Author Topic: Predecimal coinage of the Commonwealth of Australia  (Read 2907 times)

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Offline <k>

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Re: Predecimal coinage of the Commonwealth of Australia
« Reply #30 on: October 16, 2017, 11:37:27 AM »
King George VI died in 1952. Australian coins of Queen Elizabeth II started appearing in 1953. They used the same uncrowned effigy of the Queen as the British. It was the work of Mary Gillick. Below you see the obverse of a 1953 penny.
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Offline <k>

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Re: Predecimal coinage of the Commonwealth of Australia
« Reply #31 on: October 16, 2017, 11:38:11 AM »
In 1955 the obverse legend of the coins was amended to include the letters "FD", indicating that the Queen is "Defender of the Faith".
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Offline <k>

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Re: Predecimal coinage of the Commonwealth of Australia
« Reply #32 on: October 16, 2017, 11:39:08 AM »
The last predecimal coins of Australia were issued in 1964. Australia adopted the dollar in 1966.

Martin Purdy, a New Zealander and a former member of the forum, known as translateltd, has just emailed me this interesting tale.

"A historical curiosity is that, after the Aussie pennies had been demonetised, we had an acute shortage of pennies here in New Zealand, since none were made for circulation in either 1965 or 1966, so vast numbers of Aussie ones were officially imported and pressed into service for the duration. The local swimming baths I used in the 1970s had Aussie pennies and halfpennies pressed into the concrete around the upper rim, and I always wondered why they'd been used. That will explain where they came from."

New Zealand went decimal in 1967, of course, a year after Australia.
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Offline <k>

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« Last Edit: October 19, 2017, 04:35:52 PM by <k> »
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Offline malj1

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Re: Predecimal coinage of the Commonwealth of Australia
« Reply #34 on: October 18, 2017, 12:12:41 PM »
Martin's interesting tale above reminds me that Australian pennies and halfpennies were also used in Japan at the end of WW2. They were used during the occupation there by the British Commonwealth Occupation Force (BCOF) after the cessatilon of hostilities in 1945.

The BCOF was the joint Australian, British, Indian and New Zealand military forces in occupied Japan, from 21 February 1946 until the end of occupation in 1952. At its peak, the BCOF comprised about 40,000 personnel, equal to about 25% of the number of US military personnel in Japan. Read more here.

A major challenge that the BCOF authorities faced was enforcing the regulations against black marketing by troops in food-stuffs and military stores to the Japanese. To counter this illegal activity, stringent currency controls were put into place. The BCOF community had its own currency, using British Armed Forces Special Vouchers printed in sterling denominations from 3d. upwards and Australian Pennies and halfpennies coins for lower amounts.
Malcolm
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Offline malj1

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Re: Predecimal coinage of the Commonwealth of Australia
« Reply #35 on: October 18, 2017, 12:28:32 PM »
Some earlier news cuttings leading up to the use of the BAFSV's
Malcolm
Have a look at  my tokens and my banknotes.

Online Figleaf

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Re: Predecimal coinage of the Commonwealth of Australia
« Reply #36 on: October 18, 2017, 10:22:10 PM »
You let the story of money in Australia begin in 1901. It is, however, much older. It starts with the first fleet, that landed 1030 people, including 700 convicts on 26th January 1788 on a site now within Sydney. The fleet brought a very small amount of British currency - presumably the personal property of the 330 non-convicts. Little else was added by ensuing fleets, so claims were settled by marketable products, ranging from corn to women, but dominated by rum.

In 1791 and 1792, a number of shipment of Spanish pesos (dollars) was received and made current at 5 shillings to the dollar. Though this rate overvalued the dollar, the coins disappeared rather quickly and rum once again was the "coin of the realm" in Australia. The "Marquis Cornwallis", arriving in 1796 sold its load for "counterfeit Spanish dollars and rupees and a forged 10 guineas banknote". A proclamation of 1800 fixes the rate of a number of foreign silver and gold coins in British currency, but there is no evidence they actually circulated, apart from fake dollars and rupees.

Things turned around only after 1802, when coal was found in Newcastle and Australia at last had something it could actually export (in theory, the colony was a great producer of small boats, but as they were paid for in rum and the rum was consumed during construction, the boats were of deplorable quality). From 1804, receipts from government stores (IOUs from the British government) and the commissary (army shop) were accepted as banknotes. Though denominated mostly in sterling, the currency of the colony remained the dollar, still fixed at 5 shillings

By 1810, there was enough cash to make at least a partial switch to (British) coins and the private notes and government receipts were slowly replaced by promissory notes. In these circumstances, the government introduced the "holy dollars". The ring was fixed at 5 shillings, while the central part (dump) was rated at 1/3. These coins were explicitly made legal tender (proclamation of 1st July 1813) and circulated for a short while.

