With the exception of a two year issued silver crown (1937-38), the silver florin was Australia's largest circulating silver coin. Minted with a 92.5% silver composition and a diameter of 28.5mm, the florin is one of the most collected series among coin collectors.
Coins were initially minted in London and Heaton mints (1911-15) until Australia's Melbourne and Sydney Mints came on line in 1916 & 1924 to assume coinage production.
The obverse, designed by Sir E. B. MacKennal, features the bust image of King George V facing left. On the outer periphery are the words "GEORGIVS V D.G. BRITT : OMN : REX F.D. IND : IMP" (latin for "George V, by Grace of God, King of all the Britons, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India").
The reverse, designed by W.H.J. Blakemore, features the Australian Coat of Arms (also referred to as the Commonwealth Coat of Arms) based on the design granted by King Edward VII on 7 May 1908. The coat of arms features an emu and kangaroo flanking a shield under a seven pointed star all over a banner with the legend “ADVANCE AUSTRALIA”. On the outer periphery is the denomination “ONE FLORIN – TWO SHILLINGS” and year of issue. On some issues, below the date, may be a mint mark “H” for Heaton or “M” for Melbourne though the Melbourne mint mark would cease after 1920.
Interestingly, Australia's Coat of Arms was modified and granted by King George V in 1912 but the mint continued to use the original coat of arms from 1908.
General Market Notes
Excluding proofs, the key to the series is the 1932 issue while the semi-keys are the 1912, 1913, 1914H, and 1915 (London) issues.