Browse & Buy


1893M Proof Sovereign rev December 2018
1893M Proof Sovereign obv December 2018
COIN
1893 Melbourne Mint Proof Sovereign
QUALITY
FDC
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Melbourne
PRICE
$125,000
COMMENTS
We are busting the myth about the availability of Melbourne Mint Veiled Head Proof Sovereigns. They are rare. In fact, amazingly rare. For collectors, the Melbourne Mint Veiled Head era of proof gold is said to be “the most readily available”, largely due to the influence of British Collector, John G Murdoch, who is noted as providing his own gold blanks to facilitate the striking of proofs. The phrase “readily available” is seriously misleading. It conjures up thoughts that you could buy a proof sovereign at the drop of a hat which could not be further from the truth.
STATUS
Available now
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1893M Proof Sovereign obv December 2018
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While we would certainly apply the term “readily available” to coins such as the 1930 Penny, our experience regarding the availability of Veiled Head Proof Sovereigns tells a vastly different story.

The coins are incredibly difficult to procure, very rarely offered.

The Veiled Head era of Queen Victoria embraces nine years, 1893 to 1901 inclusive.

Three Australian mints were operating during this period, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, the latter opening its doors in 1899.

The Sydney Mint was a very poor contributor to our proof gold coining history, striking proofs in only the first year of the Veiled head era, 1893. No other proofs were struck at the Sydney Mint between 1894 and 1901.  

As the Perth Mint only came on board in 1899, which was the latter part of the Veiled Head era, their contribution to this sector of the market was always going to be slim. The Perth Mint struck proof sovereigns in the year of its opening and again in 1901, the year in which Queen Victoria died.

We have done our research checking auction records and our own private treaty sales and have knowledge of only twelve Veiled Head Melbourne Mint Proof Sovereigns, many of which were last sighted at auction in the eighties. 

Twelve is a minuscule number given that we are not talking 12 of each year but 12 coins that cover the entire spectrum of dates during Queen Victoria’s nine-year reign of 1893 to 1901.

And how many Australian coin collectors are out there? We estimate 1,000,000-plus.

  • We have knowledge of two 1893 Melbourne Mint Proof Sovereigns , both having been sold by Coinworks. This coin is an important piece of currency history as it represents the very first year of a new design, the Veiled Head portrait.
  • We have knowledge of only one 1894 Melbourne Mint Proof Sovereign , ex John J Murdoch Collection, ex Barrie Winsor and sold by private treaty to a Coinworks client in 2006. No examples have ever been sighted at an Australian public auction.
  • We have never sighted or sold an 1895 Melbourne Mint Proof Sovereign .
  • We have never sold an 1896 Melbourne Mint Proof Sovereign. We have knowledge of two examples both of which appeared at a Sydney Auction in the mid-1980s. This holding period is typical of proof gold. It is one style of coinage that tends to be held for the long term. 
  • We have knowledge of two 1897 Melbourne Mint Proof Sovereigns , one of which appeared at auction in 1985, the other in 1992.
  • We have never sold an 1898 Melbourne Mint Proof Sovereign . We have knowledge of one example, offered at auction in 1990.
  • We have knowledge of two 1899 Melbourne Mint Proof Sovereigns both of which are held with Coinworks clients.
  • We have knowledge of two 1900 Melbourne Mint Proof Sovereigns . It is the one coin that has eluded us on every occasion that it has been offered …. we have been the auction underbidder on each occasion.
  • We have never sighted or sold a 1901 Melbourne Mint Proof Sovereign .
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1899M Proof Half Sovereign FDC Large rev May 2018
1899M Proof Half Sovereign FDC Large obv May 2018
COIN
1899 Melbourne Mint Proof Half Sovereign
QUALITY
FDC
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Victoria
PRICE
$95,000
COMMENTS
We are busting the myth about the availability of Melbourne Mint Veiled Head Proof Sovereigns. They are rare. In fact, amazingly rare. For collectors, the Melbourne Mint Veiled Head era of proof gold is said to be “the most readily available”, largely due to the influence of British Collector, John G Murdoch, who is noted as providing his own gold blanks to facilitate the striking of proofs. The phrase “readily available” is seriously misleading. It conjures up thoughts that you could buy a proof half sovereign at the drop of a hat which could not be further from the truth.
STATUS
Available now
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1899M Proof Half Sovereign FDC Large obv May 2018
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While we would certainly apply the term “readily available” to coins such as the 1930 Penny, our experience regarding the availability of Veiled Head Proof Half Sovereigns tells a vastly different story.

The coins are incredibly difficult to procure, very rarely offered.

The Veiled Head era of Queen Victoria embraces nine years, 1893 to 1901 inclusive.

Three Australian mints were operating during this period, Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, the latter opening its doors in 1899.

The Sydney Mint was a very poor contributor to our proof gold coining history, striking proofs in only the first year of the Veiled head era, 1893. No other proofs were struck at the Sydney Mint between 1894 and 1901.  

As the Perth Mint only came on board in 1899, which was the latter part of the Veiled Head era, their contribution to this sector of the market was always going to be slim. The Perth Mint struck one – and one only - proof half sovereign in the year of its opening (this unique and very important piece was sold by Coinworks in 2017 for $500,000). The Perth Mint struck two proof half sovereigns in 1901, and again only one example is held in private hands. The other is held in the British Museum.

We have done our research checking auction records and our own private treaty sales and have knowledge of sixteen Veiled Head Melbourne Mint Proof Half Sovereigns.  

That figure immediately becomes fifteen once you give consideration to quality for the 1895 Proof Half Sovereign is noted as being “nearly FDC” with slight nicks in the obverse fields.

Fifteen is a minuscule number given that we are not talking 15 of each year but 15 coins that cover the entire spectrum of dates in Queen Victoria’s nine-year reign of 1893 to 1901.

And how many Australian coin collectors are out there? We estimate 1,000,000-plus.

