SettingsSettings Subscribe  


Australia Bicentenary

1989 Silver Proof Fifty Cent reverse 1989 Silver Proof Fifty Cent obverse

1989 Silver Proof Fifty Cent

Reverse Designer:Michael Tracey Obverse Designer:Raphael Maklouf Size:31.6mm Weight:15.55g Edge:Plain Composition:92.5% Silver
7.5% Copper


Sales History


The Bicentenary dodecagonal fifty cent coin was issued in 1988 to commemorate 200 years since the arrival of the First Fleet in New South Wales. In 1988 there was much celebration and a number of coins and medallions were issued to pay tribute to 200 years of European settlement in Australia. One example is this commemorative fifty cent coin, which was issued by the Royal Australian Mint, Canberra to mark the day that First Fleet arrived in New south Wales - January 26th 1788. The reverse of the coin was designed by Michael Tracey and represents the arrival of the First Fleet to the shores of Australia. The Lady Nelson is clearly visible with a compass and a small outline of New South Wales. The legend included on the reverse is AUSTRALIA 1788 - 1988 and the denomination FIFTY CENTS. The obverse features the Raphael Maklouf portrait of her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, right-facing, crowned with necklace and earrings. Surrounding her effigy is the legend ELIZABETH II AUSTRALIA 1988.

A booklet is included with the coin, which contains a description of the coin and some information pertaining to the First Fleet. The coin was also issued in 1989 as part of the Fifty Cents Masterpieces in Silver collection. There were 11 ships that made up the First Fleet and they all left Great Britain in order to establish the first European Colony on Australia on 13th May 1787. The entire journey which included stops at Tenerife, Rio de Janeiro and the Cape of Good Hope took a total of 252 days. On board all 11 ships were a total of 1044 passengers. This was made up of officers, their families, free settlers and convicts (Wikipedia, 2013) .

The fleet was commanded by Captain Arthur Phillip who would become the first Governor of the colony at New South Wales and included the flagship HMS Sirius, HMS Supply, Charlotte, Scarborough and Friendship. The ships arrived over a 3 day period with HMS Supply arriving first on Botany Bay on the 18th January and the final ships of the fleet arriving on the 20th. Despite 48 people dying on route, the voyage was considered extremely successful as no ships were lost. It soon became evident that Botany Bay was not a suitable location to start the colony as they were unprotected, fresh water was sparse and the soil was poor. Phillip's went searching for somewhere more suitable and on the 26th January the colony was moved to Port Jackson. The 26 of January is celebrated annually as Australia Day.

Find out what dealers are paying with a subscription.

Subscribe now!

Find out what coins have actually sold for and where with a Standard/Professional subscription.

Subscribe now!