• 20 Cents 1966-1984, KM# 66, Australia, Elizabeth II
  • 20 Cents 1966-1984, KM# 66, Australia, Elizabeth II
Description

Due to the large number of coins required for the February 14 1966 changeover to decimal coinage in Australia several mints both here and abroad were used to produce the 1966 cupro nickel and bronze coinage. Coins were struck at the London, Perth, and Melbourne branches of the Royal Mint and at the new Royal Australian Mint in Canberra. There were no mintmarks on any of the coins to allow easy determination of which mint a coin was produced at.

In 1981, a large number of 20 cent coins were required, far over the capacity of the Royal Australian Mint facility in Canberra, leading to some coins being minted by other Commonwealth Mints, such as the Royal Mint in London and the Royal Canadian Mint. Due to differences in the milling and annealing process, the Canadian variety of the 1981 20 cent coin is distinctive to attentive collectors.

Obverse

Second crowned portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II facing right, wearing the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland tiara.

The Girls of Great Britain and Ireland tiara was a wedding present in 1947 from her grandmother, Queen Mary, who received it as a gift from the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland in 1893 on the occasion of her marriage to the Duke of York, later George V. Made by E. Wolfe & Co., it was purchased from Garrard & Co. by a committee organised by Lady Eve Greville. In 1914, Mary adapted the tiara to take 13 diamonds in place of the large oriental pearls surmounting the tiara. At first, Elizabeth wore the tiara without its base and pearls but the base was reattached in 1969. The Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara is one of Elizabeth's most recognisable pieces of jewellery due to its widespread use on British banknotes and coinage.

Engraver: Arnold Machin

ELIZABETH II AUSTRALIA 1984

Reverse

Platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus) and the numeral 20.

The platypus (Ornithorhynchus anatinus), also known as the duck-billed platypus, is a semiaquatic egg-laying mammal endemic to eastern Australia, including Tasmania. Together with the four species of echidna, it is one of the five extant species of monotremes, the only mammals that lay eggs instead of giving birth. The animal is the sole living representative of its family (Ornithorhynchidae) and genus (Ornithorhynchus), though a number of related species have been found in the fossil record. The unique features of the platypus make it an important subject in the study of evolutionary biology and a recognisable and iconic symbol of Australia.

There have been a number of varieties of regular issue coins identified by collectors. The first of these seen is a highly prized variety of the 1966 issue, with a "wave" on the top of the bottom stroke of the 2 in "20".

Engraver: Stuart Devlin

20
SD

Edge

20 Cents

2nd portrait
KM# 66
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Characteristics
Material Cupronickel
Weight 11.3 g
Diameter 28.65 mm
Thickness 2.5 mm
Shape round
Alignment Medal
Mints
Royal Australian Mint (RAM)
Royal Canadian Mint (RCM)
Royal Mint

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