Fifty Cents

The fifty cent coin was first introduced with decimal currency on 14 February 1966. The original design featured the Commonwealth Coat of Arms struck on a coin made from 80% silver. However as the silver price rose above the face value of the coin the Mint suspended striking of the coin in March 1968.

Although it was rumoured that the Mint had lost money striking the fifty cent, all the 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 fifty cent coins, increasing confusion arose regarding the similarity in sizes between the circular fifty cent and the twenty cent coin. The decision to reissue a fifty cent coin considered not only a change to materials but also different shapes to help solve the confusion with the twenty 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: 13.28 grams Mass: 15.55 grams
Diameter: 31.65 millimetres Diameter: 31.65 millimetres (across flats)

Mintage Figures

Reverse Design

Design Details

Year

 Mintage
(millions)

 Mint*    

Australian Fifty Cent Round - Reverse

Commonwealth Coat of Arms sculpted by Stuart Devlin

1966

36.5

RAM

 

No fifty cent coins were produced
in 1967 or 1968

1967

1968

-

-

-

-

Australian Fifty Cent - Reverse

Commonwealth Coat of Arms sculpted by Stuart Devlin

1969

14.0

RAM

Australian Fifty Cent - Bicentenary of James Cook's 1770 Voyage 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. 1970 16.5 RAM

Australian Fifty Cent - Reverse

 

1971

1972

1973

1974

1975

1976

21.1

5.6

4.0

9.0

19.1

27.3

RAM

RAM

RAM

RAM

RAM

RAM

Australian Fifty Cent - QEII 25th Anniversay Reverse

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

 

25.0

RAM

Australian Fifty Cent - Reverse

 

1978

1979

1980

1981

25.8

24.9

38.7

24.1

RAM

RAM

RAM

RAM

Australian Fifty Cent - Charles and Diana Reverse

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

1981

20.0 RMLL
Australian Fifty Cent - XII Commonwealth Games Brisbane Reverse 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 RAM
Australian Fifty Cent - Reverse  

1983

1984

1985

48.9

26.3

1.0

RAM

RAM

RAM

  No fifty cent coins were produced
in 1986 or 1987

1986

1987

-

-

-

-

Australian Fifty Cent - Australian Bicentenary Reverse Commemorating the Australian Bicentenary. Designed by Michael MacLellan Tracey. 1988 9.0 RAM
  No fifty cent coins were produced
in 1989 or 1990

1989

1990

-

-

-

-

Australian Fifty Cent - 25th Anniversay of Decimal Currency Reverse Celebrating the 25th anniversary of decimal currency. The original image of the stud ram Uardry 0.1 by George Kruger Gray used on the shilling from 1937 to 1964 was reworked by designer Horst Hahne. 1991 4.7 RAM
  No fifty cent coins were produced in 1992 1992 - -
Australian Fifty Cent - Reverse   1993 1.0 RAM
Australian Fifty Cent - International Year of Family Celebrating the United Nations International Year of the Family. Designed by Carolyn Rosser. 1994 21.3 RAM
Australian Fifty Cent - 50th anniversary of the end of WWII Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the end of World War 2. Designed by Louis Laumen and Horst Hahne, sculpted by Horst Hahne. 1995 15.9 RAM

Australian Fifty Cent - Reverse

 

1996

1997

19.3

4.3

RAM

RAM

Australian Fifty Cent - 200th Anniversary of the voyage of Bass and Flinders Reverse Commemorating the 200th anniversary of the voyage of Bass and Flinders. Designed by Vladimir Gottwald. 1998 22.4 RAM

Australian Fifty Cent - Reverse

 

1999

20.3

RAM
Australian Fifty Cent - Millenium Reverse Celebrating the millennium. Designed and sculpted by Vladimir Gottwald 2000 16.6

