Should Australia at some point in the future vote to become a republic, it is not unreasonable to assume that the obverse of our coins would depict the Australian Coat of Arms.
100 Years Old Today
The current design of the Australian Coat of Arms was granted by Royal Warrant of King George V on 19 September 1912. It consists of the badges of the six States of the Commonwealth on a shield enclosed by an ermine border; the Crest of the Arms, comprising a seven-pointed star and wreath; and two Supporters from our endemic fauna – the kangaroo and emu.
Having appeared on a number of circulating and commemorative issues to date, the Coat of Arms provides collectors with a potentially rewarding theme to pursue. For example:
George Kruger Gray’s rendition of the 1912 Coat of Arms with a royal crown over a shield depicting the badges of the six Australian states became a feature of the Australian florin from 1938 onwards.
Revising the design for the new 50 cents decimal coin in 1966 famously fell to Stuart Devlin. First appearing on the circular one-year type and subsequently on the dodecagonal (12-sided) version, his work portrayed the Coat of Arms on a background of Mitchell grass.
The Perth Mint was authorised to portray the 1912 Coat of Arms on the obverse of an Australian silver commemorative (above a small effigy of HM Queen Elizabeth II). The coin was released in 2008 on the 100th anniversary of the original 1908 Coat of Arms, which appeared on the reverse of the limited collectable.
The following year, The Perth Mint introduced its annual Australian Citizenship $1 base metal coin program. Aimed primarily at those celebrating the privileges of their newfound status as Australian citizens, each aluminium-bronze coin depicts the Coat of Arms on a more customary background of golden wattle.
Our annual Perth Mint Proof Australian Sovereign provides yet another opportunity to acquire an Australian legal tender issue portraying the Commonwealth of Australia’s Coat of Arms. Exquisitely crafted from 22-carat gold, it would undoubtedly make an excellent centrepiece of a collection with the potential to grow extensively!