Australia's first coin - the cartwheel penny

The first coin to become official currency in New South Wales was the cartwheel penny, minted in London in 1797 and shipped to the colonies to alleviate the shortage of coinage. In the early days, coins from many countries were in circulation and their value was often in dispute. In 1880, when the pennies arrived Governor King issued a proclamation defining the value of the various currencies. The pennies were circulated in Australia at 2d (twopence) to discourage visiting merchants from accepting them and removing them from the colony.