  • The 1893 Melbourne Mint Proof Half Sovereign is unique, sold to a Coinworks client in 2018 for $350,000.
  • We have knowledge of two 1894 Melbourne Mint Proof Sovereigns , one of which was sold to a Coinworks client in 2006, and where it still remains.
  • We have knowledge of only one 1895 Melbourne Mint Proof Half Sovereign , noted as nearly FDC with slight nicks in the obverse fields.
  • We have knowledge of two 1896 Melbourne Mint Proof Half Sovereigns , one of which is currently available through Coinworks and is a superb FDC.
  • We have knowledge of three 1897 Melbourne Mint Proof Half Sovereigns , the most recent appearance at auction occurring in 1996. One example is held with a Coinworks client.
  • We have knowledge of two 1898 Melbourne Mint Proof Half Sovereigns . It is a date that has eluded us. We have no recorded sales of an 1898 Proof half Sovereign.
  • We have knowledge of two 1899 Melbourne Mint Proof Half Sovereigns both of which are held with Coinworks clients.
  • We have knowledge of two 1900 Melbourne Mint Proof Half Sovereigns . Again, it is a date that has eluded us. We have no recorded sales of a 1900 Melbourne Mint Proof Half Sovereign.
  • We have knowledge of one 1901 Melbourne Mint Proof Half Sovereign , held by a Coinworks client.
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1930 Penny good Fine 2 rev November 2018
1930 Penny good Fine 2 obv November 2018
COIN
1930 Penny
QUALITY
Good Fine / About Very Fine
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Melbourne
PRICE
$25,000
COMMENTS
The 1930 Penny is legendary, and its star status has made it one of Australia's most valuable rare coins. Because the dollars involved in acquiring a 1930 Penny are considerable, we offer one very basic tip for buyers to assist them in their decision-making process. Select a 1930 Penny that is visually very attractive and has no obvious defects from its time in circulation. This simple point will really count when, further down the track, it comes time for you to sell your coin and realise on your investment. The 1930 Penny that we have for sale fits that profile in every respect and is as per the photographs above and at right. The coin has a technical obverse grading of Good Fine. The reverse is graded higher again at About Very Fine with strong upper and lower scrolls and well defined inner beading.
STATUS
Available now.
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1930 Penny good Fine 2 obv November 2018
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1930 Penny good Fine 2 rev tech November 2018

Reverse of the 1930 Penny showing strong upper and lower scrolls, strong ‘1930’ date and well defined inner beading.

The 1930 Penny is legendary, and its star status has made it one of Australia's most valuable rare coins.

Because the dollars involved in acquiring a 1930 Penny are considerable, we offer one very basic tip for buyers to assist them in their decision-making process.

Select a 1930 Penny that is visually very attractive and has no obvious defects from its time in circulation.

The aesthetics, how the 1930 Penny looks to the naked eye, is an important part of the selection process.

The reason is simply that the coins were used, with the majority well used, before collectors discovered its very existence having endured the rigours of handling, mishandling, being dropped, scratched and rattling around in change.

Once the coin has passed the 'aesthetics test' it is time to examine the fine details under a glass.

1930 Penny good Fine 2 obv tech November 2018

Obverse of the 1930 Penny showing one side of the central diamond, six plump pearls and complete lower band.

This 1930 Penny is graded 'Good Fine' and has:

  • one side of the central diamond.
  • the oval to the left of the central diamond is almost complete
  • six plump pearls in the crown.
  • the lower band of the crown is complete.
  • nice edges.
  • smooth fields and handsome toning.

The reverse is graded 'About Very Fine' with:

  • nice edges.
  • smooth fields and handsome toning.
  • strong upper and lower scrolls.
  • well defined inner beading.

In a presentation befitting the coin, this 1930 Penny is presented in a handsome black presentation case, with accompanying photographs and Certificate of Authenticity.

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Australia’s 1930 Penny is legendary and its star status has made it one of Australia’s most popular rare coins.

Officially the 1930 Penny was never struck and a review of minting records at the Melbourne Mint confirms that no pennies were struck for circulation in that year.

But as we now know. A small quantity of pennies were issued by the Melbourne Mint with the estimate mintage being 1000 – 1500.

And while many theories have been put forward as to how the error occurred, no one really knows how and why.

That no one has a definite answer only adds to the romance and the mystery that has shaped the image and profile of Australia’s 1930 Penny. 

Unrivalled for popularity, the coin enjoys a constant stream of demand unmatched by any other numismatic rarity.

It is an industry phenomenon, for in a market that is quality focused it is interesting to note that the 1930 Penny is keenly sought irrespective of its quality ranking.

And growth over the mid to long term has been significant across all quality levels.

The 1930 Penny was selling for £50 in the 1950s. A decade later, by decimal changeover, the coin was fetching £255 ($510). By 1988, Australia's Bicentenary, the 1930 Penny had reached $6000.

By the turn of the century, with interest in coins stimulated by the Sydney Olympics, 1930 Penny prices had moved to $13,000.

And with a 100th anniversary just over a decade away, the push to acquire Australia’s favourite Penny is already on. 

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1813 Holey Dollar Mexico Mint 1808-6 about EF obv Mood October 2018
1813 Holey Dollar Mexico Mint 1808-6 about EF rev Mood October 2018
COIN
Philip Spalding's famous 1813 Holey Dollar struck on an 1808, Mexico Mint, Spanish Silver Dollar.
QUALITY
Good Very Fine / About Extremely Fine
PROVENANCE
Roy Farman, Ray Jewell, Colin Pitchfork, Philip Spalding
PRICE
$275,000
COMMENTS
Pick up a copy of the book, “The World of the Holey Dollar” by Philip Spalding and there is one coin that dominates all others. And it is this Holey Dollar struck on an 1808 Mexico Mint Spanish Silver Dollar. Spalding chose this Holey Dollar to grace the front cover of his book. It is an enduring quality that gives this coin a clear 'edge' over all others. Just one of the reasons why it was exhibited in the Macquarie Group's Holey Dollar Exhibition in 2013 at 1 Martin Place, Sydney.
STATUS
Available Now.
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1813 Holey Dollar Mexico Mint 1808-6 about EF rev Mood October 2018
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1813 Holey Dollar Mexico Mint 1808-6 about EF obv October 2018
1813 Holey Dollar Mexico Mint 1808-6 about EF rev October 2018

THE PRIDE OF OWNING A PHILIP SPALDING HOLEY DOLLAR IS IMMEASURABLE.

Philip Spalding is unequivocally one of the most revered names in Australian numismatics. He was passionate about the Holey Dollar and he owned more than a dozen examples.

His passion extended far beyond coin ownership for he authored the book, ‘The World of the Holey Dollar’. The book was his greatest legacy and one of the finest contributions to the study of numismatics.

Now add the names Roy Farman, Ray Jewell and Colin Pitchfork to the list of former owners of this Holey Dollar.

An industry develops because of the involvement of collectors and dealers working together to the advancement of a market. These four collectors, Farman, Jewell, Pitchfork and Spalding were active participants in the industry’s advancement from the 1940s and into the 1980s.

And they each shared the pleasure of ownership of this quality Holey Dollar.

Struck on a Charles IIII 1808, Mexico Mint, Spanish Silver Dollar the original coin is graded a high quality Good Very Fine. The counter-stamps New South Wales, Five Shillings and 1813 are graded higher again at About Extremely Fine.

Spalding book March 2018
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PREMIUM QUALITY. A CONNECTION TO HIS PEERS. THE DATE 1808. ALL OF THE ABOVE.

We can certainly understand why Philip Spalding selected this coin to appear on the front cover of his book.

Overwhelmingly Spalding would have respected the judgement of its former owners and numismatic peers, Roy Farman, Ray Jewell and Colin Pitchfork. He certainly would have had a fondness for the coin, a connection to his close colleagues.

