1917 Proof Sixpence date side
1917 Proof Sixpence
1917 Proof Sixpence
Superb FDC
Madrid Collection 1994, Private Collection Melbourne 2005
$ 40,000
This 1917 Proof Sixpence was struck 99 years ago. Next year is the centenary of its issue. It was a coin of national significance when it was struck, the very first Commonwealth proof coin struck at the Melbourne Mint. The historical impact of its striking will resonate throughout the industry in 2017, during its centenary year.
1917 Proof Sixpence
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Proof coins were struck a century ago to the same principles as they are today by the Royal Australian Mint. The intention was then, as it is today, to create limited mintage show pieces struck to the highest quality standards. With one startling difference. The mintages.

This is the only Proof 1917 Sixpence that we have sighted. We are aware that one is held in the Museum of Victoria Archives which is testimony to the coin’s importance.

Sold privately in 1994 to the famed Madrid Collection, then to a private collector in Melbourne in 2005, this coin has changed hands only twice over the last twenty two years. And that is a typical holding pattern for most top rarities. Coins of this ilk are quite literally once-in-a-decade opportunities.

So what makes this coin so special? And why don’t we see more of them popping up?

This Proof 1917 Sixpence was struck to record the mint’s coining achievements in 1917 by the creation of one stunning showpiece coin: a magnificent model piece. The coin was also used to showcase the mint’s coining skills by being on show at Exhibitions or sent to other mint’s that came under the Royal Mint umbrella.

The production of proofs in this era necessitated a ‘kid-gloves’ approach and was labour intensive: hence the limited numbers struck.

  • The blanks were hand-picked, highly polished to produce a coin that has a mirror shine and ice-smooth fields.
  • The blanks were hardened and brushed to ensure that the design was sharp and almost three-dimensional in its appearance.
  • The dies were struck twice to create a sharp, well-defined design.
  • The rims encircling the coins were always high, creating a picture frame effect and encasing the coin. The pristine nature of the striking is particularly evident in the denticles. They are crisp and uniformly spaced around the circumference of the coin.

This is a rare opportunity to acquire an important piece of Australia’s coinage history.

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