Shillings of Elizabeth II
In 1953 the first shillings bearing the portrait of Elizabeth II were struck, this design was short lived due to public outcry over the omission of 'Fedei Def', Defender of the Faith. The series continued in 1955 right through to 1963 with a revised obverse legend.
|IN ORDER FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Reverse, Obverse Type I, Obverse Type II|
In circulated grades all dates are readily available however in Uncirculated, many dates are much scarcer than most would expect from an Elizabeth II series.
Mint rolls were found of all dates 1959 to 1963 with the 1960, 1962 and 1963 commonly being found fully struck up (or nearly so) thus permitting the exclusive MS67 designation, provided the coin has fields to match, an elusive combination. A large hoard was also found of Uncirculated 1957 shillings which accounts for the frequency of their appearances. All other dates are quite elusive in Uncirculated though examples still turn up every now and then.
The 1956 is considered to be the key date in the series though frequency of market appearances would seem to imply that the 1958 is a scarcer coin in mint state grades. The 1953, '54 and '55 are all tough dates with 1953 being the slightly more common date out of the 3.
In the lower mint state grades, all dates are quite affordable though in recent times they just aren't turning up often with no noted sales of the 1958 since inception of the Blue Sheet
. In the higher mint state grades, some earlier dates are available though do not turn up often and should be obtained whenever possible. Later dates, while scarce, do turn up from time to time but usually start at the $100 range for MS66 and as much as double, or even triple in MS67.
The Elizabeth II series is quite a challenging series to source and very fulfilling if sought in top condition, without being too harsh on the pocket.
For more information on this series, and the Australian Shilling series as a whole, please visit the Blue Sheet on shillings at Shilling Values