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fifty cents

The 50 cent coin was first introduced with decimalisation on 14 February 1966. The original design featured the Commonwealth Coat of Arms struck on an 80 per cent silver coin. Silver prices rose above the face value of the coin in 1967 and striking of the coin was suspended in March 1968. Although it was rumoured that the Royal Australian Mint had lost money on striking these coins, all metal used in the manufacture of the 36.5 million coins produced was purchased before the price rises.

Apart from the uneconomic cost of continuing the issue of the silver 50 cents, significant negative comment arose from confusion of the circular coin with the 20 cents. The decision to reissue a 50 cent coin considered not only a change to materials but also different shapes to help solve confusion with the 20 cents. A new shape and alloy was reintroduced into circulation in September 1969.

Nominal specifications

1966 1969-present
composition 80% silver 20% copper composition 75% copper 25% nickel
shape circular shape dodecagonal
edge milled edge plain
mass (grams) 13.28 mass (grams) 15.55
diameter (millimetres) 31.65 diameter (millimetres) 31.65 (across flats)


Mintage figures

Reverse Design Year and design details Production details

RAM = Royal Australian Mint
RMLL= Royal Mint, Llantrisant

1966 50 cents coin

1966

Commonwealth Coat of Arms sculpted by Stuart Devlin

 

36.5 million, RAM

No 50 cents were produced in 1967 or 1968

 1969 50 cents coin

1969

Commonwealth Coat of Arms sculpted by Stuart Devlin

 

14 million, RAM

  1970 50 cents coin

1970

Commemorating the bicentenary of James Cook's 1770 voyage. Based on a painting by John Webber. The inclusion of Cook's signature was thought to be the first use of a facsimile signature on a coin. Designed by Stuart Devlin.

 

16.5 million, RAM

 1971-1976 50 cents coin

1971-1976

Commonwealth Coat of Arms sculpted by Stuart Devlin

1971: 21.1 million, RAM
1972: 5.6 million, RAM
1973: 4 million, RAM
1974: 9 million, RAM
1975: 19.1 million, RAM
1976: 27.3 million, RAM

1977 50 cents coin

1977

Commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Accession of Queen Elizabeth II. Based on a central wattle blossom symbol of Australia surrounded by 25 overlapping crowns. Designed by Stuart Devlin.

1977: 25 million, RAM

 1978-1981 50 cents coin

1978-1981

Commonwealth Coat of Arms sculpted by Stuart Devlin

1978: 25.8 million, RAM
1979: 24.9 million, RAM
1980: 38.7 million, RAM
1981: 24.1 million, RAM

1981 50 cents coin

1981

Commemorating the marriage of HRH the Prince of Wales and Lady Diana Spencer. Designed by Stuart Devlin.

1981: 20 million, RMLL

 1982 50 cents coin

1982

Commemorating the Brisbane XII Commonwealth Games. Incorporates the Games symbol designed by Hugh Edwards to reflect the form of a kangaroo in full flight. Designed by Stuart Devlin.

1982: 49.6 million, RAM

1983 to 1985 50 cents coin

1983-1985

Commonwealth Coat of Arms sculpted by Stuart Devlin

1983: 48.9 million, RAM
1984: 26.3 million, RAM
1985: 1 million, RAM

No 50 cents were produced in 1986 or 1987

 1988 50 cents coin

1988

Commemorating the Australian Bicentenary. Designed by Michael MacLellan Tracey.

1988: 9 million, RAM

No 50 cents were produced in 1989 or 1990

1991 50 cents coin

1991

Celebrating the 25th anniversary of decimal currency. The original image of the stud ram Uardry 0.1 by George Edward Kruger Grey used on the shilling from 1937 to 1964 was reworked by Horst Hahne.

1991: 4.7 million, RAM

No 50 cents were produced in 1992

1993 50 cents coin

1993

Commonwealth Coat of Arms sculpted by Stuart Devlin

1993: 1 million, RAM

1994 50 cents coin

1994

Celebrating the United Nations International Year of the Family. Designed by Carolyn Rosser.

1994: 21.3 million, RAM

1995 50 cents coin

1995

Commemorating the 50th anniversary of the end of World War II. Designed by Louis Laumen and Horst Hahne, sculpted by Horst Hahne.

1995: 15.9 million, RAM

1996-1997 50 cents coin

1996-1997

Commonwealth Coat of Arms sculpted by Stuart Devlin

1996: 19.3 million, RAM
1997: 4.3 million, RAM

1998 50 cents coin

1998

Commemorating the 200th anniversary of the voyage of Bass and Flinders. Designed by Vladimir Gottwald.

