Within our industry there are some truly ‘great’ coins. And then there are those coins where the word ‘great’ simply falls short in adequately describing them. They are the absolute elite coins of our industry. Historically powerful, they sit at the pinnacle.
This 1915 Heaton Proof Florin is one such elite coin. It is one of Australia’s greatest war-time rarities.
The drive to acquire a piece of the Heaton heritage was evidenced in March when the more readily available 1914 Heaton Proof Florin sold at auction for $314,500 on a pre-auction estimate of $250,000. The florin was the most heavily contested item to go under the hammer.
Immediately after Federation the Royal Mint London and the Heaton Mint in Birmingham struck Australia’s Commonwealth coinage, our mint’s lacking the required facilities.
The Heaton Mint struck Australia’s silver coins in 1914 and 1915. Each coin bore the distinctive ‘H’ above the date declaring their ties to the mint in Birmingham.
Proof quality strikings of the Heaton coins were unheard of until the 1970s when they were discovered by staff in the vaults at the Birmingham Mint: a small cache of flawless mint state presentation pieces, their hibernation for 60-plus years in a strictly static, controlled environment fostering a beautiful olive steel/grey patina.
The coins were dispersed through Spink & Sons London in the 1980s, eventually filtering their way into the Australian rare coin market.
The year 1915 is the key year as far as the Heaton coins are concerned with two of the florin and two of the shilling known. (Four Heaton 1914 Florins exist).
The Heaton proof florins are a potent financial force and present an enviable track record of investment. See page at right.
Past performance of investments and other financial matters is no indication of future returns or performance.