Browse & Buy


Proof-1928-Penny-FDC-Rev-May-2020
Proof-1928-Penny-FDC-Obv-May-2020
COIN
Proof 1928 Penny, Melbourne Mint
QUALITY
FDC with highly reflective, almost glass-like fields
PROVENANCE
Australian Coin Auctions March 2001, The Madrid Collection of Austraian Rare Coins
PRICE
$35,000
COMMENTS
Prices of Australian pre-decimal proofs rocketed between 2001 and 2002 when a collection of elite Proof Melbourne coppers came up at auction. This Proof 1928 Penny was a part of the collection. The coins had never been sighted before, the vendor indicating that he had bought them from renowned collector Roy Farman in the 1950s. Farman, in turn, had held them from the day they were struck. We attended the auction and the competition for acquisition was as strong as we have ever seen. A case in point, this Proof 1928 Penny, sold for $19,000 on a pre-auction estimate of $10,000 and it is noted that the auction estimate reflected price guides at the time. And the reason for the heady prices?
STATUS
Sold May 2020
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Proof-1928-Penny-FDC-Obv-May-2020
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The rarity of the Proof 1928 Penny

This Proof 1928 Penny is technically referred to as a Coin of Record. As the name suggests, it was struck to put on record the date '1928' and as a Coin of Record it was struck to proof quality. The strike satisfied the needs of the mint rather than the wants of collectors.

Coins of Record out of this era are amazingly scarce. Up until its offering in 2001 only two other proof pennies dated 1928 had been sighted.

The exceptional quality of the Proof 1928 Penny

The auction of these elite copper proofs between 2000 and 2002 instigated a new term into the industry’s numismatic dictionary. The term was "super" proof.

The industry contends that the exceptional quality of this Proof 1928 Penny, and the other proofs offered at the auction, was a consequence of Farman’s close relationship with Albert Le Souef.  

Le Souef was, like Farman, a passionate collector and occupied a position of influence in the Melbourne Mint that would eventually see him become Deputy Mint Master between 1921 and 1926. He maintained his influence in numismatic circles well into the 1930s.

In this era there was nothing untoward, or unethical, with ensuring that a collector friend received the very best proof collector striking.

It was a simple matter of selecting the smoothest copper blanks. And polishing the dies to ensure a crisp and highly detailed striking.

A brilliant state of preservation

This coin has had only three owners over nearly a century. That is almost as rare as the coin itself.

Its state of preservation reflects the minimal number of owners. It also indicates that all along the way this coin has always been cherished.

 

The purpose of proof coining

Respected author, Greg McDonald, provides us with an insight as to why Coins of Record are so limited in numbers when he shared with us a definition put out by the Royal Mint London of a proof coin.

“Struck on a slow-moving coining press using carefully polished dies which are frequently cleaned during use. The materials from which the coins are made are specially processed and the coin blanks are carefully selected and polished before use. Blanks and minted coins are individually handled to prevent accidental damage.

The essential characteristics of proof coins are highly polished fields, fully reproduced designs free from any flaw, and square edges. Milling where present should be regular and free from any defect. Because of the very high standard set in manufacture, such coins are slow to make and relatively expensive to produce.”

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

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

Proof coins were struck to be preserved in government archives as a record of Australia’s coining history, time-capsuled for future generations. Proof coins were also used to showcase a mint’s coining skills, to display at major worldwide Exhibitions or sent to other mint’s and public institutions. A simple case of competitive one-up-man ship. (The British Museum was a major recipient of Australia’s proof coinage. So too the Royal Mint London.)

Proof coins were struck at the discretion of the Mint Master so there was no hard-fast rule about the regularity of the issues. Or the mintages. The striking of proofs was very often influenced by the collecting zeal of the Mint Master. And his involvement with the collector market. The more passionate the collecting habits of the Mint Master, the greater the chance of proofs being struck.

 

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1930-Penny-good-Fine-Rev-May-2020
1930-Penny-good-Fine-Obv-May-2020
COIN
1930 Penny
QUALITY
Good Fine
PROVENANCE
Jaggards Sydney 1985, Private Collection N.S.W.
PRICE
$24,500
COMMENTS
This 1930 Penny was acquired for $5100 in 1985. The purchase was driven by emotion, reviving memories of a youth spent during Australia's decimal currency changeover, when absolutely everyone was participating in the search to find that elusive 'copper' rarity. So proud of his purchase, he even kept the receipt. Thirty-five years later, our client has decided it's time to realise on his investment and pass the pleasure of ownership to another collector. This 1930 Penny is graded Good Fine on both obverse and reverse with six pearls and evidence of one side of the central diamond. The edges are strong and the toning a handsome, even chestnut brown. The coin is advantageously priced and is available now at $24,500. Technical shots are included in our presentation.
STATUS
Available now
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1930-Penny-good-Fine-Obv-May-2020
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1930-Penny-good-Fine-Tech-Reverse-May-2020

1930 Penny reverse with strong edges and strong '1930' date.

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 was 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.

 

1930-Penny-good-Fine-Tech-Obverse-May-2020

1930 Penny obverse with six pearls and partial central diamond.

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 a decade away, the push to acquire Australia’s favourite Penny is already on.

 

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1805-Holey-Dollar-2-Date-April-2020
1805-Holey-Dollar-2-Date-April-2020jpg
COIN
1813 Holey Dollar struck on an 1805 Mexico Mint Spanish Silver Dollar
QUALITY
About Extremely Fine with counter stamps, Extremely Fine
PROVENANCE
Ray Jewell, Schulman Auction New York 1966, John Ahbe, Spink-Stern Auction Melbourne, 1975, Mira Noble Reference 1805/7
PRICE
$275,000
COMMENTS
This Holey Dollar is impactful. Notice the monarch’s eye and nose. Two facets of the design detail that are almost always obliterated in a Holey Dollar. Over and above the aesthetics of this coin, at About Extremely Fine this Holey Dollar is in the top 10 percentile for quality and has toned to a handsome charcoal grey with superb glossy surfaces. Check out the technical shots in the READ MORE section.
STATUS
Available now
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1805-Holey-Dollar-2-Date-April-2020jpg
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When William Henshall created this Holey Dollar in 1813, he grabbed an 1805 Spanish Silver Dollar that had been struck at the Mexico Mint.

If William Henshall had been a numismatist he would have acknowledged that the 1805 Spanish Silver Dollar that he was about to deface showed minimal signs of wear. Given that he was holding the world's greatest trading coin, that in itself was a miracle.

Committed to the task of creating holey dollars from silver dollars, he cut a hole in the dollar and continued the minting process by over-stamping the inner circular edge of the hole with the words New South Wales, the date 1813 and the value of five shillings, thereby creating this 1813 Holey Dollar.

The original 1805 Spanish Silver Dollar used to create this Holey Dollar is graded in the premium quality level of About Extremely Fine indicating that it underwent minimal circulation before the hole was cut into it in 1813.

The extent of usage of the Holey Dollar after it was released into circulation is evidenced by the wear to the counter-stamps, the over-stamping around the inner circular edge … New South Wales, 1813 and Five Shillings.

The counter-stamps of this Holey Dollar are graded in the premium quality levels of Extremely Fine indicating that as a Holey Dollar this coin also underwent minimal use.

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

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.

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.

The coin is rare. And the coin is steeped in 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.

1805-Holey-Dollar-Date-Tech-April-2020
1805-Holey-Dollar-Date-Tech-Rev-April-2020
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1919-Square-Penny-Type-3-Rev-May-2020
1919-Square-Penny-Type-3-Obv-May-2020
COIN
1919 Kookaburra Square Penny, Type 3
QUALITY
Choice Uncirculated, with proof-like surfaces
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Melbourne
PRICE
$60,000
COMMENTS
Uniform edges, impeccable proof-like surfaces enhanced by handsome subtle toning. And a deeply etched kookaburra design. This is a superb quality 1919 Square Penny featuring the unique Type 3 design. Our records indicate that we sold a Type 3 Square Penny in mid-2017 for $50,000. Eight months later, a second example was sold for $55,000. Today this coin, the third Type 3 Square Penny we have handled in three years, is offered at $60,000. The increase in price is noted as is the infrequent appearances of the Type 3 on the market.
STATUS
Available now
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1919-Square-Penny-Type-3-Obv-May-2020
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The Kookaburra Square Penny captures a great moment in time in Australia's history and is a ‘classic' Australian coin rarity. That's a title that is used sparingly, but glowingly, on pieces such as our first silver coins, the Holey Dollar and Dump. And our first gold coins, the Adelaide Pounds.

