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Australian 1 cent coin

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Not to be confused with the Australian 1 penny coin.
Cent
Australia cent rev
Reverse
General information
Country

Flag of Australia Australia

Used by
5 countries

Flag of Australia Australia
Flag of Kiribati Kiribati
Flag of Nauru Nauru
Flag of Tuvalu Tuvalu
Flag of Zimbabwe Zimbabwe (unofficial)

7 territories

Flag of Australia Ashmore and Cartier Islands
Flag of Australia Australian Antarctic Territory
Flag of Christmas Island Christmas Island
Flag of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands Cocos (Keeling) Islands
Flag of Australia Coral Sea Islands
Flag of Australia Heard Island and McDonald Islands
Flag of Norfolk Island Norfolk Island

Value

A$0.01

Years

19662016

Measurements and composition
Mass

2.6 g

Diameter

17.65 mm

Thickness

1.5 mm

Composition

bronze

Appearance
Shape

round

Alignment

medallic

Edge

plain

Obverse

Elizabeth II, monarch title, state title, year

Reverse

Feathertail glider (Acrobates pygmaeus), value

v · d · e

The 1 cent coin, known colloquially as the cent or penny, is a former circulation and recent non-circulating legal tender (NCLT) piece of the Commonwealth of Australia. It was issued in two circulation types from 1966 to 1991, and has been released in various non-circulating types from 1991 to the present. All of these pieces currently hold legal tender status in locations using the Australian dollar, carrying a face value equivalent to 0.01 dollar. The circulation coins, however, no longer see frequent use due to their low purchasing power, while the non-circulating pieces are intended primarily for collectors and do not circulate at all.

The first coin of the denomination was introduced in 1966 and struck annually until 1984. It was then followed in 1985 by a new circulation type, which remained in production until 1991. A non-circulating coin in the design of the second piece was then released in 1991, and another of the first was later released in 2006. Non-circulating 1 cent coins of similar design have also been released in three different metals from 2006 to 2016. In 2009, a non-circulating commemorative cent was also released in recognition of an unused Australian coin design drafted in 1963 by Hungarian Australian sculptor Andor Mészáros (1900–1972).

CoinsEdit

Feathertail glider coins (1966–2016)Edit

Machin portrait (1966–2006)Edit

Bronze coin (1966–1984)Edit
See also: 1963 Australian coin design competition
Australia 1 cent 1967

1967 coin

With the passage of the Currency Act 1965, the Australian dollar was introduced on February 14, 1966, replacing the pre-decimal Australian pound at a rate of £1 to $2. Six coins were initially minted for the new currency in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 cents. Patterns for a 1 dollar piece were made as early as 1966, but a circulating coin of the denomination was not released until 1984. The 1 cent coin of the series was manufactured annually from 1966 to 1984 (except from 1967 to 1968) at the Royal Australian Mint in Canberra. Examples were also produced at the Melbourne Mint from 1966 to 1968, the Perth Mint in 1966, and the British Royal Mint in 1981.

The 1 cent piece is composed of a bronze alloy of 97 percent copper, 2.5 percent zinc, and 0.5 percent tin and measures 2.6 grams in mass, 17.65 millimeters in diameter, and 1.5 millimeters in thickness. It has medallic alignment and a plain edge, and like most coins, is round in shape. Both of the coin's rims are raised and undecorated.

The obverse, designed by British artist Arnold Machin (1911–1999), features in its center a portrait of Elizabeth II (1926–; r. 1952–), the current Queen of Australia and the United Kingdom. In this depiction, which first appeared in 1965 on coins of Canada, the young queen is shown facing right, wearing the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara on her head. Printed clockwise along the periphery to the left is the caption "ELIZABETH II". Written in the same direction at the periphery to the right is the state title "AUSTRALIA" followed by the Gregorian date of minting.

The reverse, designed by Australian artist Stuart Devlin (1931–), displays a feathertail glider (Acrobates pygmaeus) in its center. Native to eastern Australia, the marsupial is recognized as the world's smallest gliding mammal. On the coin, the animal's left whiskers (illustrated at the right) can be used to determine the mint at which the piece was manufactured. On examples struck in Melbourne, the first whisker is blunted, whereas on those minted in Perth, the second is blunted. None of the glider's whiskers are blunted on coins manufactured at the Royal Australian Mint in Canberra or the British Royal Mint. The numeral "1", which identifies the face value of 1 cent, is engraved in the middle of the coin, partially superimposing the illustration of the feathertail glider. The "SD" initials of the designer additionally appear in small print below the animal's tail.

