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World coins chat: Australia

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jokinen
Joined: 10-Feb-2013
Posts: 1677
Australia is a country that spans the continent of the same name and a couple of islands that are located between the Indian and Pacific oceans. It has a population of 23 million, and its economy is the 12th largest in the world.


Flag of Australia featuring the British Union Jack in the top left and the stars forming the constellation of Southern Cross which is only visible on that hemisphere. There are calls to replace this flag with a more modern one but so far this is still the official flag of Australia.

History
Australia has been inhabited for 50,000 years. The first European to sight it was Dutchman Willem Janszoon in 1606. His compatriot Abel Tasman mapped most of Australia and named it New Holland, but the Dutch never attempted to settle it. James Cook explored south east Australia in the 1770's, which resulted in the establishment of the colony of New South Wales in 1788.

The British, who had just lost its American colonies, used Australia mainly as a penal colony for local convicts. In the 19th century more colonies were established and in 1901 these were united as the Commonwealth of Australia. Fiji and New Zealand opted out of this federation and developed as separate nations.

During WW2 the Japanese Empire threatened to invade Australia but only the northern part of New Guinea was conquered, with Australian troops succesfully defending Port Moresby and subsequently defeating the Japanese in 1943.

After WW2 Australia developed into an advanced economy mostly based on mining of base metals, making it also dependent on global economic conditions. Its economy especially boomed during the early 2000's with commodity prices breaking record after record. With the recent collapse in Chinese demand for Australia's products Australia is facing new challenges.

Currency
Australia used British Pounds until 1910, although local privately issued banknotes were circulating in the 19th century alongside trade tokens to supplement the shortage in small denominations. From the 1850's half and whole gold sovereigns were minted in Sydney, with Melbourne and Perth commencing minting in the 1870's and 1890's respectively.

In 1910 the Australian Pound was introduced at par with the British one. After WW1 the gold standard was abandoned and by 1931 a new peg was established with the Australian Pound worth 20% less than the British Pound (1A£ = 16s British). After WW2 Australia followed the British devaluations of Sterling and Bretton Woods pegged the Australian Pound to $2.24.

In 1966 the Australian Pound was decimalised to the Dollar at 10 Shillings. The British devaluation of 1967 was not followed, hence the Australian Dollar was kept at $1.12. With the US Dollar devaluating in the early 1970's the Australian Dollar reached a record of $1.40, but was soon devalued to reach $0.90 in 1983. Since that year the currency has been floating, mostly following prices of Australia's major export products. It currently trades around US$ 0.75.

Besides Australia the Australian Dollar is also used on the Cocos (Keeling) Islands, Nauru, Kiribati and Tuvalu. The last two of these countries issue their own circulation coins next to using Australian coins and banknotes.

Coins
Before 1910, trade tokens issued by merchants circulated next to British currency. Gold sovereigns were minted in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. The first official Australian circulation coinage was issued in 1910. The only denominations that circulated where the Half Penny up to the Florin, no Farthings nor Half Crowns. A commemorative silver Crown was issued in 1937.

After WW2 silver content was reduced to 0.500. The last silver coin for circulation was the 1966 50 Cents, the only silver coin of the decimalised Dollar. That year a Shilling became 10 Cents and a Pound 2 Dollars.

A last oddity was the introduction of the 2 Dollar coin in 1988, which is smaller in size than the 1 Dollar coin introduced in 1984. Numerous circulating and non-circulating commemoratives have been issued since the 1970's. It is hard for collectors to keep pace with the issuance.

https://en.numista.com/catalogue/australie-1.html
Australian Coin Info
Joined: 19-May-2015
Posts: 708
While I have been reading through these world coin chats, I did not realise till now that one had been done for Australian and other countries I referee for. Over the next few weeks during my free time I will try and read over all the ones that I referee for and help contribute to them and correct any mistakes.
Referee for Australia, Israel, Judea, Palestine and Persian satrapies
Check out my Instagram account @Australian_Coin_Info
https://instagram.com/australian_coin_info/
Australian Coin Info
Joined: 19-May-2015
Posts: 708
Below is a list of things I believe should be fixed and corrected:

"In 1939 Australia was granted self-rule by the UK."
I am a bit confued with what this means. As an Australian this is something I have not head of, so I went and did a quick Google search and could not find anything on this point. I believe this point is incorrect as Australia received full independence and self-rule from the UK on the 1st of January 1901 as part of Federation. Self-rule from the British was the main reason why Australia federated in 1901. Also Australia had a degree of self-rule before Federation in 1901 as after a certain date (I cannot remember at this time) the colonies in Australia were self governing with a large degree of self rule from the British.