The Square Pennies that remain today are relics of our past, and the sentiment that they stir up in the current market is collector sentiment, driven by their novel shape and their extreme rarity.

Key points to note about the Type 3 Square Penny.

A unique design. The Type 3 Square Penny, with its modern lettering and sleek-style kookaburra, has a design that is unique to its type. No other square penny type bears that design.

It is rarely offered. Our opening comments confirm the scarcity of the Type 3. One coin sold in 2017, another in 2018 and a third offered in 2020. That's three examples over a four year period. Compare that to the availability of the 1930 Penny, where three examples could be offered in just one month.

We estimate that fifteen 1919 Type 3 Square Pennies are available to collectors. This is a minuscule number when you consider that the fifteen coins are never going to be slapped onto a table in one hit and offered for sale at the one time.

So how often can a buyer realistically expect to see a 1919 Type 3 on the market?

Our research, and our experience, confirms that you might expect to be offered a Type 3 Square Penny perhaps once every year. Now that's rare!

The Type 3 is popular. In 2019, the Royal Australian Mint Canberra, released a modern coin issue acknowledging the historical importance of Australia's Kookaburra coinage.

Three coins, each square shaped and having a 25 cent denomination commemorating the years the Square Penny was issued, 1919, 1920 and 1921.

And what design did the Royal Australian Mint choose to commemorate the 1919 Square Penny? The Type 3 Square Penny of course.

 

The Melbourne Mint commenced striking Australia's Commonwealth copper pennies in 1919. No sooner had the mint started issuing the coins, than it was directed by Treasury to commence testing an entirely new penny concept, a square coin made from cupro-nickel.

The introduction of the Kookaburra Square Penny underpinned an attempt by the then Labor Government to stir up national sentiment post World War I. To evoke the great 'Aussie' spirit.

If you think about it. Putting the nation’s native bird - the kookaburra - onto a coin was a no-brainer to achieving that goal. A drastically changed shape, a square. And a new metal, cupronickel was part of the total package to maximise impact on the population.

The proposal was contentious in that the monarch, King George V, was to be depicted on the obverse without a crown. Some say it was the rumblings of a Republican movement way ahead of its time.

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

Sadly, in 1921 and after three years of testing, the scheme fell apart. The response to Australia’s square coinage was poor with widespread public resistance to change and people generally rejecting 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 Square Pennies were test pieces struck to assess public reaction. So, they were not struck to exacting minting standards, a tell-tale sign the lack of uniformity in the width of the edges.

Given to dignitaries to assess their reaction, there was no packaging and we know that not every dignitary was a collector and would have handled them with care. Some of the coins must have been tucked into a fob pocket for they have circulated. Others could have rattled around a top desk drawer. Or passed around to colleagues ... introducing multi possibilities of mishandling.

It is noted that the Kookaburra Square Pennies tone, some more strongly than others, a reflection on their storage in the intervening years.

A Square Penny with minimal, attractive toning and beautiful surfaces is a joy to behold. And a prized classic Australian coin rarity.

 

 

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1927-Canberra-Florin-B-Reverse-August-2019
1927-Canberra-Florin-B-Obverse-August-2019
COIN
Proof 1927 Canberra Florin
QUALITY
Superb FDC. A brilliant proof with stunning iridescent colours and one of the finest we have handled.
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Sydney
PRICE
$25,000
COMMENTS
Two things are clear when you analyse auction realisations of the Proof 1927 Canberra Florin over the past 40 years. The first thing that grabs you is that the coin is extremely scarce. On average, one pristine Proof Canberra Florin appears at auction annually. The second thing we noticed was that the coin has enjoyed solid price growth. In the 1980s, a Proof 1927 Canberra Florin was selling for approximately $1000 at auction. By the 1990s, the coin had doubled in price. The turn of the century saw the Proof Canberra Florin move to $6000. A rapid expansion of the rare coin market, a consequence of the 2000 Sydney Olympics coining program, saw prices on exceptional quality examples exceed $20,000. This is an exceptional quality Proof 1927 Canberra Florin, one of the finest we have handled, and it is available now. In keeping with its heirloom feel, this coin will be presented in a handcrafted Anton Gerner presentation case.
STATUS
Available now
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1927-Canberra-Florin-B-Obverse-August-2019
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Collectors that acquire a Proof 1927 Canberra Florin do so because they value the historical importance of the coin.

The Proof Canberra was minted for one of the most significant events in Australia’s journey to nationhood. The opening of the nation’s first Parliamentary buildings in the national capital.

While Federation occurred in 1901, Federal Parliament sat in temporary accommodation for twenty-six years in Victoria.

The opening of Parliament House in Canberra was a big deal, a milestone in Australia’s pathway to unity. Officiated by the Duke of York (later King George VI), the formal opening of Parliament House was broadcast to more than one million people via radio stations in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.

Collectors also enjoy the splendour of its design. And appreciate the value that the coin offers from a price / rarity perspective.

And they look to the future in the knowledge that, given its appeal and its very limited availability, the coin will increase in value.

The Proof Canberra Florin is genuinely scarce.

While Melbourne Mint records show a mintage of 400, it is generally accepted that the issue was not a sell-out and a significant number of proofs were re-melted after failing to find a home. According to respected author Greg McDonald, the actual figure could be as low as 150.

The proofs were sold without a case, thereby introducing the possibility of mishandling. So for the buyer that makes quality a priority, the waiting time for a really nice Proof 1927 Canberra Florin to come along will be a minimum of twelve months.

 

 

What makes this Proof Canberra Florin so good?

The first thing we do when we check out a proof coin is to look at it with the naked eye.

  • Move the coin through the light and allow the light to reflect off the fields.
  • On both obverse and reverse this Proof 1927 Canberra Florin has superb highly reflective fields. It is as though you are looking at a mirror.
  • On the reverse, the royal blue peripheral toning on top left and golden peripheral toning on bottom right is magnificent. The golden peripheral toning continues on the obverse and is stunning, highlighting the detailed portrait of King George V.
  • The edges are impeccable.

Having checked out the coin with the naked eye, we then take it under a magnifying glass.

  • The striations, between the 'ONE' in the legend and the oval containing the date 1927, are strong. This tells us is that the dies were well prepared, brushed with a wire-brush to ensure they were sharp.
  • Vertical striations on the obverse are similarly distinct and strong.
  • Heavy striations equates to well brushed dies. Well brushed dies equates to a razor sharp, three dimensional coin design.
  • We always look at the tell-tale steps of Parliament House on the Proof Canberra Florins ... one, two or three. And this coin has the three Parliamentary steps. It's the sign of a great coin.
  • And the fields are unblemished.

This Proof 1927 Canberra Florin is an exceptional quality coin.

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The Journey to Parliament House Canberra

Australia’s six colonies were united under the name Commonwealth of Australia on 1 January 1901. Some of the consequences of Federation, however, did not come to fruition until many, many years later. 

Australia’s Commonwealth silver coinage was not introduced until 1910, our Commonwealth pennies and halfpennies were issued one year later. Our national pride took a bit of a dent when it was realized that Australia’s mints were ill-equipped to strike the nation’s coinage, so our currency had to be struck overseas.

More than a decade after Federation in 1911, Parliament decided on the location of our national capital, Canberra. Three years later, the Government launched a design competition for a permanent Federal Parliament House. The project was suspended due to the outbreak of war and further attempts to revive the project were stifled due to monetary concerns regarding Australia’s war debt.

In 1923 the Government re-started the Parliament House project, with building commencing one year later. 

Federal Parliament, that had been sitting for twenty-six years in temporary accommodation in Spring Street, Melbourne, took up brand new space in Canberra on 9 May 1927 in Australia’s first purpose built Federal Parliamentary building. 

The opening of Parliament House in Canberra was a milestone in Australia’s pathway to unity. And it was a big deal. Officiated by the Duke of York (later King George VI), the formal opening of Parliament House was broadcast to more than one million people via radio stations in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. 

The Federal Government took every opportunity to boast its achievements and used currency as an effective conduit. One million florins featuring Parliament House Canberra were struck at the Melbourne Mint and released into circulation.

A further 400 1927 Canberra Florins were struck by the mint to proof quality and sold to collectors.
 


