Browse & Buy


1882S Young Head Shield Gem Unc obv October 2018
1882S Young Head Shield Gem Unc rev October 2018
COIN
1882 Sydney Mint Young Head Shield Half Sovereign
QUALITY
Gem Uncirculated
PROVENANCE
Barrie Winsor Collection
PRICE
$35,000
COMMENTS
The 1882 Half Sovereign struck at the Sydney Mint is one of the absolute key dates of the Young Head Series. And this coin at Gem Uncirculated is the finest known. That’s a powerful combination. The finest. Of the scarcest. Two attributes that make this coin an ideal choice for the pure investor or the collector that wants to relish in the pleasure of owning the very best. And note the provenance. The coin was acquired from Barrie Winsor who indicated that it came from Knightsbridge Coins, London, the same source that provided the example housed in the Quartermaster collection. Technical photos are provided in the READ MORE section.
STATUS
Sold May 2019.
Enquire Now
1882S Young Head Shield Gem Unc rev October 2018
Read More

1882S Young Head Sheild OBV TECH April 2019

Note the superb detail in the hair, perfection in the edges and the satin fields.

This Gem Uncirculated 1882 Half Sovereign struck at the Sydney Mint is the finest known.

If more accolades are required, then we can only add that it is superior to even the Quartermaster (QM) example.

The Quartermaster Collection is viewed as the industry yardstick. Put together by gold coin specialist Barrie Winsor over a twenty-year time frame, the Quartermaster coins set the bar very high and have become the standard by which others can - and will - be judged.

We offer two sound reasons why this coin should come under your consideration.

1. Reason number one is that the 1882 Sydney Mint Half Sovereign is a stand-alone rarity. A classic numismatic investment piece.

Half sovereign production at the Sydney mint in 1882 was meagre. Only 52,000 half sovereigns were produced.

And that’s a clear explanation as to why it is hardly ever seen out in the marketplace, in any quality.

It is noted that one year later, in 1883, the Sydney Mint issued 220,000 half sovereigns.

And this coin is superb for quality. At Gem Uncirculated, you will not find finer.

The combination of quality and rarity in one of the most popular collecting series, gold half sovereigns, makes it a classic numismatic investment.

 

1882S Young Head Sheild REV TECH April 2019

A superb execution of the Shield half sovereign design.

2. Reason number 2 is that the 1882 Sydney Mint Half Sovereign is an ideal inclusion in a portrait set.

A portrait set is a pathway chosen by a large number of half sovereign collectors. And we answer below, "what is a portrait set?".

The Young Head portrait of Queen Victoria appeared on Australia’s half sovereigns between 1871 and 1887. The Sydney Mint was in operation throughout this era, the Melbourne Mint coming on board in 1872.

A complete Young Head Half Sovereign collection is comprised of eighteen coins and that’s overwhelming for even the most financial of collectors. And potentially frustrating given the time that it would take to complete.

The trend is therefore to acquire one representative example from the Young Head design.

And what better pick than a key date. In the finest quality available. This Gem Uncirculated 1882 Sydney Mint Half Sovereign.

What is a Portrait Set?

The Australian Half Sovereign series ran from 1855 to 1918 and during this time seven different portraits were used, five of Queen Victoria, one of Edward VII and one of George V.

1.    Queen Victoria Sydney Mint Type 1 (1855 – 1856)
2.    Queen Victoria Sydney Mint Type 2 (1857 – 1870)
3.    Queen Victoria Young Head (1871 – 1887)
4.    Queen Victoria Jubilee (1887 – 1893)
5.    Queen Victoria Veiled Head (1893 – 1901)
6.    King Edward VII (1902 – 1910)
7.    King George V Large Head (1911 – 1918)

That’s why so many collectors take the short cut of completing a portrait set.

The sense of completeness is there. And the financial burden is substantially reduced.

 

 

enquire now

1805 Holey Dollar Obv April 2019
1805 Holey Dollar Rev April 2019
COIN
1813 Holey Dollar struck from an 1805 Mexico Mint Silver Dollar
QUALITY
Good Very Fine / Extremely Fine
PROVENANCE
Maurice Eschwege, Captain H. Paget, Albert Bagnall, Philip Spalding.
PRICE
$265,000
COMMENTS
There is an immeasurable pride in owning an example of Australia’s first coin, the Holey Dollar. And if you can open not one, but TWO, of the most respected books on Holey Dollars and see your coin detailed and illustrated, then the feelings go even deeper. It is an affirmation of the proud history that accompanies your coin. And so it is with this Holey Dollar. It is illustrated in Philip Spalding's esteemed book, “The World of the Holey Dollar”. And the internationally respected “Holey Dollars of New South Wales” by Messrs. Mira & Noble. And it is true that only a handful of collectors can ever lay claim to having their Holey Dollars in both books.
STATUS
Available now
Enquire Now
1805 Holey Dollar Rev April 2019
Read More

The fundamentals of this Holey Dollar.

This Holey Dollar was created from a Spanish Silver Dollar that was struck at the Mexico Mint in 1805 and features the legend and portrait of Charles IV.

The original silver dollar is graded in the upper quality levels of Good Very Fine and has toned to a glorious, soft gun-metal grey.

What we know is that once converted to a Holey Dollar in 1813 the coin underwent minimal circulation for the counter-stamps are graded higher again at Extremely Fine. 

The coin is featured on page 195 and 196 of  Philip Spalding's book, "The World of the Holey Dollar": a compliment in itself.

Published in 1973 this book is still to this day a major reference on the Holey Dollar. (A copy of Spalding’s book will be provided with this coin.)

It is also featured on page 51 the "Holey Dollars of New South Wales" by Messrs. Mira and Noble. 

Only a handful of collectors can ever lay claim to having their Holey Dollars in both books.

The Holey Dollar is respected and sought after worldwide, and that has been the case for more than a century. As this coin illustrates.   

Its first recorded owner was British collector Maurice Eschwege, jeweller and pawnbroker, located at 47 Lime Street, Liverpool. His collection was sold by Sotheby’s London, 30 March 1931, the Holey Dollar offered as lot 116.

The next recorded owner was British Royal Naval Officer, Captain H. E. G. Paget. His collection was sold at Glendining’s London, June 1944, the Holey Dollar appearing as lot 144.

