixpence 1917 - reverse photo Australia / Sixpence 1917 - obverse photo Material: 0.925 Silver
Mint: Melbourne Mint
Mintage: 1,632,000
Sixpence 1918 Australia / Sixpence 1918 - reverse photo Australia / Sixpence 1918 - obverse photo Material: 0.925 Silver
Mint: Melbourne Mint
Mintage: 915,000
Sixpence 1919 Australia / Sixpence 1919 - reverse photo Australia / Sixpence 1919 - obverse photo Material: 0.925 Silver
Mint: Melbourne Mint
Mintage: 1,521,000
Sixpence 1920 Australia / Sixpence 1920 - reverse photo Australia / Sixpence 1920 - obverse photo Material: 0.925 Silver
Mint: Melbourne Mint
Mintage: 1,476,000
Sixpence 1921 Australia / Sixpence 1921 - reverse photo Australia / Sixpence 1921 - obverse photo Material: 0.925 Silver
Mints:
- Melbourne Mint: unknown
- Sydney Mint: unknown
Total Mintage: 3,795,288
Sixpence 1922 Australia / Sixpence 1922 - reverse photo Australia / Sixpence 1922 - obverse photo Material: 0.925 Silver
Mint: Sydney Mint
Mintage: 1,488,000
Sixpence 1923 Australia / Sixpence 1923 - reverse photo Australia / Sixpence 1923 - obverse photo Material: 0.925 Silver
Mints:
- Melbourne Mint: unknown
- Sydney Mint: unknown
Total Mintage: 1,453,038
Sixpence 1924 Australia / Sixpence 1924 - reverse photo Australia / Sixpence 1924 - obverse photo Material: 0.925 Silver
Mints:
- Melbourne Mint: unknown
- Sydney Mint: unknown
Total Mintage: 1,038,191
Sixpence 1925 Australia / Sixpence 1925 - reverse photo Australia / Sixpence 1925 - obverse photo Material: 0.925 Silver
Mints:
- Melbourne Mint: unknown
- Sydney Mint: unknown
Total Mintage: 3,266,307
Sixpence 1926 Australia / Sixpence 1926 - reverse photo Australia / Sixpence 1926 - obverse photo Material: 0.925 Silver
Mints:
- Melbourne Mint: unknown
- Sydney Mint: unknown
Total Mintage: 3,609,000
Sixpence 1927 Australia / Sixpence 1927 - reverse photo Australia / Sixpence 1927 - obverse photo Material: 0.925 Silver
Mint: Melbourne Mint
Mintage: 3,592,040
Sixpence 1928 Australia / Sixpence 1928 - reverse photo Australia / Sixpence 1928 - obverse photo Material: 0.925 Silver
Mint: Melbourne Mint
Mintage: 2,721,000
Sixpence 1934 Australia / Sixpence 1934 - reverse photo Australia / Sixpence 1934 - obverse photo Material: 0.925 Silver
Mint: Melbourne Mint
Mintage: 1,024,100
Sixpence 1935 Australia / Sixpence 1935 - reverse photo Australia / Sixpence 1935 - obverse photo Material: 0.925 Silver
Mint: Melbourne Mint
Mintage: 392,000
Sixpence 1936 Australia / Sixpence 1936 - reverse photo Australia / Sixpence 1936 - obverse photo Material: 0.925 Silver
Mint: Melbourne Mint
Mintage: 1,800,000
Sixpence 1937 (pattern) Material: 0.925 Silver
Mint: Royal Mint
Mintage: unknown
Sixpence 1938 Australia / Sixpence 1938 - reverse photo Australia / Sixpence 1938 - obverse photo Material: 0.925 Silver
Mint: Melbourne Mint
Mintage: 2,864,250
Sixpence 1939 Australia / Sixpence 1939 - reverse photo Australia / Sixpence 1939 - obverse photo Material: 0.925 Silver
Mint: Melbourne Mint
Mintage: 1,600,000
Sixpence 1940 Australia / Sixpence 1940 - reverse photo Australia / Sixpence 1940 - obverse photo Material: 0.925 Silver
Mint: Melbourne Mint
Mintage: 1,600,000
Sixpence 1941 Australia / Sixpence 1941 - reverse photo Australia / Sixpence 1941 - obverse photo Material: 0.925 Silver
Mint: Melbourne Mint
Mintage: 2,912,000
Sixpence 1942 Australia / Sixpence 1942 - reverse photo Australia / Sixpence 1942 - obverse photo Material: 0.925 Silver
Mints:
