Author Topic: Australia: The prevalence of predecimal coins in circulation  (Read 171 times)

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Offline <k>

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Australia: The prevalence of predecimal coins in circulation
« on: August 26, 2017, 12:01:20 AM »
I recently found out that some predecimal coins still circulate in Australia, because they are the same size as their decimal counterparts. So that means the sixpence, shilling and florin still circulate? Could you still in theory proffer two threepences to make 5 cents? As for dates, which are the most common to be found in circulation? I imagine the collectors have removed the best grades and years.

Apart from all that, how commonly are they still found in circulation? For every 20 coins of change, how many, if any, would you expect to be predecimal?

Offline malj1

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Re: Australia: The prevalence of predecimal coins in circulation
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2017, 12:52:43 AM »
They are never found in circulation having been withdrawn many years ago.

The sixpence, shilling and florin were 925 silver until the end of WW2 when they were lowered to 50% silver; hence they were quickly withdrawn and melted down.

Coin dealers too offered good prices aiding their withdrawal from people who had them tucked away.
Malcolm
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Offline malj1

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Re: Australia: The prevalence of predecimal coins in circulation
« Reply #2 on: August 26, 2017, 12:58:34 AM »
More newspaper cuttings from various dates some of which unfortunately I omitted to record.
Malcolm
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Offline <k>

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Re: Australia: The prevalence of predecimal coins in circulation
« Reply #3 on: August 26, 2017, 01:32:52 AM »
Thanks for that. It seems I misunderstood something that Alan71 wrote:

Keeping the shilling and florin sizes for 20 years and more after decimalisation is nothing compared to Australia, where both still circulate over 50 years after they ditched sd.  If you think the UK had one foot in the past then where did that leave the Aussies?  And New Zealand did until 2006.  There were probably several other countries with sd-derived currencies that kept them well after 1971 too, so I have to completely disagree with you on this.  I don't read about any Australians moaning about the sizes of their coins!

He is talking about coin sizes, but I though he was referring to predecimal coins themselves. No doubt the situation in NZ was different, since the Newzealandic coins became copper-nickel after WW2, while Australian coins - apart from the d and 1d - remained silver.

Offline malj1

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Re: Australia: The prevalence of predecimal coins in circulation
« Reply #4 on: August 26, 2017, 01:57:38 AM »
Yes I can see its a little confusing.

However this makes for interesting reading with the cuttings I saved from the past as the 1980 advert from The Sun was at the height of the Hunt brothers' attempt at cornering the silver market.
Malcolm
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Offline Alan71

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Re: Australia: The prevalence of predecimal coins in circulation
« Reply #5 on: August 26, 2017, 09:19:12 AM »
Sorry, yes, I was referring to sizes and not the coins themselves.  To be fair though, I didn't actually know if the actual shillings/sixpences/florins still circulated or not.  I assumed that if they were still legal tender it was still possible the odd one or two might occasionally be found, but would be rare if they did.  Similar to UK coins prior to 1948 (or whenever the change to cupro-nickel was).  Still legal tender but because of the silver content, not seen.

It's quite neat that Australia changed to cupro-nickel at decimalisation.  With UK coins, there was no change to the metals so the shilling and florin hung around until the re-sizings.  Several generations of Australians will have grown up with these coin sizes and not had a clue they were directly related to sd.  It's possible that's why they have remained long after the UK ditched them.  I'll stand by what I said though.  I don't think the UK should have abandoned them at decimalisation.  It was right they survived.  Australia has managed fine with keeping them for over 50 years.
« Last Edit: August 26, 2017, 09:38:27 AM by Alan71 »