The coin traversed the globe when it was acquired by American collector Albert E. Bagnall whose collection was sold in 1964 by Spink London.

Renowned British collectors and a renowned American collector and then eventually back to Australia through the illustrious hands of its fourth recorded owner, Philip Spalding.

That the coin has attracted sustained buyer interest right across the globe for nearly a century in Britain, the U.S. and Australia is testimony to the international appeal of the Holey Dollar.   

1805 Holey Dollar Tech OBV April 2019 SRGB
1805 Holey Dollar Tech REV April 2019 SRGB
Enquire now

The Holey Dollar is one of Australia's most desirable coins.

Talk to those fortunate enough to own one, either private collectors or institutions such as Macquarie Bank, National Museum of Australia and the Mitchell Library, and they will tell you that the Holey Dollar is viewed as the jewel in their collection.

And that statement is made irrespective of the quality level.

Most Holey Dollars are today found well worn with many looking like a tap washer.

The reason is simply that no quality parameters were set on Macquarie’s shipment of 40,000 silver dollars. That and the extensive use of the dollar as an international trading coin meant that most of the coins imported by Macquarie were well worn.

Once you move from the well circulated Good to Good Fine quality levels up to the Very Fine and Good Very Fine echelons, the differences in quality are marked and noticeable, clearly visible to the naked eye.

It is the details in the hair, the robes and the overall state of the fields.

The price of this Holey Dollar reflects its outstanding quality attributes.

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 its logo.

enquire now
History of the Holey Dollar

1788 - 1812. From a penal colony to a commercial hub.

That Australia was settled in 1788, and the Holey Dollar and Dump not struck until 1813, raises the question about the medium of currency operating in the intervening years.

No consideration had been given to the monetary needs of the penal settlement of New South Wales. It was planned on the assumption that it would be self-supporting, with no apparent need for hard cash for either internal or external purposes.

Even if it had been theoretically planned for, it would have been physically impossible for the British Government to fund this new venture. Britain’s own currency was in a deplorable state and the Royal Mint’s priorities were clearly set at making improvements on the home front, not diverting hard cash off-shore.

Foreign coins arrived haphazardly in trade, and acquired local acceptability and brief legal recognition, but what was received quickly left the colony to pay for imports.

The essence of all business is a medium of exchange. Having very little hard cash, the inhabitants, from governor to free settlers and convicts, improvised by issuing hand-written promissory notes, in denominations as low as 3d, to settle their debts.

Commercial transactions were also facilitated through barter of goods and services. Liquor was the prime commercial force and medium for barter in the colony and for almost forty years was part of the wages received by a considerable section of the population.

 

By 1812 the social fabric of Sydney as a community was emerging. It was no longer a redistribution point for convicts, with only the military as permanent residents.

Streets were being named. Macquarie, Phillip, Elizabeth, Castlereagh, Pitt and George Street. A post office was established and the common had been christened Hyde Park.

Houses had to be aligned and numbered and heavy industry was being re-located out of the city centre to the suburbs. 

Despite the social improvements, there was no bank and liquor remained the most commonly negotiated medium of currency exchange.

Rum, which cost 7/6 a gallon was being sold for up to £8 and its use as a negotiating medium was utilized by all sections of the community, including government.

And the highest levels of Government at that. Even Lachlan Macquarie used rum to buy a house. The cost? 200 gallons.

By 1812, the penal colony of New South Wales had shaken off the shackles of being a receptacle for convicts.

It was no longer a ‘jail’. And was emerging as a structured society and a commercial hub.

The stage was set for Governor Lachlan Macquarie to introduce Australia’s first currency.


1813. A coinage is conceived from imported Spanish Silver Dollars.

Governor Lachlan Macquarie etched his name into numismatic history forever when in 1812 he imported 40,000 Spanish Silver Dollars to alleviate a currency crisis in the infant colony of New South Wales.

Macquarie’s order for Silver Dollars did not specify dates. Any date would do. He wasn’t concerned about the various mints at which they were struck. Nor was he fussy about the quality of the coins. The extensive use of the Spanish Silver Dollar as an international trading coin meant that most were well worn.

Concluding that the shipment of 40,000 Spanish Silver Dollars would not suffice, Macquarie decided to cut a hole in the centre of each dollar, thereby creating two coins out of one, a ring dollar and a disc. It was an extension of a practice of ‘cutting’ coins into segments, widespread at the time.

Macquarie needed a skilled coiner to carry out his coining project. William Henshall, acquired his skills as an engraver in Birmingham, where the major portion of his apprenticeship consisted of mastering the art of die sinking and die stamping for the shoe buckle and engraved button trades.

In the same year as the Spanish Silver Dollar was minted - 1805 - he was apprehended for forgery, faking Bank of England Dollars, and sentenced to the penal colony of New South Wales for seven years.

Enlisted by Lachlan Macquarie as the colony’s first mint master, Henshall commenced the coining process by cutting out a disc from each silver dollar using a hand-lever punch.

He then proceeded to re-stamp both sides of the holed dollar around the inner circular edge with the value of five shillings, the date 1813 and the issuing authority of New South Wales.

Other design elements in this re-stamping process included a fleur de lis, a twig of two leaves and a tiny ‘H’ for Henshall. 

The holed coins were officially known as ring, pierced or colonial dollars and although ‘holey’ was undoubtedly applied to them from the outset, the actual term ‘holey’ dollar did not appear in print until the 1820s.

We refer to the coins today as the 1813 New South Wales Five Shillings (or Holey Dollar).

The silver disc that fell out of the hole wasn’t wasted. Henshall restamped the disc with a crown, the issuing authority of New South Wales and the lesser value of 15 pence and it became known as the Dump.

In creating two coins out of one, Macquarie effectively doubled the money supply. And increased their total worth by 25 per cent.

Anyone counterfeiting ring dollars or dumps were liable to a seven-year prison term; the same penalty applied for melting down. Jewellers were said to be particularly suspect. To prevent export, masters of ships were required to enter into a bond of £200 not to carry the coin away.

