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Australia Elizabeth II

1955  Sixpence reverse 1955  Sixpence obverse

1955 Sixpence

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


Sales History


The 1955 Sixpence was the first piece in the Queen Elizabeth II Sixpence series to be issued with the Defender of the Faith 'F.D' inscription in the obverse legend. The year was produced at the Melbourne Mint to a total mintage of 14,248,000. This was the largest mintage in the series so far and remain that way until 1958. Although the mintage was high relatively few examples have survived in mint-state, particularly when compared to the abundance of mint-state 1954 Sixpence. Obtaining a mint-state example up to MS64 is reasonably affordable but at MS65 and beyond the type is far more prohibitive.

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

This issue was the first in the Elizabeth II sixpence series to feature the 'F.D' (Defender of the Faith) inscription on the obverse legend. The inscription had included on the obverse of British coins for many years before being 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'.

"F.D." Back On Our Coins - The Newcastle Sun, 23rd December 1953. "F.D." Back On Our Coins - The Newcastle Sun, 23rd December 1953.

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