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Australia Remembrance

2005  Fifty Cent reverse 2005  Fifty Cent obverse

2005 Fifty Cent

Reverse Designer:Wojciech Pietranik Obverse Designer:Ian Rank-Broadley Size:32mm Weight:15.55g Edge:Plain Composition:75% Copper
25% Nickel


Sales History


This is a fifty cent End of the War commemorative coin that was released both for general circulation and as a collectors item. It marks 60 years since the end of the war and pays tribute to the many lives lost during and as a result of the war. As for all countries involved, World War II was a terrible period of time in Australian history that had the country supporting Britain in Europe whilst simultaneously defending the mainland from attack from the Japanese. Lives were lost as a result of both and this coin pays tribute to those brave men and women.

In 1939, what would go on to become World war II began as Germany invaded Poland resulting in Britain and France declaring war on Germany. The move was not totally unexpected and throughout the 1930's tensions were running high between various countries around the world. Not only was Germany planning to expand through Europe by means of military conquest but so was Italy. Meanwhile Japan were intending to conquest Asia and the Pacific. Australia's involvement came fairly early on and as soon as Britain declared war, Australia stood up in support of the British Empire. Throughout the war over a million Australian took part, either overseas or as part of operations based at home and this included both men and women. Of this million, 32,429 died and 66,563 were wounded. 20 men were awarded the Victoria Cross for bravery. (Returned Services League, 2007)

The war against Germany and Italy resulted in Australian's fighting all over Europe, the Mediterranean and North Africa. Simultaneously they were fighting the Japanese in South-east Asia and the Pacific as well as protecting the Australian mainland. This was the first time that the mainland had come under direct attack as the north-west was targeted by Japanese aircraft bombers and Sydney harbor targeted by submarines. Although willing and ready to show their support where needed, Australia was not particularly well prepared for war. The Royal Australian Navy was the first to get involved in Italy and this was followed by the Royal Australian Air Force in the Battle of Britain. The Army entered into combat in the Mediterranean and North Africa. When Darwin was bombed in 1942 the RAN returned to defend the mainland and army and RAAF presence increased. During this time women were permitted to take on war work and became more actively involved as nurses and doctors but also as members of the military in air, navy and army. 30.000 Australian became POW's with well over half of these captured by the Japanese, who treated them terribly leading to the deaths of over 30 percent of those captured. Germany surrendered in May 1945 but for Australia World War II wasn't over until the Japanese surrendered in August 1945.

This coin named Remembrance, was not only issued for general circulation but was also included in the 2005 Six Coin Year Sets, which in this particular year celebrated 60 years since the end of World War II. There were three of the sets released by the Royal Australian Mint, each with a different finish, which were an uncirculated proof set, a silver proof set and a gold proof set. The 2005 Six Gold Coin Proof set has a limited mintage of just 629, whilst the silver proof set was higher at 6,200 and the uncirculated set higher again at 46,404. In each of the sets the coin were displayed in a beautiful presentation case with a booklet of information and certificate of authenticity included. The other special commemorative coins that features in this set that intended to capture the feelings and emotions sparked by the end of war are a one dollar coin named Peace and a 20 cent coin named Coming Home.

Wojciech Pietranik was responsible for the design of the reverse of the coin, which features images of people overlooking gravestones.This coin is the most sombre of the three included in the set as it represents the great loss of Australian lives that the Second World War resulted in. The legend written in small letters at the top of the coin reads "WORLD WAR 1939-1945" and the denomination "FIFTY CENTS" can be seen at the bottom. The obverse features the traditional effigy of Queen Elizabeth II as designed by Ian Rank-Broadley and surrounding this is the legend that reads "QUEEN ELIZABETH II AUSTRALIA 2005".

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