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Australian Fifty Cent Coins
2000 Royal Visit Australian Fifty Cents
|For the first time since 1936 and the very first time ever on
decimal coinage, an Australian coin featured a Royal effigy designed by an Australian!
The Royal Australian Mint obtained special permission from Buckingham Palace to feature an effigy by Australian Vladimir Gottwald (a Royal Australian Mint designer) on the Royal Visit coin, celebrating the visit to Australia in March 2000 of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II. Vladimir’s Australian effigy featured only on the silver commemorative coin and its circulating coin equivalent.
This effigy will not be used again. (Thank God)
|The new effigy has an interesting history. In 1996 the
Royal Australian Mint was invited to submit designs for a new effigy of the Queen to be
used in Commonwealth countries. Vladimir’s design was amongst the final three
selected and was viewed by the Queen before the final selection.
Like the Ian Rank-Broadley portrait which appears on our circulating coin, the Vladimir Gottwald portrait presents a more contemporary image of the Queen. There are differences however, which can be detected by eye.
In the effigy, the Queen is wearing Queen Mary’s ‘Girls of Great Britain and Ireland’ Tiara, earings from the Queen’s private collection given in Queen Mary’s era and The King Faisal of Saudi Arabia Necklace.
Vladimir also designed the reverse of this coin, featuring our flag flying above Parliament House. Alongside the flag is St Edward’s Crown, believed to contain gold from Edward the Confessor’s crown, who is thought to be the first monarch to assemble a regalia.
Vladimir enjoys a very successful career as a designer and sculptor. He studied at the National Conservatory, after which he worked at the National Museum, both in Czechoslovakia. During his employment at the Bohemia Porcelain factory, Vladimir also exhibited his works at Casanova’s Castle. Vladimir emigrated to Australia in 1980 and joined the Mint in 1990. Since then he has designed many of Australia’s coins, and his 1995 Waltzing Matilda design for the $1 coin was awarded the prestigious Trade Coin of the Year prize.
The 50-cent coin released into general circulation by the Royal Australian Mint to commemorate the Royal Visit in March 2000 has been voted the best circulating coin of the year by the international minting community, in the annual Coin of the Year competition conducted by Krause Publications of the USA.
Finding good uncirculated 2000 Royal Visit coins seems to be quite Herculean. The design has large unprotected fields and few high points making any marks very distinguishable. Most are from circulation.