This pair is a classic example of the Perth Mint proofs out of this era.
Evenly toned with a distinctively handsome blue hue. And beautifully glossy.
Acting in his capacity as curator of Australia’s Numismatic Archives, John Sharples, undertook an extensive study of the Perth Mint proofs.
He respected their rarity. And the heady quality that the mint had achieved with the striking of their proof coins.
He identified that in 1948, the Perth Mint struck sixteen proof pennies and eighteen proof halfpennies.
And while some of the proofs were archived in the Perth Mint's own vaults, others were gifted to prominent Australian and overseas institutions, the Royal Mint London, the British Museum and the Japan Mint to name but three.
That the bulk of the mintage was gifted to institutions is the very reason why they are so rare in today's collector market.
The period commencing 1940 is considered by historians to be one of the most important eras in the chronicles of the Perth Mint.
The Perth Mint was originally established in 1899 to produce gold sovereigns and half sovereigns. When Australia struck its last gold coin in 1931, the coining presses at the Perth Mint ground to a halt and the mint endured a nine-year period of nil-production.
The onset of war created a window of opportunity and in 1940 the Perth Mint took up the reins for striking Australia’s circulating copper coins for the Commonwealth Government.
In accordance with minting traditions the Perth Mint struck archival proof record pieces of those coins being struck for circulation, many of which were gifted to museums both in Australia and overseas.
The proofs of the Perth Mint are unrivalled for quality. A well-preserved coin not only displays superb levels of detail in its design, but qualities and colours that are simply unmatched by those of the Melbourne Mint.