Australia 2005 150th Anniversary of the First Australian Coin

From Stamps of the World
Australia 2005 150th Anniversary of the First Australian Coin 50c.jpg
  • Issue Date : 21 April 2005
  • Designed by : Andrew Hogg
  • Printed by : SNP Sprint
  • Print Process : Lithography
  • Perforations : 14 x 14¾
  • Dimensions: 37.5mm x 26mm
  • Format: sheets of 50 (two panes of 25)


This stamp issue marks the 150th anniversary of the first official coin produced in Australia. The Sydney Mint, established in 1855, was the first branch of the London Royal Mint outside Britain and the first branch in the Australian colonies. It was Australia's first official coinage mint and the earliest Australian gold coins were struck at Sydney on 23 June 1855. The "Sydney Mint Patterns" are very important in Australia's numismatic history.

The reverse design on the coins was very different to previous Imperial sovereign designs. It was uniquely Australian, with the words "Australia" and "Sydney Mint" prominent. The designer of the Sydney Mint Pattern was James Wyon, a member of the famous Wyon dynasty of engravers. Originally these coins were regarded as legal tender in New South Wales. In 1857 the British Treasury amended the ordinance to include "all the colonies of Australasia".


50c Stamp

The stamp features an obverse image of the first coin showing the head of Queen Victoria facing left. Around the head is the Latin legend: VICTORIA D:G: BRITANNIAR:REGINA F:D: 1855 (Victoria, by the grace of God Queen of the Britons, Defender of the Faith 1855).

50c obverse side of coin

$2.45 Stamp

The stamp features a reverse image of the first coin. Below a crown is a wreath of olive branches surrounding the word "AUSTRALIA" around which is the legend "SYDNEY MINT ONE SOVEREIGN".

$2.45 reverse side of coin

Miniature Sheet

  • Print Process: Lithography and Embossing
  • Dimensions: 106mm x 70mm

The Sydney Mint building is shown in the background of the foil-stamped and embossed miniature sheet. Located in the centre of Sydney, it is the oldest classically detailed building in Australia. Known as the Rum Hospital, it was built by private contractors between 1811 and 1816 in exchange for an exclusive licence to import rum. It was used as the Sydney Mint until 1926.

Miniature sheet of two

First Day Covers

The first day of issue postmark was GPO Sydney NSW 2000.

Single stamps first day cover
Miniature sheet first day cover

Maximum Cards

50c maximum card
$2.45 maximum card

Presentation Pack

Presentation pack front cover
Presentation pack of 2 values and miniature sheet