• 50 Cents 2001, KM# 551, Australia, Elizabeth II, 100th Anniversary of Federation, New South Wales
  • 50 Cents 2001, KM# 551, Australia, Elizabeth II, 100th Anniversary of Federation, New South Wales
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. 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.

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 reverse design features the New South Wales Coat of Arms granted by royal warrant of King Edward VII dated 11 October 1906. The shield shows a blue field with a silver cross voided red with a gold star on each arm of the cross and a lion in the centre known as the 'Lion in the South'. There is a golden fleece in the first and fourth quarters, and a wheat sheaf in the second and third quarters. The crest is a rising sun with each of the sun's rays tipped with a little flame on a wreath. The supporters (a lion and a kangaroo) are usually depicted standing upon the motto ribbon as they hold the shield in an upright position. The motto contains the Latin inscription "Orta recens quam pura nites" which, in English, means "Newly risen, how brightly you shine".

The Colony of New South Wales was founded as a penal colony in 1788 when the First Fleet landed in what became Sydney Cove. It originally comprised more than half of the Australian mainland. The colony also included the island territories of New Zealand, Tasmania (Van Diemen's Land), Lord Howe Island, and Norfolk Island. During the 19th century, most of the colony's area was detached to form separate British colonies that eventually became the separate country of New Zealand and the various states and territories of Australia. NSW is the most populous of the Australian states with Sydney (the capital city) having nearly 5 million people.

CENTENARY OF FEDERATION
1901 2001
∙ ORTA ∙ RECENS ∙ QUAM ∙ PURA ∙ NITES ∙
NEW SOUTH WALES
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)

Related coins

4th portrait, Commonwealth of Australia

100th Anniversary of Federation

Cupronickel, 15.55 g, ⌀ 31.5 mm
4th portrait, Norfolk Island

100th Anniversary of Federation

Cupronickel, 15.55 g, ⌀ 31.5 mm
4th portrait, Australian Capital Territory

100th Anniversary of Federation

Cupronickel, 15.55 g, ⌀ 31.5 mm