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Why Did Australia Never Issue Halfcrowns?

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Pillar of the Community
Australia
1724 Posts
 Posted 01/27/2021  3:07 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Mr T to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I thought the Australian pound at least was equal to the British pound until 1920 or 1921 (which coincided with them reducing the silver alloy).
Pillar of the Community
New Zealand
2456 Posts
 Posted 01/28/2021  02:39 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Princetane to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
In 1920 yes, by 1931 that had changed. In the 1920s they did devalue it, so the sterling silver coins Australia used would not end up in the UK, as they were using the half silver coins.

Silver prices rose sharply after WW1 but dropped back in 1922, and it was only the UK and some parts of Europe bankrupted by WW1 and being helped by the Dawes plan which had to resort to base silver and base metal coinages. You may notice America and Canada kept high silver (Well Canada went to 80% from 92.5%).

Australia and South Africa did not debase their coins in 1920 as both countries either mined their own silver or bought it off the Americans and thus could keep their high silver coinage (South African Union coinage started in 1923 with 80% silver like Canada and minted all their coins at Pretoria). The Australians were minting the silver mostly at Melbourne, Perth and Sydney after 1916. Indian silver also remained sterling purity until the 1940s as I suspect again local silver supplies and minting at Bombay, Calcutta and Madras (Nasik was much later).

Australia as we know contemplated 50% silver coinage in 1921 as the Sydney star shillings attest but did not go half until 1946 (South Africa hung on until 1951).

Contrast that with NZ and Fiji which were reliant on British minted coin using British procured silver. The coinage of East Africa was also debased to 20% by 1925 and West African coinage became brass in 1920, not just for economy but as silver did not last well in hot humid places! All the colonial African coins were again minted and managed by London.
Loving Halfcrowns. British and Commonwealth coins 1750 - 1950 and anything Kiwi.
If it's round, shiny and silvery I will love it.
Edited by Princetane
01/28/2021 02:41 am
Valued Member
United States
225 Posts
 Posted 01/30/2021  11:34 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Carrigna to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Fascinating tidbits to learn from!

What about Sterling zone? If I understand it correctly, the currencies are linked to the British pound's value. I think this was set up in post-Second War period.

How can Australian pound be in this zone if the value is different from British pound?

I found out that my Dad's Kenyan 10 shilling note is exactly 10/- in British currency when Kenya was in the zone. Same goes for Malawi.

It is sort of the British version of Eurozone in some ways, yes?
Pillar of the Community
Australia
1724 Posts
 Posted 02/03/2021  3:28 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Mr T to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I'm not sure if it was list a British version of the Eurozone - I imagine that at least initially colonial coins were fixed to the British pound because that was easy.
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Australia
13583 Posts
 Posted 02/03/2021  7:36 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Sap to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
What about Sterling zone? If I understand it correctly, the currencies are linked to the British pound's value. I think this was set up in post-Second War period.

How can Australian pound be in this zone if the value is different from British pound?

I found out that my Dad's Kenyan 10 shilling note is exactly 10/- in British currency when Kenya was in the zone. Same goes for Malawi.

It is sort of the British version of Eurozone in some ways, yes?

The Sterling Zone was never quite like the Eurozone, in terms of currency being on par and interchangeable. Spanish euros are legal thender in France, and vice-versa, but Australian pounds were never legal tender in Britain. The Sterling zone was the British pound, and a basket of currencies that were all pegged to the pound at a fixed exchange rate. For some, that exchange rate was 1:1, but for others (like the Indian rupee) they held a different ratio.

The Sterling Zone was effectively abolished when Britain cut off the remaining economic ties to the Commonwealth when it joined the EEC (precursor to the EU). Most Sterling Zone currencies had already left by then, the remainders either fully floated their currency or switched their peg to the US dollar.
Don't say "infinitely" when you mean "very"; otherwise, you'll have no word left when you want to talk about something really infinite. - C. S. Lewis
Pillar of the Community
New Zealand
2456 Posts
 Posted 02/03/2021  9:03 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Princetane to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
And the last to leave the Sterling Zone was Nigeria on January 1 1973, the same day the UK joined the European Union. The second to last country was Malta, which remained with sterling pound until May 16th 1972.

