Threepence, Coin Type from Australia - detailed information

Threepence, Coin Type from Australia (issued 1910 - 1964)
Coin TypeThreepence

The Australian Threepence (or three 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 threepence, from which it is derived (for a time, the coins circulated in parallel and were interchangeable in Australia - but not in the United Kingdom). 3 pence were equal to one quarter of a shilling, or 1/80th of a pound.

The reverse of the first type of Australian threepence coins features the 1908 Coat of Arms. In 1938, a new design superseded it, featuring three stalks of grain; the old type of coins remained in circulation.

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 - 1915, no mint mark; 1951 letters PL for mint mark
- Melbourne Mint, 1916 - 1964, letter M to 1921, then no mint mark
- Sydney Mint, 1924 - 1926, no mint mark
- United States Mint, San Francisco, 1942 - 1944, with S mint mark
- United States Mint, Denver, 1943, with D mint mark

The coins were made of sterling silver (composition: 0.925 silver, equal to 0.0419 oz ASW) until 1946; this was later debased to 50% silver (0.0226 oz ASW) while retaining the same design. They circulated until decimalisation and were withdrawn in 1966, when Australia switched to its current Australian Dollar currency.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 threepence coins were never formally demonetised and are still legal tender for 2½¢.

Obverse
Australia / Threepence - 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 - 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 / Threepence - reverse photo

The reverse (1910 - 1936) 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 THREEPENCE; below, between arrow heads, the date [year].

The second reverse (1938 - 1964) features three ears of wheat held by a curved ribbon. Around above, AUSTRALIA; around below, divided into two by the stalks of the wheat, the denomination THREE PENCE; above, across the middle of the coin the date [year] divided into two by the ears.

The artist's initials KG (for [George] Kruger Gray) are tucked, divided, into the first and last bends in the ribbon.

Reverse Inscription
EdgePlain
Edge InscriptionNone
Notes

If you keep your coins in 2x2 cardboard holders, the best size for threepence coins is 17.5mm.

All Coins of Type: Threepence (47)
Coin NameMintageEffigyLegend
Threepence 1910 8,032,034 Portrait by George William de Saulles (Crowned Bust) EDWARDVS VII D: G: BRITT: OMN: REX F: D: IND: IMP: ·
Threepence 1911 2,000,000 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Bertram Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Threepence 1912 2,400,000 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Bertram Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Threepence 1914 1,600,000 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Bertram Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Threepence 1915 800,000 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Bertram Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Threepence 1916 1,913,525 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Bertram Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Threepence 1917 3,808,500 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Bertram Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Threepence 1918 3,119,500 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Bertram Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Threepence 1919 3,201,500 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Bertram Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Threepence 1920 4,196,000 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Bertram Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Threepence 1921 7,378,073 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Bertram Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Threepence 1922 5,531,500 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Bertram Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Threepence 1923 815,283 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Bertram Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Threepence 1924 2,014,044 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Bertram Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Threepence 1925 4,347,585 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Bertram Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Threepence 1926 6,158,000 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Bertram Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Threepence 1927 6,720,050 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Bertram Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Threepence 1928 5,008,000 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Bertram Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Threepence 1934 1,616,100 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Bertram Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Threepence 1935 2,800,000 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Bertram Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Threepence 1936 3,600,000 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Bertram Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Threepence 1937 (pattern) 15 King George VI - Bare Head, by Thomas Humphrey Paget GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Threepence 1938 4,560,250 King George VI - Bare Head, by Thomas Humphrey Paget GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Threepence 1939 3,856,000 King George VI - Bare Head, by Thomas Humphrey Paget GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Threepence 1940 3,840,000 King George VI - Bare Head, by Thomas Humphrey Paget GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Threepence 1941 7,584,000 King George VI - Bare Head, by Thomas Humphrey Paget GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Threepence 1942 24,528,000 King George VI - Bare Head, by Thomas Humphrey Paget GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Threepence 1943 48,912,000 King George VI - Bare Head, by Thomas Humphrey Paget GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Threepence 1944 32,000,000 King George VI - Bare Head, by Thomas Humphrey Paget GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Threepence 1947 4,176,000 King George VI - Bare Head, by Thomas Humphrey Paget GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Threepence 1948 26,208,000 King George VI - Bare Head, by Thomas Humphrey Paget GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Threepence 1949 26,400,000 King George VI - Bare Head, by Thomas Humphrey Paget GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX FIDEI DEF.
Threepence 1950 35,456,000 King George VI - Bare Head, by Thomas Humphrey Paget GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX FIDEI DEF.
Threepence 1951 55,856,000 King George VI - Bare Head, by Thomas Humphrey Paget GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX FIDEI DEF.
Threepence 1952 21,560,000 King George VI - Bare Head, by Thomas Humphrey Paget GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX FIDEI DEF.
Threepence 1953 7,664,000 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait, by Mary Gillick + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA
Threepence 1954 2,672,000 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait, by Mary Gillick + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA
Threepence 1955 27,089,040 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait, by Mary Gillick + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Threepence 1956 14,089,500 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait, by Mary Gillick + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Threepence 1957 26,705,256 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait, by Mary Gillick + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Threepence 1958 11,249,506 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait, by Mary Gillick + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Threepence 1959 19,889,508 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait, by Mary Gillick + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Threepence 1960 19,601,509 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait, by Mary Gillick + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Threepence 1961 33,841,506 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait, by Mary Gillick + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Threepence 1962 15,969,500 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait, by Mary Gillick + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Threepence 1963 44,017,500 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait, by Mary Gillick + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Threepence 1964 20,320,000 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait, by Mary Gillick + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
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Threepence: Details
CountryAustralia
CurrencyAustralian Pound
Sub-types Threepence - Coat of Arms
Threepence - Stalks of Grain
From1910
To1964
Face Value3 (x Penny)
CurrentNo
MaterialSilver
Designer
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
ShapeRound
OrientationMedal Alignment (Axis 0)
Size (mm)16
Mass (g)1.4100
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Threepence: Photos
ImageDetails
Australia 1927 3 pence
Copyright: CoinFactsWiki / CC BY-SA
Author:
Notes: Coat of Arms reverse (1910 - 1936).
Source
Australia 1953 3 pence
Copyright: CoinFactsWiki / CC BY-SA
Author:
Notes: Stalks of grain reverse (1937 - 1964).
Source
Australia 1910 3 pence
Copyright: CoinFactsWiki / CC BY-SA
Author:
Notes: King Edward VII (1910 only).
Source
Specimen Coin - Threepence, Australia, 1919
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: King George V (1911 - 1936).
Source
Proof Coin - Threepence, Australia, 1939
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: King George VI, Emperor of India (1938 - 1948).
Source
Proof Coin - Threepence, Australia, 1951
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: King George VI (1949 - 1952).
Source
Australia 1953 3 pence
Copyright: CoinFactsWiki / CC BY-SA
Author:
Notes: Queen Elizabeth II (1953 - 1954).
Source
Australia 1958 3 pence
Copyright: CoinFactsWiki / CC BY-SA
Author:
Notes: Queen Elizabeth II, Defender of the Faith (1955 - 1964).
Source