The Type I five cent was issued from 1966 to 1984, with an additional
striking in silver in 2006 as part of the 40th anniversary of
decimal coinage set. The obverse features the Arnold Machin
portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II, with Stuart Devlin's echidna design on the
reverse. Devlin's initials (SD) can be found directly underneath the denomination.
The issue was struck at the Royal Australian Mint in all years with additional assistance provided by the Royal Mint London in 1966 to assist with the huge demand for new currency as a
result of the vast amount of pre-decimal currency withdrawn.
To distinguish between the 1966 London and Canberra pieces one must look closely for the spines on the echidna's front right
shoulder. The spine on the London mint coins is approximately twice the length as those minted
in Canberra (see images below). In 1982, the Wales and Canadian mints also assisted with striking coins to meet the additional
demand for circulation currency brought about by the economic boom of the 1980s.
A short spine indicates that the 1966 five cent was minted in Canberra.
A long spine indicates that the 1966 five cent was minted in London.
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