Silver shilling

Australia, AD 1910

Federation coin showing indigenous animals on its heraldic device

From 1901 the six separate colonies of Australia became a united federation. British coins, which had circulated in the colonies since the 1820s, continued in use until 1910, when the Australian Commonwealth, as it was then known, issued its new coins. The denominations - pounds, shillings and pence - were based on those of Britain.

This silver shilling piece was produced as part of the new issue. On one side of the coin the portrait of King Edward VII (reigned 1901-10) is shown, while on the other side is the heraldic motif of the federation, with a shield supported by a kangaroo and an emu, two indigenous animals of the Australian continent. These animals had previously been used on Australia's token coinage since the mid-nineteenth century.

The head of the British monarch and Australian fauna continue to feature on Australian coins to this day.

Find in the collection online

More information


J. Cribb, B. Cook and I. Carradice, The coin atlas (London and Sydney, Macdonald Illustrated, 1990)


Diameter: 24.000 mm
Weight: 5.620 g

Museum number

CM 1911-3-12-16



Find in the collection online

Search highlights

There are over 4,000 highlight objects to explore