The Australian Two Cent coin

What happened to the Australian 2 cent coin?.

My wife brought home an Australian 2 cent coin today, (along with a couple of One Cent coins) and I was drawn to check its actual history, as I could not recall when it was withdrawn.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 frilled lizard “designed and sculpted by Stuart Devlin” on the reverse, and the head of the Queen of Australia on the front.

Australian 2 cent coin reverse  Australian Two cent coin Front 1981

The initial production of these coins utilised the Royal Australian Mint at Canberra minting 142.5 million, the Royal Mint at Melbourne minting 66.6 million, and the Royal Mint at Perth minting 217.7 million, totalling 429.5 million two cent coins dated 1966.
The Royal Mint in Wales, UK, later became involved when it minted 70.8 million dated 1981.

In August 1990 it was announced that the issue of one and two cent coins would cease, and both coins were withdrawn from circulation from February 1992.

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Many of the coins that were withdrawn, were melted down and used for the 1,100 Sydney 2000 Olympics Bronze Victory Medals.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 2 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 Two 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.
RMP = Royal Mint, Perth and Perth Mint.
RMLL = Royal Mint, Llantrisant, Wales


1966 429.5 145.2 66.6 217.7
1967 73.3 73.3
1968 17.0 17.0
1969 12.9 12.9
1970 39.9 39.9
1971 60.7 60.7
1972 77.6 77.6
1973 94.1 68.1 26.0
1974 177.7 91.7 86.0
1975 100.1 33.1 67.0
1976 121.9 71.9 50.0
1977 118.7 88.7 30.0
1978 128.7 88.7 40.0
1979 69.7 29.7 40.0
1980 145.6 105.6 40.0
1981 250.0 97.4 81.8 70.8
1982 121.7 81.3 40.4
1983 177.3 156.6 20.7
1984 58.0 58.0
1985 32.6 32.6
1986 0
1987 0
1988 28.9 28.9
1989 124.5 124.5
Total 2460.4 1493.1 66.6 829.9 70.8

How Much is an Australian Two 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 two cents in value.

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

Each Two Cent Coin contains 5.20 grams of metal, and is 21.59 millimetres wide.
5.044 grams of Copper (97%)
0.130 grams of Zinc (2.5%)
0.026 grams of Tin (0.5%)

This is exactly twice as much as the One Cent coin.

  • Copper is worth about $6 per kilo, so about 200 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 200 coins would be worth about $0.90.
  • Tin is worth about $25 per kilo, but at only 0.013 grams per coin, that same 200 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 for about $10 each.

Also, if you have a 1967 or 1981 Two Cent coin, check to see if the ‘SD’ is also missing from near the tail of the lizard. A few of these coins had the “SD” missing and these are rare (that equals valuable) More at: Perth Mint and at The Purple Penny

I have seen these for between $90 and $600 each, WITHOUT the SD mark.

Australian Two cent coin SD

Royal Australian Mint

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