Australian 2 Dollar Coins

The two dollar coin was first introduced on 20 June 1988. Planning for a two dollar coin commenced around the same time as that for the one dollar coin. Like the one dollar, the two dollar coin replaced the note of the same denomination which had a short service life through high use.

The image on the Australian two dollar coin represents an archetype of an Aboriginal tribal elder, designed by Horst Hahne.

Numerous designers were invited to contribute designs for the two dollar coin based on a brief to include a representation of the head and shoulders of an Aboriginal Australian, the Southern Cross and Australian flora.

The selected design was inspired by an artwork by Ainslie Roberts and modified in line with coin production requirements. Roberts used some features of Gwoya Tjungurrayi, otherwise known as One Pound Jimmy, as inspiration when creating a portrait depicting a traditional Aboriginal tribal elder. The rest of the features were derived from Roberts’ imagination and visual memory developed after drawing thousands of images of Indigenous people.

The size of the two dollar was determined after consideration of the needs of the visually impaired community, security considerations, a desire to avoid shaped coins, practical limitations to the diameter and thickness of coins, and to allow for future expansion of Australia's circulating coin array. When introduced, it was necessary to accommodate this new coin with seven existing denominations.

This denomination has since been used for commemorative designs.


Nominal Specifications

Composition: 92% Copper – 6% Aluminium – 2% Nickel
Shape: Circular
Edge: Interrupted Milled
Mass: 6.60 grams
Diameter: 20.50 millimetres