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Australian Florins

1951 50th Anniversary of Federation

50% Silver

First of the q-metal commemorative florins with the second of the George VI obverse's. IND IMP was eliminated from the legend, (necessary because India became an independent nation in 1947) and F.D. was expanded to FIDEI DEF.

The reverse was designed by William Leseley Bowles with the sword and the mace taken from the Arms of Canberra and the imperial crown depicted is symbolic of the British parliamentary traditions inherited by Australia. Stars of the Southern Cross constellation are another element of this coin and the Australian flag along with the Federation Star.

1951 50th Anniversary of Federation Australian Silver Florin

The seven pointed Federation Star caused some confusion and a huge outcry ensued. Bowles was accused of taking his Southern Cross from the Arms of Victoria instead of the Commonwealth flag and losing one of the stars. He did not lose one of the stars, however according to articles published in 1952 and inspection of the stars, it does indeed seem that Bowles did use the Victorian Coat of Arms as his model.
It has to do with the number of points each star has, the numbers correspond to the Victorian Coat of Arms rather than the Australian Flag.
Points to consider when grading the obverse are:
  • the King's eyebrow;
  • the top of the ear;
  • definition in the hair;
  • the sharpness of details on the denticles and lettering;
  • the rim for dents and nicks;
  • A weak strike will show in the hair, ear, eye, mouth and nose.


Composition: 50% Silver
40% Copper
5% Nickel
5% Zinc
Silver Content: 0.1818 oz
Edge: Reeded
Weight: 11.31 grams
Size: 28.5 mm
Obverse: Thomas H Paget
Reverse: William Leslie Bowles