1813-Dump-2-Non-Date-February-2020
1813-Dump-2-Date-February-2020
COIN
1813 Dump, a textbook example showing full details of the original Spanish Silver Dollar design. As such, extremely rare.
QUALITY
Good Very Fine / About Extremely Fine
PROVENANCE
Private Collection New South Wales
PRICE
$75,000
COMMENTS
The Numismatic Association of Australia (N.A.A.) is one of the industry's most venerated institutions. Their journal is professionally bound and presented to subscribers annually, the contributors to the journal are some of the finest numismatists of our time. When the N.A.A. decided to publish an article on William Henshall and his role as Australia's first Mint Master in striking the Holey Dollar and Dump ... they chose this coin as the sole front cover item of their publication. And with good reason. This Dump has unique qualities. Notice the outline of the lion. And the castle, with its battlements and windows. These are the design elements of the original Spanish Silver Dollar that Henshall used to create this coin. Its presence is highly prized. We have handled only one other Dump that so clearly displays its Spanish Silver Dollar origins. (A copy of the N.A.A. Journal will be provided with this coin.)
STATUS
Sold May 2020
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1813-Dump-2-Date-February-2020
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The clarity of the original Spanish Dollar design is not the only redeeming feature of this 1813 Dump. Scrutinise the reverse, as shown above, and between the words 'FIFTEEN' and 'PENCE' there is the capital letter, 'H'.

William Henshall was determined to leave a permanent reminder of his time as Mint Master when he crafted his initial into some - but not all - the Dump dies.

Its presence is highly prized.

Over and above the original Spanish Dollar design and the 'H' for Henshall, this 1813 Dump was struck using the D/2 dies, and when you are talking the 1813 Dump, the D/2 dies equate to rarity. 

Historians have determined that several different dies were used in the striking of the 1813 Dump resulting in four different styles. For ease of reference, they are referred to as the A/1, D/2, C/4 and E/3 dies.

While the crown, the date 1813, the legend New South Wales and the value fifteen pence, is common to all four dies, they appear in different formats and slightly different positions giving each style its own distinct nuance.

There is conjecture that the C/4 and E/3 dies might have been contemporary forgeries. Or perhaps trials before Macquarie gave his final approval. They are crude and less than 5 per cent of surviving examples are linked to these two dies.

The most aesthetically pleasing and popular styles are the A/1 and D/2 types, with the D/2 being the scarcer of the two, the A/1 appearing in 75 per cent of surviving examples, the D/2 in 20 per cent.

Now let's talk quality and in the case of this Dump, at Good Very Fine / About Extremely Fine we are talking high quality.

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.

 

Spanish-silver-dollar-SQ-April-2020

Compare the remnants of the Spanish Silver Dollar design on the Dump, with the dollar shown above. Note the castle and the lion in the central part of the design.

So let's define the words "top quality" and establish the levels that are rarely seen.

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 below 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.

1813 Dump Chart_Page_1
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1852-Cracked-Die-Reverse-gVF-aEF-April-2020
1852-Cracked-Die-Obverse-gVF-aEF-April-2020
COIN
The extremely rare 1852 Adelaide Pound Type I
QUALITY
Extremely Fine
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Sydney
PRICE
$165,000
COMMENTS
How would today's collectors react if Governor Lachlan Macquarie had set aside the first forty Holey Dollars. And the first forty Dumps. And produced them with an identifying mark that made them undeniably connected to the very first production run of Australia's very first coins. Over the moon I would have thought. Unwittingly that is exactly what die sinker and engraver Joshua Payne did when he set up the dies and commenced production of the nation's first gold coin at the Government Assay Office, Adelaide. The reverse die, with its simple, elegant beaded inner circle cracked, the mishap discovered only after forty-plus coins were produced. And then, when he swapped over the reverse die, he replaced it with one that had a completely different design. Joshua Payne's actions unknowingly created a rarity of the highest order, the Adelaide Pound Type I, struck during the very first production run of the nation's first gold coin. Defined by a reverse with the beaded inner circle and the tell-tale crack in the DWT area of the legend, perhaps forty examples are known. Technical shots are shown in READ MORE.
STATUS
Sold May 2020
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1852-Cracked-Die-Obverse-gVF-aEF-April-2020
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1852-Cracked-Die-Reverse-TECH-gVF-aEF-April-2020

Reverse with a beaded inner circle and the vestige of the crack that occurred in die in the DWT section of the legend.

The Adelaide Pound is the nation’s first gold coin.

It was struck in Adelaide at the South Australian Government Assay Office using gold that had been brought from the Victorian gold fields.

Minted by authority of the Bullion Act of 1852, production commenced in November of that year and finished in February of the following year when the Act expired.

South Australia produced just over 24,000 coins in that short three-month time-frame.

What we know about this particular Adelaide Pound was that it was minted during the very first production run, if not the first day then at the very least the first week. So how can we be so sure?

Adelaide Pounds from the first production run were struck using a reverse die that had a simple, elegant beaded inner circle.

The coins also reflect the disaster that occurred during those very first few hours of production, when the reverse die cracked in the DWT section of the legend. When the mishap was discovered, minting was temporarily halted.

The cracked reverse die was replaced. The important point being that the new reverse die had a different design, more intricate and featured a scalloped inner border abutting a beaded inner circle. (The reverse design mirrored the crown obverse design.)

Less than forty Adelaide Pounds out of the first production run survive today making it one of the least available of Australia's classic coin rarities.

 

1852-Cracked-Die-Obverse-TECH-gVF-aEF-April-2020

While the downside of the pressure applied to the edges was a cracking of the reverse die. The upside is the strength in the edge denticles and the legend.

The miracle that is numismatics.

The intention was that this Adelaide Pound would circulate. And be used in every day commercial transactions, as part of a grand plan by South Australia's Governor, Sir Henry Young, to stimulate his state's ailing economy.

The coin was never given kid gloves treatment during the production process.

It was struck in what can only be described as a factory, hammered out and hurled down an assembly line, more than likely into a barrel or bucket.

How this coin survived the production process, and more than a century and a half later still be in a glorious original state is impossible to fathom. The coin is highly lustrous on both obverse and reverse.

There was an upside to the disaster that occurred during the first production run of Adelaide Pounds.

While the pressure exerted on the edges cracked the reverse die, it is noted that coins out of the first run have almost perfect edges, beautiful strong denticles framing the central crown design.

There is another upside to the cracking disaster. Because the coin was considered 'imperfect' very few examples were put aside as souvenirs, making high quality Type I Adelaide Pounds extremely scarce.

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Proof-1928-Halfpenny-FDC-Rev-May-2020
Proof-1928-Halfpenny-FDC-Obv-May-2020
COIN
Proof 1928 Halfpenny, Melbourne Mint
QUALITY
FDC with highly reflective, almost glass-like fields
PROVENANCE
Australian Coin Auctions March 2001, The Madrid Collection of Austraian Rare Coins
PRICE
$19,500
COMMENTS
Prices of Australian pre-decimal proofs rocketed between 2001 and 2002 when a collection of elite Proof Melbourne coppers came up at auction. This Proof 1928 Halfpenny was a part of the collection. The coins had never been sighted before, the vendor indicating that he had bought them from renowned collector Roy Farman in the 1950s. Farman, in turn, had held them from the day they were struck. We attended the auction and the competition for acquisition was as strong as we have ever seen. A case in point, this Proof 1928 Halfpenny, sold for $13,400 on a pre-auction estimate of $7500 and it is noted that the auction estimate reflected price guides at the time. And the reason for the heady prices?
STATUS
Sold May 2020
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Proof-1928-Halfpenny-FDC-Obv-May-2020
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The rarity of the Proof 1928 Halfpenny

This Proof 1928 Halfpenny is technically referred to as a Coin of Record. As the name suggests, it was struck to put on record the date '1928' and as a Coin of Record it was struck to proof quality. The strike satisfied the needs of the mint rather than the wants of collectors.

Coins of Record out of this era are amazingly scarce. Up until its offering in 2001 only one other proof halfpenny dated 1928 had been sighted.

The exceptional quality of the Proof 1928 Halfpenny

The auction of these elite copper proofs between 2000 and 2002 instigated a new term into the industry’s numismatic dictionary. The term was "super" proof.

The industry contends that the exceptional quality of this Proof 1928 Halfpenny, and the other proofs offered at the auction, was a consequence of Farman’s close relationship with Albert Le Souef.  

Le Souef was, like Farman, a passionate collector and occupied a position of influence in the Melbourne Mint that would eventually see him become Deputy Mint Master between 1921 and 1926. He maintained his influence in numismatic circles well into the 1930s.

In this era there was nothing untoward, or unethical, with ensuring that a collector friend received the very best proof collector striking.

It was a simple matter of selecting the smoothest copper blanks. And polishing the dies to ensure a crisp and highly detailed striking.