According to the Standard Catalog of World Coins, over 19 consecutive years of production, approximately 2,625,407,000 examples of the coin were manufactured, including 2,624,751,000 pieces with a standard finish and 656,000 proofs. All of the proofs and an unknown number of uncirculated standard coins were distributed in official proof and mint sets.

Reportedly, some of the pieces removed from circulation were melted down to make bronze medals for the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney, Australia.

Mintages
Year Mint Mintage
Standard Proof
1966 Canberra 146,457,000 18,000
Melbourne 238,990,000
Perth 26,620,000
1967 Melbourne 110,055,000
1968 19,930,000
1969 Canberra 87,680,000 13,000
1970 72,560,000 15,000
1971 102,455,000 10,000
1972 82,400,000 10,000
1973 140,710,000 10,000
1974 131,720,000 11,000
1975 134,775,000 23,000
1976 172,935,000 21,000
1977 153,430,000 55,000
1978 97,253,000 39,000
1979 130,339,000 36,000
1980 137,892,000 68,000
1981 183,600,000 86,000
London 40,300,000
1982 Canberra 134,290,000 100,000
1983 205,625,000 80,000
1984 74,735,000 61,000
Total 2,625,407,000
Aluminum trial strike (1978)Edit

In 1978, the Royal Australian Mint produced at least two copies of an aluminum 1 cent trial strike. The trial strike has the same 17.65-millimeter diameter and designs as the bronze circulation pieces, but is noticeably lighter. Both known examples of the coin were sold by the Australian auction house Downies in 2011 and 2015.

The aluminum trial strike is not currently listed in the Standard Catalog of World Coins.

Silver coin (2006)Edit

In 2006, Australia celebrated its 40th anniversary since decimalization and the 80th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II. In commemoration of both events, in 2006, the Royal Australian Mint issued a Fine Silver Year Proof Set containing .999 fine silver proof versions of the original 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 cent pieces, along with newer 1 and 2 dollar coins. The set, initially sold for A$230.00, was available for purchase beginning on February 10, 2006. The Royal Australian Mint enforced an issue limit of 6,500 sets, but according to the Weltmünzkatalog, only 5,829 sets were purchased.

The 1 cent piece measures 2.93 grams in mass and 17.65 millimeters in diameter. It has medallic alignment and a plain edge, and is round in shape. Both of the coin's rims are raised and undecorated.

Maklouf portrait (1985–1991)Edit

Bronze coin (1985–1991)Edit
Australia 1 cent 1990

1990 coin

In 1985, a new portrait of Elizabeth II designed by Israeli British sculptor Raphael David Maklouf (1937–) was introduced. It was incorporated that year onto coins of the United Kingdom and various British Overseas Territories and Commonwealth realms, including Australia. The previous Australian coin series, consisting of denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 cents and 1 dollar, was redesigned to accommodate the portrait. The 1 cent piece of the new design was manufactured at the Royal Australian Mint every year from 1985 to 1991. It, along with earlier 1 cent coins and the 2 cent piece, began to be withdrawn in 1990 because of its low purchasing power and high production cost. In spite of this, the piece continues to circulate in limited quantities in locations using the Australian dollar.

The 1 cent coin has the same composition and measurements as the 1966–1984 pieces. It is made of a bronze alloy of 97 percent copper, 2.5 percent zinc, and 0.5 percent tin and measures 2.6 grams in mass, 17.65 millimeters in diameter, and 1.5 millimeters in thickness. The piece has medallic alignment and a plain edge, and is round in shape. Both of its rims are raised and undecorated.

A right-facing bust of Queen Elizabeth II is displayed in the middle of the obverse. In the depiction, the 58-year-old monarch is illustrated with a youthful appearance, wearing the George IV State Diadem on her head, an earring in her left ear, and a necklace on her neck. Engraved in the likeness near the bust truncation are the "RDM" initials of the designer. The caption "ELIZABETH II" is inscribed clockwise along the rim to the left, while the state title "AUSTRALIA" and Gregorian date of minting are printed in the same direction at the rim to the right.

