1966 50c

1966 50c Round Silver Coin

This one-year-only 1966 Silver Round 50c is Australia’s only issued silver decimal coin.

Many of these coins were hoarded away or melted for the intrinsic value as the silver price soared, the 80% silver 1966 50c vanished from circulation. The next 50c was neither silver nor round, rendering the 1966 50c a unique type

On many 1966 50c coins, including proofs (according to some decimal researchers) there are the remains or “remnants” of the Double Bar can be found. With over 3,000 sets of dies being used it is inevitable that some variation exists.

Unlike later double bars these are very indistinct and difficult to see. These should be considered differently to the double bars (Ghost Bars perhaps?), a separate variety almost. Double Bars are quite distinct and young sharp eyed persons can easily spot them.

To class these the same as something only visible under magnification should be re-considered.

Mintage Statistics:

The Royal Australian Mint in Canberra struck over 36 million 50 cent pieces before rising silver prices halted production with the Mint announcing in late 1967 that they were no longer releasing them into circulation.

A quarter of a million pieces held at the mint when the directive to cease production was announced, never saw the light of day.

Although a report by the Decimal Committee shows 5.3 million pieces were still held by Treasury at the end of June 1967. They were duly melted down. Since that time a gradual recall and melting down of all pieces which make their way back to the mint has occurred, at a handsome profit to the Government.

The end to silver in circulating coins worldwide was well known and even accepted by the public, so many took the announcement to cease issuing the silver 50c as the death of the denomination altogether, there was even a competition held by The Australian Coin Review Magazine to design a Crown sized dollar coin as a not to subtle hint to the government of the time as to which direction they thought our coins should go.

Coin Specifications:

Denomination: 50 cents
Metal: 80% Silver
20% Copper
Silver Content: 0.3416 oz
Mass: 13.28 grams
Diameter: 31.50 mm
Reverse: Stuart Devlin
Obverse: Arnold Machin

There is proper double bars on 1966 50c coins but they are on a very, very rare version, the 1966 London Pattern.

More information on later Double Bars.

More information on the 1966 London Pattern