Medallion No. 2
Image courtesy of Downies
This medallion was issued to commemorate the Centenary of Victoria’s Separation from New South Wales in 1851 and the Golden Jubilee of Australian Federation in 1901.
Permanent European settlement had commenced in what is now Victoria in 1834 at Portland (on the western coast) and at Melbourne in 1835; both these settlements were initially private ventures. By 1836, the government in Sydney had established a presence in Melbourne and the whole of the area south of the Murray River (as far west as the 141° east meridian) became the “Port Phillip District of New South Wales”. By 1851, the population of the Port Phillip District was 97 000.
On 1 July 1851, what had been the Port Phillip District of New South Wales was separated from the parent Colony as the Colony of Victoria. The same month, gold was discovered in Victoria and the new colony boomed.
From 1889, Sir Henry Parkes (Premier of New South Wales) had been advocating for the Australian colonies to federate. After several referendums, all six colonies voted in favour. However, Parkes did not live to see Federation as he died in 1896; he became known as the “Father of Federation”.
On 1 January 1901, on the first day of the 20th century, the six colonies of New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania, Victoria, and Western Australia federated as the Commonwealth of Australia; the former Colonies became States.
This 55 mm diameter medallion was designed by Andor Meszaros and was struck by Pinches & Co, London in one metal and was issued unnumbered:
¨ Bronze (102 pieces)
The obverse design features a nude man (representing the new nation) with two children (representing the two former colonies of New South Wales and Victoria) with a simple inscription which includes the years of separation and federation.
The reverse design features a spiral commemorative inscription surrounded by Australian aboriginal motifs. The inscription reads: “anno MCMLI numisma centum annorum progressus a numismaticorum victoriæ societate ictum anno hoc jubilæo a re publica australiæ condita quinquagesimo:” which translates as “In this year 1951, the fiftieth and Jubilee Year of the Commonwealth of Australia, this medal was struck by the Numismatic Association of Victoria to commemorate 100 years of progress.”