This fifty cent coin was issued in 2001 both for general circulation and as part of the program produced by the Royal Australian
There were nine similar sets released at stages throughout 2001, each one honouring a different State or Territory of the Federation. Each set included the one Dollar coin bearing the logo of the Centenary of Federation, a twenty cent coin featuring the winning design by a school child and a fifty cent coin such as this one bearing the Coat of Arms of the celebrated State or Territory. The outer packaging for this set is ochre, the state colour, featuring an outline of the Coat of Arms of the Northern Territory and including text, which reads Northern Territory 2001 and STATE PROOF COIN SET or STATE UNCIRCULATED COIN SET accordingly.
The second set that includes this fifty cent piece is a 20 coin collection again issued for the Centenary of Federation and also issued by the RAM in 2001. The collection includes all 9 of the fifty cents coins bearing the Coat of Arms of each State and Territory of the Federation and all 9 of the 20 cent coins designed by school children to celebrate their State or Territory. The other two coins included to complete the set of 20 are the one Dollar Centenary of Federation bearing the logo and the fifty Cent Centenary of Federation bearing the Coat of Arms of the Commonwealth of Australia. A metallic-like fabric presentation case large enough to house all 20 coins was issued along with the proof coin set whilst the uncirculated coins were presented in an album on sealed information sheets. Text features on both styles of packaging included Centenary of Federations and States and Territories 20 Coin collection. (Royal Australian Mint, 2001)
Before the continent that we know today as the Commonwealth of Australia formed to become one nation, it was six individual self-governing British colonies. These were the states of New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria and Western Australia which were joined by the Northern and Capital Territories and later Norfolk Island.(Wikipedia, 2013) On the 1st January 1901 Sir Edmond Barton was signed in as the interim Prime Minister of Australia and collectively the colonies became the States of the Commonwealth of Australia.
It wasn't until 1978 that it was granted self-government and until this time the Northern Territory used the national Coat of arms. Later that year there own one was granted by Queen Elizabeth II, becoming the official symbol of the Northern Territory. The design incorporates many symbols of aboriginal culture, which was so prominent in this part of the continent. The wedge tailed eagle is featured in the crest and is resting on a tjuruna, which is an aboriginal ritual stone. The shield is supported on either side by a red kangaroo and the shield itself depicts an aboriginal painting. (Department of Foreign Afairs and Trade, 2013)