Australian commemorative coins

Discussion in 'World Coins' started by Andrew, Mar 20, 2004.

  1. Andrew

    Andrew New Member

    Hi All,

    Just wondering if someone can point me to a list of Australian commemorative coins that have been released into circulation.

    I'm going on holiday to Australia and enjoy looking out for commemorative coins in change, but the lists I have seen on the internet don't differentiate between coins in circulation and those that were just released in sets or special packs.

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  3. National dealer

    National dealer New Member

    Well Andrew, I wish that I had an answer for you, but I do not. I do welcome you to the forum, and I am sure someone will come along with the information that you are searching for.
  4. coinman2000

    coinman2000 Junior Member

    Hi Andrew,

    I purchase bulk groups of world coins and find that in these groups, the 50 cent pieces are almost always commemoratives. If they are close to uncirculated, I save them. If they are lower grade, I'll save them for when I might go there.

    The first commemorative 50c piece was in 1970 for Captain Cook. Next 1977 silver jubilee, 1981 Wedding, 1982 Commonwealth games, 1988 Australian bicentennial, 1991 Rams head for 25th year of decimal system and so on...

    The regular issue 50c with the Australian arms are seldom seen. Many of the years of these coins were included in the mint sets only.

    There were a series of 20c and 50c pieces issued in 2001 for the centennial of federation. I think that there are 11 or 12 different types of each. Also many different dollar coin commems.

    Good luck and let us know what you find.
  5. Andrew

    Andrew New Member

    With a bit more research, I have managed to produce a list of Australia’s circulating commemorative coins. I think the list is complete and correct, but would love to year from anyone who spots any errors.

    Circulating Commemorative Coins:

    1995 50th Anniversary of the United Nations
    2001 Sir Donald Bradman Tribute
    2001 Federation: New South Wales
    2001 Federation: Australian Capital Territory
    2001 Federation: Queensland
    2001 Federation: Victoria
    2001 Federation: Norfolk Island
    2001 Federation: Northern Territory
    2001 Federation: Western Australia
    2001 Federation: South Australia
    2001 Federation: Tasmania
    2003 Australian Volunteers

    1970 Captain Cook Bicentenary
    1977 Queen Elizabeth II Jubilee
    1981 Charles & Diana Royal Wedding
    1982 XIIth Commonwealth Games
    1988 First Fleet Bicentenary
    1991 25th Anniversary of Decimal Currency
    1994 Year of the Family
    1995 50th Anniversary of the End of WWII (Weary Dunlop)
    1998 Bass & Flinders Anniversary
    2000 Millennium Year
    2000 Royal Visit
    2001 Centenary of Federation
    2001 Federation: New South Wales
    2001 Federation: Australian Capital Territory
    2001 Federation: Queensland
    2001 Federation: Victoria
    2001 Federation: Norfolk Island
    2001 Federation: Northern Territory
    2001 Federation: Western Australia
    2001 Federation: South Australia
    2001 Federation: Tasmania
    2002 Year of the Outback
    2003 Australian Volunteers

    1986 International Year of Peace
    1988 First Fleet Bicentenary
    1993 Landcare
    1994 Decade of the Dollar
    1996 Sir Henry Parks
    1997 Sir Charles Kingsford Smith
    1999 International Year of Older Persons
    2001 Centenary of Federation
    2001 International Year of the Volunteer
    2002 Year of the Outback.
    2003 Australian Volunteers

    Commemorative $1 and 50c Coins only available in sets or special packs:

    50c (both come with a first day stamp cover)
    2002 Queen Elizabeth Golden Jubilee
    2003 Coronation Golden

    1992 Barcelona
    1995 Waltzing Matilda
    1998 Howard Florey
    1999 Last ANZACS
    2000 HMAS II
    2000 Olymphilex
    2000 Victoria Cross
    2001 Army
    2001 Air force
    2001 Navy
    2003 Vietnam Veterans
    2003 Korean War

    - There are also many non-circulating commemorative coins in larger denominations.
    - A variety of silver $1 commemorative coins (with a larger diameter than circulating $1 coins) have also been produced.
    - Although not a commemorative coin, the 1966 50c is another interesting piece. It was round -- all subsequent 50 cent coins have been dodecagonal in shape. It is no longer found in circulation due to its silver content.

