• 50 Cents 1988, KM# 99, Australia, Elizabeth II, 200th Anniversary of the First Fleet
  • 50 Cents 1988, KM# 99, Australia, Elizabeth II, 200th Anniversary of the First Fleet
Description

The First Fleet is the name given to the 11 ships that left England on 13 May 1787 to found the penal colony that became the first European settlement in Australia. The Fleet consisted of two Royal Navy vessels, three store ships and six convict transports, carrying between 1,000 and 1,500 convicts, marines, seamen, civil officers and free people (accounts differ on the numbers), and a vast quantity of stores. From England, the Fleet sailed southwest to Rio de Janeiro, then east to Cape Town and via the Great Southern Ocean to Botany Bay, arriving over the period of 18 to 20 January 1788, taking 250 to 252 days from departure to final arrival.

This coin is often nicknamed the “Tall Ships” coin.

Obverse

Third crowned portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II facing right, wearing the George IV State Diadem.

The George IV State Diadem, officially the Diamond Diadem, is a type of crown that was made in 1820 for King George IV. The diadem is worn by queens and queens consort in procession to coronations and State Openings of Parliament. The piece of jewellery has been featured in paintings and on stamps and currency. It can be seen in the Queen's Gallery at Buckingham Palace.

Engraver: Raphael David Maklouf

ELIZABETH II AUSTRALIA 1988
RDM

Reverse

A large sailing ship over the East coast of an early map of Australia which names the country NEW HOLLAND; above is a compass and below the Southern Cross.

Engraver: Michael Tracey

AUSTRALIA 1788-1988
W E
S
NEW HOLLAND
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

3rd portrait

200th Anniversary of the First Fleet

Aluminium Bronze, 9 g, ⌀ 25 mm