Of the 40,000 silver dollars imported by Macquarie, records indicate that 39,910 of each coin were delivered to the Deputy Commissary General’s Office by January 1814 with several despatched back to Britain as specimens, the balance assumed spoiled during production.

The Holey Dollar and Dumps remained as currency within the colony until 1829. The colony had by then reverted to a standard based on sterling and a general order was issued by Governor Darling to withdraw and demonetise the dollars and dumps.

The recalled specie was eventually shipped off to the Royal Mint London, melted down and sold off to the Bank of England for £5044.

It is estimated that 300 Holey Dollars exist today of which a third are held in public institutions with the balance owned by private collectors.


1921 Proof STAR Shilling rev March 2019
1921 Proof STAR Shilling obv Large March 2019
COIN
Proof 1921 Star Shilling
QUALITY
FDC
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Melbourne
PRICE
$95,000
COMMENTS
The greatness and the historical significance of Australia’s proof coinage is exemplified in the Proof 1930 Penny. And this coin, the Proof 1921 Star Shilling. Both coins are numismatic greats and capture grand moments in time. And both coins are rare. Three examples of the Proof 1930 Penny are privately held. And only ONE of the Proof 1921 Star Shilling. This coin.
STATUS
Available Now.
Enquire Now
1921 Proof STAR Shilling obv Large March 2019
Read More

1921 Proof STAR Shilling rev tech March 2019

The Proof 1921 Star Shilling has a brilliant reverse, reminiscent of the unique Proof 1920 Shilling (ex A. M. Le Souef and Syd Hagley) sold by Coinworks in 2012. Note the definitive star above the date.

The Star Shilling is iconic, one of Australia’s rarest shillings struck at the Sydney Mint from dies produced at the Royal Mint London.

Apart from an extremely low mintage of circulation coins, two proof pieces were produced.

One is held in the Museum of Victoria. The second piece, this coin, is the only known example in private hands.

The inclusion of the ‘star’ above the date reflected the intention of the Australian Government to reduce the silver content of its coinage.

Rapidly rising silver prices in 1919 prompted Governments around the world to review the metal content of their coinage.

Britain abandoned 800 years of tradition when the country reduced the silver content of its currency from sterling silver to an alloy of 50%.

Canada acted similarly moving from a sterling silver standard down to 80% while British West Africa dropped silver issues altogether in favour of nickel coins.

This Proof 1921 Star Shilling last appeared at public auction more than thirty years ago, at the very famous Spink March 1988 Auction. It was offered as lot 1167.

In Australia’s complete numismatic history, the March '88 auction has never been outdone for its offering of Australia’s top coin rarities. A yardstick for what constitutes the very best of Australia’s rare coins.

And a yardstick for prices.

1921 Proof STAR Shilling obv tech March 2019

The denticles in the rim have been struck twice, proving that more than one blow from the dies were required to strike the coin sharply in all details as was the case when minting proofs.

1988 was the nation's bicentenary year, and in a numismatic celebration, Spink London used all its contacts to garner the very best of the best of Australia’s coins to offer to local collectors.

Holey Dollars. The Madrid. The Hannibal. The unique Ferdinand VI. And others making eleven in total. And the Sir Marcus Clark Dump. The 1920 Square Halfpenny. The 1919 Pattern Shilling. 1920 and 1921 Florin and Shillings. And the 1937 Patterns. And this coin, the Proof 1921 Star Shilling.

That rare coins do deliver solid growth over the long term is exemplified in the Proof Star Shilling. The coin sold for $9500 in March 1988. And today is offered at ten times that amount.

And the ratio of 10:1 from 1988 to today is not an aberration. It is in line with the price movement of other coins sold in the March 1988 Auction.

We have always been excited by the Proof 1921 Star Shilling and happened to mention our offering to Greg McDonald, numismatic luminary and literary giant.

Greg has always been very forthcoming with his knowledge and he provided us with a sneak preview of a book that he has been working on  … the Essential Reference to Australian Coins and Banknotes. We were particularly interested in chapter 32, Pre-decimal Commonwealth Proof, Specimen and Pattern Coins and his feature of the Proof 1921 Star Shilling.

Greg notes that the Proof 1921 Star Shilling was likely minted at the request of A. M. Le Souef, Deputy Master of the Melbourne Mint who also happened to be a passionate collector of silver coins. Greg also commented on the Proof Star Shilling's excessively rare status.

enquire now

1930 Penny about VF rev March 2019
1930 Penny about VF obv Large March 2019
COIN
1930 Penny
QUALITY
about Very Fine / Very Fine
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Melbourne
PRICE
$34,500
COMMENTS
We love this coin. And in fact, we were the under bidder when it was offered at a Sydney Auction several years ago, outgunned by a very determined and experienced Victorian collector. (The same vendor also owned the third finest known 1930 Penny that we sold last year for $150,000 so he has a great eye for quality.) The collector has been passionate about coins since he was a child. Now approaching retirement, he has consigned this prized gem to Coinworks for private sale. Our view on the coin today is exactly the same as it was a few years ago when we entered the auction room. It's just a really impressive 1930 Penny.
STATUS
Available Now.
Enquire Now
1930 Penny about VF obv Large March 2019
Read More

1930 Penny about VF rev tech March 2019

This 1930 Penny has a superb reverse.

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. 

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 very well used, before collectors discovered their existence. Which means that many of the coins had been handled, mishandled, dropped, scratched or rattled around in change.

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

The fine details confirm that the obverse of this 1930 Penny is graded 'About Very Fine' with:

  • two sides of the central diamond showing.
  • six clear plump pearls in the crown.
  • the lower band of the crown is complete.
  • nice edges.
  • smooth fields and handsome toning.

The reverse is graded higher at 'Very Fine' with:

  • nice edges.
  • smooth fields and handsome toning.
  • strong upper and lower scrolls.
  • well defined inner beading.
1930 Penny about VF obv Tech March 2019

And a superb obverse.

