Buying a coin and then buying its partner, is a natural bent for most collectors, the quest for completion. So a Kookaburra Penny collector will more than likely want a Kookaburra Halfpenny.
Other natural 'pairs' occur with the Perth Mint Proof 1955 Penny and Perth Mint Proof 1955 Halfpenny. The collector that buys the penny will quite naturally seek out the halfpenny. As both have the same mintage (301), buying both coins poses no difficulties.
Holey Dollar collectors are probably going to want a Dump and with 200 Holey Dollars available to collectors and 800 Dumps, acquiring a Dump is also an easy one. There are four Dumps out there for every Holey Dollar.
Now lets consider the position of the Kookaburra Penny collector that wants a Kookaburra Halfpenny.
There are 200 Kookaburra Pennies available to collectors and it would be fine if there was 800 halfpennies. Or to give every penny collector an even chance, 200 halfpennies.
But, it’s a bad news story for halfpenny buyers because there is a pool of only 12 coins available to collectors.
It’s these numbers, 200 pennies and only 12 halfpennies, that have made the Kookaburra Square Halfpenny one of Australia’s most elusive and sought-after coin rarities.
In demand from collectors of the kookaburra coin series. And in demand from buyers with a pure investment focus.
When the Kookaburra Square Penny and Halfpenny were created, Australians were recovering from the war and determined to lessen the ties with Great Britain. The mood even filtered through to our coinage!
The Government planned to introduce a square penny and halfpenny with our native bird on the reverse. And the monarch minus his crown on the obverse! Provocative and contentious but uniquely Australian.
Australia entered a modern age post World War I. For many Australians, it was a time for breaking out socially, of questioning and changing old values and behaviour and enjoying the good life. It was a time of great change. People forgot the old and embraced the new in an attempt to leave the hardship and struggles of the war behind them.
New technology was being created, like toasters and cars, things that today we take for granted. The fashion world was exploding, great changes were embraced in styles of dress. Australians were identifying with their own culture, keen to lessen the emotional and cultural ties with Great Britain.
Creating a new, totally Australian coinage was a part of the deal which is why the Government floated the idea of the Kookaburra Penny envisaging a coin that would be unique to Australia.
The Government's plan was to discard the British-styled penny and halfpenny and to create a coin with a typically Australian design featuring the nation's native bird, the kookaburra. To maximise impact, a new shape was planned with the move from circular to square. And bronze was to be discarded and a new metal taken up, that of cupro-nickel.
Tests began at the Melbourne Mint in 1919 and continued for three years, ending in 1921.
Today there are about two hundred kookaburra pennies held by private collectors. And about twelve kookaburra halfpennies.