1998: 22.4 million, RAM

1999 50 cents coin

1999

Commonwealth Coat of Arms sculpted by Stuart Devlin

1999: 20.3 million, RAM

2000 50 cents coin

2000

Designed and sculpted by Vladimir Gottwald

2000: 16.6 million, RAM

 2000 50 cents coin

2000

Commemorating the visit of Queen Elizabeth II. Designed and sculpted by Vladimir Gottwald.

2000: 5.1 million, RAM

2001 50 cents coin

2001

Commemorating the Centenary of Federation. Featuring the 1912 Commonwealth Coat of Arms granted by King George V.

2001: 43.1 million, RAM

2001 50 cents coin - ACT

2001

Commemorating the Centenary of Federation. Featuring the Coat of Arms of Canberra, granted by King George V in 1928. Designed by CR Wylie

2001: 2 million, RAM

2001 50 cents coin - NSW

2001

Commemorating the Centenary of Federation. Featuring the NSW Coat of Arms, granted by King Edward VII in 1906. Designed by William Applegate Gullick.

2001: 3 million, RAM

2001 50 cents coin - Norfolk Island

2001

Commemorating the Centenary of Federation. Featuring the Norfolk Island Coat of Arms, granted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1980.

2001: 2.2 million, RAM

2001 50 cents coin - NT

2001

Commemorating the Centenary of Federation. Featuring the Northern Territory Coat of Arms, granted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1978.

2001: 2.1 million, RAM

2001 50 cents coin - QLD

2001

Commemorating the Centenary of Federation. Featuring the Queensland Coat of Arms, the oldest in Australia, granted by Queen Victoria in 1893.

2001: 2.3 million, RAM

2001 50 cents coin - SA

2001

Commemorating the Centenary of Federation. Featuring the South Australian Coat of Arms, granted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1984 replacing the original granted in 1936.

2001: 2.4 million, RAM

2001 50 cents coin - TAS

2001

Commemorating the Centenary of Federation. Featuring the Tasmanian Coat of Arms, granted by King George V in 1917.

2001: 2.2 million, RAM

2001 50 cents coin - VIC

2001

Commemorating the Centenary of Federation. Featuring the Victorian Coat of Arms, granted by King George V in 1910.

2001: 2.8 million, RAM

2001 50 cents coin - WA

2001

Commemorating the Centenary of Federation. Featuring the Western Australian Coat of Arms, granted by Queen Elizabeth the Second in 1969.

2001: 2.4 million, RAM

2002 50 cents coin

2002

Commemorating the Year of the Outback. Designed and sculpted by Wojciech Pietranik.

2002: 11.5 million, RAM

2003 50 cents coin

2003

Commemorating Australia's Volunteers. Designed and sculpted by Vladimir Gottwald.

2003: 13.9 million, RAM

2004 50 cents coin

2004

Primary School design competition winner John Serrano. Sculpted by Vladimir Gottwald.

2004: 10.2 million, RAM

 2004 50 cents coin

2004

Commonwealth Coat of Arms sculpted by Stuart Devlin

2004: 17.9 million, RAM

2005 50 cents coin

2005

Commemorating the 60th Anniversary of the end of World War 2. This design was inspired by a photograph in the Australian War Memorial collection of a scene of a burial at El Alamein in 1942. Designed and sculpted by Wojciech Pietranik.

2005: 26.6 million, RAM

2005 50 cents coin - secondary school Commonwealth Games design competition

2005

Secondary School Commonwealth Games design competition winner. Designed by Kelly Just. Sculpted by Vladimir Gottwald.

2005: 20.5 million, RAM

2006-present 50 cents coin

2006-2009

Commonwealth Coat of Arms sculpted by Stuart Devlin

2006: 59.3 million, RAM
2007: 19.9 million, RAM
2008: 33.0 million, RAM
2009: 19 million, RAM

2010 Australia Day 50 cents coin

2010

Commemorating Australia Day. Designed and sculpted by Vladimir Gottwald.

2010: 11.4 million, RAM

2006-present 50 cents coin

2010-present

Commonwealth Coat of Arms sculpted by Stuart Devlin

2010: 22.2 million, RAM
2011: 14.4 million, RAM
2012: 17.6 million, RAM
2013: not available

Notes for using these tables: These are final mintages where the numbers have been published in an Annual Report and all coins have been issued. Items marked not available will be updated when they pass the Annual Report and issue test.