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 estimated 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.  

enquire now

1921 Square Halfpenny FDC OBV large mood April 2019
1921 Square Halfpenny FDC OBV large mood April 2019
COIN
1921 Square Halfpenny
QUALITY
Choice Uncirculated
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Queensland
PRICE
$125,000
COMMENTS
We estimate there are about 150 Square Pennies available to collectors, of varying dates and designs. At the same time there are about 12 Square Halfpennies. So, if you are a Square Penny collector and you want a Square Halfpenny, then consider that there could be at least TEN other buyers searching for that same prized halfpenny acquisition. It’s these odds that have made the 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.
STATUS
Available now
Enquire Now
1921 Square Halfpenny FDC OBV large mood April 2019
Read More

For most collectors, one Square Kookaburra coin is simply not enough. The addition of the Square Halfpenny completes the picture.

But as you can see from our comments above. Acquiring a Square Halfpenny is never going to be easy.

There are about 150 Square Pennies available to collectors of varying designs and varying dates. And there are, we estimate, about 12 Square Halfpennies.

And the Square Halfpenny is engaging. We have seen clients go weak at the knees when they take delivery of their Kookaburra Square Halfpenny.

It is a coin that NEVER fails to impress. It generates excitement … that so much influence can be contained in one tiny coin.

The Square Penny and the Square Halfpenny are regarded as two of Australia’s classic coin rarities along with our first silver coins, the Holey Dollar and Dump. And our first gold coins, the Adelaide Pounds.

 

They are highly historical and have sustained buyer interest, underpinning their investment value.

The Square Kookaburra coins were thrown into the spotlight in 1954 when Sir Marcus Clark O.B.E. sold his extensive and famous collection of Australian coin rarities.

It is on record that his 1921 Square Penny and 1921 Square Halfpenny sold for £36. Even more interesting is that in the same auction an Extremely Fine Ferdinand VII Holey Dollar sold for just over twice that amount at £72 10/-. (The investment potential of the Square Penny and Square Halfpenny lies in the fact that the Holey Dollar is now a $450,000-plus item.)

The popularity of the kookaburras continued throughout the 1960s and 1970s with extensive reporting of their appearances occurring in the then industry magazine, The Australian Coin Review.

Strong collector and investor interest in the Square Kookaburras continues to this very day.

Enquire now

1920 Type 7 Square Penny OBV mood April 2019
1920 Type 7 Square Penny REV mood April 2019
COIN
1920 Square Penny
QUALITY
Choice Uncirculated
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Melbourne
PRICE
$75,000
COMMENTS
This coin was struck at the Melbourne Mint in 1920 and is assigned a technical reference of the Type 7. The Square Kookaburra coins were minted in 1919, 1920 and the final year of 1921. And while every year peaks our interest, there is one date that triggers the strongest reaction and that is 1920. All Square Pennies are rare, with annual appearances that can be counted on the fingers of one hand. However, those dated 1920 are particularly scarce and keenly sought. They are often referred to as the “glamour coins of the series”.
STATUS
Available now
Enquire Now
1920 Type 7 Square Penny REV mood April 2019
Read More


The 1920 Square Penny Type 7 is a world class rarity with perhaps twelve examples available to collectors.

Now let’s translate that number into collector availability.

How often would we expect to see a Type 7 on the market?

Our experience tells us that if you pass on this coin you will have to wait at least one to two years for another example to come along.

Now let's factor quality into the selection process for this Type 7 is superb for quality, well struck, the edges uniform and the design highly detailed.

Visually impactful, it presents superb proof-like surfaces, most unusual for a coin struck from cupro-nickel. 

If you are a quality focused collector, you will be looking at well beyond the two-year time frame for such a superb piece.  

The rumblings of a Republican movement were heard in 1919 when the Australian Labor Government decided to discard the traditional British penny and halfpenny designs and replace the coins with square coinage featuring the kookaburra.

The change to incorporate Australia's native bird onto our coinage was politically motivated.

A wave of nationalism was sweeping the country post World War I and the Government saw political advantage in tapping into the mood of the people by introducing a uniquely Australian flavour to our coinage.

A kookaburra design and the depiction of the monarch without a crown were two of the elements of the new coinage that while highly contentious and provocative, the Government believed would be accepted.

A new metal was also used. The square kookaburra coins were tested in cupro-nickel.  
 


Trials commenced at the Melbourne Mint in 1919 and continued until 1921 with the test pieces ultimately passed to dignitaries and Government officials to assess their reaction.

It is believed that over the three-year period 200 pieces, of various designs, were produced.

The response to Australia’s square coinage was however poor. There was widespread public resistance to change, while the elderly rejected the small size of the coins.

However, the final decision not to proceed seems to have been based mainly on another consideration. The large number of vending machines then in operation requiring a circular coin.

The impetus for change was further eroded when William Watt, the most influential advocate of the nickel kookaburras, suddenly resigned his position as Treasurer before the necessary regulations were in place.

The kookaburra coins never went into production and Australia lost a great opportunity to go its own way.

But with only the 200 prototypes to show as evidence of the Government’s grand scheme, Australian coinage gained another wonderful collector piece. And a prized coin rarity.

For many collectors the fascination with the Square Penny and Halfpenny takes them on a journey to acquire more than one example.

The coins are engaging, and their rarity offers collectors the challenge they so often seek.


 


1959 Melbourne Mint Proof Set FDC February 2019
1955 Melbourne Mint Proof Set FDC February 2019
COIN
1959 Melbourne Mint Proof Set
QUALITY
FDC
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Victoria
PRICE
$6950
COMMENTS
When this 1959 Melbourne Mint Proof Set came across the counter our eyes lit up. It is unequivocally one of the finest we have seen. The 1959 Melbourne Mint Proof Set is notoriously difficult to acquire in top quality and, from our experience, the most difficult to acquire out of the entire series. As the photograph shows, the four silver coins are stunning, the two coppers superbly matched with original copper brilliance under a very light smoky toning. The '1959 Set' was the vendor's opening gambit, for having gained our interest he then proceeded to extract the balance of his collection from a briefcase. A collection that included a fabulous 1955 and 1956 Melbourne Mint Proof Set and a superb array of Perth Mint copper proofs. The vendor has done all the hard work for us. It has taken him years to put this collection together to a consistently high standard. These stunning pre-decimal proofs are available individually. And available now.
STATUS
Available now
Enquire Now
1955 Melbourne Mint Proof Set FDC February 2019
Read More

The collection is comprised of:

1955 Melbourne Mint Proof Set of four coins. Penny, shilling, sixpence and threepence. The very first year of the Melbourne Mint's proof collector program and important as such. Price $5500.