A brilliant state of preservation

This coin has had only three owners over nearly a century. That is almost as rare as the coin itself.

Its state of preservation reflects the minimal number of owners. It also indicates that all along the way this coin has always been cherished.

 

The purpose of proof coining

Respected author, Greg McDonald, provides us with an insight as to why Coins of Record are so limited in numbers when he shared with us a definition put out by the Royal Mint London of a proof coin.

“Struck on a slow-moving coining press using carefully polished dies which are frequently cleaned during use. The materials from which the coins are made are specially processed and the coin blanks are carefully selected and polished before use. Blanks and minted coins are individually handled to prevent accidental damage.

The essential characteristics of proof coins are highly polished fields, fully reproduced designs free from any flaw, and square edges. Milling where present should be regular and free from any defect. Because of the very high standard set in manufacture, such coins are slow to make and relatively expensive to produce.”

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

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

Proof coins were struck to be preserved in government archives as a record of Australia’s coining history, time-capsuled for future generations. Proof coins were also used to showcase a mint’s coining skills, to display at major worldwide Exhibitions or sent to other mint’s and public institutions. A simple case of competitive one-up-man ship. (The British Museum was a major recipient of Australia’s proof coinage. So too the Royal Mint London.)

Proof coins were struck at the discretion of the Mint Master so there was no hard-fast rule about the regularity of the issues. Or the mintages. The striking of proofs was very often influenced by the collecting zeal of the Mint Master. And his involvement with the collector market. The more passionate the collecting habits of the Mint Master, the greater the chance of proofs being struck.

 

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1930-Penny-Very-Fine-rev-May-2020
1930-Penny-Very-Fine-obv-May-2020
COIN
1930 Penny, with a complete central diamond, and traces of the seventh and eighth pearls. As such, one of the best.
QUALITY
Good Very Fine
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Sydney
PRICE
$65,000
COMMENTS
This coin is for the buyer that is seeking a supreme quality 1930 Penny. On the obverse, the coin has a full central diamond and traces of the seventh and eighth pearl. The reverse is equally impressive with well-defined inner beading, crisp upper and lower scrolls and a strong '1930' date. On both obverse and reverse, the toning is even and handsome. The fields show minimal signs of circulation and are smooth and glossy. We would place this coin in the top 5 per cent of surviving examples. Now, it is a fact that the most frequently sighted 1930 Penny is a well circulated Fine. This coin, at Good Very Fine, is at least five grades higher. A 1930 Penny at this quality level would be offered on the market, perhaps once every few years. And this great coin rarity is available now. Already have a 1930 Penny? Then consider trading it back as part-payment on this stunning coin.
STATUS
Sold May 2020
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1930-Penny-Very-Fine-obv-May-2020
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1930-Penny-Very-Fine-Tech-Reverse-May-2020

Reverse with strong upper and lower scrolls, well defined inner beading and handsome toning.

1930-Penny-Very-Fine-Tech-Obverse-May-2020

Obverse with full central diamond and traces of the seventh and eighth pearl. 

Examining a 1930 Penny is a three-point process. Start off by scrutinising the coin in the flesh using just the naked eye. A truly great coin will always look good to the unaided eye.

This coin has strong edges, the upper and lower scrolls are strong. The obverse and reverse fields are reflective and very smooth. Even handsome brown toning. Moving the obverse through the light you see the central diamond and a complete lower band of the crown. You also observe the strong design details of the monarch's robes.

Secondly, pick up a magnifying glass to examine the technical details, the diamond and the pearls, to re-confirm its technical grading.

The eye glass re-confirms what we have seen to the naked eye ... and much more.

This coin has a full central diamond that leaps out and knocks you in the eye. The oval to the left of the central diamond is intact. With most 1930 Pennies the oval is only partially evident.

With respect to the obverse, the central diamond and the seventh and eighth pearls to the left of the crown are design ‘high points’. There are traces of the seventh and eighth pearl and their presence places this 1930 Penny in the ‘extremely rare’ category.

And lastly, take another look with the naked eye just to make sure that you have taken everything in.

The final assessment of this 1930 Penny confirms that it is a great coin and passes our three-point assessment with flying colours.

One of the prime reasons for the popularity of the 1930 Penny is its financial reliability. It is a solid coin. And in times such as we are experiencing in 2020 with worldwide financial upheavals, this genuinely counts.

In fact we would go one step further and say that over the long term the 1930 Penny has probably been one of our most consistent and trustworthy numismatic performers.

The 1930 Penny is the nation’s glamour coin and is unrivalled for popularity, enjoying 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.

Well circulated (Fine) 1930 Pennies were selling for £50 in the 1950s. A decade later, by decimal changeover, the coins were fetching £255 ($510).

By 1988, Australia's Bicentenary, a Fine 1930 Penny had reached $6000.

The turn of the century saw 1930 Penny prices move to a minimum of $13,000.

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

1930-Penny-relative-quantities-chart-May-2020
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1957-1963-Perth-Proofs-FDC-July-2019
COIN
A complete collection of Perth Mint Proof Coins, 1957 to 1963, including both matte and bright styles of Proof 1957 Penny.
QUALITY
Superb blazing orange proofs. FDC.
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Melbourne
PRICE
$21,000 for the collection of twelve proof coins (an average of $1750 per coin)
COMMENTS
This complete collection of twelve coins offers great value for your investment dollars. Each coin has been struck to proof quality and is a superb blazing orange. The pairs of penny and halfpenny are perfectly matched. Priced at $21,000, that is an average of $1750 per coin. Where do you find a top quality coin rarity at this dollar level? These are great pieces to tuck away for the future either for yourself, for your children or your grandchildren.
STATUS
Available now.
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This collection is comprised of the following Perth Mint proof coppers.

  • 1957 Perth Mint Proof Penny - the Proof 1957 Penny was minted in a matte and bright finish. Both types are offered in this collection.
  • 1958 Perth Mint Proof Penny
  • 1959 Perth Mint Proof Penny
  • 1960 Perth Mint Proof Penny & Proof Halfpenny
  • 1961 Perth Mint Proof Penny & Proof Halfpenny
  • 1962 Perth Mint Proof Penny & Proof Halfpenny
  • 1963 Perth Mint Proof Penny & Proof Halfpenny

We have always liked this area of the market and for the following reasons:

  • That the Perth Mint is still operating makes these coins a vital part of the mint's history and yet at the same time refreshingly current.
  • The proof coins struck by the Perth Mint between 1957 and 1963 are a perfect entry point into the Australian rare coin market. Limited edition proof coins, especially struck for collectors in the 1950s and 1960s.
  • The mintages are minuscule, around the 1500 mark.
  • The opportunities for purchase are severely reduced if you are a collector seeking out the calibre of the coins on offer. Less than a handful would be sighted on the market at this quality level annually.
  • Rare and yet affordable, the coins are available at a dollar level that attracts a lot of collectors.
  • In top quality, the coins are stunning to look at, a solid blazing orange.
  • And very importantly, they are highly historical collector items. The success of the Perth Mint's proof coin program was a catalyst for the introduction of a decimal proof coining program for collectors by the Royal Australian Mint, Canberra in 1966.
  • They are great pieces to tuck away for the future either for yourself, for your children or your grandchildren.

 

 

 

The fact that the Royal Australian Mint and Perth Mint are today such prolific producers of proof coins may have some collectors believing that proofs struck in the pre-decimal era (prior to 1966) were similarly available. This is simply not the case.

The Sydney Mint opened in 1855 and closed in 1926 and throughout its entire minting history, did not strike proofs on a commercial basis for collectors. The Melbourne Mint opened in 1872. And the Perth Mint in 1899 and both mints did not strike proofs for collectors on a regular basis until 1955.

The collector proof program introduced in 1955 continued uninterrupted until 1963 just prior to decimal currency changeover. The coins featured the flying kangaroo design on the reverse. And Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse.

Government intervened in just one aspect of the program. Only those coins being struck for circulation were to be issued as proofs. As the Perth Mint was striking only copper circulating coins for Treasury, it could strike only copper proof pennies and halfpennies for collectors.

The coins were released annually with an official issue price of face value plus a premium of one shilling per coin.

Each piece was struck 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, with strong designs and superb smooth mirror background fields.