Perhaps it was the date 1808 that appealed to him, as it does to many other collectors that hold the number eight close to their heart. A sign of good luck, no less.

It may also have been the coin's quality and aesthetic appeal for this Holey Dollar is glossy and very pleasing to the eye with the counter stamps New South Wales and 1813 close to being aligned with the date 1808.

The pride of owning a Philip Spalding Holey Dollar is immeasurable. It is a feeling that is enjoyed by only a handful of collectors.

But only one collector can ever lay claim to having their Holey Dollar featured on the front cover of Spalding’s eminent book.

 

The status of the Holey Dollar as Australia’s first coin ensures that it will never be forgotten and, as time passes, its historical value can only increase.

No other coin has had so many books written about it. No other coin has been so highly exhibited.

The Holey Dollar is a coin that is held in the utmost respect. It is history. And yet it is refreshingly current.

The ingenuity of Governor Lachlan Macquarie in creating our first coin is reflected in the naming of the Macquarie Bank and the bank’s ultimate adoption of the Holey Dollar as it logo.

Talk to those fortunate owners, either private collectors or institutions such as Macquarie Bank, National Museum of Australia and the Mitchell Library, and you quickly realise that the Holey Dollar is viewed as the jewel in their collection.

And there is a reason. It is our first coin. It is steeped in history and is extremely rare.

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1813 Dump gVF small July 2018
1813 Dump gVF non date side small July 2018
COIN
1813 Dump, design type A/1
QUALITY
Good Very Fine
PROVENANCE
Dr. John Chapman
PRICE
$75,000
COMMENTS
A Good Very Fine 1813 Dump is a high quality piece and is genuinely hard to find. A chance opportunity. A Good Very Fine 1813 Dump that has been owned by Dr. John Chapman is a once-in-a-decade opportunity. Dr John Chapman has been involved in the Australian numismatic market as a foremost collector for as long as we can remember. He is as learned as he is well respected and this Dump was part of his prized collection. It is a coin that has all the attributes that a collector would look for in a colonial Dump including the original Spanish Dollar design (particularly strong), complete denticles and the presence of the ‘H’ for Henshall on the reverse. It is an impactful coin, the very reason why respected author and numismatist Greg McDonald features it in his annual Pocket Price Guide. And has so for many, many years. Technical shots are provided.
STATUS
Available now
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1813 Dump gVF non date side small July 2018
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1813 Dump date side TECH July 2018

Beautifully well centred striking with strong date, crown and legend New South Wales. Note the undertype. It is magnificent. The castle and the lion are clear.

1813 Dump non date side TECH July 2018

William Henshall left his mark on this coin with the 'H' for Henshall strong.

The Holey Dollar and Dump were struck to create a medium of exchange in a colony starved of currency.

Governor Lachlan Macquarie enlisted the services of emancipated convict, William Henshall, to cut a hole in 40,000 Spanish Silver Dollars, creating two coins out of one. 

The Dump, the small disc that fell out of the centre of the holed silver dollar, was then over stamped with the date 1813, a crown, New South Wales and the value of fifteen pence.

The buyer that pursues a top quality Dump will find the task extremely challenging. It can be years before a premium quality example comes onto the market.

The Dump circulated widely in the colony, the extreme wear on most Dumps evidence that they saw considerable use. So, while the Dump may seem the diminutive partner of the Holey Dollar, the reality is top quality Dumps have authority.

So let's define the words "top quality" for the 1813 Dump and establish where extreme rarity kicks in.

Every circulated coin has a grading level at which serious rarity kicks in. That is the point at which the balance between acquiring a coin as a collectible - and as an investment - shifts more towards the latter.

For the 1813 Colonial Dump that point is Good Very Fine.

The chart clearly shows that securing a Colonial Dump in a quality level of good Very Fine or better is a difficult task. We would sight a good Very Fine Dump on the open market perhaps once or twice every year.

Dr John Chapman certainly knew what he was doing when he selected this 1813 Dump. It is a beauty.

  • The design is classically well centred and well struck.
  • The legend New South Wales and the date 1813 are sharp.
  • The fleur de lis on the left-hand side and the right-hand side of the crown have definition and have not melded into the coin.

 

  • The pearls to the left and right of the Crown are well defined and again have not melded into the coin.
  • The denticles around the edge of the coin are complete, a feature that is seldom if ever seen on even the very best examples.
  • Notice the oblique milling around the edge. Strong, well defined and fully evident.
  • The reverse Fifteen Pence also is strong and three dimensional.
  • The ‘H’ for Henshall also is defined. William Henshall declared his involvement in the creation of the Dump by inserting an H into some (but not all) of the dies used during its striking. Its presence is highly prized.
  • While the Holey Dollar glaringly shows that it is one coin struck from another, in a less obvious way so too does the Dump. There is strong design detail of the original Spanish Dollar from which this Dump was created on the entire obverse. We refer to it as the undertype and its presence is again highly prized.
1813 Dump graph
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scan 1 1934 Riddle Sheehan £1 Rev
Riddle Sheehan £1 obverse July 2018
COIN
1933 Riddle Sheehan One Pound R28
QUALITY
Uncirculated
PRICE
$3250
COMMENTS
That great value is to be had in the banknote market is clearly evidenced in this George V Riddle Sheehan One Pound. Every box is ticked. The note introduced a new design, and that’s important to collectors. It offers quality that can’t be improved upon at Uncirculated. Issued in an era that is especially popular, George V. And available at a price that is very affordable.
STATUS
Sold December 2018.
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Riddle Sheehan £1 obverse July 2018
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This One Pound was issued between August 1933 and September 1938 and heralded in a new design. With the passing of George V in 1936, it was also the very last George V One Pound issued.

The departure from the gold standard in 1932 saw a major overhaul of Australia’s banknotes. Instead of a promise to redeem the note for its value in gold, new wording on all notes proclaimed the following: “This note is legal tender for One Pound in the Commonwealth and all territories under the control of the Commonwealth”.

The size of the new note was also reduced to make it more workable in every day usage.

This is a top-quality banknote. Uncirculated and superb, it’s as fresh as the day it was printed, crisp and clean with razor sharp edges and strong colour.

This is everything you would want in a top-quality banknote. Including the price. 

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1855 Sydney Mint Sov date side mood July 2018
1855 Sydney Mint Sov non date side mood July 2018
COIN
1855 Sydney Mint Sovereign
QUALITY
Extremely Fine
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Melbourne
PRICE
$18,500
COMMENTS
A high quality coin has standout traits that are clearly visible to the naked eye and just one glance at this 1855 Sydney Mint Sovereign tells you that it is indeed a high quality piece with original lustre in the legend on both the obverse and reverse. Under the glass you see that it has minimal marks in the fields. This coin is an affordable example of Australia's very first sovereign and is genuinely rare in this quality level. It is a coin to enjoy. And to own with pride. Given its rarity and its status as the nation's first sovereign it's also a coin to tuck away for the future. Technical shots have been included in the READ MORE section. And we have included a chart that shows the genuine scarcity of the 1855 Sovereign in the higher quality levels.
STATUS
Available now
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1855 Sydney Mint Sov non date side mood July 2018
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1855 Sydney Mint Sov date side July 2018

Obverse 1855 Sydney Mint Sovereign

1855 Sydney Mint Sov non date side July 2018

Reverse 1855 Sydney Mint Sovereign

Every collector that embraces the Australian sovereign series must at some point in time contemplate the purchase of the nation's very first sovereign, the 1855 Sydney Mint Sovereign.