1956 Melbourne Mint Proof Set of five coins. Penny, florin, shilling, sixpence and threepence. Price $5500.

1959 Melbourne Mint Proof Set of six coins. One of the finest comprised of a penny, halfpenny, florin, shilling, sixpence and threepence. Photograph shown above. Price $6950.

1957 Perth Proof Penny. Blazing orange. Price $3500.

1958 Perth Proof Penny. Blazing orange. Price $3500.

1959 Perth Proof Penny. Blazing orange. Price $3500.

1960 Perth Proof Penny and Halfpenny. Blazing orange matched pair. Price $4950.

1961 Perth Proof Penny and Halfpenny. Blazing orange matched pair. Price $4950.

1962 Perth Proof Penny and Halfpenny. Blazing orange matched pair. Price $4950.

1963 Perth Proof Penny and Halfpenny. Blazing orange matched pair. Price $4950.

The Melbourne and Perth Mint proofs struck between 1955 and 1963 come high on our list of recommendations to clients.

They are great coins to own. Or to put aside 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 affordably priced 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.

A reminder that quality is paramount, for while all the coins in the series were struck to proof quality, their state of preservation today (how they have toned) is critical to preserving their value and underpinning their future capital growth. 

 

 

Complete Collection 1957 – 1963 Perth Mint Copper Proofs

Blazing orange Perth Mint copper proofs. Available now.

Australia opened its first mint, the Sydney Mint, in 1855. A second mint, the Melbourne Mint, came on board in 1872 and the third, the Perth Mint opened in 1899.

The Sydney Mint closed in 1926 and during its years of operation would NEVER strike proofs for collectors.

The Melbourne Mint and the Perth Mint did not commence regular proof coining for collectors until 1955, and only after obtaining Government approval.

Government intervened in just one aspect of the program - only those coins being struck for circulation were to be issued as proofs.

As the Melbourne Mint was striking both silver and copper circulating coins for Treasury, it could 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.

Launched in 1955, the program ended in 1963 just prior to decimal currency changeover. The series was a catalyst for the introduction of a proof coining program for collectors by the Royal Australian Mint, Canberra.

Enquire now

1930 Banner April 2019
COIN
1930 Pennies - a collection of four coins.
QUALITY
As detailed below.
PRICE
As detailed below.
COMMENTS
We have hand-picked four 1930 Pennies to include in this promotion covering a spectrum of qualities and a spectrum of prices, ranging from $26,500 to $45,000. Irrespective of the quality and irrespective of the price we have followed our prime rule for selection and that is to acquire a piece that you would be proud to show your family and friends, one that has an heirloom feel about it.
Enquire Now
Read More

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

The aesthetics, how a 1930 Penny looks to the naked eye, is an important part of the selection process. The reason is simply that the 1930 Penny was minted by accident and no one knew of its existence until at least ten years after it was issued.

Which means that the coins were used. With the majority well used, before collectors discovered its very being.

It is a fact that we reject more 1930 Pennies than we accept. We don't like gouges and we don't like massive edge knocks.

And now to our likes. We particularly like strong upper and lower scrolls, intact inner beading and handsome even chestnut toning.

The four 1930 Pennies shown below follow our selection protocols in every respect.

Buy one of these coins and you will be proud to show it around.

1930 Penny Fine REV TECH April 2019
1930 Penny Fine OBV TECH April 2019

Quality: Fine-plus / About Very Fine

Price: $26,500

Perhaps the most remarkable aspect of this promotion is that you can select your coin to suit your budget.

And walk away knowing that you have acquired a truly great example of Australia's classic copper rarity, the 1930 Penny.

This coin was acquired from Coinworks in February 1995 and has not seen the light of day ever since.

An impressive reverse. Strong upper and lower scrolls, well defined inner beading. And very nice edges.

The obverse shows just the start of the first side of the central diamond and six pearls.

Minimal marks in the fields and handsome toning.

enquire now

1930 Penny good Fine - about VF REV tech April 2019
1930 Penny good Fine - about VF OBV tech April 2019

Quality: Good Fine / About Very Fine

Price: $29,500

A former (and somewhat famous) Australian pop musician in the 1960s turned professional businessman in the 1970s, the acquisition of this 1930 Penny fulfilled a lifelong ambition. Now retired to the South of France ... his coin is up for private sale.

This 1930 Penny is the classic example of a coin that has circulated but has survived its time in circulation relatively unscathed.

A glance at the photos shows a difference (slight) between this coin and those 1930 Pennies shown below. And that's OK because there is a corresponding price difference.

This coin has strong upper and lower scrolls and the beading is intact. The toning is handsome and even.

On the obverse one side of the central diamond is showing and six clear pearls.

We also comment that there are minimal marks in the fields and nice edges on both obverse and reverse.

So, while technically this coin has undergone more use than the coins shown below, it has survived its years in circulation remarkably well. And offers great value.

enquire now

1930 Penny about VF rev tech March 2019
1930 Penny about VF obv Tech March 2019

Quality: About Very Fine / Very Fine

Price: $34,500

We love this coin. And in fact we were the under bidder when it was offered at a Sydney Auction several years ago, outgunned by a very determined Victorian collector. 

The collector has been passionate about coins since he was a child. Now approaching retirement, he has consigned his prized gem to Coinworks for private sale.

(The same collector owned another special piece ... the third finest known 1930 Penny that we sold last year for $150,000. So, he has a great eye for detail.)

Our view on the coin today is exactly the same as it was a few years ago when we entered the auction room. It's just a really impressive 1930 Penny.

With at least two sides of the central diamond showing and six plump pearls, the fields are glossy and the upper and lower reverse scrolls are strong.

The coin has a genuinely strong presence and is visually very attractive.

This 1930 Penny follows our guidelines. It is a coin that you would be proud to show your family and friends.

enquire now

1930 Penny Very Fine reverse tech February 2019
1930 Penny Very Fine obverse tech February 2019

Quality: Very Fine

Price: $45,000

The 1930 Penny was struck during the Great Depression. An era when every penny counted for a family's very survival and the notion that a penny be put aside as a collectible almost non-existent. 