RAM

Australian Fifty Cent - Royal Visit Reverse Commemorating the visit of Queen Elizabeth II. Designed and sculpted by Vladimir Gottwald. 2000 5.1 RAM
Australian Fifty Cent - Centenary of Federation Reverse Commemorating the Centenary of Federation. Featuring the 1912 Commonwealth Coat of Arms granted by King George V. 2001 43.1 RAM
Australian Fifty Cent - Centenary of Federation ACT Commemorating the Centenary of Federation. Featuring the Coat of Arms of Canberra, granted by King George V in 1928. Designed by CR Wylie. 2001 2.0 RAM
Australian Fifty Cent - Centenary of Federation NSW Commemorating the Centenary of Federation. Featuring the Coat of Arms of NSW, granted by King Edward VII in 1906. Designed by William Applegate Gullick. 2001 3.0 RAM
Australian Fifty Cent - Centenary of Federation NI Commemorating the Centenary of Federation. Featuring the Coat of Arms of Norfolk Island, granted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1980. 2001 2.2 RAM
Australian Fifty Cent - Centenary of Federation NT Commemorating the Centenary of Federation. Featuring the Coat of Arms of the Northern Territory, granted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1978. 2001 2.1 RAM
Australian Fifty Cent - Centenary of Federation QLD Commemorating the Centenary of Federation. Featuring the Coat of Arms of Queensland, the oldest in Australia, granted by Queen Victoria in 1893. 2001 2.3 RAM
Australian Fifty Cent - Centenary of Federation SA Commemorating the Centenary of Federation. Featuring the Coat of Arms of South Australia, granted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1984, replacing the original granted in 1936. 2001 2.4 RAM
Australian Fifty Cent - Centenary of Federation TAS Commemorating the Centenary of Federation. Featuring the Coat of Arms of Tasmania, granted by King George V in 1917. 2001 2.2 RAM
Australian Fifty Cent - Centenary of Federation VIC Commemorating the Centenary of Federation. Featuring the Coat of Arms of Victoria, granted by King George V in 1910. 2001 2.8 RAM
Australian Fifty Cent - Centenary of Federation WA Commemorating the Centenary of Federation. Featuring the Coat of Arms of Western Australia, granted by Queen Elizabeth II in 1969. 2001 2.4 RAM
Australian Fifty Cent - Year of the Outback Reverse Commemorating the Year of the Outback. Designed and sculpted by Wojciech Pietranik. 2002 11.5 RAM
Australian Fifty Cent - Australia's Volunteers Reverse Commemorating Australia’s volunteers. Designed and sculpted by Vladimir Gottwald. 2003 13.9 RAM
Australian Fifty Cent - Serrano Reverse Primary School design competition winner John Serrano. Sculpted by Vladimir Gottwald. 2004 10.2 RAM
Australian Fifty Cent - Reverse   2004 17.9 RAM
Australian Fifty Cent - 50th anniversay of the end of WWII Reverse 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 RAM
Australian Fifty Cent - Just Reverse Secondary School Commonwealth Games Design competition winner. Designed by Kelly Just. Sculpted by Vladimir Gottwald. 2005 20.5 RAM

Australian Fifty Cent - Reverse

 

2006

2007

2008

2009

59.3

19.9

33.0

19.0

RAM

RAM

RAM

RAM

Australian Fifty Cent - Australia Day Reverse Commemorating Australia Day. Designed and sculpted by Vladimir Gottwald. 2010 11.4 RAM

Australian Fifty Cent - Reverse

 

2010

2011

2012

2013

22.2

14.4

17.6

18.8

RAM

RAM

RAM

RAM

Australian Fifty Cent - 50th Anniversary of AIATSIS Reverse Commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies – AIATSIS. Featuring the AIATSIS logo, based on the boomerang totem of the Gu’na’ni (Kunjen) people of North Queensland. 2014 3.0 RAM
Australian Fifty Cent - Reverse  

 2014

2015

2016

17.7

N/A

N/A

RAM

 

2016 obverse design to celebrate the 50th anniversary of decimal currency 2016 N/A RAM

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.

*RAM = Royal Australian Mint; RMLL = Royal Mint, Llantrisant