decimal currency in Australia

The Mint:  a place where money is coined, gets its name from O.E. mynet, representing Lat. moneta, money.

Source: Brewer’s Dictionary of Phrase and Fable.  (O.E. – Old English)

The Canberra Times of 8 April 1963 reported the proposed date of the introduction of decimal currency to the Australian financial system.  The February 1966 date was dependent upon the completion of the new National Mint in Canberra.

The Royal Australian Mint struck its first coin on 22 February 1965, just under a year before the decimal launch.  Stuart Devlin, now a world renowned gold and silversmith, was responsible for the design of the six coins in circulation from 14 February 1966.  The one and two cent coins were withdrawn in 1992.  The 50 cent piece went from a circular coin to a twelve-sided coin in 1969.

The notes were printed by Note Printing Australia, a subsidiary of the Reserve Bank of Australia.  In 1988, the $10 note went polymer.  By 1996, Australia had become the first country with a full set of circulating polymer notes.

decimal date decidedDevlin’s coins were previewed in the Australian Women’s Weekly in September 1964.

decimal currency 1964 preview


The extensive advertising campaign launched to promote the date of the introduction of the new currency is imprinted in the minds of those who were around in 1966.  Television was broadcast in black and white back then, so this colour version of one in the series is fun to see.