The 1982 Commonwealth Games 50c coin released to commemorate the Commonwealth Games which is an elite sporting event held every 4 years and participant nations come from the Commonwealth of Nations (which was formerly the British Empire). The games have been held since 1930 (when they were known as the Empire Games) and changed name several times until 1978 when they finally became known as the Commonwealth Games. Australia had held the games twice until 1982 when they were held in Brisbane (the 12th Commonwealth Games). As a child at the time of the Brisbane Commonwealth Games I clearly remember the huge winking kangaroo, Matilda, that made it’s way around the stadium during the opening ceremony. Putting aside the memories of childhood the games in Brisbane were a very popular event in Australia, with Australia and England having an exciting head to head contest at the top of the medal tally board. To celebrate such a large sporting event the RAM issued an attractive 50c coin into circulation which can be seen above.
The obverse of the 12 sided, 15.5 gram, cupro nickel 50c coin coin bears the standard young portrait of Her Majesty as sculpted by Arnold Machin. The reverse of the coin was designed by Stuart Devlin. The reverse design shows the logo of the 1982 Brisbane Commonwealth Games over a map of Australia surrounded by icons representing 12 of the sports conducted during the games. The legend around the reverse reads “XII Commonwealth Games Brisbane 50 Cents”. 23,287,000 of the coins were struck for circulation, a further 195,000 in brilliant UNC condition for mint sets, and 100,000 were struck to proof standards for the 1982 proof sets. The coin was also struck in silver for the 1989 Masterpieces in Silver set, but was dated 1989 and had the newer Raphael Maklouf obverse.
Like the 1970 Captain Cook 50c, the 1981 Charles and Diana 50c and the 1977 Silver Jubilee 50c the 1982 Commonwealth Games 50c was hoarded away in great numbers in the hope that they would someday be worth a fortune. Tragically that day has yet to arrive and you can easily buy a nice uncirculated coin for just $4. A coin from a mint set may fetch a couple of dollars more. A pristine proof 1982 50c could fetch about $20 while the silver coin from the 1989 Masterpieces in Silver set would get about the same. If you’re lucky enough to find a circulated 1982 Commonwealth Games 50c in your change please buy yourself a very small chocolate bar with it because it’s worth exactly 50c!