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Special 50c coin a final tribute to the Queen

A special edition 50c coin commemorating* the late Queen Elizabeth II will celebrate her remarkable seven decades of service.

The silver coin, released this week by the Royal Australian Mint, features the six effigies* of the Queen that have appeared on previous Australian coins.

Royal Australian Mint chief executive Leigh Gordon said the coin was “a study of graceful* ageing” by one of the most recognisable female figureheads* and our longest serving monarch*.

“Historically, coins bear witness to a monarch’s reign with their royal effigies appearing on the obverse*,” Mr Gordon said.

“In keeping with that tradition, this exceptional coin showcases the Queen Elizabeth II memorial effigy by Jody Clark on the obverse.”

The other side of the coin has the six faces of the Queen fanned above her royal cipher*. The centre image is framed with Lily of the Valley — one of the Queen’s favourite flowers — and Australia’s national floral emblem*, the golden wattle.

King Charles III will also start to appear on our coins next month.

The gold Australian dollar coin will be the first with an image of the new British monarch, who is also Australia’s head of state*.

About 10 million of the dollar coins will be in use by Christmas, Mr Gordon said.

“Certainly, we’re keen to get as many of the new coins with the King’s face on them out there as quickly as possible,” Mr Gordon said.

The remaining denominations* — 5c, 10c, 20c and 50c coins plus a $2 coin — will be rolled out with the King’s left profile and without a crown during 2024 based on demand from banks.

The Mint has already confirmed King Charles’ image will not replace the Queen on our $5 note. Instead it will feature a new design that honours the culture and history of Indigenous* Australians.

King Charles to have his image immortalised on the Australian $1 coin



  • commemorating: to mark or celebrate (an event or person) by doing or producing something
  • effigies: a sculpture or model of a person
  • graceful: elegant and stylish
  • figureheads: a leader without real power
  • monarch: king or queen
  • obverse: the side of a coin bearing the head
  • cipher: a monogram with the initials of a monarch’s name and title, often with a crown
  • floral emblem: official flowers of states or countries
  • head of state: the chief public representative of a country
  • denominations: the values printed on a banknote, coin, or postage stamp
  • Indigenous: people inhabiting or existing in a land from the earliest times or before colonisation


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  1. In total, how many effigies of the Queen will be on the new 50c coin?
  2. What is usually on the obverse side of a coin?
  3. Which two flowers are on the coin and why?
  4. How many $1 coins with King Charles’ effigy will be in use by Christmas?
  5. What will replace the Queen on our new $5 note design?


1. Do you know why?
“There should be an Australian on Australia’s coins!” Do you agree or disagree with this statement?

Write a very convincing letter explaining what you think and why.

Time: allow at least 20 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Civics and Citizenship

2. Extension
Imagine that it is the year 6023, four thousand years in the future. All signs and knowledge of what Australia was like in 2023 has been lost. A set of coins from 2023 has been found. They are our regular 10c, and 20c coins and a $1 and $2 coin. One of the Queen Elizabeth II commemorative 50c coins has also been found.

What conclusions do you think an archaeologist in 6023, who knows nothing about Australia in 2023, would make from these coins? Have a good look at some coins and the pictures of the commemorative coin to help you.

Time: allow at least 20 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, History

1. To sum it up
After reading the article, use your comprehension skills to summarise in a maximum of three sentences what the article is about.

Think about:

What is the main topic or idea?

What is an important or interesting fact?

Who was involved (people or places)?

Use your VCOP skills to re-read your summary to make sure it is clear, specific and well punctuated.

Read More:Special 50c coin a final tribute to the Queen