Penny 1920, Coin from Australia - detailed information

Penny 1920, Coin from Australia (withdrawn 1966)
CoinPenny 1920

The Australian penny coin was a small circulating denomination of the Australian Pound. It has the same dimensions and composition as the British pre-decimal penny, from which it is derived (for a time, the coins circulated in parallel and were interchangeable in Australia - but not in the United Kingdom; the currencies were fixed at par). It was worth one twelfth of an Australian shilling and 1/240 of an Australian pound.

The reverse of this first type of Australian penny coins features text only. In 1938, a new design superseded this one - featuring the iconic leaping kangaroo; the old type of coins remained in circulation.

Coins issued in 1920 were withdrawn at decimalisation in 1966 after 46 years in circulation, but have never been formally demonetised and are still legal tender.

MintMint markTotal Mintage
Melbourne Mint No mint mark unknown
Sydney Mint No mint mark unknown
Obverse
Australia / Penny 1920 - obverse photo

Crowned and draped bust of King George V facing left (crowned effigy by Sir Edgar Bertram Mackennal); the King is wearing the Imperial Crown and the ermine Robe of State, the Collar of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, and the Badge of the Most Honourable Order of the Bath.

The artist's initials BM are in relief on the bust truncation.

Around, the monarch's legend GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·. Translated from Latin: George the Fifth, by the Grace of God, King of all the Britains, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India.

Obverse Inscription GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Reverse
Australia / Penny 1920 - reverse photo

At centre within a circle of beads, the value and denomination ONE PENNY in two lines between upper and lower ornate scrolls.

Around above, outside the circle of beads, COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA; below, the date · 1920 ·.

There may be small dots below the lower scroll and above the upper scroll. The meaning of these is much debated. The current consensus seems to be that they are not mint marks, hence coins minted by the Melbourne Mint and the Sydney Mint are indistinguishable.

Reverse Inscription ONE PENNY COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA · 1920 ·
EdgePlainEdge InscriptionNone
Notes

The dots on the 1919 and 1920 pennies were part of a series of tests on die steels that were undertaken at the Melbourne Mint. Dies were supplied to the Sydney Mint from Melbourne and it is argued that the steel marks can sometimes reflect the mint which produced the coin. According to the Australian Coin Chart 1966, the "Dot above top scroll" variety was minted at the Melbourne Mint and the "Dot below scroll variety" at the Sydney Mint. There is no indication as to the other varieties.

Sydney did not "mark" bronze planchets before striking at that time and had difficulty with the clarity of the rim (as illustrated in the photo).

Master dies (London or Indian obverse) are judged by the alignment of letters and rim beads. Most catalogues however do not distinguish varieties based on different obverse.

Greg McDonald's Guide to Australian Coins and Banknotes lists the Proof variety as "Dot above top scroll" only.

The varieties listed below comprise all of the known 1920 Australian one penny coins (i.e. there is no "regular" coin which is not listed as a variety).

Penny 1920: Known varieties
Variety Plain (no dots, Indian obverse)
Images Australia / Penny 1920 / Plain (no dots, Indian obverse) - obverse photo
Mintage Issued: unknown
Details

Last stroke of 'N' in 'OMN' lines up with outer rim denticle, ':' after 'IMP' lines up in-between outer rim denticles.

Variety Proof (Melbourne Mint)
Mintage Issued: unknown
Details

Greg McDonald's Guide to Australian Coins and Banknotes lists the Proof variety as "Dot above top scroll" only.

Variety Dot below lower scroll, Indian obverse
Images Australia / Penny 1920 / Dot below lower scroll, Indian obverse - obverse photo
Mintage Issued: unknown
Details

Last stroke of 'N' in 'OMN' lines up with outer rim denticle, ':' after 'IMP' lines up in-between outer rim denticles.

Variety Dot above lower scroll, Indian obverse
Images Australia / Penny 1920 / Dot above lower scroll, Indian obverse - obverse photo
Mintage Issued: unknown
Details

Last stroke of 'N' in 'OMN' lines up with outer rim denticle, ':' after 'IMP' lines up in-between outer rim denticles.

Variety Double dot, Indian obverse
Images Australia / Penny 1920 / Double dot, Indian obverse - obverse photo
Mintage Issued: unknown
Details

Dot above top scroll and dot below bottom scroll on reverse.

Last stroke of 'N' in 'OMN' lines up with outer rim denticle, ':' after 'IMP' lines up in-between outer rim denticles.

Variety Dot above top scroll, Indian obverse
Images Australia / Penny 1920 / Dot above top scroll, Indian obverse - obverse photo Australia / Penny 1920 / Dot above top scroll, Indian obverse - reverse photo
Mintage Issued: unknown
Details

Last stroke of 'N' in 'OMN' lines up with outer rim denticle, ':' after 'IMP' lines up in-between outer rim denticles.

Variety Plain (no dots, London obverse)
Images Australia / Penny 1920 / Plain (no dots, London obverse) - obverse photo Australia / Penny 1920 / Plain (no dots, London obverse) - reverse photo
Mintage Issued: unknown
Details

Last stroke of 'N' in 'OMN' lines up in-between outer rim denticles, ':' after 'IMP' lines up with outer rim denticle.

