• 50 Cents 2001, KM# 565, Australia, Elizabeth II, 100th Anniversary of Federation, Tasmania
  • 50 Cents 2001, KM# 565, Australia, Elizabeth II, 100th Anniversary of Federation, Tasmania
Description

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. 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. On 1 January 1911, a decade after federation, the Northern Territory was separated from South Australia and transferred to Commonwealth control.

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.

Obverse

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

ELIZABETH II AUSTRALIA 2001
IRB

Reverse

The coat of arms of Tasmania was officially granted by King George V in May 1917. The shield features significant examples of Tasmanian industry: a sheaf of wheat, hops, a ram and apples. It is surmounted by a red lion that also features on the State badge. The shield is supported by two Tasmanian tigers with a motto beneath, "bounty and fidelity".

The state was created in 1803 as a penal settlement of the British Empire to prevent claims to the land by the First French Empire; around 75,000 convicts were sent to Van Diemen's Land before transportation ceased in 1853. The Aboriginal population was estimated to have been about 7,000 at the time of colonisation, but was almost wiped out within 30 years by a combination of violent guerrilla conflict with settlers known as the "Black War", intertribal conflict, and the spread of infectious diseases to which they had no immunity. The conflict cost the lives of almost 1100 Aboriginals and settlers. The near-destruction of Tasmania's Aboriginal population has been described by some historians as an act of genocide by the British.

CENTENARY OF FEDERATION
1901 2001
UBERTAS·ET·FIDELITAS
TASMANIA
FIFTY CENTS

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

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