Dynasty: Colonial
Knowledge Base

How Colonial Australian Coin Came into Existence

In the year 1840, a change crisis was felt in the Colony of New South Wales and to combat that Melbourne grocery firm Annand Smith & Company produced Australian traders tokens. On one side they placed their name and business and the other one depicted a figure of Britannia. When the Australian token coins arrived, the company gave them out in change as pennies from their shop.

Did you know that Australians never used money and they indulged in the Barter system? Some popular trading items included stones. The British sent the First Fleet to Australia to set up a penal colony. However, the First Fleet didn’t include much money and most of the first coins that were used came from the pockets of officers, sailors and convicts. Then there was a time when almost any coin was used as Australian colonial coins.

As the Australian population grew, a proper money system was needed. Colonial coins of Australia still had to wait for many years before they could be minted. It was only in 1909 that the Federal Parliament passed a bill, allowing Australia to have its own coins. In the year 1963, the government announced it was planning to convert to decimal currency system. After 2 years, the Australian Mint was established in Canberra, Australia and the journey of minting colonial Australian coins began. Decimal currency was introduced in Australia, with 1c, 2c, 5c, 10c, 20c and 50c coins which were all round in shape. These decimal coins replaced the half penny, colonial penny, threepence, sixpence, shilling and florin.