The 1991 decimal coinage, or Royal Australian Mint, fifty cent was issued to commemorate 25 years since the introduction of decimal currency. Just shy of 5 million pieces were produced for circulation and the coins were not distributed in mint rolls making top grade circulation strikes rare. The 1991 masterpieces in silver set also featured this coin struck in sterling silver. The reverse was designed by Horst Hahne and shows the artists impression of a ram which are also the initials of the mint that produced it. It also contains the legend 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF DECIMAL CURRENCY FIFTY CENTS. The obverse features the traditional Raphael Maklouf portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II, right-facing, crowned with necklace and earrings. It also contains the legend ELIZABETH II AUSTRALIA 1991.
Celebrating 25 years of decimal coinage, Australia can be proud of the achievement. It was first introduced on the 14th February 1966. Decimalisation is the term used to describe the change that from the traditional denomination to a decimal currency, a system that all but two of the world currencies now employ. In Australia, there was much debate about naming the new currency with over one thousand suggestions. Eventually the dollar came into existence and it has been used to this day. Forgeries were soon in circulation and work was underway at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation to produce a new material to curb the problem. The Royal Australian Mint in Canberra produces the coins and can reach 2 million per day.