Three matters will be foremost in a buyer’s mind. The first, a budget. The second, the quality that those dollars will deliver. And the third, when an example is going to become available.

For it is noted that while well circulated examples are reasonably accessible, coins such as this Extremely Fine ’55 sovereign are genuinely scarce.

Every circulated coin has a grading level at which serious rarity kicks in. That is the point at which the balance between acquiring a coin as a collectible - and as an investment - shifts more towards the latter.

For the 1855 Sydney Mint Sovereign that point is the grading level of ‘About Extremely Fine’. At About Extremely Fine, Extremely Fine, Good Extremely Fine and above, the 1855 Sydney Mint Sovereign is exceedingly scarce.

Below ‘About Extremely Fine’, in the quality levels of Fine to Good Very Fine, the 1855 Sydney Mint Sovereign is reasonably readily available, as auction records attest.

This coin is well priced and, in our view, earmarked for growth.

And why do we believe so strongly in the price potential of the 1855 Sydney Mint Sovereign?

The 1855 Sydney Mint Sovereign is far rarer than the Adelaide Pound in comparable quality (four times as rare) and yet priced well below. That’s an anomaly that we believe will be addressed over time.

The Sydney Mint was opened on June 23, 1855 to strike Australia’s very first official gold currency. Except for ensuring the accuracy of the weight and the purity of gold in the coin, there was minimal care regarding the overall striking. The coins were to be used as currency, traded in commerce. Not preserved as collectibles.

In its first year of operation the Sydney Mint produced 502,000 sovereigns.

Some three years later, mintage figures had doubled, the very reason why the 1855 Sovereign is so scarce.

Australia’s first sovereign was struck depicting a youthful portrait of Queen Victoria with a braid in her hair. The design referred to as the Type 1 design appeared in 1855 and 1856 only.

It was replaced in 1857 depicting Queen Victoria with a sprig of Australia’s native flower, the banksia, in her hair. It is referred to as the Type 2 design.

The reverse design of both the Type 1 and Type 2 sovereigns was classically Australian: the word AUSTRALIA emblazoned across the face of the coin.

1855 Sydney Mint Sov Pie Chart
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1955-63 PDP's Group Shot October 2018
COIN
Collection of Melbourne and Perth Mint Proof Coins (1955 – 1963)
QUALITY
FDC
PROVENANCE
Private Collection
PRICE
Available individually
COMMENTS
The Melbourne and Perth Proofs struck from 1955 to 1963 come high on our list of recommendations to clients. For themselves. For children. Or a nice little nest-egg to tuck away for grandchildren. So, when Melbourne journalist Anthony Black asked Coinworks to list ten-coin rarities that were priced below $5000 and, that we believed, were destined for growth. The Melbourne and Perth Mint Proofs were at the very top of our list. The sets are visually attractive and very affordable, appealing to a wide buying audience. Each is a stand-alone rarity, so they can be acquired progressively one year at a time with no pressure on buyers to complete the series.
STATUS
Available now
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Quality is paramount in this sector of the market.

And that might be confusing for collectors who assume that because the coins have been struck as 'proofs' they will always be great.

While all the coins might have started out their life looking fantastic, it is how they have been handled and cared for since they were struck that is critical to preserving their value.

And underpinning their future capital growth. 

This collection of proof coins is the property of a client of long standing.

And they are superb for quality, the Perth proofs a solid blazing orange in colour. And both Melbourne Proof Sets, the 1955 and 1956, are two of the finest we have ever handled.

This is quality that is rarely ever sighted.

A list of the sets available is shown at right. 

  • 1955 Melbourne Proof Set. $4950. The copper penny is simply stunning. And that’s not to overlook the silver proofs, for the shilling, sixpence and threepence are equally so.
  • 1956 Melbourne Proof Set. $4950. The quality of the penny is the key to this set and again is stunning. The four silver proofs are equally as impressive. NOW SOLD.
  • 1957 Perth Proof Penny . $3500. Solid blazing orange. NOW SOLD.
  • 1958 Perth Proof Penny. $3500. Solid blazing orange. NOW SOLD.
  • 1959 Perth Proof Penny . $3500. Solid blazing orange. NOW SOLD.
  • 1960 Perth Mint Proof Penny & Halfpenny. $4950. Supreme quality matched pair.   
  • 1961 Perth Mint Proof Penny & Halfpenny . $4950. Supreme quality matched pair.
  • 1962 Perth Mint Proof Penny & Halfpenny. $4950. Supreme quality matched pair.
  • 1963 Perth Mint Proof Penny & Halfpenny . $4950. Supreme quality matched pair.

Government approval was given in 1955 for the Melbourne Mint and the Perth Mint to commence regular proof coining for collectors. Government intervened in just one aspect of the program - only those coins being struck for circulation were to be issued as proofs.

The Melbourne Mint was therefore authorised to strike both silver and copper proof coins for collectors. (Florin, shilling, sixpence, threepence, penny and halfpenny.) As the Perth Mint was the Government’s copper coin producer, it could only strike proof pennies and halfpennies.

The coins were released annually with an official issue price of face value plus a premium of one shilling per coin … mintages averaged around 1,500.

Each piece was minted to exacting standards – from the selection and polishing of blanks, the preparation of dies and ultimately the actual striking. The result is a coin that is pleasing to the eye, well struck with strong designs and superb smooth background fields.

Perth Copper Proofs Group Shot ONE July 2018
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1900 Melbourne Mint Half Sovereign Veilded Head Choice Unc rev B & B October 2018
1900 Melbourne Mint Half Sovereign Veilded Head Choice Unc obv B & B October 2018
COIN
1900 Veiled Head Half Sovereign, Melbourne Mint, ex Quartermaster Collection
QUALITY
Choice Uncirculated
PROVENANCE
Reserve Bank of Australia Auction 2005, Quartermaster Collection
PRICE
$12,000
COMMENTS
This coin is a superb 'turn-of-the-century' Veiled Head Half Sovereign from the Melbourne Mint. Barrie Winsor had the privilege, and the pleasure, of cataloguing the Reserve Bank of Australia (R.B.A.) inventory that was sold by Australian Coin Auctions in 2005. Right from the outset, Winsor had several pieces in his sights, including this choice 1900 Melbourne Mint Half Sovereign. He was not alone in the assessment of the coin. Strong opposition saw the coin sell for $10,500 on a pre-auction estimate of $6000.
STATUS
Available now
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1900 Melbourne Mint Half Sovereign Veilded Head Choice Unc obv B & B October 2018
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1900 - and what a year it was.  One year before Australia's Federation and electric lighting was installed on Adelaide streets.

