Predecimal coinage of the Commonwealth of Australia

Started by <k>, October 13, 2017, 04:26:17 PM

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<k>


The Royal Mint also produced this pattern crown, dated 1938, for Australia, showing a map of the country. However, it was never issued, and the designer remains unknown.

My thanks go to Australian numismatic researcher and writer T. Vincent Verheyen, who found a photo of the pattern at the Victorian public records office in Melbourne (file VPRS 10219/P00001/3), but unfortunately there was no documentation with it.
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<k>

Australia decided to produce a new design series for the reign of King George VI. The English numismatic artist George Kruger-Gray produced the new designs, which were first issued in 1938.
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<k>

Below you see the reverse of the halfpenny, which featured a kangaroo. This classic design was used right up to decimalisation, along with the other new designs in the series. Notice the Commonwealth Star at the right hand side.
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<k>


Disappointingly, the design on the reverse of the penny was of the same kangaroo, but reversed. This reminds me of the South African penny and halfpenny, which both portrayed the same ship.

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<k>

The reverse of the threepence shows three wheat stalks and a ribbon. Interestingly, it is the only one of the reverse designs that does not include the Commonwealth Star.
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<k>

Disappointingly, the reverse design of the sixpence was left unchanged.
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<k>

The reverse of the shilling featured a merino breed of ram.
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<k>

The ram on the shilling was modelled on an individual known as Uardry 0.1, shown above.  After the ram won the Sydney Show Grand Champion award of 1932, he was known as Hallmark. He came from a stud farm known as Uardry. Originally the farm was named Wardry, but another nearby farm shared the name, so it was changed to Uardry, the Aboriginal word for the yellow box tree. The new name was still pronounced in the same way: "WOR-dree". After the release of the new shilling in 1938, Hallmark was nicknamed "The Shilling Ram". He became quite a local celebrity, and schoolchildren and others would visit him at his farm.

See also: Animals: known individuals and models.
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<k>

The initials that appear on the reverse design of the shilling, K.G., suggest that it was the work of Englishman George Kruger-Gray, an engraver at the Royal Mint, then located in London. However, the evidence below shows that the main design was provided by the Australian artist Douglas Annand, and that George Kruger-Gray merely amended this and altered the accompanying text.






Douglas Annand.






Douglas Annand's shilling design.
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<k>

The florin had a new design, though I have read that the coat of arms included some technical errors.

Notice that the coin no longer has a dual denomination.

See also: The coat of arms on Australian coins.
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<k>
















It is interesting to see some of the rejected designs that might have been used. I found these among old Royal Mint documents at the National Archives in London.

See: Australia: Rejected pre-decimal designs of 1937/8.
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<k>

Interestingly, the old halfpenny design was issued for George VI in 1938 and 1939. None of the other old designs (with the exception of the sixpence, which was never updated) was reused for his reign.

Images courtesy of Downies.
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<k>


Rejected design for a propaganda sixpence.




In 1940 the Australian government had the idea of introducing a new reverse design for the sixpence in order to commemorate Australia's entry into the Second World War. See: Australian Commemorative WW2 6d - rejected designs.
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<k>



After the Second World War, Britain began to abandon the Empire. Above, the legends used up to 1948 included IND IMP, meaning Emperor of India. However, India had actually become independent in 1947, but it was not until 1949 that the title was dropped from the legend in Australia.
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<k>





In 1951 Australia issued a florin to commemorate 50 Years of Federation. The reverse design, by William Leslie Bowles, featured a mace crossed with a sword, with the royal crown above, a star below, and the Southern Cross in the background.
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