20 cent coin (20c)

The twenty-cent coin of the Australian decimal currency system was issued with conversion to decimal currency on 14 February 1966, replacing the florin, or two shillings (the Australian pound automatically became worth two Australian dollars.)

Three different obverses have so far been used; 1966 to 1984 the head of Queen Elizabeth II by Arnold Machin; between 1985 and 1998 the head by Raphael Maklouf; and since 1999 the head by Ian Rank-Broadley. Inscription of AUSTRALIA on the right hand side and ELIZABETH II on the left hand side.





Date of issue

28.52 mm

11.3 g

Queen Elizabeth II


1966 to present

Designer	 Arnold Machin (1966) Raphael Maklouf (1985) 	Ian Rank-Broadley (1999) Designer Stuart Devlin (1966)

1995: 50 years of the United Nations with the UN emblem

Designed by Horst Hahne

2001: Donald Bradman's death

Celebrating the life and achievements of Sir Donald Bradman.

Sculpted by Vladimir Gottwald

2001: 100 years of Australian Federation - Australian Capital Territory

Centenary of Federation Student Design winner for the Australian Capital Territory.

Designed by Stacy Jo-Ann Paine of Caroline Chisholm High School.

2001: 100 years of Australian Federation - New South Wales

Centenary of Federation Student Design winner for New South Wales.

Designed by Joseph Neve of Bellingen High School.

2001: 100 years of Australian Federation - Northern Territory

Centenary of Federation Student Design winner for the Northern Territory.

Designed by Lisa Brett of Leanyer School.

2001: 100 years of Australian Federation - Queensland

Centenary of Federation Student Design winner for Queensland.

Designed by Jenifer Gray of Ingham State High School.

2001: 100 years of Australian Federation - South Australia

Centenary of Federation Student Design winner for South Australia.

Designed by Lisa Murphy of Yankalilla Area School.

2001: 100 years of Australian Federation -  Tasmania

Centenary of Federation Student Design winner for Tasmania.

Designed by Abbey MacDonald of Launceston Church Grammar School.

2001: 100 years of Australian Federation - Victoria

Centenary of Federation Student Design winner for Victoria.

Designed by Ryan Douglas Ladd and Mark Aaron Kennedy of Lara Lake Primary School.

2001: 100 years of Australian Federation - Western Australia

Centenary of Federation Student Design winner for Western Australia.

Designed by Janice Ng of Forrestfield Senior High School.

2001: 100 years of Australian Federation - Norfolk Island

Centenary of Federation Student Design winner for Norfolk Island.

Designed by Megan Cummings of Norfolk Island Central School.

2003: Commemorating Volunteers

Designed and sculpted by Vladimir Gottwald

2005: Lost Soldiers

Commemorating the 60th anniversary of the end of World War 2. This design was inspired by a photograph in the Australian War Memorial collection of a soldier returning home to his family.

Designed and sculpted by Vladimir Gottwald.

2009: Australia Remembers - Australian Service Nurses

Honouring past and present Australian Service Nurses who have made military history behind and beyond the battlefields. Perfectly capturing a nurse in her personal effort to bring comfort and assistance to a wounded “Aussie Digger”, whilst upholding the highest traditions of the nursing fraternity.

2010: Australia Remembers - Lost Soldiers of Fromelles

The battle occurred in France on July 19-20 in 1916. Fromelles was a combined operation between British troops and the Australian Imperial Force (AIF). It would be the first occasion that the AIF saw action on the Western Front. The Australian War Memorial describes the battle as "the worst 24 hours in Australia's entire history."

2011: Australia Remembers - War Historians

Over the years, they shaped our perception of conflict via unbiased and independent documenting and recording in perilous conditions. Well known correspondents include Banjo Patterson during the Boer War and Australia’s most noted war correspondents, C.E.W. Bean, chronicler of Gallipoli and founder of the Australian War Memorial and Damien Parer, who captured memorable images from the Kokoda track. They, and the many since, have exemplified bravery and integrity to report on each Australian campaign and ensure 'Australia Remembers'.

2010: Centenary of the Australian Taxation Office

2011: Wedding of HRH Prince William and Catherine Middleton: Duke and Duchess of Cambridge

2011: International Women's Day

2011: International Year of the Volunteer

2013: Commemorating the Centenary of Canberra.

Commemorative coins  There have been various commemorative reverses


Excepting commemorative varieties, there have been a number of varieties of regular issue coins identified by collectors, of both the obverse and reverse. The first of these seen is a highly prized variety of the 1966 issue, with a "wave" on the top of the bottom stroke of the 2 in "20". These coins are now sold for over $200, depending on condition. Other varieties sited of the obverse generally revolve around the length and number of the claws of the platypus. These are prone to changing if incorrect stamping pressure is used in creation of dies for the coins. Consequentially, these are often seen in coins produced at foreign mints.

For the Broadley head Reverse there are three issues: 1999 with thicker lettering, 2000-2003 slightly reduced lettering by 0.01 mm. The 2004 issue had two forms, a reduced head all around by 2 mm and A's with flat top and thicker lettering, and the issue of 2000-03. Both were issued for circulation, but only the later in mint packs. 2005 and subsequent issues have seen a reversion to the 2000 series Reverse.

There are also some commemorative 20 cent coins.

In 1981, a large number of 20 cent coins were required, far over the capacity of the Royal Australian Mint facility in Canberra, leading to some coins being minted by other Commonwealth Mints, such as the Royal Mint in London, and the Royal Canadian Mint. In Australian Coin Collecting circles, the Canadian impression of the 20 cent coin is known as the "Ottawa Mint" version, which may be misleading, as post 1976, the Ottawa Mint only produced precious metal commemorative coins, like the Perth Mint, meaning the coins may have been produced at the Royal Canadian Mint's Winnipeg facilities.

Due to differences in the milling and annealing process, the Canadian variety of the 1981-20 cent coin is distinctive to attentive collectors and even cash handlers. The top and bottom edges of the milling is rounded over, not squared like the Australian and London varieties, and despite being in circulation for well over 25 years, even when well worn, the fields remain shiny, and not dulled like those produced at other mints. These qualities are also observed in Canadian coinage of similar ages.

The quantity of 1981 and 1982 mintages of the 20 cent coin was sufficient to not require many coins released for circulation until 1990. The 1983 and 1984 versions were struck for circulation, but never released, later being resmelted by the Royal Australian Mint, leaving the coins relatively rare. Significant premiums have been paid for a small number of mint rolls from these years that have shown up in auctions.

2013: 25th Anniversary of Australian Parliament House

Opened in 1988 by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth ll, Australian Parliament House was designed by architect firm Mitchell, Giurgola & Thorp whose winning design was selected from a field of 329 entries from 28 different countries.

2014: Australian Comforts Fund - Australia Remembers

The Australian Comforts Fund, a group set up here at home to “support the boys overseas”