Australia 1966 Rejected Designs Resurrected as Patterns

Started by Galapagos, September 04, 2009, 10:47:43 PM

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Australia 1966 Decimal Pattern Coins.gif

Australia, decimal pattern coins, 1966.

I'm very fond of the Australian decimal designs, but this is what they might have looked like.

"Obverse - Waratah 1¢

The 1¢ design captures the magnificence of the waratah, a spectacular native flower chosen as the state flower or floral emblem of New South Wales in 1962.

Obverse - Wattle 2¢
The numeral "2" is surrounded by sprigs and sprays of fresh wattle in bloom (outside of Australia, wattle is known as acacia). Wattle was eventually elevated to the position of Australia's national flower or floral emblem in 1988 - 22 years after Meszaros' design!

Obverse - Duck-Billed Platypus & Yabby 5¢
Artist Andor Meszaros' well-balanced design portrays the amphibious deftness of a duck-bill platypus in its search for prey – in this case, a yabbie fleeing its pursuer.

Obverse - Kookaburra & Snake 10¢
A dramatic, close-up portrait superbly depicts the strong facial character of the kookaburra, Australia's best-loved bush bird, with a snake caught in its beak.

Obverse - Black Swan 20¢
Meszaros has done a magnificent job of capturing the grace, power and majesty of an Australian black swan in flight."


I admire the elegance of the swan design. The designer has taken a moment in flight that's not usually shown and used it to frame the denomination harmoniously. Both elements do well, but the combination of the natural curves of the bird with the geometric lines of the figures is enchanted yin - yang.

An unidentified coin is a piece of metal. An identified coin is a piece of history.



In December 1966, the Australian Coin Review magazine announced a competition for "the best reverse design for a crown-sized coin of Australia." Andor Mészáros responded with a modified version of the 20c design, seen earlier in this topic, that he had originally entered into the official Australian decimal design competition. The magazine announced it as the winning design in August 1967, and in November 1967 minted 2,250 pieces of his design in silver as a souvenir to be sold to the public, using a rehash of his 2c design for the decimal design competition as the reverse.

At the time the public was not told that the obverse and reverse designs of this piece were based on Andor's official entries to the Australian decimal design competition. This only became clear in 2009, when the Perth Mint released a pattern set of his competition entries illustrated earlier in this topic.

The souvenir piece that the Australian Coin Review magazine released in 1967 is illustrated above.
Visit the website of The Royal Mint Museum.

See: The Royal Mint Museum.


I remember many of these discussions. The waratah was viewed by many as being state centric (New South Wales).