Yet it is clear from the photos that this 1930 Penny has undergone minimal circulation. We rank it in the top eight per cent of surviving examples.

We reviewed our records and confirmed the rarity of Very Fine 1930 Pennies. We last sold an example eighteen months ago! Now that's genuinely rare!

This coin has a full central diamond that leaps out and knocks you in the eye. There are six clear and crisp pearls and the smudging of the seventh and eighth pearl. (Amazing.)

The oval to the left of the central diamond is almost intact. The lower band of the crown is complete and the fields even and smooth.

The reverse is particularly impressive with well-defined upper and lower scrolls.

And while all of the above sounds very technical, the technicalities need to be stated for you are buying a premium 1930 Penny with this coin and one of the best.

enquire now
The history of the 1930 Penny.

The 1930 Penny was discovered by collectors in the 1940s.

That the coin had endured at least ten years of circulation before it was discovered means that all surviving examples show wear.

Dealers responded to the discovery of the 1930 Penny by offering to pay up to 10/- for an example.

However, it wasn’t until the 1960s that the coin became a national symbol. Newspapers were instrumental in creating that image, television played a lesser role.

Lists of Australian coins and their market prices and headlines such as “Have you cashed in on Australia’s coin craze yet?” and “A Penny could be worth £500” appeared in the 60s in the daily newspapers.

The nation’s rare coin market reacted in a frenzy as thousands cashed in on the opportunity to make big money.

In 1964, the Sydney Sunday Telegraph published a guide to the latest prices on Australian coins. It was the first time that such a list had been published and, while most pennies were fetching a small premium over face value, the 1930 Penny was listed at £50 in Fine condition (today that same coin would be worth more than $20,000).

By 1965, a Fine 1930 Penny had more than doubled in price to £120.

Before the arrival of decimal currency in 1966, no Australian could look at a penny without glancing at the date, just in case it was the elusive ‘1930’. A product of the Depression, it was everyone’s chance to make big money fast.

By decimal changeover, the price had moved to £255 ($510) and the 1930 Penny had captured the imagination of collectors and non-collectors alike.

The craze was fuelled on the one hand by the lure of quick money and on the other by the pressure of the collector market for supplies.

Decimal currency changeover posed an imminent and very real danger to coin collectors - the melting down of undiscovered rare pieces. Collectors were keen to complete sets of all coins minted in Australia.

There are no pennies being checked in schoolyards anymore, but for many collectors the journey to acquire our most famous penny still goes on.

Melbourne Mint image

1921 Square Penny Type 12 Unc obv Large February 2019
1921 Square Penny Type 12 Unc rev February 2019
COIN
1921 Square Penny
QUALITY
Uncirculated
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Adelaide
PRICE
$40,000
COMMENTS
This coin, the 1921 Square Penny, is the most popular coin in the entire kookaburra square coin series. It has the exclusivity that rare coin buyers always look for. And importantly, it is affordable. The Square Penny is history. A point in time when the Australian Federal Government planned the introduction of square coinage. It is the historical angle that ensures sustained buyer interest, underpinning its investment value. We would sight one high quality Square Penny of this style on the market perhaps once every year. As a point of comparison, we would sight at least twenty to thirty 1930 Pennies during the same twelve-month timeframe.
STATUS
Available Now.
Enquire Now
1921 Square Penny Type 12 Unc rev February 2019
Read More

The Square Penny is viewed as one of Australia’s classic coin rarities along with our first silver coins, the Holey Dollar and Dump. And our first gold coins, the Adelaide Pounds.

The coin never fails to engage its owners. And generates excitement.

It is the unique shape. Its place in history and its overwhelming rarity.

This Square Penny is known as the design type 12 and we estimate that perhaps 40 examples are available to private collectors.

But, we are as picky with our Square Pennies as we are with our 1930 Pennies.

And if you factor quality into your purchase equation you will find a tiny pool of about 20 to 30 nice quality design type 12 Square Pennies available.

Again, a comparison with the 1930 Penny (where it is believed 1500 are known) highlights the extreme rarity of this Square Penny.

 

The Square Kookaburra coins were thrown into the spotlight in 1954 when Sir Marcus Clark O.B.E. sold his extensive and famous collection of Australian coin rarities.

It is on record that his 1921 Square Penny and 1921 Square Halfpenny sold for £36. Even more interesting is that in the same auction an Extremely Fine Ferdinand VII Holey Dollar sold for just over twice that amount at £72 10/-. (The investment potential of the Square Penny and Square Halfpenny lies in the fact that the Holey Dollar is now a $450,000-plus item.)

The popularity of the kookaburras continued throughout the 1960s and 1970s with extensive reporting of their appearances occurring in the then industry magazine, The Australian Coin Review.

Strong collector and investor interest in the Square Kookaburras continues to this very day.

That interest in the series spans more than half a century is comforting for new buyers entering the market.

enquire now

1930 Penny VF rev February 2019
1930 Penny VF obv Large February 2019
COIN
1930 Penny
QUALITY
Very Fine
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Sydney
PRICE
$45,000
COMMENTS
The 1930 Penny, in a quality level of Very Fine, is an extremely rare coin. To put that word ‘RARE’ into context, Coinworks might handle ONE 1930 Penny at this quality level annually. We will let the photographs - and the technical shots included in the Read More section - do most of the talking on this superb Very Fine 1930 Penny. With a full central diamond and a hint of the seventh and eighth pearl, this coin is four grades higher than the most frequently sighted 1930 Pennies. The pie chart featured in the READ MORE section further reinforces the scarcity of this coin. Already have a 1930 Penny? Then consider a trade and upgrade your coin to one of the very best.
STATUS
Available now.
Enquire Now
1930 Penny VF obv Large February 2019
Read More

1930 Penny Very Fine reverse tech February 2019

1930 Penny Reverse showing strong upper and lower scrolls

1930 Penny Very Fine obverse tech February 2019

1930 Penny Obverse showing the full central diamond. Six plump pearls. And a hint of the 7th and 8th.

Points to note when considering this coin.  

