Australian Silver Shillings
Issued From: 1910 - 1963
Dates Not Issued:
1919, 1923,1929, 1930, 1932,
1937, 1945, 1947, 1949, 1951
|The Australian Silver Shilling series commenced in 1910 with a
single year of issue bearing the effigy of Edward VII. The shillings arrived in Australia
in May 1910 making them the very first Commonwealth coins to be circulated in
From 1910 to 1915 the series were all minted in London but some of the 1915 issue was sub-contracted to Heaton & Sons of Birmingham. The Birmingham coins can be identified by the mintmark H under the date on the reverse.
By 1916 the Melbourne mint assumed the manufacture of most shillings. Sydney assisted with the minting of shillings from 1922 to 1926 when the Sydney Mint then closed down.
In 1921 shillings were struck in Sydney. These coins have a star above the date but it is not a mintmark. The star was intended to signify a change in silver content but the change never eventuated. The Melbourne mint did strike 1,122,000 shillings in 1921 but they were all dated 1920.
Melbourne took over sole minting of shillings from 1927 to 1941.
As a result of the influx of US servicemen in WWII, Melbourne could not cope with the demand for coinage from the "Over-paid, Over-sexed and Over-here" Americans. So large numbers of shillings for the years 1942, 1943 and 1944 were struck at the San Francisco mint. These shillings carry an 'S' mintmark above the date. The Royal Mint had been broken up to several locations because of the Blitz and as a result was more or less unable to help.
The coins were debased to 50% silver in 1946 and the Perth mint struck some shillings with that date although it was over a period of a few years. These can be identified by a dot before the word SHILLING. This was the only pre-decimal silver coin struck at Perth.
In the shilling series, the scarcest dates are 1915H, 1921 star and 1933.
Well struck-up examples of the dates 1924, 1926 and 1927 are also difficult to find.
|The series commenced in 1910 with a single year of issue bearing the effigy of Edward VII, the new shillings were first to arrive in Australia in March, with the florins, sixpence and threepence arriving 1st October 1910, nearly five months after King Edward VII died.|
1911 - 1936
|King Edward VII died on 6th May 1910 and George V assumed the British throne. Australian shillings bearing George V's effigy were minted in London, Birmingham, Melbourne and Sydney during the years 1911 to 1936.|
|1922||Melb / Sydney||2,039,000|
|1924||Melb / Sydney||Scarce||673,000|
|1925/23||Melb / Sydney||Overdate||1,449,000|
|1926||Melb / Sydney||2,352,000|
1938 - 1952
|During World War II, the quality of striking for most coins
deteriorated. There were a number of reasons for this. Less care was taken in the
preparation of the dies, the dies were used in longer production runs before being
replaced, and quality controls were relaxed as more pressing matters of war took
precedence. George VI oversaw many changes to our coinage during his reign, in 1938 the
Coat of Arms was replaced by a ram's head , in 1946 the silver content on all
Australian coins was reduced from 92.5% to 50% to help in paying back the massive war debt
and India became an independent nation in 1947, prompting a change to the legend on the
obverse from 1950 onwards. For the years 1937 to 1948, the obverse legend was:
GEORGIVS VI: D: G: BR: OMN: REX F: D: IND: IMP.
|1946||Perth||Dot before Shilling||Scarce||1,316,000|
|From 1950 onwards IND IMP was eliminated from the legend, (necessary because India became an independent nation in 1947) and F.D. was expanded to FIDEI DEF|
1953 - 1963
|With George VI's death, his eldest daughter, Elizabeth,
became Queen in 1953. The obverse design for subsequent shillings was by Mary Gillick and
depicted Elizabeth II facing to the right. The reverse design introduced in 1938 continued
in use until the cessation of minting in 1963. For the years 1953 and 1954, the obverse
ELIZABETH . II. DEI. GRATIA. REGINA +
|The deletion of the religious title F:D: ( Defender of the
Faith) caused such controversy that for the years 1955 to 1963, the obverse legend was:
ELIZABETH . II. DEI. GRATIA. REGINA. F: D: +