Description

This 50c coin was released into circulation celebrating the turn of the century, the transition from the second to the third millennium. Released by the Royal Australian Mint this fifty cent can be found in circulation, in the 2000 mint set and colourised (pad-printing technology) in the 2000 proof set.

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 2000

Reverse

A stylized Australian flag with the large legend “Millennium Year” and “50 Cents”. The Australian flag consists of the Union Jack in the top left, the 7 pointed federation star below, and the constellation ‘The Southern Cross’ to the right.

Incuse Flag Variety: Some time after release it was noticed that the flag on some coins was slightly different to that on others. On the normal design the central cross of the Union Jack (the cross of Saint Andrew) was in relief (that is it projected out from the surface of the coin). On the less common variety the cross was incuse (that is sunk into the surface of the coin). There’s also a difference in the Federation Star on both types. The Federation Star is the large seven pointed star under the Union Jack on the flag. On the normal variety of the Australian 2000 Millennium fifty cent the surface of the star is noticeably rougher than that on the incuse flag 50 cent.

Information from the Royal Australian Mint is that they produced one incuse die which was intended for coins used in Mint Sets. This decision was later overturned and a single die pair production run sent approximately 200,000 coins into circulation .

Engraver: Vladimir Gottwald

MILLENIUM YEAR
50 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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