State Labour politicians met in Sydney to formally establish the Federal Labour Party.

 

The first Australian contingents of naval volunteers set sail for China to assist British and international troops during the Boxer Rebellion and natural gas was found at Roma in Queensland.

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1910 Specimen Set Date Side in case June 2018
COIN
1910 Specimen Set
QUALITY
Uncirculated
PROVENANCE
Barrie Winsor Collection
PRICE
$135,000
COMMENTS
Every dealer has one or two items, be they a coin or a banknote, that is close to their heart. In the case of industry figurehead, Barrie Winsor, it is this 1910 Specimen Set. He has always viewed it as the ‘ultimate set’. And for all sorts of reasons. Struck as a Presentation set at the Royal Mint London, in an original case of issue, it is comprised of the four silver coins, the 1910 florin, 1910 shilling, 1910 sixpence and 1910 threepence minted to glorious specimen quality. Furthermore, it is unique in private hands. Only one other set is known, held in the Museum of Victoria Archives. And it is history. The set is a celebration. A commemoration of the issuing of Australia’s very first Commonwealth of Australia coinage in 1910. Only a person of influence would ever have had access to such a striking. (Technical photos are provided in the READ MORE section.)
STATUS
Available now
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And the person of influence ?

We were not surprised when Barrie Winsor commented that he believes the original owner of the set was Sir Robert Johnson, Deputy Mint Master of the Royal Mint London. We have handled several of Johnson's coins, including the unique 1937 Uniface Shilling.

Many of the coins held in Johnson’s collection were acquired by famed dealers A. H. Baldwin following Johnson’s untimely death in 1938.

Winsor acquired the 1910 Presentation Set in 1984 from Spink Auctions paying $4500 on an estimate of $1500.

He recalls the moment he first laid eyes on the set. And the auction session in which it was acquired. The coins were handsomely and uniformly toned, a magnificent olive green / blue hue. 

And as was the case in the ‘good old days’, he took the coins to the Museum of Victoria to compare them against those housed in the Museum’s Collection.

That the coins were struck to specimen quality was confirmed.

The value of currency in recording great moments in time is clearly shown in this distinguished piece of Australiana.

Federation on 1 January 1901 was a pivotal moment in our history, when the the six self-governing colonies of Australia became a single country.

Eight years would elapse before the Australian Parliament would pass legislation to allow the striking of Commonwealth of Australia silver coins of two shillings, one shilling, sixpence and threepence. And bronze or cupro nickel coins of the penny and halfpenny. 

The coins were based on the British system of pounds shillings and pence.

1910 Specimen Set Techs

The first silver coins of the new Commonwealth were eventually struck in 1910. Unfortunately, none of Australia’s three mints were set up to strike the new denominations, so the coins were struck at the Royal Mint in London.

The design of the coins was intended to be nation building and to underpin the Government’s efforts to unify the country. Each coin featured the newly created Australian Coat of Arms as authorised by King Edward VII in a Royal Warrant issued on 7 May 1908. 

The Coat of Arms was a simple shield featuring the cross of St George, with five six-pointed white stars along the cross and six smaller shields around the edge of the larger shield representing the six states.  

The shield was supported by a kangaroo and an emu standing on a grassy mound. Above the shield was the crest containing the seven-pointed gold star of Federation. Below on a ribbon the motto 'Advance Australia' is inscribed.

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1910 Specimen Florin rev June 2018

Reverse of the 1910 Specimen Florin depicting the Commonwealth of Australia Coat of Arms.

1910 Specimen Florin obv June 2018

Obverse of the 1910 Specimen Florin depicting a crowned King Edward VII.

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1910 Specimen Shilling rev June 2018

Reverse of the 1910 Specimen Shilling depicting the Commonwealth of Australia Coat of Arms.

1910 Specimen Shilling obv June 2018

Obverse of the 1910 Specimen Shilling depicting a crowned King Edward VII.

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1910 Specimen Sixpence rev June 2018

Reverse of the 1910 Specimen Sixpence depicting the Commonwealth of Australia Coat of Arms.

1910 Specimen Sixpence obv June 2018

Obverse of the 1910 Specimen Sixpence depicting a crowned King Edward VII.

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1910 Specimen Threepence rev June 2018

Reverse of the 1910 Specimen Threepence depicting the Commonwealth of Australia Coat of Arms.

1910 Specimen Threepence obv June 2018

Obverse of the 1910 Specimen Threepence depicting a crowned King Edward VII.

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1871 Sydney Mint Half Sovereign YH Shield Brilliant Unc obv B & B October 2018
1871 Sydney Mint Half Sovereign YH Shield Brilliant Unc rev B & B October 2018
COIN
1871 Young Head Half Sovereign, Sydney Mint, ex Quartermaster Collection
QUALITY
Brilliant Uncirculated
PROVENANCE
The famed Quartermaster Collection
PRICE
$45,000
COMMENTS
This 1871 Half Sovereign was struck at the Sydney Mint and introduced a brand-new obverse and reverse design for Australia’s half sovereign series. At the time, the Sydney Mint was Australia's only operating mint. The Melbourne Mint opened on 12 June 1872 but did not commence striking Australia's half sovereigns until 1873.
STATUS
Available now
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1871 Sydney Mint Half Sovereign YH Shield Brilliant Unc rev B & B October 2018
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The Australian flavour that earmarked our first Sydney Mint half sovereigns (1855 to 1870) was replaced with British inspired, design elements.

For the obverse, the sprig of banksia was removed.

Instead, a young Queen Victoria was depicted wearing a traditional braid in her hair. This new obverse design was launched in 1871 and continued until 1887.

The reverse presented a traditional British Shield design created by Jean Baptiste Merlen. The Shield reverse design continued until 1893.

Both Australia's oldest Numismatic Auction House,  Australian Coin Auctions (A.C.A.),  and respected numismatist  Barrie Winsor  were in complete agreement on this coin's superb state. And its extreme rarity. A.C.A. gave it the ultimate 'thumbs up' by placing the coin as the sole feature item gracing the front cover of their Catalogue of the famous Reserve Bank of Australia (R.B.A.) Auction conducted in 2005.

Barrie Winsor, also gave it 'the nod' when he acquired the coin at the R.B.A. Auction on behalf of the even more famous Quartermaster Collection.

In more than twenty years of trading, Winsor had not seen finer.

1871 - and what a year it was.  Victoria continued to maintain its edge over N.S.W for population with 730,198 inhabitants: N.S.W. recording 502,998. Queensland had forged ahead to 120,104 inhabitants and boasted the production of 3,494,000 kg of cotton. South Australia became the first colony to allow a man to marry his deceased wife's sister and for animal lovers, that venerated institution, the R.S.P.C.A. was established in Melbourne.

