Shilling coins were minted from 1910 to 1963
After 1966 decimal coins were introduced.
From 1910 to 1945 the coins were 92.5% silver
In 1946 the coins were set at .500 silver to help pay off war debts
Most coins were minted in Melbourne or Sydney mints and in USA during the war years .the US minted coins have a small S above the coat of arms.
SILVER FLORIN of 1939.
In 1936, King George V died and left his throne to his elder son, Edward. But due to a love affair, the latter preferred to leave the throne. When King Edward VIII abdicated only a few months of reign, he left the throne to his brother, George VI. In all the British Commonwealth, the new king’s portrait appeared on the coins and sometimes the coin itself suffered some design modifications.
In Australia, in 1936, Edward, due to his short reign, didn’t mint any coins, as well as in UK.
The production of the new types of coins started only 2 years after, in 1938.
The new coin was similar as style with the George Vth coins but with major difference.
For example, the silver florin (2 shillings or 1/6 of a pound) was depicting on one side the coat of arms of Australia, with a star above and the legend ONE FLORIN-TWO SHILLINGS. On the obverse, the king was crowned.
The new type was the similar but the legend was replaced with ONE FLORIN, and the country name was added in bottom together with the year. Also the coat of arms was given a crown on top, instead of the 6 ray star. On the obverse, the portrait of the king was looking in the same side but instead of George Vth old face, with crown, the much younger portrait of the new king appeared, without a crown.
The coin was same size as the old ones, was made of silver 92,5 %, with a weight of 11,31 g, 28,5 mm. The coin can be found in Krause Standard Catalogue under the position of KM#40.
In 1938, the mintage was only 2990000 pieces and a special proof strike, with an unknown number.
The next year brought a problem. The 1939 florin was minted in only 630000 pcs, the lowest mintage of this type of florins. The reasons?
One of them is that the production of these coins in the previous years was large enough to supply the market. Also the market had the 10 s. (or 5 florins) banknote that made the payment with large quantity of florins unnecessary.