Between 1919 and 1921 a number of square penny and half penny pieces were produced as trials. The coins were part of an initiative to find alternatives to the existing penny and half penny. They featured a Kookaburra design and were distributed only to government officials and selected members of the public. The total mintage for all thirteen types was only 200.
Mint authorities began working to alter the design and composition of Australia's pennies and half-pennies. The new coins were to be produced from nickel on a square planchet in order to reduce confusion between them and the silver coins in use.(The Gloucester Advocate (NSW), 1920) The design for these new coins was based around a Kookaburra. These designs were effectively completed with reports stating that the "...latest sample is said to be faultless as an artistic production."(The South-Western News, 1920) On these trial pieces special permission was gained from Royal authorities for the obverse to feature King George V without his crown. This choice was made as it was felt that a crown made the small coins cramped and unattractive. Even without the crown the obverse seemed to cause the largest trouble with many unsatisfied with the profile and legend on the square piece. Despite bills be drafted to introduce the new coins the designs were never fully accepted and the project was suspended and eventually discarded.