Australian Silver Sixpence Coins

Posted by on November 14, 2012
SC AUS 1910 Austalia Silver Sixpence 300x150 Australian Silver Sixpence Coins

1910 Australia Silver Sixpence

The Australian silver sixpence coins were minted in 1910 through 1963 when silver was removed from their circulating coins.  From 1910 to 1945 these silver coins were sterling silver, 92.5% silver with 7.5% copper and contain 0.0839 troy ounce of silver.  Those from 1946 through 1963 were 50% silver, 40% copper, 5% nickel, with 5% zinc, and contain 0.0453 troy ounces silver.  All of Australia’s silver sixpence are 19.50 millimeters in diameter, weigh 2.8200 grams (0.09 troy ounces), and have a reeded edge.

The Royal Mint in London started production of the silver sixpence coins for Australia in 1910; however the shipment did not arrive until 1911.  Great Britain kept tight rein on the Commonwealth’s coin production and it kept all of Australia’s silver coins were minted in England through 1915.  In 1915 the Heaton mint in Birmingham helped with production of the sixpence and used an “H” as its mint mark.  It was not until 1916, when the Royal Mint’s branch in Melbourne took over striking Australia’s sixpence, that the silver sixpence was minted in Australia.  The Melbourne mint used “M” as its mint mark on those struck from 1916 through 1920.

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The Sydney mint also struck sixpence in 1921 through 1926.  During World War II the United States mints helped out.  San Diego’s contribution was from 1942 through 1944 and used their “S” mint mark.  As well as Denver’s mint which used their “D” mint mark on the sixpence they minted in 1942 and 1943.  Then in 1951, during Australia’s “Boom” year, the Royal London Mint helped with production and used “PL” as its mint mark on these.

SC AUS 1951 Australian Silver Sixpence 300x150 Australian Silver Sixpence Coins

1951 Australian Silver Sixpence

There were no Australian sixpence coins minted in 1913, 1915, 1929 through 1933, 1937, 1947, and in 1949.  The reverse of the Australian silver sixpence was designed by W. H. J. Blakemore and remained the same throughout its runs.  The reverse has Australia’s coat of arms in the center with a kangaroo on the left and an emu on the right.  These stand on a plan under which is a scroll with “ADVANCE AUSTRALIA” written in small letters on it and under this will be the mint mark.  Then at the base of the coin is the date in medium sized font with a sideways ‘fluers de lis’ on either side.  Directly above the coat of arms is a horizontal line with a seven pointed star above that.  Along the upper most part of the coin following the rim is “SIXPENCE” in large letters.

SC AUS 1926 Australia Silver Sixpence 300x148 Australian Silver Sixpence Coins

1926 Australia Silver Sixpence

The obverse of the 1910 sixpence was designed by George William De Saulles and has King Edward VII’s bust facing right on it.  The legend is “EDWARDVS VII D: G: BRITT:OMN:REX F:D:IND:IMP:”.  Then from 1911 through 1936 Saulles designed King George V’s bust facing left on the obverse.  The legend is “GEORGIUS V D.G. BRITT: OMN:REX F.D. IND:IMP:”.

The obverse for King George VI was designed by Thomas H. Paget and has King George VI’s head facing left.  There were two different legends.  The legend that was used from 1938 through 1948 reads “GEORGIVS VI D: G: BR: OMN:REX F:D:IND:IMP.”.  It was during King George VI’s reign that India gained its independence.  The legend from 1949 through 1952 reads “GEORGIVS VI D: G: BR:OMN: REX FIDEI DEF.”.

SC AUS 1957 Australia Silver Sixpence 300x150 Australian Silver Sixpence Coins

1957 Australia Silver Sixpence

The Queen Elizabeth II’s obverse was designed by Mary Gillick and portrays the young queen’ bust facing right.  The first year of Queen Elizabeth II’s coinage, 1954, the title “Defender of the Faith” (“F:D:” or “FIDEI DEFENSOR”) was left off the obverse legend; “DEI.GRATIA.REGINA+ELIZABETH.II.”.  In 1955 it was added, “DEI.GRATIA.REGINA.F:D+ELIZABETH.II.” continued to be the legend through 1963 after which silver was no longer used for the Australian sixpence.

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