top of page
El Cazador Shipwreck Coin
  • Complete set of Australia predecimal commemorative florins

  • Contains the British Empires first ever commemorative

  • Must have pieces of Australia’s numismatic history

  • Act now – limited sets still available!​

Australia’s Pre-decimal Commemorative Florins Set

Click To Zoom


Australia was formed on 1st January 1901 when the original colonies federated into one nation. The constitution of the newly formed Australia conferred the right to issue a national currency on the Commonwealth Government. It took some time, but the government passed the Coinage Act of 1909 which provided for the striking of Australian silver coins in the denominations of florin, shilling, sixpence, threepence, bronze pennies and halfpennies. Australia’s first silver coins were dated 1910 and the first bronze coins appeared one year later dated 1911. It was not until 1927 that Australia’s first commemorative coin was struck. 

Coins had been minted with new designs to coincide with the coronation of new monarchs, or with significant royal jubilees, but they were redesigns of the usual everyday coins. The concept of a commemorative coin - with a design to celebrate a specific event that is only issued for one year - was relatively new. In fact, in this respect Australia was at the forefront: although the USA had minted them as far back as 1892, Australia was among the first in the British Empire to produce a commemorative coin. Britain’s first commemorative coin was not struck until 1935, eight years after Australia’s first.

The florin was chosen as it was Australia’s largest predecimal silver coin, the size allowing more space for the design. While the penny would have been bigger overall, the florin was minted from silver which is more easily struck with fine details than bronze. 

Australia’s predecimal coinage stretched from 1910 to 1964 but in that fifty-four years just four commemorative coins with one-year designs were struck. All of them were florins with a face value of two shillings. These four coins celebrated some of the most important events in 20th century Australia.

This set is comprised of all four different coins:

THE 1927 OPENING OF PARLIAMENT HOUSE FLORIN - A special commemorative florin was struck to celebrate the opening and put into circulation. The coin featured a front elevation of the building on the reverse and a portrait of King George V that did not feature on any other Australian coins! 

THE 1934-35 CENTENARY OF MELBOURNE AND VICTORIA FLORIN - Melbourne was founded in 1834 and the colony of Victoria the year after in 1835. To celebrate the centenary of these events Australia’s second commemorative coin was struck. The decision was taken to sell the two-shilling coins at three shillings to the public, in an effort to pay for some of the centenary celebrations. Of the 75,000 coins minted only 54,000 were sold at this inflated price - the remaining coins were melted down. This makes it the rarest Australian florin - no other florin had a smaller mintage. 

It also features a portrait of King George V on the obverse that was not used on any other Australian coin making it an important portrait coin as well as a one year only reverse design.

THE 1951 FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY OF FEDERATION FLORIN - Australia was formed on 1st January 1901 when the six separate British self-governing colonies of Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia, and Western Australia agreed to unite and form the Commonwealth of Australia. The former colonies became states within that nation. 

In 1951 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of that great event, Australia’s third commemorative coin was issued. It featured a crossed sword and sceptre, crowned, with the stars of the southern cross spread amongst the design.

THE 1954 ROYAL VISIT ‘THE WATTLE TOUR’ FLORIN - Australia’s fourth and final predecimal era commemorative coin was struck in 1954 to celebrate the visit of the new Queen Elizabeth II. As the coin already featured the portrait of Her Majesty on the obverse the revers featured a symbolic design which showed a lion and kangaroo standing side by side. 


bottom of page