  • The diamond in the Crown is one of the ‘high’ points of the 1930 Penny design and one of the first areas to show wear during circulation.
  • This coin has a full central diamond that leaps out and knocks you in the eye.
  • With most 1930 Pennies, the central diamond is completely obliterated. (A Fine quality grading)
  • Sometimes one side of the central diamond is evident with the other three sides worn away. (A Good Fine quality grading.)
  • There are six clear, crisp and very well-defined pearls in the crown.
  • The 1930 Penny was originally struck with eight pearls. As with the central diamond, the seventh and eighth pearls to the left of the Crown are also ‘high points’ in the design. There is a hint of the seventh and eighth pearl in this coin and that fact places this 1930 Penny in the ‘extremely rare’ category.
  • The oval to the left of the central diamond is virtually intact. With most 1930 Pennies the oval is only partially evident.
  • The lower band of the crown is complete.
  • The fields are undamaged. The fields are even and smooth, the toning a handsome chocolate brown.
  • The reverse is particularly impressive with well-defined upper and lower scrolls and inner beading.

And while all the above details may seem very technical … it is the complete and strong central diamond, the complete lower band and the hint of the seventh and eighth pearl that places this coin in a league of its own and justifies the supreme quality level of Very Fine.

1930 Penny - Pie Chart
enquire now

1860 Sydney Mint Sovereign Choice Unc Obverse February 2019
1860 Sydney Mint Sovereign Choice Unc Reverse February 2019
COIN
1860 Sydney Mint Sovereign
QUALITY
Choice Uncirculated
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Melbourne
PRICE
$35,000
COMMENTS
From the day this 1860 Sydney Mint Sovereign was struck, it was destined to become a prized collectible. It is a superb coin to the naked eye and an equally superb coin under a magnifying glass. The striking is sharp, the portrait of Queen Victoria highly detailed. Given that this sovereign was struck in the factory-like conditions of the nation’s first mint, the Sydney Mint, makes the coin even more remarkable. Furthermore, it has been brilliantly preserved, painstakingly wrapped up into a minute parcel in tissue paper, hidden away for decades. The surfaces are excellent. The denticles crisp, the coin still shows its original lustre. It is a privilege and a pleasure to offer one of the absolute rare dates of the Sydney Mint series, the 1860 Sydney Mint Sovereign in Choice Uncirculated. Technical shots have been included in the READ MORE section.
STATUS
Available now.
Enquire Now
1860 Sydney Mint Sovereign Choice Unc Reverse February 2019
Read More

1860 Sydney Mint Sovereign Ch Unc Obv tech February 2019

1860 Sydney Mint Sovereign Obverse. 

1860 Sydney Mint Sovereign Ch Unc Rev tech February 2019

1860 Sydney Mint Sovereign Reverse. 

'1860' - a key date of the series.

Every series has its key dates, those years that are harder to find than others.

In the case of the Sydney Mint Sovereign series, the 1860 Sydney Mint Sovereign is one of the great rarities.

The Sydney Mint Sovereign series ran from 1855 until 1870 with the first obverse design appearing between 1855 and 1856 and the second between 1857 and 1870.

Two dates are regarded as the absolute key dates of the second obverse design series they being 1858 and this coin, the 1860.

A key date in superb quality. And a great rarity.

The value today of any coin is a combination of two elements.

The finesse of the striking. And just how well it has been cared for in the intervening years.

And this 1860 Sydney Mint Sovereign scores highly on both counts. Brilliant strike. And painstakingly preserved.

The 1860 Sydney Mint Sovereign is an elusive coin in any quality. 

But the coin on offer here is just not ‘any quality’. This coin is ascribed the higher grading level of Choice Uncirculated.

You can count on the fingers of one hand the number of premium quality 1860 Sydney Mint Sovereigns that we have sold.

A classic Australian gold sovereign rarity.

Australia’s gold coinage history began in 1855 with the introduction of the Sydney Mint design.

It was a style that rejected the protocols of London and which imparted a uniquely Australian flavour into the nation’s first official gold coinage.

For the first - and only time - the word AUSTRALIA appeared on our sovereigns.

The Sydney Mint design continued until 1870.

In 1871 Australia’s gold coinage took on the more traditional English designs of St George and the Dragon and the Shield.

The buyer that acquires this sovereign will be taking up a classic Australian coin rarity.

enquire now

1855 Taylor Pattern Silver Sixpence Unc rev B&B May 2018
1855 Taylor Pattern Silver Sixpence Unc obv B&B May 2018
COIN
Circa 1860, W. J. Taylor, Kangaroo Office Sixpence struck in silver, plain edge
QUALITY
Choice Uncirculated
PROVENANCE
Turner Collection
PRICE
$45,000
COMMENTS
Australia's Gold Rush spawned mass economic expansion in the colonies. The coins of W. J. Taylor are a product of this era. They are of the greatest historical significance and are extremely rare and have been owned by some of the most lauded collectors of our time including the U.K.'s Hyman Montague, Egypt's King Farouk, American collector J. J. Pitman and locally, Sydney collector Philip Spalding and Queenslander Tom Hadley. To name just five. William Joseph Taylor was an Englishman. An engraver and die sinker by trade, he was active in the numismatic industry producing both coins and medals. He was an entrepreneur. And a shrewd businessman. This silver Sixpence struck by Taylor would have been Australia’s very first silver coin had his plan for a private mint in Melbourne come to fruition. Superbly toned with iridescent surfaces the coin features a portrait of Queen Victoria wearing a jewelled crown on the obverse. And a large figure ‘6’ in the centre of the reverse on a broad raised engraved rim. Confirmation of their extreme rarity. We can count on the fingers of one hand the number of Taylor Pattern silver Sixpences that we have sold.
STATUS
Available now
Enquire Now
1855 Taylor Pattern Silver Sixpence Unc obv B&B May 2018
Read More

The Kangaroo Office was a bold plan by English entrepreneurs to establish Australia’s first privately run Mint. The planning phase began in London, in 1853. Coining operations commenced in Melbourne in May 1854. Three years on, after substantial losses, the mint was closed.

While the plan had all the hallmarks of a farce, it left an important legacy for today’s collectors and historians.

William Joseph Taylor was an Englishman, and by trade an engraver and die sinker, active in the numismatic industry producing both coins and medals. He was an entrepreneur. And a shrewd businessman.