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1852-Adelaide-Pound-Type-II-Reverse-aEF-April-2020
1852-Adelaide-Pound-Type-II-Obverse-aEF-April-2020
COIN
1852 Adelaide Pound Type II, an affordable example of the nation's first gold coin.
QUALITY
About Extremely Fine
PROVENANCE
K.J.C Coins, Private Collection Queensland
PRICE
$19,500
COMMENTS
We have been trying to source an Adelaide Pound below the $25,000 level for some time now. The process was not an easy one. As our selection protocols are pretty strict, we found it genuinely tough to find the balance between a coin that has circulated - and so comes into an affordable price range - and yet still looks good to the naked eye. We found it in this coin.
STATUS
Available now
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1852-Adelaide-Pound-Type-II-Obverse-aEF-April-2020
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1852-Adelaide-Pound-Type-II-Rev-Tech-aEF-April-2020

The obverse of the Adelaide Pound Type II showing strength in the legend.

The 1852 Adelaide Pound holds a very special place in Australia's history as the nation's first gold coin. It is a classic Australian numismatic rarity and is in demand from collectors at all quality levels and all dollar levels.

Its status as Australia’s first gold coin ensures that it will always be sought after and strengthens its investment value. Its investment value is also enhanced by its rarity for we estimate that perhaps 250 examples are available to collectors, across all quality levels.

We advise buyers to follow a prime rule when selecting an Adelaide Pound.

Pick a coin that is visually very attractive. Avoid the Adelaide Pound that has extensive blemishes from circulation. And don’t accept one that is missing most of its edges or has a very weak legend in the Government Assay Office area.

How an Adelaide Pound looks to the naked eye is an important part of the selection process. This simple point will count when, further down the track, it comes time for you to liquidate your coin and realise on your investment.

It must be remembered that the Adelaide Assay Office was opened 168 years ago as a refinery to strike gold ingots. Except for ensuring the accuracy of the weight and purity of gold in the coin, there was minimal care regarding the overall striking and the eye appeal of the coin. The coins were hammered out and hurled down an assembly line, more than likely into a barrel or bucket.

The coins were to be used as currency, traded in commerce. Not preserved as collectables. Also, gold is a relatively soft metal and the rigours of circulation have treated many Adelaide Pounds harshly.

 

1852-Adelaide-Pound-Type-II-Obv-Tech-aEF-April-2020

The reverse of the Adelaide Pound Type II. 

We also know from historical records that the striking of the Adelaide Pound was fraught with problems.

During the first run of coins, the die cracked. A second die was used, and to minimise the risk of further cracking, the pressure was reduced.

While the reduced pressure extended the life of the dies, it created its own set of problems in the execution of the design detail. The very reason why we always consider the strength of the strike as well as the grading level.

It is a fact that many Type II Adelaide Pounds show weakness in the edges and the legend 'Assay Office'. With some coins this area is almost non-existent. In other Adelaide Pounds we see weakness in the crown area. A flattened cross on the orb and no ermine in the band.

The very reason why when it comes to assessing an Adelaide Pound, we always start at the edges and work our way in. We confirm the strength of the edge denticles and the legend Government Assay Office. We then move inwards to the crown. And lastly, we examine the fields.

Taking up this rule and applying it to this coin we can confirm:

  • The edges are complete.
  • There is strength in the legend in the ASSAY OFFICE area and this is rarely seen.
  • There is wear to the high points and in the fields as you would expect from a coin that has circulated. What we can say is that this coin has survived its time in circulation with minimal affect. 

 

 

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1855-Sydney-Mint-Sov-Date-Mood-February-2020
1855-Sydney-Mint-Sov-non-date-Mood-February-2020
COIN
1855 Sydney Mint Sovereign
QUALITY
About Uncirculated
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Melbourne
PRICE
$38,000
COMMENTS
There are two things we know about high quality 1855 Sydney Mint Sovereigns. NUMBER ONE. They are extremely rare. You can count on the fingers of one hand the number of 1855 Sydney Mint Sovereigns we have sold at this quality level. NUMBER TWO. They are exceedingly important. The '55 Sovereign is the nation's very first sovereign and will always have pride of place in any collection. So, if quality 1855 Sydney Mint Sovereigns are difficult to find today, then they are going to be even more difficult to find as the years roll on. Which is why we believe that high quality 1855 Sydney Mint Sovereigns are great coins to tuck away for the future.
STATUS
Sold May 2020
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1855-Sydney-Mint-Sov-non-date-Mood-February-2020
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1855-Sydney-Mint-Sov-Date-Tech-February-2020

About Uncirculated and extremely rare.
Obverse with a hint of wear to the high points of the design.

The 1855 Sydney Mint Sovereign has pride of place in every Australian sovereign collection.

It is the nation’s first gold sovereign minted at the Sydney Mint, the nation’s very first mint, and brings to any collection a wonderful and everlasting history.

But, the 1855 Sydney Mint sovereign offers more than history. In the quality level offered here the coin also offers exceptional rarity.

You can count on the fingers of one hand the number of 1855 Sydney Mint Sovereigns that we have sold at About Uncirculated, a reflection of the coin’s extremely limited availability in the upper echelons of quality.

The attached pie chart clearly shows the relative scarcity of an 1855 Sydney Mint Sovereign at this quality level. (The yellow area).

It’s a picture that speaks a 1000-words.

This 1855 Sydney Mint Sovereign is presented in nearly Uncirculated, with minimal marks in the field and original lustre on both the obverse and reverse.

Given its superior quality we ask the question. Which coin is the more difficult to acquire in this superior state? The 1855 Sydney Mint Sovereign or the 1852 Adelaide Pound? Australia’s first gold sovereign or first gold pound?

From an examination of auction records – and our own experience - the answer is very clearly, the 1855 Sydney Mint Sovereign. In fact, our first sovereign is four times harder to find than the Adelaide Pound.

We have always had the greatest faith in the 1855 Sydney Mint Sovereign. And we are keen buyers of high-quality examples.

It is the nation’s very first gold sovereign and therefore appeals to the sovereign collector.

It is also sought by the collector that is targeting key dates for the very first year of sovereign production is an important date in Australia’s history.

And given the scarcity of 1855 sovereigns in the upper quality levels, it also appeals to the investor.

 

1855-Sydney-Mint-Sov-non-date-Tech-February-2020

About Uncirculated and extremely rare.
Reverse with a hint of wear to the high points of the design.
.

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, hence the relative scarcity of the 1855 Sovereign.

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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1860-Aboriginal-Threepence-rev-FDC-July-2019
1860-Aboriginal-Threepence-obv-FDC-July-2019
COIN
The Marcus Clark, 1860 Aborigine Threepence
QUALITY
Struck in silver and presented in mint state, with proof-like surfaces.
PROVENANCE
Sir Marcus Clark K.B.E, sold by James R. Lawson Auctioneers 1954. Exhibited, 'The Dollars & Dumps' Exhibition ANZ Gothic Bank Melbourne, 2007.
PRICE
$75,000
COMMENTS
A Holey Dollar. A Cracked Die Adelaide Pound. An Adelaide Pound Type II. And an Aborigine Threepence. That is an impressive collection of Australian colonial coin rarities. Now, let us talk about the Montagu Holey Dollar. The Mortimer Hammel Cracked Die. The Eliasberg Adelaide Pound Type II. And the Marcus Clark Aborigine Threepence. We are talking about very specific coins here and suddenly, we have raised the calibre of the entire collection to a totally new sphere. These coins are the very best of their kind indelibly linked to their former owners. They are industry icons. And they set the benchmark for quality. The person who acquires this Aborigine Threepence will take their place in history, permanently associating themselves with both the coin and the famous Marcus Clark name.
STATUS
Available now
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1860-Aboriginal-Threepence-obv-FDC-July-2019
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We have always held the 1860 Aborigine Threepence in the highest regard.

It is the earliest representation of an indigenous person to appear on Australian currency. it is a piece of cultural significance. And national significance.

Furthermore, it is rare. Only eight pieces are known.

But, the Marcus Clark Aborigine Threepence is in a class all on its own. It is the finest example of the Aborigine Threepence, mint state and proof-like.

The first public appearance of this Aborigine Threepence occurred in July 1954 when James R. Lawson Auctioneers sold the collection of the late Sir Marcus Clark K.B.E.

His 1860 Aborigine Threepence 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 that sold for £18. (The Dump is today held with a Coinworks client residing in Perth and is 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 $150,000-plus. (We have an Extremely Fine Cracked Die coming up next week for $150,000.)

The potential of the Aborigine Threepence is further highlighted by the realisation of Sir Marcus Clark's Ferdinand VII Holey Dollar in the same 1954 Lawson Auction.

