Australian fifty-cent coin
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|This article's factual accuracy is disputed. (May 2012)|
|Composition||75% Copper, 25% Nickel|
|Years of minting||1969 – present|
|Design||Queen Elizabeth II, Australia's Queen|
|Design||Australian coat of arms|
The twelve-sided Australian fifty-cent piece is the third-largest denomination of the Australian dollar and the largest under a dollar. It was introduced in 1969 1 to replace the round fifty-cent coin introduced in 1966.
It is by diameter the largest Australian coin currently issued and second largest after the Crown of 1937–38. Originally the coin was made of 80% silver and 20% copper (round fifty cents), but as the value of a free-floating silver price became higher, the coin's bullion value became more valuable than its face value and so this version was withdrawn from circulation. Many commemorative designs have been issued, the large size allowing for detailed content.
As with all coins of Australia, the reigning monarch features on the obverse. Only Elizabeth II has been monarch during the coin's existence. Three portraitsdubious of her have featured on the coin: from 1969 to 1984 one by Arnold Machin, from 1985 to 1998 one by Raphael Maklouf and since 1999 a portrait by Ian Rank-Broadley 2 which had been introduced to the coins of the pound sterling a year earlier.
With a diameter of 31.5 mm, the 50 c coin is one of the largest in size among those currently circulating in the world. Coins of larger diameter include the Costa Rican five-hundred-colónes, Ni Vanuatu fifty-vatu and the fifty-CFP Franc are larger, all 32.9 mm.
The Australian fifty-cent coin was the first to display a variation of the reverse design in 1970 for the commemorating the bicentennial of Captain Cook's landing in Australia. Various other designs followed until the one-dollar and twenty-cent included new designs also.
- 1970: Bicentenary of the exploration of the eastern coast of Australia by James Cook.
- 1977: Silver Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II.
- 1981: Charles, Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer Royal Wedding.
- 1982: XII Commonwealth Games, Brisbane
- 1988: First Fleet Bicentenary 1788-1988.
- 1991: 25th Anniversary of Decimal Currency.
- 1994: International Year of the Family.
- 1995: 50th Anniversary of the end of World War II.
- 1998: Bicentenary of the discovery of Bass Strait.
- 2000: Millennium Year.
- 2000: Royal Visit.
- 2001: Centenary of Federation of Australia: nine coins for the six states plus the Northern Territory, Norfolk Island and the Australian Capital Territory 3
- 2005: World War 1939-1945 Remembrance.
- 2005: XVIII Commonwealth Games, Melbourne
- 2010: Australia Day.
Most years have the coat of arms except those below, years of non-issue are: 1986, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1992.
Standard designs were also issued with commemoratives in the following years: 1981, 2004, 2005 and 2010.
Australian 50 cent coin (round)
|Fifty Cents (Australian)