Coin Curiosity

Exploring and Researching Old and New Coins of the British Commonwealth

Australian Small and Large SD 5c pieces 1991-1994

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The reverse of the Australian 5c has undergone a number of changes since its introduction in 1966. From 1991 until 1994 a new reverse die was deployed but unlike other changes to the 5c reverse, the change was ultimately not adopted. The new reverse's only difference appears to be the enlargement of the designer's initials SD under the echidna, with the letters SD appearing large and more elongated.

Small and Large SD 5c circulation break-downs
YearSmall SDLarge SD
199140%60%
199253%47%
199389%11%
199498%2%

The relative rarities vary by year but the figures suggest that the new reverse was trialed in 1991 and 1992 and that in an effort to not let old dies go to waste, the supply of remaining large SD reverse dies was used through 1993 and 1994. The large SD reverse has not been seen in any other years.