The Australian One Cent coin

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What happened to the Australian 1 cent coin?.

My wife brought home an Australian 1 cent coin today, and I was drawn to check its actual history, as I could not recall when it was withdrawn.

It was introduced with decimal currency on 14 February 1966.

The design was a feather tailed glider on the reverse, and the head of the Queen of Australia on the front.

Australian One Cent Coin reverse Australian One Cent Coin Front 1990

Production of these coins commenced at the Royal Mint Melbourne branch in 1964, with 239 million of the 1966 coins being produced. 146.5 million were also minted at the Royal Australian Mint in Canberra and another 26.6 million at the Perth Mint.
After 1966, all the coins were produced at the Royal Australian Mint in Canberra, with two exceptions.
In 1981, 40.3 million of these were produced at the British Royal Mint in Llantrisant, Wales, with 183.6 million produced in Canberra.

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There were no 1 cent coins produced in 1986, and the last production was dated 1990, prior to the announcement that they would be withdrawn.

In August 1990 it was announced that the issue of one and two cent coins would cease, and both coins were withdrawn from circulation from February 1992.

Many of the coins that were withdrawn, were melted down and used for the 1,100 Sydney 2000 Olympics Bronze Victory Medals.
(Bronze consists mainly of Copper with some Tin, and sometimes with Zinc. The same as the Australian 1 cent coin)
A statement from the Hon Joe Hockey MP, (Minister responsible for the Royal Australian Mint) was: “The bronze Victory Medals will also incorporate metal from melted-down 1c and 2c pieces – coins that have been touched by very many Australians over the years.” Source: An official striking of Sydney 2000 Olympic Victory Medals by Minister Joe Hockey MP

How Many Australian One Cent coins were made?

These are the mintage figures for each Production Location, per year, in millions.

RAM = Royal Australian Mint, Canberra.
RMM = Royal Mint, Melbourne Branch.
RMP = Royal Mint, Perth Branch.
RMLL = Royal Mint, Llantrisant, Wales

1966 412.1 146.5 239 26.6
1967 110 110
1968 19.9 19.9
1969 87.7 87.7
1970 72.6 72.6
1971 102.5 102.5
1972 82.4 82.4
1973 140.7 140.7
1974 131.7 131.7
1975 134.8 134.8
1976 172.9 172.9
1977 153.4 153.4
1978 97.3 97.3
1979 130.3 130.3
1980 137.9 137.9
1981 223.9 183.6 40.3
1982 134.3 134.3
1983 205.6 205.6
1984 74.7 74.7
1985 45.9 45.9
1986 0
1987 127 127
1988 108.4 108.4
1989 168.4 168.4
1990 133.3 133.3
Total 3207.7 2771.9 368.9 26.6 40.3

How Much is an Australian One Cent Coin Worth?

As far as I am aware, they have never been demonetised and remain legal tender. This means you can take the to the bank and deposit them. For one cent in value.

How much is the metal in the Australian One Cent Coin Worth?

Each One Cent Coin contains
2.522 grams of Copper
0.065 grams of Zinc
0.013 grams of Tin

  • Copper is worth about $6 per kilo, so about 400 of these coins, with an original face value of $4, might be worth about $6 for their copper content, but only after separating it from the Zinc and Tin.
  • Zinc is worth about $35 per kilo, but at only 0.065 grams per coin, that same 400 coins would be worth about $0.90.
  • Tin is worth about $25 per kilo, but at only 0.013 grams per coin, that same 400 coins would be worth about $0.13.

Maybe a total of $7 for $4 face value of coins. But the cost of extracting each metal might make the exercise not worth it.

How Much is an Australian One Cent Coin Worth, to a Coin Collector?

If the coin is dated 1968, (the year they produced the least in numbers) and in perfect condition, it should be worth more than the rest. I have seen them between $8 and $35 each.

Special Coin Production sets:

  • 247,000 mint sets were also produced in 1986.
  • 216,000 mint sets were also produced in 1991.
  • 87,407 mint sets were also produced in 2006.
  • 400 proof sets were also produced in 2010.
  • 10,000 mint sets were also produced in 2016.

Royal Australian Mint

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