Towards the end of 1852 Taylor became aware that gold could be bought from diggers on the Ballarat fields at greatly reduced prices. His plan was to establish a private mint in Melbourne, strike gold coins and release them at their full value in London.

Taylor formed a syndicate with two colleagues, Messrs Hodgkin and Tyndall: the three investing £13,000 in the enterprise. They chartered a fully rigged 600-ton vessel to transport the coining press, the dies and two employees, Reginald Scaife (manager) and William Morgan Brown (assistant).

The vessel was aptly named ‘The Kangaroo’, then, as now, a symbol of Australia. Taylor’s mint was known as the Kangaroo Office and was situated near Melbourne’s Flagstaff Gardens in what is now Franklin Street West.

‘The Kangaroo’ arrived at Hobsons Bay on 23rd October 1853, and the huge coining press was deposited on the wharf. And there it sat. Unfortunately, it was too heavy to transport. The only option was to take it apart and move it, piece-by-piece, to the Kangaroo Office, where it was reassembled and put into working order.

The Kangaroo Office eventually commenced operations in May 1854, striking gold coins. To thwart currency laws, the designs were made to look more like weights than coins. Taylor himself cut the dies for a 2oz, 1oz, 1/2oz and ¼oz gold piece, each dated 1853.

 

The Kangaroo Office operated for three years striking examples from the original dies, although how many of each is unknown.

The Kangaroo Office was under financial pressure right from the outset. By the time the mint was operational gold, which had been £2/15/- per ounce when the plan was hatched, had moved up to £4/4/- an ounce. And there was a glut of English sovereigns in circulation.

Despite the financial challenges of the operation Taylor was unconvinced that his days as a coin designer and manufacturer were at an end.  In 1855 he produced dies for the striking of a sixpence and shilling in gold, silver and copper. This was his first attempt at producing a piece depicting a value rather than a weight.

The coins display the same broad engine-turned rim, the obverse featuring a superb portrait of Queen Victoria with VICTORIA and AUSTRALIA embedded in the rim. The reverse features the denomination in figures at the centre and in letters embedded in the rim above.

William Taylor also produced patterns for a fourpence and twopence struck in copper; the former featuring Britannia on the obverse and the figure ‘4’ on an engine turned background. The twopence features the kangaroo with Melbourne above it: the obverse similar in style to the fourpence.

Taylor operated his Kangaroo Office for three years during which time he sustained substantial losses. With all hope of a profit gone, the dispirited promoters in London issued instructions for the Kangaroo Office to be closed.

Now while it is true that Taylor never achieved his ambitions, the Port Phillip Kangaroo Office Patterns are revered by collectors and investors in Australia. And right across the globe.

enquire now

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
$115,000
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
Enquire Now
1860 Aborigine Threepence Rev
Read More

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.

enquire now

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
In 2018, proof gold emerged as one of the most fiercely contested areas of the rare coin market. Prices paid at auction for proof sovereigns and proof half sovereigns surged by about 20 per cent, the consequence of increased demand. Now while it is true that gold is Australia’s most popular collecting metal, the key to the growth in proof gold has been its inordinate scarcity. Buyers know that there is never a chance that the market will be flooded with examples. The scarcity has simply given the market the confidence to buy. This coin is a case in point for we are aware of only one other Proof 1893 Melbourne Mint Sovereign, and that coin is held with a Coinworks client. Over and above its rarity, 1893 was the very first year to depict the veiled head portrait of Queen Victoria, adding further to this coin’s appeal.
STATUS
Available now
Enquire Now
1893M Proof Sovereign obv December 2018
Read More

When sizing up a coin and evaluating its potential for growth, a buyer should consider two aspects.

  1. The rarity of the coin itself.
  2. The rarity of the market sector to which it belongs. The adage, "less is best" holds true in the rare coin industry for you don't want the market to be flooded with examples from the same sector.

The ideal investment scenario occurs when the coin is rare. And the sector is occupied by very few coins. 

As detailed above, this Proof 1893 Sovereign is rare. And the Veiled Head sector (to which it belongs) is very light on in numbers.

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.

 

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

It is also noted that many of these Veiled Head gold proofs were last sighted decades ago, in the 1980s and 1990s.

  • 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 nor have we 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.
enquire now

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
In 2018, proof gold emerged as one of the most fiercely contested areas of the rare coin market. Prices paid at auction for proof sovereigns and proof half sovereigns surged by about 20 per cent, the consequence of increased demand. Now while it is true that gold is Australia’s most popular collecting metal, the key to the growth in proof gold has been its inordinate scarcity. Buyers know that there is never a chance that the market will be flooded with examples. The scarcity has simply given the market the confidence to buy. This coin is a case in point for we are aware of only one other Proof 1899 Melbourne Mint Half Sovereign, and that coin is held with a Coinworks client.
STATUS
Available now
Enquire Now
1899M Proof Half Sovereign FDC Large obv May 2018
Read More

When sizing up a coin and evaluating its potential for growth, a buyer needs to consider two aspects.

  1. The rarity of the coin itself.
  2. The second aspect, the rarity of the sector of the market to which it belongs. The adage, "less is best" holds true in the rare coin industry for you don't want the market to be flooded with examples from the same sector.

The ideal investment scenario occurs when the coin is rare. And the sector is occupied by very few coins. 

As detailed above, this Proof 1899 Half Sovereign is rare. And the Veiled Head sector (to which it belongs) is very light on in numbers.

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 fifteen of each year but fifteen coins that cover the entire spectrum of dates in Queen Victoria’s nine-year reign of 1893 to 1901.

  • 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.
enquire now

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
Enquire Now
1813 Dump gVF non date side small July 2018
Read More

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
enquire now

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
Enquire Now
Read More

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.

enquire now

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.

enquire now

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.

enquire now

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.

enquire now

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.

enquire now


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
Enquire Now
1918 Perth Half Sovereign Unc obv August 2018
Read More

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. 

enquire now

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
Enquire Now
1823 Macintosh and Degraves Rev
Read More

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. 

enquire now

CONTACT

Suite 17, 210 Toorak Road South Yarra 3141
Suite 17, 210 Toorak Road

© Copyright: Coinworks 

BE INFORMED

Discover new coins and collections added weekly.