Royal Australian Mint makes decimal currency history with the flip of a coin

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February 25, 2016 – The 14th of February 2016 marks the 50th anniversary of the introduction of the decimal currency to Australia – the move from pounds, shilling and pence to dollars and cents.

Obverse of the 2016 $2 Circulating Coin.

The Assistant Minister to the Treasurer the Hon Alex Hawke MP has announced that in 2016 history will be made by the Royal Australian Mint (RAM) with a special release of the entire suite of Australia’s circulating coins to feature commemorative designs recognising the 50th anniversary of decimal currency.
With over 5 million of each denomination entering circulation, this announcement makes history in more ways than one with the designs appearing on the ‘heads’ of the coin along with the effigy and it being the first time unique designs have been applied to the 5 and 10 cent coins.

Obverse of the 2016 5c Circulating Coin.

Mr Hawke said Australians will notice a very distinctive change to the obverse design of their beloved coins this year, remembering the pre-decimal coins from the half penny to the florin.
“Since the changeover to decimal currency, our nation has not experienced change to this extent and there seemed no better time than this anniversary year for the Royal Australian Mint to release such an extensive circulating coin program,” said Mr Hawke.
“With a flip of a coin, stories can be shared about ‘The Changeover’ period 50 years ago and Australians of all ages can have something unique they can collect and treasure for another 50 years.”

Obverse of the 2016 50c Circulating Coin.

Royal Australian Mint CEO Mr Ross MacDiarmid said that fittingly the 50 cent coin will be the first to enter circulation from the banks with the rest of the denominations being distributed as the demand arises and the Mint has other ways the public can access these special coins.
“We hope to see the 50 cent coin very soon in our change and for a limited time, the public will be able to contact the Mint and purchase a pack that is made up of twenty 50 cent pieces at face value of $10 plus postage,” said Mr MacDiarmid.

The Royal Australian Mint gives to all those who purchase a set of 50 cent pieces a free Circulating Coin Folder to keep together the coins they may collect during the year.

“With these orders, we will also send a free Circulating Coin Folder so that the public have something to collect all six coins throughout the year.”
“Throughout the year the Mint will run the same promotion with the other denominations for a limited time to ensure the public have access to these coins to mark an important milestone in Australia’s history.”
To provoke nostalgia and educate the younger generation, these folders will also feature a link via the Layar app to discover the decimal currency jingle.
These free circulating coin folders will be made available for school children through their educational establishments, as well as through visiting the Mint and other periodic promotions.

Release dates for Mint promotion are:

  • $2 – pack of 5 – Monday 4 April 2016
  • $1 – pack of 10 – Monday 6 June 2016
  • 20c – pack of 20 coins – Tuesday 4 October 2016
  • 10c – pack of 40 coins – Tuesday 4 October 2016
  • 5c – pack of 40 coins – Tuesday 4 October 2016 

For more information on the coins go to the Royal Australian Mint website.

You can watch the famous Australian Government ad for the Decimal Currency of 1966 on Youtube.