|Obverse||Queen Elizabeth II – Mary Gillick
Legend : ELIZABETH . II. DEI . GRATIA . REGINA . F : D :
|Reverse||British lion and Australian kangaroo – William Leslie Bowles
Legend: Australia Florin 1954
|Composition||50% Silver, 40% Copper, 5% Zinc, 5% Nickel|
|Size||28.5 mm (1 1/8″)|
|Actual Silver Weight (ASW)||0.1818 tr.oz.|
This Australian florin was struck in 1954 to commemorate the visit to Australia of Queen Elizabeth II. On 3rd Feb 1954 Queen Elizabeth II stepped ashore becoming the first ruling monarch to ever visit the country. The reverse of this coin was sculpted by (William) Leslie Bowles, a Victorian sculptor of some prominence, who, incidentally designed the reverse of the 1951 Federation Florin. There was much discussion at the time over Bowle’s simple design of the British lion and the Australian kangaroo standing shoulder to shoulder. There is no mention of the royal visit in the design and it was said at the time that the coin looked like it could have been a “zoo token”. The passage of years has mellowed the public opinion concerning this coin and it’s generally considered to be an attractive coin to have in a collection. The 1954 Royal Visit 2/- was struck at the Melbourne Mint.
These coins are still very affordable in the higher grades. However, the large fields on the reverse make them susceptible to mishandling and bagmarks. There are the designers initials WLB above the date which might help identify a weak strike. Stronger strike examples will show more definition in the kangaroo and lion’s eyes. The issue is somewhat troubles by planchet flaws and if the lack of such flaws are important then the discerning collector may need to look a bit harder.
If you want to know what your 1954 Royal Visit Florin is worth you should take a look at this article on that very subject!