Australian Fifty Cent Coins

Issued: 1966 - Present

Not Issued: 1967, 1968

Not Issued For Circulation:
1986, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1992


This section is dedicated to Tony Jordan who sadly passed away on the 9th of August 2006, without his help, this page would not have been possible.

Australian Fifty cent coins although beginning when Australia converted to Decimal Currency in 1966 are the modern circulating equivalent to the British Half-Crown, apart from the obvious shape differences since 1969. Australian has never issued Half Crowns but did flirt briefly with Crowns in 1937 with the fling ending badly in 1938.

The first Australian 50c piece was round and made from 80% silver much like the extremely popular 1964 United States John F. Kennedy Silver Half-Dollar. After visiting the Old Treasury Building in Melbourne, Australia with the adjoining JFK Memorial Gardens, the influence of the US half-dollar could not be overlooked.
Subsequent changes in the prevailing silver price and some confusion in the general public between it and the 20c piece meant ultimately that it was a single year issue with the decision to no longer release them made in July 1967.
This very nearly lead to the death of 50c coins in Australia, there was considerable feeling that the denomination, since it had no pre-decimal equivalent, was not needed at all and a crown sized $1 coin should be issued instead. There was a great deal of debate during 1967 and 1968 with many rubbishing the coin and although the intrinsic value of the coins was around 57c apparently no-one really liked to use it and preferred instead the 20c.
By 1969 the public had come to accept the "new half-dollars", and welcomed the 12 sided (dodecagonal) copper-nickel issue.
There had been much talk about the "death of silver coinage" worldwide, so using base metal coins had been expected and the silver coins began to be returned to the government at a handsome profit.

Hoarding the round silver fifty cent piece as well as the subsequent copper-nickel commemorative's seems to have become a national pastime, with almost every Australian having a small hoard of commemorative coins stashed somewhere. From sock drawers to shrapnel jars it is almost Un-Australian not to do so.
Collectors soon note that the commemorative coins seem to disappear from circulation quite quickly, as they are all gradually removed from circulation by the public. Pure conjecture, but the sheer number of commemorative 50c may simply be an attempt by the Reserve Bank of Australia to saturate our passion and prevent hoarding. So far though , the "bower-bird" instinct remains strong. Despite the large mintages, it is estimated that less than a quarter of all copper-nickel fifty cents that have been struck are actually in circulation. 1
As a coin collector it is worth noting that the commemorative coins have little chance of ever becoming rare or of great value, there are one or two very notable exceptions to this rule, however since nearly everyone has at least one example of all the commemoratives released into circulation, they will be easily avaiable for many, many years to come. Collectors should instead look to the Coat of Arms issues (CoA), these are the higher value coins and much harder to obtain is pristine condition.

Prices quoted in catalogues are for the Mint Set or packaged products that are untoned, if coin is from a roll, (bag marked and business strike) or toned reduce price accordingly.


Year The 1966 round, silver 50c coin was issued showing a young profile of Queen Elizabeth which was designed by Arnold Machin Mintage 2
1966 80% Silver - Round 7 36,454,000
Mint Sets 5 105,909
London Pattern 50c 22 9 (est)

Year 12 sided (dodecagonal) Copper-Nickel issue. Mintage
1969 Circulation 14,015,000
Mint Sets 31,176
Specimen Issue
Yarralumla PNC, included in above
2100 6
1330 3, 4

1970 Captain Cook Bi-Centenary 16,548,000
Mint Sets 40,230
Specimen Issue 554,000
1989 Dated Silver Proof (1989 Masterpieces in Silver) 24,999

1971 Circulation 36,454,000
Mint Sets 28,580

1972 Circulation 5,586,000
Mint Sets 39,068

1973 Circulation 4,009,000
Mint Sets 30,928

1974 Circulation 8,962,000
Mint Sets 25,498

1975 Circulation 19,024,000
Mint Sets 30,121

1976 Circulation 27,280,000
Mint Sets 40,004

1977 Silver Jubilee 25,067,000
Mint Sets 128,010
1989 Dated Silver Proof (1989 Masterpieces in Silver) 24,999

1978 Circulation 25,765,000
Mint Sets 70,000

1979 Circulation 24,886,000
Double Bar Included
Mint Sets 70,000

1980 Circulation 38,681,000
Double Bar Included
Mint Sets 100,000

1981 Circulation 24,168,000
Mint Sets 120,000

1981 Charles & Diana 20,000,000
1989 Dated Silver Proof (1989 Masterpieces in Silver) 24,999

1982 Commonwealth Games, Brisbane 23,287,000
Mint Sets 195,950
1989 Dated Silver Proof (1989 Masterpieces in Silver) 24,999

1983 Circulation 48,923,000
Mint Sets 155,700

1984 Circulation 26,281,000
Mint Sets 150,014



Year Raphael Maklouf
1985 - 1998
Mintage
1985 Circulation 1,000,000
Mint Sets 170,000

1986 Mint Set Only 180,000

1987 Mint Set Only 180,000

1988 First Fleet Bicentenary 8,998,800
Mint Sets 250,000
Master Pieces in Silver Proof (4 coin set) 24,970
1989 Dated Silver Proof (1989 Masterpieces in Silver) 24,999

1989 Mint Set Only 150,602

1990 Mint Set Only 106,218

1991 25th Anniversary of Decimal Currency 4,704,400
Mint Sets 169,557
Master Pieces in Silver Proof (8 coin set) 25,000

