The history of the Australian Dollar
The first officially circulated form of currency was introduced in Australia in the early 1800s - the Holey Dollar and the Dump. These coins were created to resolve the coinage scarcity in the Australian colony of New South Wales. Such was the need for coins that Governor Lachlan Macquarie contributed his personal Spanish dollar collection, which was remodelled into two coins by punching out the centre of the coin: the inner coin or Dump was valued at 15 pence, and the outer Holey Dollar was valued at 5 shillings. By 1813, both designs had Australian currency references such as 'five shillings' stamped on to their surfaces. In 1852, the Government Assay Office issued gold pound coins and sovereigns that were minted by the Sydney and Melbourne mints.
The Commonwealth of Australia was established in 1901 when the British combined the colonies of Tasmania, South Australia, Victoria, Queensland and New South Wales with Western Australia. As a result, the currency adopted by The Commonwealth of Australia comprised of British gold, silver and bronze coins in addition to notes issued by the various national Australian banks. The Queensland Treasury also printed notes, although these were restricted to use in Queensland.
In 1909, the Commonwealth Constitution took control of the Australian currency through the Coinage Act, followed by the Australian Notes Act in 1910. Two years later, the Labour Government of Prime Minister Andrew Fisher prohibited the circulation of State notes and introduced a national currency called the Australian pound, which lead to the printing of the first ever Australian Pound notes. The Australian Pound's value was fixed to the British Pound Sterling and as a result, fluctuations in the British Pound Sterling greatly affected the Australian economy.
After years of planning, the Australian dollar was finally introduced on February 14, 1966 as the new decimal currency. All coins portray Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse and are produced by the Royal Australian Mint.
Participating Members: The Australian Dollar is the official currency of The Commonwealth of Australia as well as Christmas Island, Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Norfolk Island. The Pacific Island states of Kiribati, Nauru and Tuvalu also officially use the Australian Dollar.