- Denver Mint: 12,000,000
- Melbourne Mint: 8,968,000
- San Francisco Mint: 4,000,000
Total Mintage: 24,968,000
Sixpence 1943 Australia / Sixpence 1943 - reverse photo Australia / Sixpence 1943 - obverse photo Material: 0.925 Silver
Mints:
- Denver Mint: 8,000,000
- San Francisco Mint: 4,000,000
Total Mintage: 12,000,000
Sixpence 1944 Australia / Sixpence 1944 - reverse photo Australia / Sixpence 1944 - obverse photo Material: 0.925 Silver
Mint: San Francisco Mint
Mintage: 4,000,000
Sixpence 1945 Australia / Sixpence 1945 - reverse photo Australia / Sixpence 1945 - obverse photo Material: 0.925 Silver
Mint: Melbourne Mint
Mintage: 10,096,000
Sixpence 1946 Australia / Sixpence 1946 - reverse photo Australia / Sixpence 1946 - obverse photo Material: 0.500 Silver
Mint: Melbourne Mint
Mintage: 10,024,000
Sixpence 1948 Australia / Sixpence 1948 - reverse photo Australia / Sixpence 1948 - obverse photo Material: 0.500 Silver
Mint: Melbourne Mint
Mintage: 1,584,000
Sixpence 1950 Australia / Sixpence 1950 - reverse photo Australia / Sixpence 1950 - obverse photo Material: 0.500 Silver
Mint: Melbourne Mint
Mintage: 10,272,000
Sixpence 1951 Australia / Sixpence 1951 - reverse photo Australia / Sixpence 1951 - obverse photo Material: 0.500 Silver
Mints:
- Royal Mint London: 20,024,000
- Melbourne Mint: 13,760,000
Total Mintage: 33,784,000
Sixpence 1952 Australia / Sixpence 1952 - reverse photo Australia / Sixpence 1952 - obverse photo Material: 0.500 Silver
Mint: Melbourne Mint
Mintage: 2,112,000
Sixpence 1953 Australia / Sixpence 1953 - reverse photo Australia / Sixpence 1953 - obverse photo Material: 0.500 Silver
Mint: Melbourne Mint
Mintage: 1,152,000
Sixpence 1954 Australia / Sixpence 1954 - reverse photo Australia / Sixpence 1954 - obverse photo Material: 0.500 Silver
Mint: Melbourne Mint
Mintage: 7,672,000
Sixpence 1955 Australia / Sixpence 1955 - reverse photo Australia / Sixpence 1955 - obverse photo Material: 0.500 Silver
Mint: Melbourne Mint
Mintage: 14,249,200
Sixpence 1956 Australia / Sixpence 1956 - reverse photo Australia / Sixpence 1956 - obverse photo Material: 0.500 Silver
Mint: Melbourne Mint
Mintage: 7,905,500
Sixpence 1957 Australia / Sixpence 1957 - reverse photo Australia / Sixpence 1957 - obverse photo Material: 0.500 Silver
Mint: Melbourne Mint
Mintage: 13,753,256
Sixpence 1958 Australia / Sixpence 1958 - reverse photo Australia / Sixpence 1958 - obverse photo Material: 0.500 Silver
Mint: Melbourne Mint
Mintage: 17,945,506
Sixpence 1959 Australia / Sixpence 1959 - reverse photo Australia / Sixpence 1959 - obverse photo Material: 0.500 Silver
Mint: Melbourne Mint
Mintage: 11,729,506
Sixpence 1960 Australia / Sixpence 1960 - reverse photo Australia / Sixpence 1960 - obverse photo Material: 0.500 Silver
Mint: Melbourne Mint
Mintage: 18,593,509
Sixpence 1961 Australia / Sixpence 1961 - reverse photo Australia / Sixpence 1961 - obverse photo Material: 0.500 Silver
Mint: Melbourne Mint
Mintage: 9,153,506
Sixpence 1962 Australia / Sixpence 1962 - reverse photo Australia / Sixpence 1962 - obverse photo Material: 0.500 Silver
Mint: Melbourne Mint
Mintage: 44,818,016
Sixpence 1963 Australia / Sixpence 1963 - reverse photo Australia / Sixpence 1963 - obverse photo Material: 0.500 Silver
Mint: Melbourne Mint
Mintage: 25,061,042
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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
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