The Holey Dollar, struck on an 1809 Ferdinand VII silver dollar sold for £72. (That very same coin was sold by Coinworks in 2018 for $440,000.)

Marcus Clark's Aborigine Threepence was auctioned again 27 years later, and in a fiercely contested bidding war, sold for $23,000 on a pre-auction estimate of $12,500.

A more recent auction appearance occurred in July 2005. 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.

The 1860 Aborigine Threepence was minted by jewellers Julius Hogarth and Conrad Erichsen. Scandinavian citizens, Hogarth was a sculptor and silversmith. Erichsen an engraver.

Both migrated to Australia to make their fortunes on the gold fields reaching Sydney on 11 December 1852.

Failing to realise their ambitions, they utilised their skills and went into partnership as silversmiths opening their first enterprise at 255 George Street Sydney.

The firm quickly gained a reputation in the development of ‘Australiana’ themed decoration on metalwork and jewellery, which actively promoted the use of indigenous Australian floral and faunal elements and indigenous figures.

Hogarth & Erichsen achieved great success during the 1850s notably through the vice-regal patronage of Governors Young and Denison.

The works of Hogarth and Erichsen are revered and are held by the following institutions, to name but a few.
•    The National Library of Australia, Canberra
•    The National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
•    The National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
•    The Powerhouse Museum, Sydney

Hogarth & Erichsen were numismatic trailbllazers when in 1860 they created the Aborigine Threepence.

It would be another 128 years before Australia would acknowledge the contribution of Indigenous Australians to our society when a portrait of a tribal elder appeared on the nation's Two Dollar coins created especially for the Bicentenary in 1988.

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1919-Square-Penny-Non-Date-February-2020
1919-Square-Penny-Date-February-2020
COIN
The Sterling Silver 1919 Square Penny, Type 4A and unique as such
QUALITY
FDC
PROVENANCE
The Collection of Albert Le Souef, Deputy Mint Master Melbourne Mint, 1919 to 1926
PRICE
$325,000
COMMENTS
This coin is a numismatic prize, a trophy piece. A Square Penny depicting the Type 4 design, struck in Sterling Silver. And unique as such.
STATUS
Available now
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1919-Square-Penny-Date-February-2020
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Albert Le Souef was Deputy Mint Master of the Melbourne Mint between 1919 and 1926.

Aside from his professional involvement in numismatics at the Melbourne Mint, he was also a passionate collector, his preference for coins struck in silver.

Le Souef amassed a magnificent collection that was almost entirely donated to the Museum of Victoria.

His passion for silver coinage was the driving force behind the striking of three Square Pennies in Sterling Silver.

The first was struck depicting the Type 4 design. A second depicting the Type 5 and the third the design of the Type 6.

Each is unique. And each is stunning.

And the 1919 Type 4 struck in Sterling Silver is available now.

The introduction of the Kookaburra Square Penny underpinned an attempt by the then Labor Government to stir up national sentiment post World War I. To evoke the great 'Aussie' spirit.

If you think about it. Putting the nation’s native bird - the kookaburra - onto a coin was a no-brainer to achieving that goal. A drastically changed shape - a square - was part of the total package to maximise impact on its citizens. Sadly, after three years of testing, the scheme fell apart.

The coins that remain today are relics of our past, and the sentiment that they stir up in the current market is collector sentiment, driven by their novel shape and their extreme rarity.

The buyer of this piece should take on board the fact that the 1919 Square Penny Type 4 in cupro-nickel is the prized gem of the entire series of cupro-nickel Square Pennies dated 1919.

Four designs were tested in cupro-nickel in 1919 and our estimates on the numbers available to collectors are as follows. 1919 Type 3 (15), 1919 Type 4 (4), 1919 Type 5 (8), 1919 Type 6 (8).

We note that we last sold a Type 4 cupro-nickel Square Penny in 2018 for $150,000, a reflection of its extreme rarity.

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1899M-Proof-Half-Sovereign-FDC-rev-July-2019
1899M-Proof-Half-Sovereign-FDC-obv-July-2019
COIN
Proof 1899 Half Sovereign, Melbourne Mint
QUALITY
Superb FDC
PROVENANCE
Murdoch Collection, A. H. Baldwin, Nobles 2004
PRICE
$65,000
COMMENTS
Whenever we discuss investment with a client, we always suggest a product that can drive its own agenda without being dependent on anyone. Or anything else. So important historically. We also advocate a coin (or note) that is always in fashion and is not subject to trends or influences. Mainstream. We also advocate quality, an aspect that we at Coinworks have always respected. And we acknowledge the role of rarity in strengthening a price structure. These guidelines may well have been written for this classic turn-of-the-century proof gold coin struck at the Melbourne Mint. One of two known, this coin is available now.
STATUS
Available now
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1899M-Proof-Half-Sovereign-FDC-obv-July-2019
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The rarity and price potential of the Proof 1899 Half Sovereign.

When we size up a coin and evaluate its potential for growth, we always assess the coin on two levels.

The first is the rarity of the coin itself. There is a big difference when a coin is known by two examples or twenty two examples. 

The second aspect we look at is the rarity of the sector of the market to which it belongs. In the case of this coin, the Veiled Head era of Queen Victoria which ran from 1893 to 1901.

So how many other Veiled Head Proof Half Sovereigns are out there? Our philosophy is that 'less is best’ 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 other coins.

As detailed above, this Proof 1899 Half Sovereign is extremely rare, one of only two known.

And the Veiled Head sector is extremely scarce and is occupied by very few coins. Our research confirms that you might sight a Proof Veiled Head Half Sovereign on the market every three to five years.

 

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 infrequent availability and an expanding market thirsting for top quality rarities.

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.

A case in point. Throughout 2019 and well into 2020 we have not sighted a proof sovereign or proof half sovereign at auction.

 

 

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Proof-1924-Penny-FDC-Rev-December-2019
Proof-1924-Penny-FDC-Obv-Large-December-2019
COIN
Proof 1924 Penny, Melbourne Mint
QUALITY
FDC
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Victoria
PRICE
$20,000
COMMENTS
As far as proof pennies are concerned the date ‘1924’ is genuinely scarce for this is the only Proof 1924 Penny that we have ever sold. We first encountered the coin when it came up at auction in August 1999. Described as an even glossy brown proof, serious bidding activity in the auction room saw the coin sell for $7000 on a pre-auction estimate of $4000.
STATUS
Available now
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Proof-1924-Penny-FDC-Obv-Large-December-2019
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The only Proof 1924 Penny that we have sold?

Yes. And this is the simplest way we know to impart the extreme rarity of the Proof 1924 Penny.

It is a point that many decimal coin collectors will find hard to fathom, particularly if they are Royal Australian Mint and Perth Mint subscribers that are being regularly treated to proof coin offerings.

The harsh reality for collectors in the early 1900s was that, with very few exceptions, proofs were NOT struck for collectors.

Proofs were struck as Coins of Record, minted at the discretion of the Mint Master. As head of the mint, it was his decision as to when they were struck and indeed how many were struck.

Such proofs were invariably destined for their archives. Their purpose to record the mint’s circulating coin achievements.

Proofs were also struck to send to museums or public institutions, such as the Royal Mint London and British Museum.

There were times when proofs were struck to put on display at public exhibitions. So, whilst denying collectors the opportunity of ever owning them, they could at the very least get to look at them.

 

Respected author, Greg McDonald, provides us with an insight as to why Coins of Record are so limited in numbers when he shared with us a definition put out by the Royal Mint London of a proof coin.

“Struck on a slow-moving coining press using carefully polished dies which are frequently cleaned during use. The materials from which the coins are made are specially processed and the coin blanks are carefully selected and polished before use. Blanks and minted coins are individually handled to prevent accidental damage.

The essential characteristics of proof coins are highly polished fields, fully reproduced designs free from any flaw, and square edges. Milling where present should be regular and free from any defect. Because of the very high standard set in manufacture, such coins are slow to make and relatively expensive to produce.”

This Proof 1924 Penny is a quality proof, sharply struck with impressive glossy surfaces.

Its offering presents a rare opportunity to acquire an important piece of Australia’s minting history.

