Australian Florins

1954 Royal Visit of Queen Elizabeth II

.500 Silver

Queen Elizabeth II visited Australia in February 1954, the first time a ruling monarch had ever visited Australia. The unusual design, shows the British lion and Australian kangaroo as national symbols standing shoulder to shoulder. Bowles went for simplicity in the symbolism of the design, in fact many said it was simplified to the extent that it failed to communicate what the coin was about. The claim being it could be a zoo token for all the information given on the coin, there is no mention of a Royal Visit on the coin anywhere.

The 1954 Royal Visit Commemorative florin was the first to bear the new legend on the obverse designed by Mrs Mary Gillick in her 71st year.
The "normal issue" florin of the same year did not use the modified legend, it was not until 1956 that it appeared as no florins were issued in 1955.


Collectors should consider acquiring most of the Queen Elizabeth II series in Gem coins, these are still affordable with the greatest possible upside. Coins Extra Fine and below are considered little more than bullion coins.

Points to consider when grading the reverse are:
  • the kangaroo and lion's eyes;
  • the large field areas susceptible to minting and bag marks as well as light handling scratches;
  • the shoulder on the lion;
  • the sharpness of details on the denticles, lettering and design;
  • the rim for dents and nicks;
  • weak strike will show up in a lack of definition in the "WLB" just above the date with a flattening of the tail just near the end and the Kangaroo eye detail.


Composition: .500 silver
.400 copper
.050 zinc
.050 nickel
Silver Content: 0.1818 oz
Edge: Reeded
Weight: 11.31 grams
Size: 28.5 mm
Obverse: Mary Gillick
Reverse: George Kruger Gray