Sixpence 1953, Coin from Australia - detailed information

Sixpence 1953, Coin from Australia (withdrawn 1966)
CoinSixpence 1953

The Australian Sixpence (or six 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 sixpence, from which it is derived (for a time, the coins circulated in parallel and were interchangeable in Australia - but not in the United Kingdom). 6 pence were equal to half a shilling, or 1/40th of a pound.

The sixpence is the only pre-decimal Australian coin which never had the design on its reverse altered. That is especially surprising given that the Coat of Arms (1908) depicted was obsolete for almost all of that time, having been superseded in 1912.

After decimalisation on 14 February 1966, the sixpence was re-denominated as 5 cents and continued to circulate for a time, along with the new 5¢ coins which were the same size and weight (but made of copper-nickel). Coins issued in 1953 were in practice withdrawn in 1966 after 13 years in circulation, but have never been formally demonetised and are still legal tender.

MintMelbourne Mint Mint MarkNo mint mark Total Mintage1,152,000 (1.2 million)
Obverse
Australia / Sixpence 1953 - obverse photo

Laureate young bust of Queen Elizabeth II facing right (effigy known as the "First Portrait").

The designer's initials, M.G. (for Mary Gillick) appear incuse on the base of the neck truncation.

The monarch's legend runs continuously all around the bust: + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA. Translated from Latin: Elizabeth the Second, by the grace of God, Queen.

Obverse Inscription + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA
Reverse
Australia / Sixpence 1953 - reverse photo

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 (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 1953.

Reverse Inscription SIXPENCE 1953 ADVANCE AUSTRALIA
EdgeMilledEdge InscriptionNone
Notes

Specimens (sometimes called proofs) were only made for official purposes this year, they were not available directly to collectors. According to CoinFactsWiki:

"Struck for Queen Elizabeth II's Coronation in 1953, a minuscule total of twelve, penny through florin, sets were officially produced at the Melbourne Mint, with the entire mintage ending up in the possession of the Chase Manhattan Bank in New York for their currency museum. Clearly, later deaccessioned or distributed, less than half of these have made their way to auction over the following six decades. The Halfpenny, missing from the standard Coronation set, was actually struck separately at the Perth mint (identified by the dot after Australia). While the true mintage remains unknown, its rarity likely even surpasses that of the sets."

Additional references:

[Article] Pearce, Murray. 1987. Royal Titles and Australian Coins: the "Defender of the Faith" Controversy of 1953. Journal of the Numismatic Association of Australia. 3: 12-17.