The coin's reverse is identical to that of 1 cent pieces minted from 1966 to 1984. A feathertail glider is depicted in the center, partially superimposed by the numeral "1". Engraved in small print below the animal's tail are the "SD" initials of the artist, Stuart Devlin.

According to the Standard Catalog of World Coins, over seven consecutive years of production, approximately 487,907,000 examples of the coin were manufactured, including 487,428,000 pieces with a standard finish and 479,000 proofs. All of the proofs and an unknown number of uncirculated standard coins were distributed in official proof and mint sets.

Like the 1 cent pieces minted from 1966 to 1984, an unknown number of the coins were reportedly melted down to make bronze medals for the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney.

Mintages
Year Mintage
Standard Proof¹
1985 38,300,000 75,000
1986 180,000¹ 67,000
1987 122,000,000 70,000
1988 105,900,000 106,000
1989 168,000,000 67,000
1990 52,900,000 53,000
1991 148,000¹ 41,000
Total 487,907,000
¹ In sets only
Silver coin (1991)Edit

In 1991, Australia celebrated its 25th anniversary since decimalization. In commemoration of this event and the discontinuation of the 1 and 2 cent pieces, in 1991 the Royal Australian Mint issued a silver proof set consisting of .925 fine silver proof versions of the contemporary 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 cent and 1 and 2 dollar coins. The Royal Australian Mint enforced a mintage limit of 25,000 sets, including a hinged box for display and a certificate of authenticity with each set.

The 1 cent piece is composed of .925 fine silver and measures 3.01 grams in mass and 17.65 millimeters in diameter. It has medallic alignment and a plain edge, and is round in shape. Both of the coin's rims are raised and undecorated.

Rank-Broadley portrait (2006–2016)Edit

Bronze coins (2006–2016)Edit

In 1997, the Royal Mint invited eleven artists to design a new likeness of Elizabeth II for coins of the United Kingdom and certain British Overseas Territories and Commonwealth realms. The portrait submitted by British sculptor Ian Rank-Broadley (1952–) was ultimately selected as the winner, and began appearing on coins as early as 1998. Australia first used the new likeness on circulation pieces in 1999.

In 2006, Australia celebrated its 40th anniversary since decimalization and the 80th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II. On the occasion of these events, in February 2006, the Royal Australian Mint released uncirculated and proof coin sets containing 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 cent and 1 and 2 dollar pieces. The uncirculated set, initially sold for A$23.50, contained a standard dodecagonal 50 cent coin whereas the proof set, sold for A$80.00, included a round 50 cent piece. A total of 84,407 uncirculated and 45,373 proof sets were purchased.

In 2010, a similar "1966 Decimal Currency Heritage Set" was released by the Royal Australian Mint to celebrate the Australian 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 cent coins introduced in 1966. Ten replica resins of designs not chosen for the original coins were also included in the set. Available for order as early as November 22, 2010, the sets were initially sold for A$695.00. With a mintage limit of only 400 examples, the sets contain what are considered by some to be the rarest Australian decimal coins ever minted.

The year 2016 marked the 50th anniversary of Australia's decimalization and the 90th birthday of Queen Elizabeth II. In celebration of both events, the Royal Australian Mint issued an uncirculated set containing 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 cent coins. This set became available for purchase in February 2016, initially selling at a price of A$66.00. The Royal Australian Mint set an issue limit of 10,000 sets.

The 1 cent pieces included in these sets are composed of a bronze alloy of 97 percent copper, 2.5 percent zinc, and 0.5 percent tin and measure 2.6 grams in mass, 17.65 millimeters in diameter, and 1.5 millimeters in thickness. They have medallic alignment and plain edges, and are round in shape. The rims of both sides of each piece are raised and undecorated.

A right-facing bust of an elderly Queen Elizabeth II wearing the Girls of Great Britain and Ireland Tiara appears in the center of the obverse. Engraved below the likeness near the bust truncation are the "IRB" initials of the designer. The caption "ELIZABETH II" is inscribed clockwise along the rim to the left, while the state title "AUSTRALIA" and Gregorian date of minting are printed in the same direction at the rim to the right.

