|Coin||Fifty Cents 2002 Accession Golden Jubilee (NCLT)|
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, the denomination is also extensively used to issue circulating commemorative coins with various reverses. It is one of the heaviest coins in regular circulation in the world.
Apart from circulating coins, the Royal Australian Mint has a range of Non-Circulating Legal Tender (NCLT) 50 cent coins issued for collectors, such as this one.
The 6th of February 2002 marked the 50th anniversary, or Golden Jubilee of the Accession of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth ll to the Throne in 1952, following the death of her father King George VI.
The Royal Australian Mint commemorated the event with a two-coin set: a gold coin denominated $100, and this 50 cents coin in silver. Both were designed by Peter Soobik of Orange NSW, and modelled by Mint sculptor Vladimir Gottwald.
Apart from the precious metal version, the mint also released a copper-nickel 50 cents - in a Philatelic Numismatic Cover together with Australia Post - postmarked February 6th 2002, and in a Royal Mint three-coin set together with a Canadian One Dollar and UK Five Pound coins in a plush purple case.
The design was originally intended to circulate but this decision was overruled after advice form the Treasury that there were enough 50-cent pieces already in circulation. Consequently, no coins of this type were released into circulation.
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 the effigy is the monarch's legend and the date: ELIZABETH II AUSTRALIA 2002.
The reverse depicts St Edward's Crown, Australia's Federation Star, the dates 2002 and 1952, the denomination 50 [cents] and Royal Ciphers EIIR (for Elizabeth II Regina - Queen Elizabeth the Second) and GEORGE VI intersected by the words ELIZABETH ACCESSION and FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY in a quaternary design.
St Edward's Crown is a symbol of the Queen and Her Majesty's role as Australia's Head of State and was first used for the coronation of Charles II in 1661 and used in most coronations since that time, including that of Queen Elizabeth II.
The seven-pointed Federation Star is a symbol of Australia's federal system of government, and appears on the national flag. The seven points of the Star represent the six Australian States and Territories.
||2002 1952 ELIZABETH ACCESSION FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY EIIR GEORGE VI
Mintages reported by the Royal Australian Mint:
32,102 brilliant uncirculated coins in PNC, minted in the 2001/2002 financial year (ending 30 June)
9,550 separate silver proofs + 1,500 in two-coin sets, minted 2001/2002
2,450 silver proofs, minted 2002/2003
Sources of original information:
Royal Australian Mint, Annual Report 2001 - 2002 (2002), p 54. Retrieved from https://www.ramint.gov.au/annual-reports (PDF)
Royal Australian Mint, 2002-03 Annual Report Supplement (2003), p 3. Retrieved from https://www.ramint.gov.au/annual-reports (PDF)