The 1923 Halfpenny, Australia's rarest halfpenny, and this example one of the best with a complete central diamond and eight pristine pearls

The 1923 Halfpenny, Australia's rarest halfpenny, and this example one of the best with a complete central diamond and eight pristine pearls
The 1923 Halfpenny, Australia's rarest halfpenny, and this example one of the best with a complete central diamond and eight pristine pearls
Sold February 2022
Choice Uncirculated
Madrid Collection of Australian Rare Coins, The Dan Collection
This Choice Uncirculated 1923 Halfpenny is spectacular. To the naked eye it has proof-like highly reflective fields that sparkle and there is underlying copper brilliance. But, it’s under an eye-glass that this coin really shines and upholds its Choice Uncirculated status. The design has been brilliantly executed during the minting process, the diamond is three-dimensional, so too the pearls and the gems in the crown. The tell-tale design elements of the band in the crown, moustache, eyebrow, ear, hair and robes … untouched. Finding a 1923 Halfpenny at the quality level of Choice Uncirculated is extremely challenging. Its the highest quality level you can find and only three are known. (Technical shots are provided in the READ MORE section.)
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The 1923 Halfpenny is a classic Australian rarity with an elite status.

The coin is Australia's rarest halfpenny and enjoys a constant stream of demand. 

Scarce, because only 15,000 are said to have been struck. Extremely rare in high quality because the halfpenny, as a low denomination coin, was well used.

Our research confirms that a collector that is looking for a high grade 1923 Halfpenny (quality level of Good Extremely Fine or better) will check out at least one hundred coins before he finds one worth considering. And how long will it take for the one hundred coins to come around? Not quickly, that's for sure. 

This 1923 Halfpenny is a stand-out piece. Brilliantly struck and obviously cherished in the ninety-nine years since its striking. Its state of preservation verges on the miraculous.


A stunning reverse, highly reflective surfaces that exude beautiful colours. Underlying copper brilliance. Solid inner beading.


An amazing obverse. The diamond is sharp, complete and three-dimensional. The eight pearls are pristine. Smooth, highly reflective fields exude magnificent colours.

Australian collectors just love their copper coins.

While not everyone could hold onto (or even gain access to) a gold coin, the nation’s coppers were accessible to the man in the street.

And while there is no doubt that Australia’s 1923 Halfpenny has benefited from the emotional feelings stirred up by its side-kick, the 1930 Penny, the ’23 stands on its own merits as Australia’s rarest halfpenny.

And an Aussie icon.

This coin is one of the finest known examples of the nation’s scarcest halfpenny. It is proof-like in its appearance and is one of three known at this quality level.

It is in a remarkable state of preservation with highly reflective, smooth surfaces.

As a company we appreciate top quality. But more than top quality we love to see the words ‘exceptional quality’ ascribed to a piece. And this coin is exceptional for quality.

A rarity that defied the mintage figures.

That the Sydney Mint in its Annual Report recorded the striking of 1,113,600 halfpennies in 1923 would tend to suggest that it was a common date coin.

For decades collectors challenged the point, drawing on their experience that the 1923 Halfpenny was the least available coin in the halfpenny series.

John Sharples, at the time Curator of Australia’s National Coin Archives set the record straight when he undertook an analysis of die production and die usage at both the Sydney and Melbourne Mints.

His research confirmed that the 1,113,600 halfpennies struck at the Sydney Mint were in fact dated 1922.

The 1923 Halfpenny was in fact struck at the Melbourne Mint in a mintage of approximately 15,000, confirming its status as Australia’s rarest circulating halfpenny.

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PO Box 1060 Hawksburn Victoria Australia 3142

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