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1880 Sydney Mint Half Sovereign YH Shield Choice Unc obv B & B October 2018
1880 Sydney Mint Half Sovereign YH Shield Choice Unc rev B & B October 2018
COIN
1880 Young Head Half Sovereign, Sydney Mint, ex Quartermaster Collection
QUALITY
Choice Uncirculated
PROVENANCE
The famed Quartermaster Collection
PRICE
$20,000
COMMENTS
This 1880 Half Sovereign was struck at the Sydney Mint and depicts the Young Head portrait designed by William Wyon and the Shield design created by Jean Baptiste Merlen. From 1871 until 1879, the Sydney Mint enjoyed robust half sovereign production issuing more than 1 million coins.
STATUS
Available now
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1880 Sydney Mint Half Sovereign YH Shield Choice Unc rev B & B October 2018
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A new decade dawned and in 1880, the Sydney Mint experienced a dramatic drop in half sovereign production, issuing only 80,000 coins.

That's a bonus for collectors.

The affect today is that in any condition, the 1880 Sydney Mint Half Sovereign is a rare coin. But it is excruciatingly rare in the Choice Uncirculated quality offered here.

This is a cameo-perfect example of the 1880 Half Sovereign. A stunning coin, visually impactful with superb detail, smooth fields and much original gold lustre.

In a recent conversation, Winsor re-affirmed that in the many years he was involved in the industry, he had not seen finer.

1880 - and what a year it was.  Gold was discovered at Margaret River, Northern Territory by David Tennant, prospector, publican and store owner. The discovery inspired massive Chinese migration. Who hasn't eaten a 'Cherry Ripe' or a 'Freddo Frog'? Confectionery Company, Macpherson Robertson began making their prized treats in Fitzroy, Melbourne, in 1880.

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1923 Halfpenny date side July 2018
1923 Halfpenny non date side July 2018
COIN
1923 Halfpenny
QUALITY
Choice Uncirculated
PROVENANCE
Madrid Collection of Australian Rare Coins
PRICE
$75,000
COMMENTS
This Choice Uncirculated 1923 Halfpenny was acquired in 2008 by the owner of the Madrid Collection of Australian Rare Coins. It was, at the time, one of two elite 1923 Halfpennies that came to the market for private sale. The first coin was the unique Proof 1923 Halfpenny. The second coin was this example: a coin that was originally struck for circulation but had survived the production process and preserved in an almost proof-like state. Our client was not influenced by the dollars involved, he had the capacity to acquire both pieces. But he opted for the latter. He is one of many collectors that respect the magnitude of top quality ‘circulating’ coins over of the substance of proof coinage.
STATUS
Available now.
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1923 Halfpenny non date side July 2018
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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. Tucked away for close to a decade 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: lustrous, 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.

This coin is exceptional for quality.

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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1882 Sydney Mint Half Sovereign YH Shield Brilliant Unc obv B & B October 2018
1882 Sydney Mint Half Sovereign YH Shield Brilliant Unc rev B & B October 2018
COIN
1882 Young Head Half Sovereign, Sydney Mint, ex Quartermaster Collection
QUALITY
Brilliant Uncirculated
PROVENANCE
The famed Quartermaster Collection
PRICE
$35,000
COMMENTS
Dealers and collectors alike know the 'rare' dates in the Australian coin series and can reel them off at the drop of a hat. And the 1882 Half Sovereign struck at the Sydney Mint is an icon of the Australian Young Head Half Sovereign series. The coin is excruciatingly rare.
STATUS
Available now
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1882 Sydney Mint Half Sovereign YH Shield Brilliant Unc rev B & B October 2018
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We note that in our 45+ years of involvement in the industry we have handled only one other top quality 1882S Half Sovereign.

The mintage for that year was a mere 52,000 coins. A clear explanation as to its rarity out in the market place.

Particularly when you consider that one year later, in 1883, the Sydney Mint issued 220,000 half sovereigns.

This half sovereign was acquired from London coin company, Knightsbridge coins, one of the most well connected numismatic dealers in the U.K., U.S. and Europe. And a gold coin specialist.

Sold to Barrie Winsor, it was later acquired by the  Quartermaster Collection.

 

1882 - and what a year it was. Gold continued to be discovered in Australia with a new find at Mount Morgan, Queensland. The Methodist Ladies' College, opened in Melbourne, with W. H. Fitchett as principal.  Prince Alfred Hospital opened in Sydney and the Austin Hospital opened in Melbourne. Wharf labourers in Sydney began an unsuccessful four-week strike to increase their hourly rate from 1s to 1s 3d. Adelaide and Port Augusta were connected by rail and the Australian Electric Co. exhibits electric light in Melbourne and illuminates Spencer Street Station.

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1887 Sydney Mint Half Sovereign Jubilee Head Choice Unc rev B & B October 2018
1887 Sydney Mint Half Sovereign Jubilee Head Choice Unc obv B & B October 2018
COIN
1887 Jubilee Head Half Sovereign, Sydney Mint (Normal J.E.B), ex Quartermaster Collection
QUALITY
Choice Uncirculated
PROVENANCE
The famed Quartermaster Collection
PRICE
$7000
COMMENTS
This superb Jubilee Half Sovereign reflects the Barrie Winsor touch. And the Quartermaster aspirations to acquire the very best. Choice Uncirculated with superb details, unblemished edges and smooth fields, the coin was acquired from the Reserve Bank of Australia Auction held in 2005.
STATUS
Available now
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1887 Sydney Mint Half Sovereign Jubilee Head Choice Unc obv B & B October 2018
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1887 - and what a year it was.  The estimated population of Australia was 2,881,362 with New South Wales and Victoria almost neck and neck, each with just over 1 million inhabitants. Western Australia, the last penal colony to be settled, had 43,820 inhabitants. Gas bath heaters were introduced in Australian homes and the Horse tramway started in Ballarat. 

Queensland's railways reached the New South Wales border at Wallangarra and the Chaffey Brothers made an agreement with the South Australian Government to establish an irrigation system at Renmark.

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1967 $5 Type 1 Coombs Randall Specimen Note back July 2018
1967 $5 Type 1 Coombs Randall Specimen Note front July 2018
COIN
1967 $5 Type 1 Coombs Randall Specimen Note
QUALITY
Specimen
PRICE
$5500
COMMENTS
Specimen notes are fully printed examples of circulating banknotes overprinted with the word 'SPECIMEN' in red to render them not negotiable. The overprint makes the notes distinctively different, extremely rare and highly sought after.
STATUS
Available now
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1967 $5 Type 1 Coombs Randall Specimen Note front July 2018
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This $5 Specimen note was produced in 1967 as part of Australia's decimal currency conversion program and bears the signatures of Coombs and Randall.

