• 50 Cents 2001, KM# 533, Australia, Elizabeth II, 100th Anniversary of Federation, Norfolk Island
  • 50 Cents 2001, KM# 533, Australia, Elizabeth II, 100th Anniversary of Federation, Norfolk Island

The Federation of Australia was the process by which the six separate British self-governing colonies of Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia, and Western Australia agreed to unite and form the Commonwealth of Australia, establishing a system of federalism in Australia. Fiji and New Zealand were originally part of this process, but they decided not to join the federation. Following federation, the six colonies that united to form the Commonwealth of Australia as states kept the systems of government (and the bicameral legislatures) that they had developed as separate colonies, but they also agreed to have a federal government that was responsible for matters concerning the whole nation. When the Constitution of Australia came into force, on 1 January 1901, the colonies collectively became states of the Commonwealth of Australia.

In 2001 there were many coins released into circulation by the Royal Australian Mint commemorating the Australian Centenary of Federation. A one dollar coin, ten 50 cent coins and nine 20 cent coins. Nine of the 50 cent coins depicted the coat of arms of each state and territory of Australia that were joined together in 1901 at Australia's Federation.


Fourth 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: Ian Rank-Broadley



The reverse design features the Norfolk Island Coat of Arms, representing one of 9 states and territories that make up Australia and features a Norfolk Pine growing on a rocky mound with a book (almost certainly the Bible) inside the shield with two 5-pointed stars representing the Coats of Arms of Australia, New South Wales and that of Captain James Cook who discovered Norfolk Island in 1774. Supporting the shield are Britain's Lion and Australia's Kangaroo holding Naval anchors. The Lion above a Naval Crown holds a covered cup. In the banner "Inasmuch" is taken from the Gospel of Matthew in the New Testament. Flanking the Coat of Arms are the dates 1901 and 2001. Around above, CENTENARY OF FEDERATION. Below the Coat of Arms, NORFOLK ISLAND. Around below, the denomination FIFTY CENTS.

Norfolk Island is a small island in the Pacific Ocean located between Australia, New Zealand, and New Caledonia. The island is part of the Commonwealth of Australia. Together with two neighbouring islands, it forms one of Australia's external territories. Its capital is Kingston.

Norfolk Island was first settled by East Polynesians but was long unpopulated. The first European known to have sighted and landed on the island was Captain James Cook, on 10 October 1774, on his second voyage to the South Pacific on HMS Resolution. He named it after Mary Howard, Duchess of Norfolk (c. 1712–1773). The decision to settle Norfolk Island was taken due to Empress Catherine II of Russia's decision to restrict sales of hemp. Practically all the hemp and flax required by the Royal Navy for cordage and sailcloth was imported from Russia. In 1914 the UK handed Norfolk Island over to Australia to administer as an external territory.

1901 2001

Type Commemorative Issue (Circulating)
Material Cupronickel
Weight 15.55 g
Diameter 31.5 mm
Thickness 3 mm
Shape polygon
Sides 12
Alignment Medal
Royal Australian Mint (RAM)

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