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1953 Sixpence

Elizabeth II


The 1953 Sixpence was the first piece in the Queen Elizabeth II series after accession in early 1952. The obverse of the new type features Mary Gillick's effigy of Her Majesty, with the legend 'ELZIABETH II DEI GRATIA REGINA" ('Elizabeth II, by the Grace of God, Queen'). The reverse remained unchanged from the Blakemore Coat of Arms. The 1953 issue was produced at the Melbourne Mint to a total mintage of 1,152,000 which is the lowest mintage of the series. The year is available in mint-state up to around MS66 however all mint-state examples demand relatively handsome prices, particularly when compared to the extremely affordable 1954.

Mary Gillick - Sculptor of the first effigy of HM Queen Elizabeth II.

The new obverse design was completed by Mrs. Mary Gillick who worked in Chelsea as both a medallist and a designer of reliefs for memorial portraits. She submitted her preliminary design which was then chosen anonymously by a committee headed by the Duke of Edinburgh over sixteen other artists. When made public the design became a topic of heavy discussion in the media with the primary criticisms focusing on the length of Her Majesty's neck and her age. Famous sculptor Jacob Epstein stated "It might be anybody - any pretty girl.." and that it is "...not a good likeness."(Weekly Times, 1952) Humphrey Paget who had designed the effigy of King George VI and also submitted a design of Elizabeth II was more positive. He stated that "...this is a very pleasant design." and when asked about the length of the neck he said "Oddly enough the designer is quite right. I took measurements. The Queen has a long neck."(Sunday Mail, 1952) The opinions of grumbling artists like Jacob Epstein seems to have been quickly ignored with many papers eventually expressing that the public was very pleased with the new design.(The Mail, 1952)

'Controversy over coin' - The Northern Miner, 29th November 1952.

The heads side of the coinThe inscription around the inner edge of the coinA marking, usually a letter or dot that signifies which mint struck a particular coinThe tails side of the coina facility that produces coinsThe number of coins struck of a particular designationThe heads side of the coin.Weekly Times, 1952Sunday Mail, 1952The Mail, 1952

Values are in AUD and are retail price estimations based on past sales of coins certified by PCGS or NGC and as such values only related to such graded coins. Uncertified coins or coins graded by other services would likely be worth significantly less. For wholesale pricing please refer to the Red Sheet. While all attempts to ensure accurate pricing, data entry errors can occur and as such no warranty is expressed or implied as to the accuracy of any information published on this website. It is important to verify all published sales to ensure the accuracy of the pricing when making any purchase decision. Any personal information provided to us is protected by the Privacy Act 1988.