|Obverse||Elizabeth II – Mrs Mary Gillick
Legend (1953-54): ELIZABETH II : DEI : GRATIA : REGINA +
|Reverse||Ramshead – George Kruger Gray
Legend: Shilling Australia
|Composition||50% Silver, 40% Copper, 5% Zinc, 5% Nickel|
|Size||23.5 mm (15/16″)|
|Actual Silver Weight (ASW)||0.1818 tr.oz.|
The final issues of the Australian Shilling were those depicting Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse for the years 1953 to 1963. The design of the ramshead by George Kruger Gray was carried on for these issues. No more pre-decimal coins were minted after 1963 as the country moved to decimal currency in 1966. This entire series of 1s were minted at the Melbourne Mint in Australia.
Proof examples of the Shilling are still affordable to obtain post 1955. These proofs became more popular with buyers and were commercially produced by the mint for sale from 1955. Higher grades gem and choice uncirculated also achieving attractive buying prices are easily affordable and not particularly scarce.
A well known variety of the Elizabeth II Shilling is the 1961 ‘Bar in the wool’. This is a vertical bar in the wool folds below the ram’s face directly above the N of shilling. This variety is thought to have been caused by a weakness in the die at this part of the design, therefore possibly occurring on more than one die in various stages.