Malawi also switched over late, sometime in 1971, as I believe these were the only places to switch to a decimal currency after Britain.

Australia and New Zealand switched on 14 Feb 1966 and 10 Jul 1967 - before Callaghan devalued the Sterling pound again in late 1967.

Most other British commonwealth places still using the Sterling currency switched between 1966 and 1970. These included Bahamas (1966), Jamaica and Fiji (1969), Botswana (1966), Solomon Islands, Nauru and Papua and New Guinea (1966 with Australia), Samoa, Tonga, Cook Islands, Niue, Pitcairn Islands and Tokelau (1967 with New Zealand). Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) 1970, Zambia (1968) All British overseas territories like Tristan, Guernsey, Anguilla etc - 1971 with the UK.
Loving Halfcrowns. British and Commonwealth coins 1750 - 1950 and anything Kiwi.
If it's round, shiny and silvery I will love it.
Bedrock of the Community
Australia
18356 Posts
 Posted 02/04/2021  05:03 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add sel_69l to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The RAM has issued NCLT 25 Cent coins.
Valued Member
United States
225 Posts
 Posted 02/08/2021  9:45 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Carrigna to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
@Mr T, @Sap, @Princetane,

Many thanks for your inputs on Sterling Zone. I am aware that it is not same as the eurozone. That's why I said it is sort of it in some ways.

Ah, it was to facilitate easy financial transactions via British pound for their former colonies and some countries.As well as to provide a stability for the local currencies. I understand why some Jamaicans wish they still have old LSD or have their dollar "locked" in the value of British pound.

Did that mean Australian pound revalued after the Second World War? Or that remained unchanged from 1931?

Was the sterling zone useful—better word would be beneficial?
Pillar of the Community
Australia
1724 Posts
 Posted 02/12/2021  5:51 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Mr T to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I don't believe the Australian pound was ever revalued - after World War II Britain scrapped silver from their coinage entirely so there would have been a disparity in value anyway.

Not sure if it was useful/beneficial - probably made currency exchange easier, though I assume international travel was much less common back then anyway.
Pillar of the Community
United Kingdom
8334 Posts
 Posted 02/12/2021  6:45 pm  Show Profile   Check NumisRob's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add NumisRob to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Very interesting!

Princetane: I think Anguilla switched to using the British Caribbean Territories (Eastern Group) coinage in 1955. I've been there and they definitely use East Caribbean currency now.

Of course, the British West Indies dollar (a direct successor to the Spanish 8 Reales coin!) had its value pegged at 4 shillings and 2 pence sterling until 1976. So British halfpennies and pennies were used as 1c and 2c coins until the East Caribbean coins were issued! A halfcrown would have been worth 60 cents!
Edited by NumisRob
02/12/2021 6:53 pm
Pillar of the Community
New Zealand
2456 Posts
 Posted 03/03/2021  03:57 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Princetane to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Yes and also from the stamps. Many colonies adopted this currency (East Carribean dollar in 1949) and the £1 stamp became a $4.80 one overnight, a convenienet conversion, so a penny was 2 cents, a halfpenny 1 cent and shilling 24 cents.

My Virgin Islands set of 1954 has the following values, ½c, 1c, 2c, 3c, 4c, 5c, 6c, 8c, 10c, 12c, 18c, 24c, 48c, 60c $1.20, $2.40 and $4.80 which equate to ¼d, ½d, 1d, 1½d, 2d, 2½d, 3d, 4d, 5d, 6d, 9d, 1/-, 2/- 2/6, 5/-, 10/- and £1.
Loving Halfcrowns. British and Commonwealth coins 1750 - 1950 and anything Kiwi.
If it's round, shiny and silvery I will love it.
Pillar of the Community
Australia
986 Posts
 Posted 03/28/2021  6:50 pm  Show Profile   Check ryurazu's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add ryurazu to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
i wonder if there will ever be one? with all those NTLC releases.
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