 

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1910 Specimen Set Date Side in case June 2018
COIN
1910 Specimen Set
QUALITY
Uncirculated
PROVENANCE
Barrie Winsor Collection
PRICE
$95,000
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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Cerrutty-Collins-50-Pounds-1-March-2020
Cerrutty-Collins-50-Pounds-2-March-2020
NOTE
1920 Cerutty Collins Fifty Pounds
QUALITY
Good Very Fine, crisp body and strong colours
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Melbourne
PRICE
$75,000
COMMENTS
Australia’s Cerutty Collins £50 banknote is an acclaimed rarity. Three print runs occurred during the lifetime of the Cerutty Collins Fifty Pounds, the first in 1920, the second in 1924 and the final run in 1940 each run identified by variations in the font and structure of the serial number. The serial number Y110704 of this £50 note confirms it as coming from the first run, and printed in 1920, which makes it of the highest rarity. Only three other examples are known, this being one of the finest. A validation of the respect held for this note, it is photographed in Mick Vort Ronald’s reference book, Australian Banknote Pedigrees, Second Edition, page 396.
STATUS
Available now
Enquire Now
Cerrutty-Collins-50-Pounds-2-March-2020
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The Cerutty Collins £50 is a highly valued commodity, acclaimed by today’s collectors.

But it is noted that the Cerutty Collins £50 was a highly valued piece of currency way back in 1920 when it was first issued for it represented three months wages for male workers. And six months wages for their female counterparts.

Furthermore, it was issued in an era of economic turmoil. Australia was experiencing high inflation in 1920 when this note was issued, the economy moving quickly into a severe recession some three years later.

Then in October 1929, the American stock market crashed, acting as a catalyst that sent countries around the world into depression, including Australia that endured a 32 per cent unemployment rate in 1932.

And yet somehow this £50 note survived the turmoil and was kept aside as a collectable.

Simply remarkable when you consider the value that it held in 1920. And the economic and financial upheavals that is has endured.

Mick Vort Ronald, Australia’s foremost banknote author, and famed collector, reveals in a recent article in the Coin and Banknote Magazine, that he only ever had one example of the Fifty Pounds denomination in what was a lifetime of collecting.

The design of the £50 reflected Andrew Fisher’s vision as originally laid out in 1913 of having a uniquely Australian design featuring the new Commonwealth Coat of Arms and a scene of Australia on the back. (Andrew Fisher was Prime Minister of Australia in 1913.)

The £50 was printed in blue in a style of printing referred to as intaglio and featured the new Australian Coat of Arms at centre top, with the words THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA and the words AUSTRALIAN NOTE below.

The centre of the £50 has the paragraph, “The Treasurer of the Commonwealth of Australia Promises to pay the Bearer FIFTY POUNDS in gold coin on Demand at the Commonwealth Treasury at the Seat of Government.”

There is no mistaking that this is a £50 note. The value 50 POUNDS is the main feature of almost the entire background of the front of the note with the number '50' appearing liberally in the borders.

The back features a flock of merino sheep at Bungaree South Australia. Also printed in blue intaglio, the borders of the note are ornate and feature the number ‘50’.

James Richard Collins C.M.G.
Born on 14th March 1869, at Ballarat, Victoria, Collins entered the Victorian Public Service on 16th June 1886 as Treasury Clerk. Rising through the ranks he was eventually appointed Secretary to the Treasury and signed the note in that capacity.

Charles John Cerutty C.M.G.
Born on 25th November 1870, at Sale, Victoria, Cerutty entered the Victorian Public Service in 1888 as Treasury Clerk.  Rising through the ranks, he was eventually appointed Assistant Secretary to the Treasury and signed the note in that capacity.

(C.M.G. Commander of the order of St Michael & St George)

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British-coin-collection-Date-February-2020
COIN
Colonial Proof Coin Collection, 1787 – 1804, comprised of nine superb quality proof coins
QUALITY
FDC
PROVENANCE
Spink London, Wayte Raymond, J. J. Pittman Collection
PRICE
$26,000
COMMENTS
That proof coining is a tradition that goes back centuries is exemplified in this collection of nine colonial proof coins, the former property of Wayte Raymond and John Jay Pitman, both world renowned U.S. collectors.
STATUS
Available now
Enquire Now
Read More

The superb quality of these coins, and their rarity, is affirmed by the provenance of Wayte Raymond and John Jay Pitman. Both collectors were meticulous in the selection of their coins. And the notation of their background.

These coins eventually came onto the open market in 1999 when the Pitman collection was sold at auction in the U.S. This collection of nine superb ‘colonial’ proof coins is comprised of:

1787 George III Proof Silver Sixpence - Coin 1.
A choice proof with blue/violet toning and mirror fields purchased from Spink London in 1946.

1787 George III Proof Silver Shilling - Coin 2.
As above, a choice proof with blue/violet toning and mirror fields purchased from Spink London in 1946.

1788 George III Proof Copper Halfpenny - Coin 3.
Evenly toned with a distinctively handsome blue hue. Beautifully glossy.

1797 George III Proof Copper Halfpenny. - Coin 4.
Superb quality, smooth chocolate brown fields. Flawless.

1797 George III Proof Copper ‘Cartwheel’ Penny - Coin 5.
A hefty coin and very impressive when it is struck to proof quality.

1797 George III Proof Copper ‘Cartwheel’ Twopence - Coin 6.
Impressive and even more imposing than the penny detailed above.

1799 George III Proof Farthing - Coin 7.
Subtle pink and orange hues on each side of this colonial gem. Stunning. 

1799 George III Proof Halfpenny - Coin 8.
Highly detailed design and even patina.

1804 George III Bank of England Proof Five Shillings - Coin 9.
A very scarce proof with brilliant mirror fields and beautiful toning, purchased from Spink London in 1949 for £11.20.

 

How and why such coins have come to be embraced by the Australian coin market makes for a fascinating story.

The penal colony of New South Wales was settled in 1788. And struck its first coins in 1813, the Holey Dollar and Dump.

The time lag prompts many collectors to ask … so what was the money supply in the intervening years?

Local currency came in the form of British and foreign coins that filtered their way into the colony in the pockets of settlers and incoming vessels.

Coins such as the classic and imposing Cartwheel Penny and the even more imposing Twopence of Mathew Boulton, struck at the famous Soho Mint in London. And the George III silver Shilling and Sixpence and the George III copper Penny and Halfpenny.

Many of these coins came to be formally recognised in Governor King’s Proclamation of 1800 and for most collectors the Proclamation era is seen as the beginning of numismatics in Australia.

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1893-Sydney-ten-pound-notejpg
1893-Sydney-ten-pound-note-back-February-2020
Notes
NOTE
1893 City Bank of Sydney Ten Pounds
QUALITY
Specimen
PROVENANCE
Spink London 2010
PRICE
$12,500
COMMENTS
You will have a fabulous insight into Australia’s early financial history with this extremely rare, high denomination, 1893 City Bank of Sydney Ten Pounds. London engravers Bradbury Wilkinson incorporated some classically Australian design elements into this pre-federation gem. The finely etched Emu above Britannia, and the Kangaroo below. And on the back of the note, an exquisite maritime design featuring an indigenous Australian standing shoulder to shoulder with an English sailor.
STATUS
Available now
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1893-Sydney-ten-pound-note-back-February-2020
Read More

This 1893 City Bank of Sydney Ten Pounds is an original specimen note from one of Australia’s early colonial banks.

It is a superb piece of history at a truly reasonable price.

The City Bank of Sydney was formed in 1863 in New South Wales. The bank subsequently opened for business on 1 February 1864.

The notes of the Bank were prepared by London engravers and printers Bradbury Wilkinson.

Archived for more than a century before being offered for sale in 2010 at London Auction House Spink, this pre federation gem reflects its British design origins while at the same time it screams out “Colonial Australia” with the inclusion of a kangaroo and emu and an indigenous Australian.

Sir William Dixson was Chairman of Directors of the City Bank of Sydney.  

You only need to visit Sydney’s Mitchell Library or ‘google’ William Dixson’s name to appreciate his contribution to banking circles and the Australian numismatic industry.

He was a prominent collector, accumulating a superb collection of coins, banknotes and tokens that were later donated to the Mitchell Library.

The City Bank of Sydney lives on through its subsequent mergers.

The bank merged with the Australian Bank of Commerce Ltd in 1916 and was eventually absorbed by The Bank of New South Wales in 1931, now known as The Westpac Banking Group Limited.
 


