1924 Proof Threepence and 1926 Proof Threepence, struck as Coins of Record during the reign of George V

1924 Proof Threepence and 1926 Proof Threepence, struck as Coins of Record during the reign of George V
1924 Proof Threepence and 1926 Proof Threepence, struck as Coins of Record during the reign of George V
Available individually or $20,000 for the pair.
Superb FDC 1924 Proof Threepence, fully brillliant reverse with magnificent colours • 1926 Proof Threepence fully brilliant reverse with again, magnificent colours.
1924 Proof Threepence, Noble Auction July 2001 Lot 1335 • 1926 Proof Threepence, Noble Auction July 2001 Lot 1440
The Royal Australian Mint is today a mass producer of coinage whether it be manufacturing circulating currency for Treasury. Or creating proof coinage to sell to collectors. The mint in Canberra is not geared to striking just a handful of proof coins, particularly one as diminutive as a threepence. As Australians we are fortunate that our pre-decimal mints bothered to preserve our coining heritage for future generations and create proof examples of our circulating currency. Struck as Coins of Record, this 1924 Proof Threepence and 1926 Proof Threepence are glorious examples of our early mint’s proof coining skills, both coins fully brilliant emanating magnificent colours. The coins have superb detail, in the emu's feathers, ADVANCE AUSTRALIA, and the date. Under the eye glass, both coins show heavy striations reflecting careful preparation of the dies. They are amazing pieces of Australia’s numismatic history and in their own way, mini-works of art. The coins are extremely rare, and we note this is the only 1924 Proof Threepence we have sold. And indeed, the only 1926 Proof Threepence sold. Check out the technical shots below. They are brilliant!
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1924 Proof Threepence, brilliant reverse fields


1924 Proof Threepence, featuring the portrait of King George V (1910 - 1936).


1926 Proof Threepence, brilliant reverse fields, and magnificent tone. 


1926 Proof Threepence, featuring the portrait of King George V (1910 - 1936).

This 1924 Proof Threepence and 1926 Proof Threepence were not struck for collectors as part of any mass-marketing sales campaign. They were struck for the mint's archives and the privileged few. Because it was a specially arranged striking of presentation pieces, only a handful were struck.

Technically, we refer to them as 'Coins of Record'. Australian Pre-decimal Coins that were struck as proofs - but not destined for collectors.

The term, COIN OF RECORD, is to a large extent self-explanatory. It is a coin that has been minted to put on record a date. Or to record a design.

What is not self-explanatory is that Coins of Record were struck to PROOF quality as presentation pieces. And were struck in the most minute numbers satisfying the requirements of the mint rather than the wants of collectors.

Forget the notion of striking ten thousand proofs as collectors are accustomed to today. Let's talk about striking a total of ten coins ... or in the case of this coin a lot less!

For today’s collectors the Coins of Record offer a wonderful link to the past and are extremely rare, two reasons that make them so popular.

There was no commercial angle in the production of Coins of Record. The mints were not out to make money from the exercise. Quite the reverse, striking a proof coin in our pre-decimal era was a very labour intensive (and hence costly) exercise that would have dented the mints annual budget quite considerably. The prime reason why so few coins were struck.

In the striking of a proof coin, the mint’s intention was to create a single masterpiece, coining perfection. Perfection in the dies. Wire brushed so that they are razor sharp. Perfection in the design, highly detailed, expertly crafted. Perfection in the fields, achieved by hand selecting unblemished blanks, polished to create a mirror shine. Perfection in the edges to encase the design … exactly what a ‘picture frame does to a canvass’.


A proof is an artistic interpretation of a coin that was intended for circulation. A proof coin is meant to be impactful, have the ‘wow’ factor and exhibit qualities that are clearly visible to the naked eye. A proof coin was never intended to be used in every-day use, tucked away in a purse. Or popped into a pocket.

So, what happened to these Coins of Record? Where did they go? And if they were struck by the mints for their own use, how did they get into collector's hands?

In the main, Coins of Record ended up in the mint’s own archives, preserving its history for future generations. Any coins that were surplus to requirements may also have been sent to a museum or public institution.

Coins of Record were also put on display at public Exhibitions. The two known examples of the Proof 1866 Sovereign and Proof 1866 Half Sovereign were especially struck to exhibit as ‘products of New South Wales’ as part of the Colonial Mints display at the International Colonial Exhibition of 1866 and the International Exposition in Paris, 1867. They were discovered in London in the early 1970s.

It is noted that many of the overseas mints have over time sold off Coins of Record that they considered excess to their requirements allowing them to come into collector's hands. The Royal Mint South Africa sold off several Australian gold proofs in the 1990s.

It is also noted that influential collectors, and those that moved in the same circles as the Deputy Master, did occasionally receive a proof coin. Most likely in exchange for a coin of the same face value, so that the mint's 'books' would be balanced.




PO Box 1060 Hawksburn Victoria Australia 3142

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