By 1822, the Australian government had a surplus of Spanish dollars on their hands. The coin rapidly depreciated to its true silver equivalent of around 4/2 to 4/4. The surplus went on to drive low value banknotes out of circulation. The holy dollars and dumps were depreciated and finally recalled at 3/- for the ring and 1/1 for the dump, a considerable loss for the holders. Meanwhile, gold had been found and bars, stamped by official assay offices were made legal tender by the bullion act of 1852. The Sydney assay office developed into a mint in 1855. The Melbourne mint followed in 1867.

While these shenanigans arranged the problem of precious metal coins, copper was still scarce. In 1852, the first copper penny tokens appeared, signalling a change from Spanish to British currency. The tokens were flanked by private threepence and halfpenny tokens. Gold tokens are known, but so rare that they probably never circulated. Soon, the copper tokens became available in surplus also. By 1863, people were calling for their removal from circulation. In 1868, British bronze coins were introduced, but in insufficient quantity to drive out the trade tokens. The tokens were finally recalled in 1869, with an exchange period until ultimo 1877, though the last of the tokens is dated 1881.

It is only after all these developments that the coinage of 1901 was introduced.

Peter

Sources
Coleman P. Hyman, An account of the coins, coinages, and currency of Australasia, Colchester, 1973 (reprint of the 1893 original)
Robert Chalmers, A history of currency in the British colonis, Colchester 1972 (reprint of the 1893 original)

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

Offline <k>

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Re: Predecimal coinage of the Commonwealth of Australia
« Reply #37 on: October 18, 2017, 10:29:47 PM »
You let the story of money in Australia begin in 1901. It is, however, much older.

My topic title is: Predecimal coinage of the Commonwealth of Australia. Australia as we know it was not unified until 1901.  ;)
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Offline <k>

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Re: Predecimal coinage of the Commonwealth of Australia
« Reply #38 on: October 19, 2017, 03:00:40 PM »
Martin's interesting tale above reminds me that Australian pennies and halfpennies were also used in Japan at the end of WW2. They were used during the occupation there by the British Commonwealth Occupation Force (BCOF) after the cessatilon of hostilities in 1945.

But during World War 2, Japan had actually issued banknotes in denominations of the pound sterling, known colloquially as JiM: "Japanese Invasion Money".  See: Japanese government-issued Oceanian Pound.

The Japanese government-issued Oceanian Pound was one of several issues of Japanese invasion money used during World War II. Consisting of only four denominations, the Oceanian Pound was the shortest set (i.e., total number of denominations) issued.

The currency was issued in the occupied territories of Guam, Gilbert and Ellice Islands, Caroline Islands, Marianas Islands, Solomon Islands, Palau, and the now defunct Territory of New Guinea. Although officially called "Oceania" the region was considered a financial and currency union under Japanese colonial dominion that included several political jurisdictions rather than a single polity. Common among most issues of Japanese invasion money, the Oceania notes depict the title "The Japanese Government" rather than the name or region they were intended for.




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Offline malj1

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Re: Predecimal coinage of the Commonwealth of Australia
« Reply #39 on: October 19, 2017, 11:29:09 PM »
This money is sometimes wrongly identified as being printed in preparation for an invasion of Australia;  no such invasion was planned and this denomination was not used in Australia.

See also my  Oceania - Japanese Invasion Money
Malcolm
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Offline <k>

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Re: Predecimal coinage of the Commonwealth of Australia
« Reply #40 on: March 05, 2018, 09:11:44 PM »
I often think that the reverse design of the predecimal Australian halfpenny was more or less a mirror image of the penny (legend apart, of course). However, that is not quite right. If you see my edited image below, the kangaroo is more or less a mirror image, except that the kangaroo's tail on the penny falls significantly lower.

The placement of the kangaroos also differs. On thepenny, the kangaroo's legs almost reach the rim. On the halfpenny, the legs are significantly higher up, while the lower legs are at a different angle from those on the penny.

Finally, the year, the commonwealth star, and the designer initials (KG for Kruger-Gray) are all differently placed on the two coins.
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Online Figleaf

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Re: Predecimal coinage of the Commonwealth of Australia
« Reply #41 on: March 05, 2018, 11:47:02 PM »
It looks like you don't have both animals in exactly the same angle, in other words, I don't see the lower hind legs as parallel. Obviously the penny and half penny are not the same size but what really explains all the differences is the additional word HALF, which necessitated a re-arrangement of the other design elements and making the kangaroo smaller.

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

Offline <k>

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Re: Predecimal coinage of the Commonwealth of Australia
« Reply #42 on: March 05, 2018, 11:56:37 PM »
It looks like you don't have both animals in exactly the same angle, in other words, I don't see the lower hind legs as parallel.

Yes, my penny is out by about 3 degrees. A very small amount, so I think the angle was actually changed between the penny and the halfpenny. You are right in that the addition of the word "HALF" required extra space.
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