When designs were being considered for the new Australian silver coinage during the first decade of the twentieth century, the pattern florin illustrated here was put forward.  Its reverse, designed by W H J Blakemore, a resident engraver at the Mint, was very different from the heraldic devices that had hitherto held sway and it was given serious enough consideration for trial pieces to be prepared.  


Australian pattern florin.jpg


The forces of tradition prevailed in the end and a design, very much heraldic in theme, was selected instead of the map of Australia.  Whatever its drawbacks, it stands out as an unusual item and it even attracted the attentions of the well-known counterfeiter David Gee, who concentrated on Australian rarities and who had access to the Royal Australian Mint collection in Canberra.  Perhaps its very distinctiveness caught his eye.


back to top