The Australian 5 cent coin was first introduced with decimalisation on 14 February 1966 when it replaced the pre-decimal Australian sixpence. The original reverse design by Stuart Devlin has not been changed since its introduction.
The denomination is occasionally used by both the Royal Australian Mint and the Perth Mint to issue collector coins, which are legal tender in Australia - such as this one.
In May 2009, the Perth mint released a proof coin set based on Andor Mészáros 1966 decimal currency designs.
The tribute set contains five coins which reproduce the reverse designs submitted by Andor Mészáros for the low-denomination coins, 20, 10, 5, 2 and 1 cent, in Australia's first issue of decimal currency in 1966. The obverse of the coins was designed by Ian Rank-Broadley. The coins in this set are proof quality silver. They were created using plasters supplied by the Mészáros family.
Mészáros was a prominent sculptor and medal artist based in Melbourne. As part of the project to introduce decimal currency to Australia, the Advisory Panel on Coin Design commissioned six artists, including Mészáros, to submit reverse designs for the new coins. Andor's designs included Australian flora (wattle and waratah) and fauna (platypus, yabbie, kookaburra, snake and black swan). The successful artist was Stuart Devlin, a Geelong-born gold and silversmith, later based in England.
This set highlights the artistic endeavours involved in the development of decimal currency, which was a major event in Australia's numismatic history.
Mass: 2.74 g. Diameter: 19.6 mm. Composition: 0.999 silver (0.088 oz. ASW).