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Australia Elizabeth II

1954  Sixpence reverse 1954  Sixpence obverse

1954 Sixpence

Mintage:7,672,000
Reverse Designer:W. H. J. Blakemore Obverse Designer:Mary Gillick Size:19mm Weight:2.83g Edge:Reeded Composition:50% Silver
40% Copper
5% Nickel
5% Zinc

Values

Sales History

The 1954 Sixpence was the second piece in the Queen Elizabeth II series and was the final issue of this short two year type before the obverse legend was modified. The year was produced at the Melbourne Mint to a total mintage of 7,672,000. This large mintage coupled with the discovery of a number of mint-state hordes makes this a very affordable year with piece easily obtainable into MS65 and even MS66. Population reports by PCGS show an extremely large number of mint-state examples with over one hundred MS65 and MS64 examples, more than double most of years in the series. Collectors seeking an affordable and attractive mint-state example from early in HM Queen Elizabeth II's reign would do well to further examine MS65 and MS66 examples from this year.

This piece was the final year in the sixpence series to lack the traditional 'F.D' (Defender of the Faith) inscription on the obverse legend. The inscription had been removed with the introduction of Queen Elizabeth II's new portrait in 1953. This had attracted substantial controversy with groups including 'The United Protestant's Association' and a number of Australian Bishops leading protests against the change. Commonwealth authorities initially defended their decision arguing that the changes were for simplicity sake and they did not intend to cause any disrespect or make a political message. Both the 1953 and 1954 Sixpence feature the 'godless' legend but in 1955 the Authorities bowed to the pressure and added 'F.D'.

Defender of the Faith 'F.D' inscription on a 1955 Proof Sixpence. Defender of the Faith 'F.D' inscription on a 1955 Proof Sixpence.

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