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Australian coinage timeline

1788 – Settlement
1790 – HMS Kitty arrives with 4500 Spanish dollars tobe used at Govr Phillip’s discretion
1791 – Govr Philip fixes the Spanish dollar at 5 shillings
1797 – ‘Cartwheel’ British penny (1 oz) as the first official British coinage (date of arrival of twopence (2 oz) is uncertain)
1800 – Govr King, by Proclamation on 19 Nov. fixes those coins that may be used as currency
1810 – ‘Rum currency’ forbidden by Macquarie
1812 – The ship Samarang arrives at Port Jackson with 40,000 Spanish silver dollars which were purchased by Governor Macquarie for four shillings and nine pence each. To keep these within Australia he cut holes in the middle (they became known as holey dollars), restamped them for George III of England, and fixed their value at five shillings, the ‘dump’ from the middle valued at 1 shilling and threepence
1813 – Holey dollars and dumps declared legal currency on 30 Sept.
1814 – Holey dollars and dumps released into circulation
1817 – Australia’s first bank, the Bank of New South Wales, opened in Macquarie Place, Sydney, the premises leased from the emancipist businesswoman Mary Reibey who is depicted on the $20 banknote
1825 – The Currency Act of 28 September 1824 was the first act passed by the Parliament of New South Wales. It formalized British sterling as the official currency of New South Wales, ‘pounds, shillings and pence’ remaining Australian currency denominations until the introduction of decimal currency in February 1966
1901 – Australian Federation resulted in the constitutional power to produce coins passing from the state to the commonwealth and coins continued to be minted
1910 – Australian coinage introduced as pounds shillings and pence, but initially as silver florins, shillings, sixpences, and threepences
1966 – Decimal coinage introduced as dollars and cents – the first issue being of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, and 50 cent coins
1984 – First issue of $1 coins
1988 – First issue of $2 coins

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