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    Tell ya what Andrew - I have a collector friend in Australia - I'll send him your list and have him check it for accuracy.
  7. mogumber

    mogumber New Member

    20c & 50c coins Oz

    Great work I have been on the net for an hour until I found your list. I am going through my grandfathers coins and notice that you missed the 1966 round 50c piece which is also made of silver. Great job.
  8. rick

    rick Coin Collector

    I think the ones where you have the comm 50 cent and the 1$ is the "holey doller and dump" set... one coin that is fashioned after the original issue.
  9. rick

    rick Coin Collector

    yeah... doller... some spell it dollar, but... not me... apparently.
  10. Andrew

    Andrew New Member

    Well spotted. I guess I left the round 50c off the list because it was intended to be standard design and not commemorative coin -- Its just that after only one year, they changed their minds and went with a dodecagon shape. (I have heard the change was made because of complaints that the size of the 50 cent coin was too close to that of the 20 cent coin).
    It’s definitely worthy of a mention though.

    Shortly after I made that post I had a trip to Australia and came back with 18 of those coins to add to the 17 I already had.
    Plenty more to get, so I eagerly await my next trip :)
  11. Andrew

    Andrew New Member

    No, the Holey Dollar and Dump are some different.
    The originals were made in 1813 from Spanish Dollars. Govenor Macquarie took 40,000 Spanish Dollars and punched the center out of them. The "Holey Dollar" (the outer ring) was stamped with "New South Wales 1813" on one side and "Five Shillings" on the other. The "Dump" (the inner plug) was stamped with "New South Wales 1813" on one side and "Fifteen Pence" on the other.

    In 1988, 1989 and 1990 commemorative versions were made. These had the face value of 1 dollar for the Holey Dollar and 25 cents for the dump.
  12. JJ3125

    JJ3125 New Member

    hey im an aussie guy of 16 and i have been collecting 50c commemorative pieces on an off for a couple years.
    the 1970 one with captin cook and australia on it.. i have seen but 5 of them and i have 5 of them... curious... which coins other than the round piece have silver in them?
    i also have the united nationd fiftieth aniversary 20c coin and i have been trying for ages to get another.

    i have found a 50c coin that no one i know has seen or heard about and it was not on ur list so im curious as to what it is.. it is a 1975 coin. it has a sailing boat with an outriger on it and on the back it hae 'ELIZABETH II' and 'FIJI 1975'. is it fiji currency? its the same size shape and style so i dont know... any info would be great.


    PS. i have mannaged to get a five pound coin (1999)... any one have any info on thoes?
  13. satootoko

    satootoko Retired

    If you mean the 12-sided copper-nickle coin with the Takia sailing canoe on the reverse, it is cataloged as KM#36 in the Standard Catalog of World Coins by Krause & Mishler. Mintage was 1-million in 1975, the first year of issue, and it is cataloged at 75¢ in VF, $.150 in XF, $4 Unc., and $6.50 BU (all prices in USD)
    I'm guessing you mean a coin from Great Britain, in which case there are six listed in Krause - business strike and proof silver and gold in two designs. One has Princess Diana's bust with her birth and death dates on the reverse.

    The other is much more interesting, with a map of the Greenwich Meridian running through the British Isles on the reverse and edge lettering "WHAT'S PAST IS PROLOGUE". It was issued in the last two years of the 20th Century - 1999/2000. (Apparently the Royal Mint doesn't understand that the 21st Century didn't begin until January 1, 2001. :mad: )

    There is also a variety of the millenium coin with a small globe in the inner circle.

    If you post a picture, or a detailed description, of your 5-pounder, I'll be glad to try and specifically attribute it, and give you mintage and value information.
  14. JJ3125

    JJ3125 New Member



    yes it is that coin. dose that mean that it is not a australian coin but a fiji coin or is it just a different set of 50c pieces?

    the 5pound is the one with 1999 - 2000 on it and it has a pic of britian in the background. and has 'what's past is prologue' on the edge of it.

    btw where do i find this list of world coins?
  15. Garyc

    Garyc New Member

    Hello All

    Just quick question from a complete novice (and hopefully some one will be kind enough to reply):

    I'd be interested to know the current average value of the following (no matter how small!)

