Australia’s Threenpence Silver Coins

Posted by on November 25, 2012
1910 Australia Silver Threepence - London

1910 Australia Silver Threepence - London

Australia’s silver threepence coins were minted from 1910 through 1964.  These are Australia’s smallest coin.  They all weigh 1.41 grams, are 16 millimeters in diameter, and have a plan edge.  Those minted from 1910 through 1946 contain 92.5% silver and 7.5% copper.  These have a total of 0.0419 troy ounces of silver.  The rest minted from 1947 through 1964 are 50% silver, 40% copper, 5% nickel, and 5% zinc.  These contain 0.0227 troy ounces of silver.

Like the rest of Australian’s currency the Royal London Mint struck coins for Australia until 1916 when the Royal Mint opened its branch in Melbourne.  The Melbourne’s mint would use “M” as its mint mark into 1921 when it abandoned the use of any mint mark.  The silver threepence coins minted in London from 1910 to 1915 have no mint mark.  In 1921 the Australian mint in Sydney commenced to strike threepence coins with no mint mark until 1926 when it was converted the Government Insurance Office.

The obverse of Australia’s threepence coins have the days’ monarch bust or head in the center with their title surrounding it along the rim of the coin.

There are two different reverse designs that were used.  From 1910 to 1936 Australia’s coat of arms is featured.  It is flanked by an Emu on the right and a Kangaroo on the left.  It has a scroll underneath with “ADVENTURE AUSTRALIA”.  Above is a seven pointed star.  The date minted is along the lower most portion of the rim while “THREEPENCE” arcs above along the uppermost rim.  If there is a mint mark it is below the date.

1910 Australia Silver Threepence - London

1910 Australia Silver Threepence - London

In 1938 the minting of silver threepence coin started up again after all of Australia’s 1937 coin production was shifted for the 1937 silver crowns commemorating King George VI’s coronation.  The new reverse design was created by George Kruger Gray and features three wheat stacks.  The wheat stacks symbolize the strength of Australia’s agriculture.  The mint date runs along the coin’s horizontal central axis and is divided in two by the wheat.  “AUSTRALIA” arcs above along the coin rim. Along the lower half of the coins rim is “THREE” separated by the three wheat stalks from “PENCE”.  There is a long ribbon running under the dates on each side and dropping low under the wheat’s grains. “K” and “G” are on either side and under the ribbon’s dip.

During World War II the United States’ mints helped with Australia’s coin production.  San Francisco used its “S” mint mark for the silver threepence coins struck in 1942, 1943, and 1944.  The Denver used its “D” for those minted in 1942 and 1943.  These mint marks are on the reverse by the far right of the ribbon.  In 1951 the London Royal Mint helped Australia’s coin production and used “PL” as a mint mark.

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