Coin honours the Second Elizabethan Era

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Coin honours the Second Elizabethan Era

The Royal Australian Mint is honoured to commemorate Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II with a beautiful 50c coin design in both fine silver proof and uncirculated finishes. These coins celebrate the Queen’s seven decades of devotion and service, as well as the indelible mark she has left on Australian coinage and coin collecting.

Royal Australian Mint CEO Leigh Gordon said this latest release is a study of graceful ageing by one of the era’s most recognisable female figureheads, symbolised through the six effigies of The Late Queen to have appeared on Australian coins.

“Historically, coins bear witness to a Monarch’s reign with their royal effigies appearing on the obverse. In keeping with that tradition, this exceptional coin showcases the Queen Elizabeth II Memorial Effigy by Jody Clark on the obverse.

“The Mint’s trademark storytelling is strongly represented on the coin’s reverse, which features a central design depicting the first six effigies, fanned above the Queen’s royal cypher,” Mr Gordon said.

Created in-house by the Mint’s design team, the central image is framed with lily of the valley, one of the Queen’s favourite flowers and golden wattle, Australia’s national floral emblem.

As an unusual coin with seven portraits of The Queen, this lesson in Australian numismatic history can be attributed to the work of:

  • Mary Gillick designed the first portrait of Her Majesty, which appeared on pre-decimal coinage from 1953 to 1965. 

  • On Australian decimal coinage, the first portrait of Queen Elizabeth II was designed by Arnold Machin OBE RA, in 1964 for the British Royal Mint. It was released in Australia on 14 February, 1966 which preceded its first use on British coins in 1968.

  • In 1982, the British Royal Mint conducted a competition for the design of a new effigy. Raphael Maklouf’s model was chosen as the most promising, which was then revised and accepted by The Queen for use on circulating coinage in the United Kingdom. This Maklouf effigy was then adopted for use on Australian coinage.

  • In 1996, a portrait by Ian Rank-Broadley was chosen and appeared on United Kingdom coinage from 1998. Following earlier conventions, Australia adopted this effigy on some collector coins in 1998 and generally from 1999.

  • commemorate the Royal Visit in 2000, a portrait by Vladimir Gottwald was approved for a onceonly use. Gottwald, a member of the Royal Australian Mint's Design and Engraving Section, became the first Australian designer to have his work on the obverse of an Australian coin since Sir Edgar Bertram Mackennal KCVO RA, who sculpted the 1910–1936 effigy of King George V.

  • The most recent effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, designed by Jody Clark, is the sixth coin portrait to have been created during the Queen's reign. It appeared on Australian coins from 1999 until the Queen’s death on 8 September 2022.

  • Following the passing of Her Majesty, the Royal Australian Mint transitioned to the Queen Elizabeth II Memorial Obverse. Featuring British engraver Jody Clark’s portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, the Memorial Obverse has one notable addition – the Queen’s years of reign, reading “Elizabeth II 1952- 2022”. This is the portrait appearing on the obverse of this highly collectible coin.

This special edition coin will be for sale at the Royal Australian Mint in Canberra from 8.30am on Thursday, 23 November, through the Mint’s Contact Centre on 1300 352 020, or through the Mint’s authorised distributors. With limited mintage, this coin is expected to be a highly prized addition to any coin collection.

About the Royal Australian Mint

The Mint is an award-winning, world class Mint and a global leader in the mint industry. The Mint produces circulating coins for Australia and other countries; collectible and investment coins for domestic and international customers; and custom-made medals, medallions and tokens for individual or corporate clients. The Mint is also a national cultural attraction that educates millions of Australians and international visitors on the history of Australia’s decimal currency, and the significance and value of coins.