Obverse. Photo © Downies
  • 50 Cents 2000, KM# 437, Australia, Elizabeth II, Royal Visit, 2000 Royal Tour of Australia
  • 50 Cents 2000, KM# 437, Australia, Elizabeth II, Royal Visit, 2000 Royal Tour of Australia

A new effigy of the Queen appeared on the commemorative 50c coin issued on 17 March 2000 for the Queen’s visit to Australia. For the first time since 1936 a Royal effigy appears on an Australian coin designed by an Australian. Royal Australian Mint designer Vladimir Gottwald created the new effigy, which was specially approved by Buckingham Palace for this once only use.

This coin has been voted the best circulating coin of the year by the international minting community, in the annual Coin of the Year competition conducted by Krause Publications of the USA.

Since 1867, there have been over fifty visits by a member of the Royal Family to Australia, though only six of those came before 1954. Elizabeth II is the only reigning monarch of Australia to have set foot on Australian soil; she first did so on 3 February 1954. During her sixteen journeys the Queen has visited every Australian state and the two mainland territories.


Crowned portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II facing right, wearing the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland tiara, earrings from the Queen’s private collection and The King Faisal of Saudi Arabia Necklace.

In 1996 the Royal Australian Mint was invited to submit designs for a new effigy of the Queen to be used in Commonwealth countries. Vladimir Gottwald’s design was amongst the final three selected and was viewed by the Queen before the final selection. Although the Ian Rank-Broadley effigy was chosen, Gottwald's design was approved for a one time striking on the Royal Visit coin. Vladimir’s Australian effigy featured only on the silver commemorative coin and its circulating coin equivalent.

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.



Vladimir Gottwald also designed the reverse of this coin, featuring the Australian flag flying above Parliament House. Alongside the flag is St Edward’s Crown.

St Edward's Crown is one of the oldest Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom and the centrepiece of the coronation regalia. Named after Edward the Confessor, it has traditionally been used to crown English and British monarchs at their coronation ceremonies. The current version was made for the coronation of Charles II in 1661.



50 Cents

5th portrait

Royal Visit
2000 Royal Tour of Australia

Subscribe series
KM# 437
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)

Related coins

1939 Royal Tour of Canada

Royal Visit

Silver, 23.3276 g, ⌀ 36.06 mm