It is defined as a Type 1 Specimen note, distinguished by the small oval in the watermarked area containing the word Specimen.

 

 

The note carries the first serial prefix of the $5 issue, NAA. The note also bears the exalted serial numbers 000000 and is presented in strict Uncirculated quality.

The notes were printed before the first commercial print run, in the main  presented to a very restricted list of VIPs as well as being used as reference material for the major banks and financial institutions.

 


1887 Melbourne Mint Half Sovereign YH Shield Choice Unc obv B & B October 2018
1887 Melbourne Mint Half Sovereign YH Shield Choice Unc rev B & B October 2018
COIN
1887 Young Head Half Sovereign, Melbourne Mint , ex Quartermaster Collection
QUALITY
Choice Uncirculated
PROVENANCE
The famed Quartermaster Collection
PRICE
$65,000
COMMENTS
Barrie Winsor had the privilege, and the pleasure, of cataloguing the Reserve Bank of Australia (R.B.A.) inventory that was sold by Australian Coin Auctions in 2005. Right from the outset Winsor had this 1887 Young Head Half Sovereign in his sights, pegged as one of the absolute finest of one of the key coins in the Australian half sovereign series. He was not alone is his assessment of the coin and was presented with strong opposition at the auction, the coin eventually selling for $61,000, almost double the pre-auction estimate of $32,500.
STATUS
Available now
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1887 Melbourne Mint Half Sovereign YH Shield Choice Unc rev B & B October 2018
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Now when it comes to the 1887 Half Sovereign, there are two qualifications that have to be made to assess the coin's rarity.

The first is the mint, Melbourne or Sydney? The former is far rarer.

The second qualification is the design. In 1887 a new half sovereign portrait design was introduced for Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee to mark the fiftieth anniversary of her ascension to the British throne (1837 - 1887).

Records indicate that 64,000 half sovereigns were issued by the Melbourne Mint in 1887, but it is noted that this figure includes the two different portrait designs of Young Head and Jubilee.

 

The industry now acknowledges that only a minuscule number of young head half sovereigns were ever issued in 1887. The suggested mintage is less than 10,000.

The balance of the mintage taken up by the jubilee portrait.

Gripped with sentiment, collectors pursued the commemorative jubilee portrait allowing the young head half sovereigns to slip quietly into circulation. 

A clear explanation of this coin's extreme rarity out in the market place.

1887 - and what a year it was. The estimated population of Australia was 2,881,362 with New South Wales and Victoria almost neck and neck, each with just over 1 million inhabitants. Western Australia, the last penal colony to be settled, had 43,820 inhabitants. Gas bath heaters were introduced in Australian homes and the Horse Tramway started in Ballarat. Queensland's railways reached the New South Wales border at Wallangarra and the Chaffey Brothers made an agreement with the South Australian Government to establish an irrigation system at Renmark.

 

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1918 Perth Half Sovereign Unc rev August 2018
1918 Perth Half Sovereign Unc obv August 2018
COIN
1918 Perth Mint Half Sovereign
QUALITY
Uncirculated
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Melbourne
PRICE
$15,000
COMMENTS
This Uncirculated 1918 Perth Mint Half Sovereign is a superb quality example of Australia’s very last half sovereign. We point out the strength of the detail in the rider’s leg … an area of inherent weakness in most 1918 Perth Mint Half Sovereigns. Furthermore, the coin is profoundly rare. We are keen buyers of the ‘1918 Perth’ in top quality but it is noted that all the Uncirculated 1918 Perth Mint Half Sovereigns we have recently handled have been bought back from our clients. We haven’t acquired a fresh example at this quality level for at least five years. Testimony to its rarity.
STATUS
Available now
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1918 Perth Half Sovereign Unc obv August 2018
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1918 Perth Mint Half Sovereign date side July 2018

Reverse of the 1918 Perth Mint Half Sovereign.

The striking of the 1918 Perth Mint Half Sovereign is shrouded in mystery, a point that adds to its appeal.

Mint records indicate that the coin was never struck: the appearance of a 1918 Half Sovereign in 1967 proving otherwise.

It is now believed that a mintage using the dies dated 1918 was struck in 1919, and again in 1920, all of which was exported overseas with the majority believed melted down. 

1918 Perth Mint Half Sovereign non date side July 2018

Obverse of the 1918 Perth Mint Half Sovereign.

Historians estimate that 300 examples may exist, with only a small percentage of those at Uncirculated. 

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1823 Macintosh & Degraves obv
1823 Macintosh and Degraves Rev
COIN
1823 Macintosh and Degraves Shilling
QUALITY
nearly Uncirculated
PROVENANCE
Guy Newton-Brown, Private Collection Sydney
PRICE
$ 95,000
COMMENTS
That historians have traced a business transaction involving the 1823 Macintosh & Degraves Kangaroo Shilling back to 1848 attests to the importance of this iconic piece of Australiana. The transaction was a purchase for the esteemed London National Collection. The Kangaroo Shilling has a remarkable history with a connection that lives on today to Tasmania's Cascade Brewery.
STATUS
Available now
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1823 Macintosh and Degraves Rev
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This particular Macintosh and Degraves Shilling is the finest of 15 known examples. Excessively rare, consistently in demand, this piece stands shoulder to shoulder with some of Australia’s great coin rarities.

Formerly owned by Melbourne barrister Guy Newton-Brown it is sold with historical papers from Spink & Son London, 1968.

1823 Macintosh & Degraves documents

Fondly referred to as the ‘Smiling Rat’, the design was reputedly based on a drawing that was sent back to London in the late 1780s, said to be the first depiction of an Australian kangaroo.

It is our first Australian token and the only piece to be struck in this denomination.

When Hugh McIntosh and Peter Degraves organised the striking of this token for the Cascade Saw Mills in 1823, they could hardly have foreseen that it would one day become a prized collector piece. 

The token is remarkable for a number of reasons, all of which adds to its value today.

  • For a start, there’s that creature. Anyone who has taken even a passing interest in our colonial history would have seen it elsewhere: it’s reputedly based on a drawing that was sent back to London in the late 1780s, said to be the first depiction of an Australian kangaroo.
  • Then there’s the ‘Tasmania’ legend on the token. Until 1853 the island colony was known officially as Van Diemen’s Land, although Tasmania was used in print as early as 1824.
  • Messrs McIntosh and Degraves did not arrive in the colony until April 1824 – the year after the token’s ostensible date. What’s more, the Cascade Saw Mills for which it was struck didn’t commence operations until four months later.
  • It’s generally acknowledged that the Macintosh and Degraves token was struck in London in 1824 prior to their departure from England, most likely at the Soho Mint of Matthew Boulton fame. Furthermore, it is believed that it was never issued, the majority melted down following a well-documented custom’s seizure involving the partners’ cargo.

That we don’t know the full story has tantalised numismatists and historians for decades.

Does it really matter? Definitely not – after all, it simply adds to the magic. 

