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.

This denomination has since been used for commemorative designs.

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

Commonwealth Coat of Arms sculpted by Stuart Devlin

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

Commonwealth Coat of Arms sculpted by Stuart Devlin

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

Commonwealth Coat of Arms sculpted by Stuart Devlin

1983

1984

1985

48.9

26.3

1.0

RAM

RAM

RAM

 

No fifty cent coins were produced in 1986 and 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 and 1990

1989

1990

 

-

-

 

RAM

RAM

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

Commonwealth Coat of Arms sculpted by Stuart Devlin

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

Commonwealth Coat of Arms sculpted by Stuart Devlin

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

Commonwealth Coat of Arms sculpted by Stuart Devlin

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

Commonwealth Coat of Arms sculpted by Stuart Devlin

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

Commonwealth Coat of Arms sculpted by Stuart Devlin

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

Commonwealth Coat of Arms sculpted by Stuart Devlin

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

Commonwealth Coat of Arms sculpted by Stuart Devlin

 2014

2015

17.7

19.4

RAM

RAM

2016 obverse design to celebrate the 50th anniversary of decimal currency

2016

7.0

RAM

Australian Fifty Cent - Reverse

Commonwealth Coat of Arms sculpted by Stuart Devlin

2016

25.5

RAM

Australian Fifty Cent - Reverse

50th anniversary of the 1967 referendum and the 25th anniversary of the Mabo decision. Designed n collaboration with eta-Marie Mabo, and Eddie ‘Koiki’ Mabo’s granddaughter.

2017

1.4

RAM

Australian Fifty Cent - Reverse

Commonwealth Coat of Arms sculpted by Stuart Devlin

2017

2018

8.2

3.5**

RAM

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

** Partial Numbers for 2018 - Total production to be confirmed, once the 2018-2019 Annual Report is released.