The reverse is identical to that of all previous 1 cent pieces. A feathertail glider is depicted in the center, partially superimposed by the numeral "1". Engraved in small print below the animal's tail are the "SD" initials of the artist, Stuart Devlin.

Gold coins (2006–2016)Edit
Australia 1 cent 2016 gold

2016 coin

In addition to the uncirculated and proof sets released in 2006, a set of proof .9999 fine gold 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 cent and 1 and 2 dollar coins was also issued by the Royal Australian Mint that year. Only 300 sets were sold, each including a special box for display and a certificate of authenticity.

In 2012, the Royal Australian Mint released a "Gold Mini Money Coin Set" containing small .9999 fine gold versions of Australia's 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 and 1 and 2 dollar pieces. The set had a limited mintage of 2,000 specimens and initially retailed at A$550.00. As gold prices increased, however, this price eventually rose to A$590.00.

A .9999 gold proof set containing 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 cent coins became available through the Royal Australian Mint in 2016. An issue limit of 100 sets has been established, with each set selling for A$9,995.00. As of May 2017, examples are still available for purchase through the Royal Australian Mint.

The 2006 and 2016 coins are composed of .9999 fine gold and measure 5.61 grams in mass and 17.65 millimeters in diameter. The 2012 piece is also made of .9999 fine gold but is noticeably smaller, having a mass of 0.5 grams and diameter of 11.15 millimeters. All three coins have medallic alignment and a plain edge, and are round shape. The rims of both sides of each are raised and undecorated.

Silver coins (2011–2016)Edit
Australia 1 cent 2016 silver

2016 coin

In 2011, twenty-one years after the 1 and 2 cent piece were withdrawn from circulation, the Royal Australian Mint released a proof set containing .999 fine silver variants of the two coins. A maximum of 6,000 sets were sanctioned to be released, each selling for A$80.00.

A .999 silver proof set containing 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 cent coins became available through the Royal Australian Mint in 2016. An issue limit of 1966 sets was established.

The coins are composed of .999 fine silver and measure 2.93 grams in mass and 17.65 millimeters in diameter. They have medallic alignment and a plain edge, and are round in shape. The rims of both sides of each coin are raised and undecorated.

1966 Decimal Pattern commemorative coin (2009)Edit

Australia 1 cent 2009 pattern commem

2009 commemorative coin

In 1963, the Royal Australian Mint commissioned six artists to submit designs for the first series of Australian decimal coins. Among those artists was Andor Mészáros, a Hungarian-born sculptor who immigrated to Australia in 1939. The designs he drafted for the 1, 2, 5, 10, and 20 cent coins were leading contenders in the competition, but they were ultimately rejected in favor of Stuart Devlin's work.

Around 2009, Michael Mészáros (1945–), the son of Andor Mészáros, supplied the Perth Mint with his father's original plaster models for the 1963 competition. In honor of the elder Mészáros, later that year, the Perth Mint released a commemorative proof set containing 1, 2, 5, 10, and 20 cent pieces in Mészáros original designs. A maximum of 7,500 such sets was established by the Perth Mint, each initially selling for A$169.00.

The 1 cent piece of the series is composed of .999 fine silver and measures 2.43 grams in mass, 17.65 millimeters in diameter, and 3 millimeters in thickness. It has medallic alignment and a plain edge, and is round in shape. The rims of both sides of the coin are raised and undecorated.

Ian Rank-Broadley's portrait of Elizabeth II appears in the center of the obverse, his "IRB" initials engraved in small print below. Inscribed clockwise at the left rim is the caption "ELIZABETH II", and printed in the same direction at the right periphery is the state title "AUSTRALIA" followed by the Gregorian date of minting, "2009".

An illustration of the waratah (Telopea speciosissima), the floral emblem of New South Wales, is illustrated in the middle of the reverse. Superimposing the flower at the right side of the piece is a large numeral "1", which represents the coin's face value of 1 cent. Andor Mészáros' signature is included in small print below the waratah, near the bottom of the piece.

ReferencesEdit

Template:Australian dollar

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