Halfpennies

Characteristics
Diameter
25.4mm (1")
Weight
5.67g (1/5 oz)
Composition
Bronze: Cu 97.5%,
Zn 2.0%, Sn 0.5%

As for the pennies, the most authoritative classification of the halfpennies is probably that of Paul Holland in his articles8,11 published in the Australian numismatic journals and this presentation relies heavily on those works.

Contents:

Obverse master die types
Reverse master die types
Die pairings & catalogue index
Obverse master die types

Obverse 1

Designed by Bertram McKennal, this obverse was used on all halfpennies from 1911 to 1936 inclusive.

156 rim denticles.


Obverse 2

Indian quarter anna, used for a very small number of 1916 halfpennies.


Obverse 3

Designer was Thomas (Humphrey) Paget. This obverse was used for Australian halfpennies from 1938 to 1948 and is identical to that used on British halfpennies 1937-1948.

147 rim denticles.


Obverse 4

Legend was modified to remove IND IMP since India had become independent in 1947. F D expanded to FIDEI DEF. Used for all halfpennies 1949-50, the London issue of 1951 and most of the Perth 1951 coins.

146 rim denticles. All the letters "I" are aligned with denticles.


Obverse 5

Very similar to obverse 4. Used for some of the 1951 Perth halfpennies and all the 1952 coins.

149 rim denticles. The letters "I" in FIDEI are aligned with gaps between denticles.


Obverse 6

First of the obverses to show Mary Gillick's portrait of Elizabeth II. Used at the Perth Mint for halfpennies dated 1953-55.

Rim embellishment comprises 112 round beads.

The omission of FD (Fidei Defensor) caused a bit of a stir akin to that which followed the omission of DG (Dei Gratia) on the 1849 British "godless" florin.


Obverse 7

FD restored to legend. Used at Perth and Melbourne Mints for halfpennies dated 1956-64.

110 rim beads.

Reverse master die types

Reverse A

Used for all Australian halfpennies from 1911 until 1939. Designer was W.H.J. Blakemore.

148 rim denticles.


Reverse B

Introduced in late 1939, this reverse by George Kruger Gray was used at all mints of issue until 1962.

Alternating thick and thin rim denticles, 106 of each. "H" aligned with thin denticles.


Reverse C

Used only at the Bombay mint for most of the 1942 issue. Very similar to reverse B but with minor differences in the lettering and in the detail of the kangaroo's head. The kangaroo is also in noticeably lower profile than on reverse B. Dots before and after HALF PENNY.

Alternating thick and thin rim denticles, 106 of each.


Reverse D

Used only at the Bombay mint for part of the 1942 issue and all of the 1943 issue, this reverse features much taller denticles than reverse C. Dots before and after HALF PENNY.

Alternating thick and thin rim denticles, 104 of each.


Reverse E

Very similar to reverse B but the alignment of the letters differs.

Alternating thick and thin rim denticles, 104 of each. "H" aligned with wide denticles.

Differences between the type B and C reverses


The serifs on the reverse legend are more pronounced on the type C reverse (bottom) than on the type B reverse (top).
Title


Different treatment of the kangaroo's face.

The originating mints in this table for the years 1919-1926 are provisional. I need to check the mint records to verify these and I have not done this at the time of writing (25/3/2002).

Master die pairings for Australian halfpennies
Year
Obv
Rev
Mint
Variety
Rarity
Notes
1911
1
A
London

Common

1912
1
A
Heaton & Son

Common

1913
1
A
London
Date variations
Common

1914
1
A
London

Common


1
A
Heaton & Son

Common

1915
1
A
Heaton & Son

Common

1916
1
A
Calcutta

Common


2
A
Calcutta

Extremely rare
Mule
1917
1
A
Calcutta

Common

1918
1
A
Calcutta

Common

1919
1
A
Sydney

Common

1920
1
A
Sydney

Common

1921
1
A
Sydney

Common

1922
1
A
Sydney

Common

1923
1
A
Melbourne

Scarce

1924
1
A
Melbourne

Common

1925
1
A
Melbourne

Common

1926
1
A
Melb, Syd

Common

1927
1
A
Melbourne

Common

1928
1
A
Melbourne

Common

1929
1
A
Melbourne

Common

1930
1
A
Melbourne

Common

1931
1
A
Melbourne

Common

1932
1
A
Melbourne

Common

1933
1
A
Melbourne

Common

1934
1
A
Melbourne

Common

1935
1
A
Melbourne

Common

1936
1
A
Melbourne

Common

1938
3
A
Melbourne

Common

1939
3
A
Melbourne

Common


3
B
Melbourne

Scarce

1940
3
B
Melbourne

Common

1941
3
B
Melbourne

Common

1942
3
B
Melbourne

Scarce


3
B
Perth
Dot after Y
Common


3
C
Bombay
I below bust
Common


3
D
Bombay
I below bust
Rare
Tall denticles
1943
3
B
Melbourne

Common


3
D
Bombay
I below bust
Common

1944
3
B
Melbourne

Common

1945
3
B
Perth
Y.
Common


3
B
Perth

Common
No dot
1946
3
B
Perth
Y.
Common

1947
3
B
Perth
Y.
Common

1948
3
B
Melbourne

Common


3
B
Perth
Y.
Common

1949
4
B
Perth
Y.
Common

1950
4
B
Perth
Y.
Common

1951
4
B
London, Heaton
PL
Common


4
B
Perth
Y.
Common


4
B
Perth

Scarce
No dot

5
B
Perth
Y.
Common


5
B
Perth

Scarce
No dot
1952
5
B
Perth
Y.
Common

1953
6
B
Perth
A.
Common

1954
6
B
Perth
Y.
Common

1955
6
B
Perth

Common

1959
7
B
Melbourne

Common


7
B
Perth
Y.
Common

1960
7
B
Perth
Y.
Common

1961
7
B
Perth
Y.
Common

1962
7
B
Perth
Y.
Common

1963
7
E
Perth
Y.
Common

1964
7
E
Perth
Y.
Common

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Created: 31st December 2000, the last day of the 20th century and of the 2nd millennium.
Modified: 23rd September 2002 - Completed the die table.
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