Fifty Cents 1999 (Silver, Sixpence), Coin from Australia - detailed information

Fifty Cents 1999 (Silver, Sixpence), Coin from Australia
CoinFifty Cents 1999 (Silver, Sixpence)

The Australian 50 cent denomination was first introduced as a silver coin with decimalisation on 14 February 1966, but was changed in 1969 to its current specifications: a large dodecagonal (12-sided) copper-nickel coin; apart from the usual design featuring the Australian Coat of Arms (by Stuart Devlin) which has not been changed since its introduction, the denomination is also often used to issue circulating commemorative coins with various reverses. It is one of the heaviest coins in regular circulation in the world.

Apart from the circulating coinage, the Royal Australian Mint has an extensive program issuing 50 cent coins for collectors (Non-Circulating Legal Tender, or NCLT). Some of them - such as this one - are round, as reference to the original format of the denomination.

This coin was issued as part of the 1999 Masterpieces in Silver - Coins of the 20th Century: Memories six-coin set, highlighting important times in Australian history (mintage limit 15,000, issue price A$125.00). The reverses of each coin show a historic Australian coin design, in mirror-finish proof; the denomination and value are on the obverse.

The five cents coin depicts a 1939 kangaroo-type halfpenny.
The ten cents coin depicts a 1930 penny.
The twenty cents coin depicts a 1942 threepence.

The fifty cents coin depicts a 1918 sixpence.
With only 915,000 of these coins minted, it is a key date in the series. Interestingly, the same reverse design was used on all sixpences minted between 1910 and 1963.

The one dollar shows a 1940 shilling.
The two dollar coin shows a 1920 sovereign.

These coins are Non-Circulating Legal Tender (collector issue); composition: fine silver (99.9%). No coins of this type have been released into circulation.

MintRoyal Australian Mint Mint MarkNo mint mark Total Mintage15,000

Crowned mature head of Queen Elizabeth II facing right (effigy known as the "Fourth Portrait"). The Queen wears the "Girls of Great Britain and Ireland" diamond tiara, a wedding gift from Queen Mary (Her Majesty's grandmother) in 1947 - which she also has on the Machin and the Gottwald portraits.

In tiny letters below the head, the artist's initials IRB (for Ian Rank-Broadley).

Around above the effigy is the monarch's legend and the date: ELIZABETH II AUSTRALIA 1999. Around below, · FIFTY CENTS · Note that the (real, legal tender) value and denomination are on the obverse.


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, i.e., 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 1918; unlike on the original coin, there is no mint mark.

Reverse Inscription SIXPENCE 1918
EdgeMilledEdge InscriptionNone
All (12) Coins of Country: Australia, Type: Fifty Cents (NCLT)
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Fifty Cents 1999 (Silver, Sixpence): Details
CurrencyAustralian Dollar
Coin TypeFifty Cents (Round, NCLT)
MonarchQueen Elizabeth II
EffigyQueen Elizabeth II - Fourth Portrait, by Ian Rank-Broadley
Face Value50 (x Cent)
Total Mintage15,000
Material0.9999 Silver
DesignerWilliam Henry James Blakemore
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
OrientationMedal Alignment (Axis 0)
Size19.410 mm
Mass3.240 g
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