    1. Used Captain Cook 50 cent pieces.

    2. Royal Wedding 50 cent pieces (mint, but not in any sort of display packaging)

    3. Used round 50 cent pieces (1966)

    many thanks!
  16. Tbirde

    Tbirde Senior Member

    Collector value depends on demand as well as date, number minted, mint mark (if any), and condition (grade) of a coin, including amount of wear, any dents, scratches or cleaning.
    The first two would likely be worth a dollar or less each. The 1966 50c contains .3416 of an ounce of silver so its value may be between that and about $5.
    You might also try a library for a copy of the Standard Catalog of World Coins for pictures, values and lots more interesting info.
  17. ozPATT

    ozPATT New Member

    hi everyone. wow, i never even thought these forums existed...

    a few years back, i began collecting australian commemorative coins. I don't have too many of them, i didn't really know what there was to collect. i used to work in a shop, so when a different 50 cent piece or dollar coin came in, i used to swap a normal one for it!

    Very interesting though to see the list you prepared of the different coins. What is also interesting, is that i have a centenary coin, and never noticed there was different states! i have had a good look and i have the south australian one, which is a bit weird i guess cos i am from WA.

    as 50 cent coins go, I have the captain cook one, the silver jubilee, charles and dianna, commonwealth games, the 1988 fleet one, year of the family, weary dunlop, bass abd flinders, the millenium year, and the south australian centenary one, so i was very impressed to find that i almost had a complete set, without even trying to get it! I do also have a 1966 round 50 cent piece too.

    as for dollars, i don't have too many of those, but i do have the 1986 international year of peace, then my 1988 one doesn't have any indication as to what it was made for, but it is like an aboriginal design of a kangaroo. Is this the first fleet one? I also have the 1993 one, a 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999 and 2002.

    I also have a united nations 20 cent piece

    so, i am quite interested to discover that i have done quite well without even realising!

    so thanks for that list. do you have any idea how much a full collection would be worth? as in, a full collection of 50 cents, one of dollars, and one of 20 cent pieces?
  18. Cruzi

    Cruzi Junior Member

    As a general rule, within Australia, if your 50c or $1 coin has seen circulation it is only worth face value. The 1966 silver 50c are one of the most hoarded coins in Australian history and unless in uncirculated are only worth bullion value, which is approx $3 AUD$.

    The 12 sided also 50c raised some sort of hoarding instinct in Australians so it is estimated of all the 50c ever produced since 1969 less than 25% are in circulation. The rest are hoarded in jars and sock drawers.

    The one's that are actually worth the most are the standard coat of arms design coins, these are not hoarded and as such are more difficult to obtain in Uncirculated condition.

    The $1 coin series has been quite a popular series within Australia, with many issues worth in excess of $100 each already, not bad considering the series only started 21 yrs ago with the vast majority of collector issues coming out in the last 12 yrs.
    As with the 50c coins, unless the coin is uncirculated it is only worth face value. There are some spectacular error coins around from this series that are getting some high prices, such as the 2000 $1, where the die for the 10c obverse was used, these are getting over AUD$800 in VF.
  19. cafelatte

    cafelatte New Member

    Australian Pre-Decimal Currency

    Hello, I have been madly searching the net for information on coins, most of what I have found has been on E-Bay, but this doesn't give me the info that I'm after. I have a whole jar of pre-decimal Australian and British currency dating from the 1800's to 1966 when decimal currency was introduced in Australia as well as a few of the 50c and $1 coins that everyone gets excited about and keeps "just in case they're worth something." I also have one of the 1st $5 Australian coins that were never introduced into circulation, but I guess was produced for a reason, I'm just not sure what. What I want to know is where to find out what they are worth without having to be bombarded by dealers that want a good deal. They all belonged to my great grandmother and I really have no idea what I should be looking for. Thanks :)
  20. satootoko

    satootoko Retired

    Hi, and welcome to the forum.

    Try your public library for a copy of the Standard Catalog of World Coins. You need to consult two volumes - the 19th Century and the 20th/21st Century ones. Both are major city telephone book-sized volumes with pictures, and valuations for coins from all over the world. (Just use the values to give you some guidance on which ones may be worth significant amounts, as the stated catalog values are frequently too high or to low.)
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