"Australia used British Pounds until 1910"
I think that it would be better to say somthing like, "Australia used British Pound sterling from 1788 until 1910". Also the Australian catalog does say that the Pound sterling was used up till "1929". This is because the confusion from who actually issued Australian sovereigns. I would suggest leaving the 1929 point out until I receive the right information on some specific details on the issue of the sovereigns.

"bank tokens to supplement the shortage in small denominations."
These were not bank tokens and I do not belive any bank issued any tokens. These tokens were actually tokes issued by merchants called "Trade Tokens".

"From the 1850's half and whole gold sovereigns were minted in Sydney and Melbourne"
Yes gold sovereigns and half sovereigns were first struck in Sydney in the 1850's, they were not struck at Melbourne till the 1870's. However the main point I want to make is that the Perth mint also struck these coins begging 1899.

"In 1910 it was decided that Australia had its own Pound at par with the British one."
I belive it would be better to reword this as, "In 1910 the Australian pound was introduced at par with the British pound sterling".

"privately issued bank tokens circulated"
Again these were Trade Tokens.

"Gold sovereigns were minted in Sydney and Melbourne"
Perth should also be mentioned.

"but were mainly shipped to India"
This statment is a little incorrect. This issue only affected a small number of production years so the majority of Australian sovereigns were not sent off to India.

In this paragraph for coins you should also make referance to the Proclamation Coinage, Holey Dollar & Dump and the Adelaide Pound. All these coins can be found in the Colonial Australia catalog.

Also with the recent split of the Australian catalog, you may want to reference the two catalogs.

These are all the mistakes and error I have picked up. If I find anymore I will make another post. Hope all my points can me fixed and implemented. Great job Jokinen for the work you put into this post and the other world coin chats!
Referee for Australia, Israel, Judea, Palestine and Persian satrapies
Check out my Instagram account @Australian_Coin_Info
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brismike
Joined: 17-May-2015
Posts: 237
I agree with everything Australian Coin Info has said. Here is another small correction:-

Where the original post says .... "During WW2 the Japanese Empire threatened to invade Australia but only New Guinea was conquered."

New Guinea was not conquered by the Japanese ... They only invaded the northern part of it. They never made it to Port Moresby the capital. They were stopped and pushed back by Australian Troops on the ground and eventually all Japanese forces on new Guinea were destroyed.

Here is a commemorative coin that was released to mark the 70th anniversary of the battle against the Japanese in New Guinea by Australian Forces in particular on the Kokoda Track.

https://en.numista.com/catalogue/pieces58454.html

Cheers Mike
Collecting - Australian RAM Decimal, UK Decimal, USA Modern & Euros.
Got a question about Aussie RAM Decimal coins? .. I probably can provide the answer. :)
jokinen
Joined: 10-Feb-2013
Posts: 1677
Happy that people actually read them and thank you for the suggestions. I will work on them soon.

Regarding the self-rule, I found something on the Westminster Act of 1931 that only became effective in 1942 with retrospect to 1939. It was probably far less impactful than the federation of 1901.
jokinen
Joined: 10-Feb-2013
Posts: 1677
I finally made it to Australia! Even though I can pay by card anywhere I tapped some money from the ATM to get an idea how notes and coins are currently used. Nothing too special in my change so far except for a 1997 circulating commemorative Dollar with an aviation theme.

It is actually really weird to see those small $2 coins in practice.



Still heavily jet lagged, but sure to enjoy myself the next two weeks :-)
brismike
Joined: 17-May-2015
Posts: 237
Those small $2 coins are great. You do tend to accumulate a few in change but they are not too heavy.

I like to pump them into Supermarket self serve checkouts for an item that is say $10 but only put $8's worth in, then a few smaller coins up to a total value of say $9.60 .. Then stick in a $10 or $20 note as well to see what you get back in change.

Yesterday I got a 2019 20 cent and a 2018 $2 red poppy coin in change by doing the above.

Cheers Mike
Collecting - Australian RAM Decimal, UK Decimal, USA Modern & Euros.
Got a question about Aussie RAM Decimal coins? .. I probably can provide the answer. :)

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