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Henry Parkes


Sir Henry Parkes of Coventry, England, was considered to be the Father of Australian Federation. Since his arrival in Sydney, Australia in 1839 he had immersed himself into politics and gained a reputation for being of great character and intellect. With this in mind, the Royal Australian Mint struck this commemorative one dollar in 1996 to coincide with the 100th anniversary of his passing. The reverse shows a Wojciech Pietranik portrait of Sir Henry Parkes along with the legend SIR HENRY PARKES 1815 - 1896 "FATHER" OF FEDERATION. The obverse shows the Raphael Maklouf effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II facing right with crown and earrings. The legend reads ELIZABETH II AUSTRALIA 1996. In addition to the regular variety a number of pieces were counter-stamped with (S, M, C, B, and A).

Melbourne (M) counter-stamp on 1996-M (Henry Parks) One Dollar piece.

From his humble beginnings in England, he was involved in politics at his workplace by attempting to improve conditions for his fellow workers. After a tragedy befalling his children, he decided to make a new life in Australia. Initially he worked as a labourer and moving into customs on the referral of some acquaintances he made progress through time. He tried his hand at running newspapers including the 'Empire' but he lacked business acumen and failed dismally. Even though he had failed as a businessman, he had still gained recognition through his newspaper columns. His views on politics and his campaign for constitutional reform and freedom and independence for Australia had been duly noted by the public. Throughout his political presence he campaigned tirelessly for independence and the federation. He had five terms of office in New South Wales as Premier (Parkes Shire Council, 2014) and he was heavily involved in drawing up the constitution but alas he unfortunately passed away before the final draft was composed. This was completed in the late 1890's and Australia went on to become a Federation on the 1st January 1901 five years after his demise. Despite this, he will always be remembered as the Father of Federation.

A coin struck differing from the standard design to commemorate an eventThe tails side of the coinThe inscription around the inner edge of the coinThe heads side of the coinA coin struck from specially prepared dies to strike a superior quality coin not intended for circulation(Parkes Shire Council, 2014)

 MintageAU50AU55AU58MS64MS65MS66MS67MS68MS691996-S 49,9642729303232331708803,9001996-M 20,1102628293131321708704,0001996-C 252,86017171725272935701001996-B 30,0002830313434351808903,9001996-A 20,0002628293131321708704,0001996 26,334,5001818182628311304101,100 MintagePR65DCAMPR66DCAMPR67DCAMPR68DCAMPR69DCAMPR70DCAM1996 Proof45,52026263239652601996 Silver Proof20,0064352637794320Values 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.