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1860 Aborigine Threepence Obv
1860 Aborigine Threepence Rev
COIN
1860 Hogarth & Erichsen Aborigine Threepence
QUALITY
Mint state, as struck
PROVENANCE
Sir Marcus Clark K.B.E, sold by James R. Lawson Auctioneers 1954.
PRICE
$145,000
COMMENTS
The 1860 Aborigine Threepence is an industry icon. It is the earliest representation of an indigenous person to appear on Australian currency. Its appeal extends far beyond the numismatic industry. It is a piece that has cultural significance. And national significance.
STATUS
Available now
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1860 Aborigine Threepence Rev
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This 1860 Aborigine Threepence was formerly owned by Sir Marcus Clark K.B.E and is presented in a superb mint state.

When James R Lawson Auctioneers sold the collection of the late Sir Marcus Clark in July 1954, his 1860 Aborigine Threepence (this coin) was placed in the sale alongside his Holey Dollar and Dump, such was the respect with which it was held.

Selling for £38, the Aborigine Threepence fetched more than twice that of Clark's Extremely Fine Dump (£18). Today the Dump would be valued in excess of $100,000. 

At £38, the Aborigine Threepence fetched nearly double that of Clark's Extremely Fine 1852 Adelaide Pound Cracked Die (£20) which today would be valued at $175,000.

The potential of this piece is further highlighted by the realisation of Sir Marcus Clark's Ferdinand VII Holey Dollar in the same 1954 Lawson Auction. The Holey Dollar sold for £72. That very same coin is currently on offer at Coinworks for $465,000.

Struck in silver, a minuscule eight pieces of the 1860 Aborigine Threepence are known, with this piece acknowledged as the absolute finest.

Presented as struck, in a mint state, the surfaces are proof-like.

As you would expect of a piece of this calibre, it comes with a well-documented pedigree, the property of foremost collector Sir Marcus Clark whose reputation for acquiring the very best is indelibly printed into the chronicles of numismatic history.

The sale of the Marcus Clark Collection in 1954 by auctioneers James Lawson Pty Ltd records the first public appearance of the Aborigine Threepence, where it sold for £38.

The piece was auctioned 27 years later, and in a fiercely contested bidding war, it sold for $23,000 on a pre-auction estimate of $12,500. 

The third appearance was in July 2007. The front cover item of a 400-page catalogue, it stirred up serious buyer interest selling for $92,000 against a pre-auction estimate of $75,000.

Julius Hogarth and Conrad Erichsen set up as jewellers in 1852 in a small shop at 394 George Street (near Liverpool Street). Relocating several times in the same street, their final location was 312 George Street on the south east corner of Hunter Street in what was formerly Skinners Hotel.

Hogarth is reputed to have designed and engraved the dies, while Erichsen is said to have actually made them. History records that Erichsen was quite a drinker and in the habit of striking a token whenever his thirst got the better of him!

Messrs Hogarth and Erichsen actively promoted the use of indigenous Australian flora and fauna elements and indigenous figures into their metal work and jewellery. They achieved great success during the 1850s notably through the vice-regal patronage of Governors Young and Denison.

Their works are today held in Canberra’s National Library of Australia and National Gallery of Australia. And Melbourne’s National Gallery of Victoria and Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum.

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1893M Half Sovereign EF rev PP March 2018
1893M Half Sovereign EF obv PP March 2018
COIN
1893 Melbourne Mint Veiled Head Half Sovereign
QUALITY
Extremely Fine
PROVENANCE
Private Collection New South Wales
PRICE
$95,000
COMMENTS
Ask most collectors ... what is Australia's rarest circulating gold coin and they will respond with the answer, the 1920 Sydney Sovereign. Setting the record straight. Australia’s rarest circulating gold coin is the 1893 Half Sovereign struck at the Melbourne Mint, featuring the Veiled Head portrait of Queen Victoria. Up until last year, five coins were known, two of which are held in the Royal Australian Mint Collection, Canberra. And it must be noted that the five examples are all well circulated, bereft of significant design detail. This example, graded Extremely Fine, is a recent find and takes the tally of known examples to six. Aside from its discovery, this coin is the finest (by far). Below, we have included technical photographs of the famous Quartermaster example as a point of comparison.
STATUS
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1893M Half Sovereign EF obv PP March 2018
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The 1893M Veiled Head Proof Half Sovereign first came to public notice in the mid-eighties when it was offered by Spink Auctions Melbourne on 18 July 1985. Let's call it coin number 1.

Previously unknown as a circulating coin, news of its appearance impacted hugely throughout the Australian rare coin industry. And made an even stronger impression on international markets. (The coin is particularly important to British Commonwealth collectors of which there are thousands.)

Renowned Gold Dealer, Richard Lubbock, flew from London to Australia to attend the auction and on an estimate of $750, he paid $1080 for a well circulated example, graded Very Good.

Lubbock came specifically to buy the coin. His only purchase.  And caught the first flight home to the UK, his job well done.

Up until this point, the 1920 Sydney Sovereign had always been considered Australia’s rarest circulating gold coin with nine examples known. The July 1985 Auction re-wrote numismatic history.

Coin number 2, also a well circulated Very Good example, appeared at Nobles Auction in 2002. The coin is easily identified with graffiti on the reverse.

The same coin re-appeared in KJC Auctions Sydney in 2006 and sold for $46,600.

Coin number 3 surfaced at the Reserve Bank of Australia Auction in 2005. The coin, Very Good on the obverse and Fine on the reverse, sold for $61,190.

Considered the then finest of the three examples it sold to the Quartermaster (QM) Collection. When the QM Collection was liquidated in 2009 it sold for $110,000 in a private transaction after the auction.

Coins numbered 4 and 5 are held in the Royal Australain Mint Canberra, each coin well circulated and graded Very Good.

The coin here is the finest example of Australia's rarest circulating gold coin and is available now.

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1893M Half Sovereign Obv Tech 1435 PP March 2018
1893M QM OBV PP March 2018

Shown above, a technical shot of the obverse of the coin on offer, the Extremely Fine 1893M Half Sovereign.

Compare it to the example at right, acquired from the 2005 RBA Auction and sold to the famous Quartermaster Collection.

Shown above, a technical shot of the obverse of the Quartermaster 1893M Half Sovereign.

The obverse is bereft of design detail and is graded Very Good. Compare it to the coin on offer.


1893M Half Sovereign Rev Tech 1445 PP March 2018
1893M QM REV PP March 2018

Shown above, a technical shot of the reverse of the coin on offer, the Extremely Fine 1893M Half Sovereign.

Compare it to the example shown at right, acquired from the 2005 RBA Auction and was later sold to the famous Quartermaster Collection.

Shown above, a technical shot of the reverse of the Quartermaster 1893M Half Sovereign.

Grading of the reverse is Fine. It was acquired from the 2005 RBA Auction and was later sold to the famous Quartermaster Collection. Compare it to the coin on offer.



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