Sixpence 1953: Known varieties
Variety Proof Australia / Sixpence 1953 / Proof - obverse photo Australia / Sixpence 1953 / Proof - reverse photo
Mintage unknown
Sixpence 1953: References to Information Used
All (45) Coins of Country: Australia, Type: Sixpence
Coin NameMintageEffigyLegend
Sixpence 1910 3,046,635 Portrait by George William de Saulles (Crowned Bust) EDWARDVS VII D: G: BRITT: OMN: REX F: D: IND: IMP: ·
Sixpence 1911 1,000,000 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Bertram Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Sixpence 1912 1,600,000 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Bertram Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Sixpence 1914 1,800,000 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Bertram Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Sixpence 1916 1,769,025 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Bertram Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Sixpence 1917 1,632,000 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Bertram Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Sixpence 1918 915,000 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Bertram Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Sixpence 1919 1,521,000 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Bertram Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Sixpence 1920 1,476,000 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Bertram Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Sixpence 1921 3,795,288 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Bertram Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Sixpence 1922 1,488,000 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Bertram Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Sixpence 1923 1,453,038 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Bertram Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Sixpence 1924 1,038,191 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Bertram Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Sixpence 1925 3,266,307 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Bertram Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Sixpence 1926 3,609,000 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Bertram Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Sixpence 1927 3,592,040 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Bertram Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Sixpence 1928 2,721,000 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Bertram Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Sixpence 1934 1,024,100 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Bertram Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Sixpence 1935 392,000 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Bertram Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Sixpence 1936 1,800,000 King George V - Crowned Bust, by Bertram Mackennal GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: ·
Sixpence 1937 (pattern) unknown Coat of Arms of Australia, 1908 None
Sixpence 1938 2,864,250 King George VI - Bare Head, by Thomas Humphrey Paget GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Sixpence 1939 1,600,000 King George VI - Bare Head, by Thomas Humphrey Paget GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Sixpence 1940 1,600,000 King George VI - Bare Head, by Thomas Humphrey Paget GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Sixpence 1941 2,912,000 King George VI - Bare Head, by Thomas Humphrey Paget GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Sixpence 1942 24,968,000 King George VI - Bare Head, by Thomas Humphrey Paget GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Sixpence 1943 12,000,000 King George VI - Bare Head, by Thomas Humphrey Paget GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Sixpence 1944 4,000,000 King George VI - Bare Head, by Thomas Humphrey Paget GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Sixpence 1945 10,096,000 King George VI - Bare Head, by Thomas Humphrey Paget GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Sixpence 1946 10,024,000 King George VI - Bare Head, by Thomas Humphrey Paget GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Sixpence 1948 1,584,000 King George VI - Bare Head, by Thomas Humphrey Paget GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX F : D : IND : IMP.
Sixpence 1950 10,272,000 King George VI - Bare Head, by Thomas Humphrey Paget GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX FIDEI DEF.
Sixpence 1951 33,784,000 King George VI - Bare Head, by Thomas Humphrey Paget GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX FIDEI DEF.
Sixpence 1952 2,112,000 King George VI - Bare Head, by Thomas Humphrey Paget GEORGIVS VI D : G : BR : OMN : REX FIDEI DEF.
Sixpence 1953 1,152,000 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait, by Mary Gillick + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA
Sixpence 1954 7,672,000 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait, by Mary Gillick + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA
Sixpence 1955 14,249,200 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait, by Mary Gillick + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F: D:
Sixpence 1956 7,905,500 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait, by Mary Gillick + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F: D:
Sixpence 1957 13,753,256 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait, by Mary Gillick + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F: D:
Sixpence 1958 17,945,506 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait, by Mary Gillick + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F: D:
Sixpence 1959 11,729,506 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait, by Mary Gillick + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F: D:
Sixpence 1960 18,593,509 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait, by Mary Gillick + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F: D:
Sixpence 1961 9,153,506 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait, by Mary Gillick + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F: D:
Sixpence 1962 44,818,016 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait, by Mary Gillick + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F: D:
Sixpence 1963 25,061,042 Queen Elizabeth II - First Portrait, by Mary Gillick + ELIZABETH · II · DEI · GRATIA · REGINA · F: D:
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Sixpence 1953: Details
CountryAustralia
CurrencyAustralian Pound
Coin TypeSixpence
Issued1953
MonarchQueen Elizabeth II
EffigyQueen Elizabeth II - First Portrait, by Mary Gillick
ReverseCoat of Arms of Australia, 1908
Face Value6 (x Penny)
Total Mintage1,152,000 (1.2 million)
CurrentNo; withdrawn 1966
Material0.500 Silver
DesignerWilliam Henry James Blakemore
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
ShapeRound
OrientationMedal Alignment (Axis 0)
Size (mm)19
Mass (g)2.8200
OCC IDDBYN-KEDD-CMQY-EPQM
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Sixpence 1953: Photos
ImageDetails
Australia 1953 6 pence
Copyright: CoinFactsWiki / CC BY-SA
Author:
Notes: Proof.
Source
Australia 1953 6 pence
Copyright: CoinFactsWiki / CC BY-SA
Author:
Notes: Proof.
Source
Proof Coin - Sixpence, Specimen Strike, Australia, 1953
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Source
Proof Coin - Sixpence, Specimen Strike, Australia, 1953
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Source
Sixpence 1953: Catalogue Reference IDs