Variety Dot below lower scroll, London obverse
Images Australia / Penny 1920 / Dot below lower scroll, London obverse - obverse photo
Mintage Issued: unknown
Details

Last stroke of 'N' in 'OMN' lines up in-between outer rim denticles, ':' after 'IMP' lines up with outer rim denticle.

Variety Dot above lower scroll, London obverse
Images Australia / Penny 1920 / Dot above lower scroll, London obverse - obverse photo
Mintage Issued: unknown
Details

Last stroke of 'N' in 'OMN' lines up in-between outer rim denticles, ':' after 'IMP' lines up with outer rim denticle.

Penny 1920: References to Information Used
SourceEditionAboutLinkNotes
Museums Victoria Collections 2016 Coin description link
Renniks, Australian Coin and Banknote Values 1965 Mint
Renniks, Australian Coin and Banknote Values 1965 Mintage
Australian Coin Chart 1965 Mintage
Museums Victoria Collections 2016 Varieties link London and Indian obverse
Renniks, Australian Coin and Banknote Values 1965 Varieties Dots; London and Indian obverse
Australian Coin Chart 1965 Varieties Dots
All (53) Coins of Country: Australia, Type: Penny
Coin NameMintageEffigyLegend
Penny 1911 3,768,000 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Penny 1912 3,600,000 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Penny 1913 2,520,000 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Penny 1914 720,000 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Penny 1915 2,280,000 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Penny 1916 3,324,000 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Penny 1917 6,240,000 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Penny 1918 1,200,000 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Penny 1919 5,810,160 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Penny 1920 9,041,600 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Penny 1921 7,438,320 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Penny 1922 12,697,440 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Penny 1923 5,654,400 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Penny 1924 4,665,840 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Penny 1925 1,639,200 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Penny 1926 1,860,000 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Penny 1927 4,922,450 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Penny 1928 3,038,400 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Penny 1929 2,599,200 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Penny 1930 unknown King George V - Crowned Bust, by Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Penny 1931 494,400 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Penny 1932 2,116,800 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Penny 1933 5,817,600 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Penny 1934 5,808,100 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Penny 1935 3,724,900 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Penny 1936 9,890,400 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Penny 1937 (pattern) 12 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Penny 1938 5,552,650 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Penny 1939 6,240,000 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Penny 1940 5,188,800 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Penny 1941 14,382,800 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Penny 1942 21,244,800 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Penny 1943 53,198,400 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Penny 1944 29,942,000 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Penny 1945 15,172,806 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Penny 1946 240,000 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Penny 1947 11,174,400 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Penny 1948 28,150,000 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Penny 1949 27,064,800 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX FIDEI DEF.
Penny 1950 57,846,800 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX FIDEI DEF.
Penny 1951 52,128,000 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX FIDEI DEF.
Penny 1952 57,922,000 King George VI - Bare Head GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX FIDEI DEF.
Penny 1953 13,138,816 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA
Penny 1955 17,447,101 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Penny 1956 25,994,917 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Penny 1957 15,979,112 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Penny 1958 24,443,334 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Penny 1959 16,048,136 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Penny 1960 20,516,230 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Penny 1961 30,608,240 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Penny 1962 34,852,664 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Penny 1963 10,259,660 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
Penny 1964 109,180,401 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F : D :
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Penny 1920: Details
CountryAustralia
CurrencyAustralian Pound
Coin TypePenny - Commonwealth of Australia
Issued1920
MonarchKing George V
EffigyKing George V - Crowned Bust, by Bertram Mackennal
Face Value1 (x Penny)
Total Mintage9,041,600 (9.0 million)
CurrentNo; withdrawn 1966
MaterialBronze
DesignerWilliam Henry James Blakemore
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
ShapeRound
OrientationMedal Alignment (Axis 0)
Size30.800 mm
Mass9.450 g
OCC IDGRNA-ZOGW-CVAA-OXJL
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Penny 1920: Photos
ImageDetails
Specimen Coin - 1 Penny, Proof Strike, Australia, 1920
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: Dot below lower scroll. Proof.
Source
Specimen Coin - 1 Penny, Proof Strike, Australia, 1920
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: London obverse. Proof.
Source
Coin - 1 Penny, Australia, 1920
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: No dots.
Source
Specimen Coin - 1 Penny, Australia, 1920
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: Indian obverse.
Source
Coin - 1 Penny, Australia, 1920
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: Dot above top scroll.
Source
Coin - 1 Penny, Australia, 1920
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: Indian obverse. Sydney Mint (weak rim).
Source
Penny 1920: Catalogue Reference IDs
SourceReference ID
Krause, Standard Catalog of World CoinsAustralia KM# 23
Schön, WeltmünzkatalogAustralien Schön# 14
Renniks, Australian Coin and Banknote ValuesB12 (Melbourne Mint), B13 (Sydney Mint) no dots
Australian Coin ChartP12 (No dots)
Renniks, Australian Coin and Banknote ValuesB14 (Dot under scroll)
Australian Coin ChartP13 (Dot under scroll)
Renniks, Australian Coin and Banknote ValuesB15 (Dot over bottom scroll)
Australian Coin ChartP14 (Dot over scroll)
Renniks, Australian Coin and Banknote ValuesB14A (Dot above and below scrolls)
Australian Coin ChartP15 (Dot above and below scrolls)