Coin Curiosity

Exploring Old and New Coins of the British Commonwealth

1999 Australian Two Dollar Varieties

Posted on 07 September 2018

The introduction of a new obverse on Australian circulating coinage in 1999 saw small changes to the obverse dies for a number of a denominations part-way through the 1999 mintage. The reasons have not been elicited but it is likely that the changes were to optimise production of coins with the new design.

The 1999 two dollar coin was produced with two different obverse dies - the first and less common variety being with a smaller Queen's head and legend further from the rim and the second, more common variety being with a larger Queen's head and legend closer to the rim. The relative size is the most obvious difference but it is hard to spot without an example to compare to.

Survey by author of 1999 $2 varieties from circulation
Small headLarge headNumber searched

Although the small head design is less common it is not rare and may be more common in mint sets. Examples of the small head from circulation tend to be in poor condition too.

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