1992 Mint Set Only 118,145

1993 Circulation 19 982,800
Mint Sets 8 113,068

1994 International Year of the Family 20,830,800
Mint Sets 8 129,032
Wide Date Est: 15-20% of Total
Joint Issue PNC 9, 10 148,393

1995 50th Anniversary End of WW2, Weary Dunlop 15,869,200
Mint Sets 8 129,529
Joint Issue PNC 10 93,915
2003 RAAMC Folder (Re-strikes) 5,002

1996 Circulation 19,296,800
Mint Sets 8 104,072

1997 Circulation 4,337,200
Mint Sets 8 98,443

1998 Bass & Flinders 22,426,000
Mint Sets 8 105,918
Joint Issue PNC 10 85,004



Year Ian Rank-Broadley
1999 -
Mintage 13
1999 Circulation 20,318,000
Mint Sets 8 105,785

2000 Royal Visit 5,145,000
Silver Proof 18,993

2000 Millennium 16,630,000
Incuse Flag *Included in Above
Mint Sets 8 136,670

2001 100 yrs of Federation 43,149,600
Mint Sets 11 143,316
Gold Proof (6 Coin Set) 650

2001 New South Wales 3,042,000
Mint Sets 12, 21 38,633

2001 Victoria 2,800,000
Mint Sets 12 33,142

2001 Queensland 2,320,000
Mint Sets 12 33,240

2001 Western Australia 2,400,000
Mint Sets 12 17,229

2001 South Australia 2,400,000
Mint Sets 12 17,042

2001 Northern Territory 2,080,000
Mint Sets 12 15,822

2001 Australian Capital Territory 2,000,000
Mint Sets 12 33,262

2001 Tasmania 2,160,000
Mint Sets 12 15,634

2001 Norfolk Island 2,160,000
Mint Sets 12 22,100

2002 50yrs Accession to Throne None For Circulation
Joint Issue PNC 10 32,107 14
Silver Proof 13,500

2002 Year Of Outback 11,507,000
Mint Sets 8 101,231
Specimen (Wedding Set) 3,322

2003 Golden Jubilee None For Circulation
Joint Issue PNC 10 65,00315
Silver Proof 6,967

2003 Australia's Volunteers 13,927,000
Mint Sets 8 118,260
Specimen (Wedding Set) 3,249
Silver Proof (6 coin set) 6,500

2004 Primary School Design Winner 10,577,000
Unc Card 36,902
Silver Proof 8,203

2004 Circulation 17,918,000
Mint Sets 8 90,055
Specimen (Wedding Set) 3,963
Silver Proof (6 coin set) 6,500

2005 Standard CoA None For Circulation
Joint Issue PNC 16 30,000

2005 Rememberance 21,033,000
Mint Sets 17 104,958
Specimen (Wedding Set) 3,627
Silver Proof (6 coin set) 6,200
Gold Proof (6 coin set) 629

2005 Secondary School Design Winner 21,000,00025
Unc Card 24,806
Silver Proof 5,402

2006 Circulation 62,859,00025
Mint Sets 8 116,502
ANDA Coin Fair Mint Sets 1,500
Berlin Coin Fair Mint Sets 1,500
Specimen (Wedding Set) 2,752
Silver Proof Set (8 coin set)18 5,829
80% Silver Proof (8 coin set)20 45,373
Gold Proof (8 coin set)23 300

2006 Commonwealth Games - Badminton 22,270*

2006 Commonwealth Games - Gymnastics 25,574

2006 Commonwealth Games - Thugby 7's 24,427

2006 Commonwealth Games - Cycling 22,861

2006 Commonwealth Games - Basketball 6,494

2006 Commonwealth Games - Hockey 6,261*

2006 Commonwealth Games - Shooting 5,570*

2006 Commonwealth Games - Weight lifting 6,832*

2006 Commonwealth Games - Athletics 22,457*

2006 Commonwealth Games - Triathalon 22,302*

2006 Commonwealth Games - Nerfball 22,432*

2006 Commonwealth Games - Table Tennis 22,502*

2006 Commonwealth Games - Aquatics 31,702*

2006 Commonwealth Games - Boxing 22,602*

2006 Commonwealth Games - Lawn Bowls 22,602*

2006 The Royal Birthday 28,191
Selectively Gold Plated Silver Proof (2 Coin Set) 6,098 24

2006 The Royal Visit 28,593
Selectively Gold Plated Silver Proof (2 Coin Set) 6,098 24
Australia Post Booklet 10,000 (???)26

2007 Circulation 19,872,000
Mint Sets 8 100,334
Berlin World Money Fair Mint Sets 1,002*
Specimen (Wedding Set) 2,629
Silver Proof Set (6 coin set) 3,475
Gold Proof (6 coin set) 300

From here down is under construction

2007 Royal Wedding Anniversary 60,030*

2008 Circulation 4,590,000*
Mint Sets 8 73,364*
Berlin World Money Fair Mint Sets 1,500*
Specimen (Wedding Set) 2,452*
Silver Proof Set (6 coin set) 2,600*
Berlin World Money Fair Silver Proof Set (6 coin set) 525*
Gold Proof (6 coin set) 300

2008 Scouts Centenary 49,571*
Blister Pack (PNC???) 33,002*

2008 America's Cup Anniversary 10,256*


* Mintages to June 2008




Nominal Specifications
Denomination: 50 cents
Metal: 75% Copper
25% Nickel
Mass: 15.55 grams
Diameter: 31.51 mm
Revision #57 Mk MMVII Draft No 123 Copy 2A#4-667-6898-GRRR
14 Feb 09