1938-Proof-Penny-and-Half-Penny-Reverse-August-2019jpg
1938-Proof-Penny-and-Half-Penny-Obverse-August-2019jpg
COIN
Proof 1938 Penny and Proof 1938 Halfpenny matched pair.
QUALITY
Superb FDC
PROVENANCE
John Jay Pitman, The Madrid Collection of Australian Rare Coins
PRICE
$30,000
COMMENTS
The saying that “GREAT COLLECTORS ONLY EVER OWN GREAT COINS” is exemplified in this stunning matched pair of Proof 1938 Penny and Proof 1938 Halfpenny. A superb FDC, with full copper brilliance, the coins were formerly held by renowned American collector John Jay Pitman and, in 2005, sold to the equally renowned Madrid Collection of Australian Rare Coins.
STATUS
Available now
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1938-Proof-Penny-and-Half-Penny-Obverse-August-2019jpg
Read More

When the Melbourne Mint commenced striking circulation pennies in 1938, staff were instructed to prepare dies and hand-select copper blanks to produce one hundred pennies for collectors minted to proof quality.

The Melbourne Mint had decided it was time to start selling proof coins to collectors to test the waters of regular proof coining production.

The proofs were to be sold to collectors at a premium of one shilling over face value. Collectors could have them sent through the mail. Or could front up to the mint to collect their order.

History records that ninety-four proof pennies out of the mintage of one hundred sold, each coin selling for 1s. 1d.

It was a popular collector release given that the coin introduced a brand-new reverse design of the flying kangaroo. And an obverse design of the new king, George VI.

The same situation occurred when the mint began striking halfpennies for circulation in 1938. One hundred proof 1938 halfpennies were struck to sell to collectors.

History records that seventy-eight halfpennies out of the mintage of one hundred sold, each coin selling for 1s. 1/2d.

The subdued interest in the halfpenny simply a reflection that the halfpenny continued the original British design introduced in 1911.

We can recall only two other occasions when we have sold 1938 proof coppers at this superior quality level.

  • The first occasion was in 1996, sold to a client who wanted proofs that represented his birth year. Acquired from renowned numismatist, Barrie Winsor, the coins have never come back onto the market.
  • The second occasion was in 2000 when a pair was sold to the owner of the "Treasures of the Melbourne Mint" Collection. Also sourced from Barrie Winsor.

This is the most effective way we know to impart the extreme rarity of this matched pair of 1938 proof coppers.

We have always followed a rule of thumb regarding copper proofs.

If the coins have original copper brilliance, or even just a hint of copper brilliance, then you grab them with both hands. For it is hardly ever seen. And reflects meticulous handling throughout the coin’s life.

And so, it is with these coins. Both the penny and halfpenny have full copper brilliance.

They are a once-in-a-decade opportunity.

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1921-Type-12-Square-Penny-Rev-November-2019-SOL
1921-Type-12-Square-Penny-Obv-November-2019-SOL
COIN
1921 Square Penny Type 12
QUALITY
Uncirculated
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Melbourne
PRICE
$30,000
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 are seeking. And importantly, for buyers, this Square Penny is affordable. The 'kookaburra' coin never fails to engage its owners and generate excitement; the engagement due to its unique shape and its place in history. This is your invitation to obtain a pristine example from the original mintage of Square Pennies struck at the Melbourne Mint.
STATUS
Available now
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1921-Type-12-Square-Penny-Obv-November-2019-SOL
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The Kookaburra Square Penny is an Australian 'classic'. It's a title that is applied to very few Australian coins. But when it is used, it is applied glowingly.

On pieces such as our first silver coins, the Holey Dollar and Dump. And our first gold coins, the Adelaide Pounds.

And the nation's favourite copper rarity, the 1930 Penny.

The 'kookaburra' coins never fail to engage their owners and generate excitement; the engagement due to their unique shape and their place in the nation's history.

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

Now it is true that we are as picky with our Square Pennies as we are with our 1930 Pennies.

So ... 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.

Now, 20 to 30 Square Pennies are NEVER going to appear on the market at any one time. In fact, we would be lucky to sight ONE quality Type 12 Square Penny on the open market annually.

A comparison with Australia's classic copper rarity, the 1930 Penny - where it is believed 1500 are known - highlights the extreme rarity of the Square Penny.

The Square Penny is history. A point in time when the Australian Federal Government planned the introduction of square coinage. And it is the historical angle that ensures sustained buyer interest, underpinning the coin's 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. That interest in the series spans more than half a century is comforting for new buyers entering the market.

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1860-Sovereign-Obv-July-2019
1860-Sovereign-Rev-July-2019
COIN
1860 Sydney Mint Sovereign
QUALITY
Choice Uncirculated
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Melbourne
PRICE
$25,000
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. Technical shots have been included in the READ MORE section.
STATUS
Available now.
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1860-Sovereign-Rev-July-2019
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1860-Sovereign-Tech-Obv-July-2019

1860 Sydney Mint Sovereign Obverse. 

1860-Sovereign-Tech-Rev-July-2019

1860 Sydney Mint Sovereign Reverse. 

The year 1860 is 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.

Superb quality. And a great rarity.
The value 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.

It is a fact that 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.

Sydney mint - our first gold sovereign series.
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.

This 1860 Sovereign has widespread appeal.
And will appeal to:

  • The sovereign buyer that targets key dates.
  • The sovereign buyer that seeks out premium quality. Choice Uncirculated Sydney Mint Sovereigns are very rarely offered.
  • The investor. This is a classic numismatic investment piece. Key date and superb quality.

 

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1887-Half-Sovereign-Obverse-August-2019
1887-Half-Sovereign-Reverse-August-2019
COIN
1887 Sydney Mint Young Head Half Sovereign - and our bonus offer of an Uncirculated 1897 Sydney Mint Half Sovereign
QUALITY
Choice Uncirculated with original gold lustre.
PROVENANCE
Winsor & Sons 2006, Quartermaster collection.
PRICE
$17,500
COMMENTS
We like quality. We certainly appreciate a good provenance and we respect the role of history in creating an on-going demand for Australia’s gold coinage. This Choice Uncirculated 1887 Sydney Mint Young Head Half Sovereign offers all three. It is a great coin that has been made even greater with our bonus offer of an Uncirculated 1897 Sydney Mint Veiled Head Half Sovereign.
STATUS
Available now
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1887-Half-Sovereign-Reverse-August-2019
Read More

This highly historical gem represents the end of an era, the final year of the striking of the Young Head design.

And the quality is superb. The striking is highly detailed, the edges perfect, the fields unblemished.

That you can count Barrie Winsor and Tom Hadley (of Quartermaster fame) amongst its former owners is a further stamp of approval. It is a special coin with a respected pedigree.

A great coin has just become even greater with our bonus offer of an Uncirculated 1897 Sydney Mint Veiled Head Half Sovereign.

Two quality Half Sovereigns both produced by the Sydney Mint and each bearing a different portrait of Queen Victoria. For the price of one.

 

Australia’s Young Head design was introduced in 1871 and continued until 1887.

In that same year, Australia introduced a new half sovereign portrait in commemoration of Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee.

The Jubilee portrait ran from 1887 until 1893 when it was replaced with the Veiled Head portrait of Queen Victoria. The Veiled Head portrait, featuring a mature aged Queen Victoria, ran from 1893 to 1901.

Records indicate that in 1887, 134,000 half sovereigns were issued by the Sydney Mint. An extremely low mintage for a circulating coin. But there is a catch here ... the mintage of 134,000 covers the two different portrait designs of Young Head and Jubilee Head. So a low mintage becomes even lower for each portrait type.

Question. Which is the rarer, the 1887 Young Head or 1887 Jubilee? Answer. The Young Head by far.

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1893-Melbourne-Proof-Sovereign-rev-Large-July-2019
1893-Melbourne-Proof-Sovereign-obv-Large-July-2019
COIN
Proof 1893 Sovereign, Melbourne Mint
QUALITY
FDC
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Melbourne
PRICE
$95,000
COMMENTS
Two questions come immediately to mind in the offering of this super rare Proof 1893 Sovereign. Are we (that is Coinworks) selling rare investment coins? Or are we selling history? In the case of this Proof 1893 Sovereign we believe Coinworks is selling both for this coin is a spectacular investment piece and, at the same time, a slice of history. The coin is rare. As a Coin of Record, it is one of only two known. And the year 1893 is historically, a standout year as it officially marked the commencement of Queen Victoria’s twilight years. 1893 was the year in which a more mature portrait of Queen Victoria first appeared on Australia’s sovereigns and lasted until her passing in 1901. The first year of any design change always has an historical edge.
STATUS
Available now
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1893-Melbourne-Proof-Sovereign-obv-Large-July-2019
Read More

When we size up a coin and evaluate its potential for growth, we assess the coin on two levels.

The first is the rarity of the coin itself. There is a big difference when a coin is known by two examples. Or twenty-two examples.

The second aspect we look at is the rarity of the sector of the market to which it belongs. Our philosophy is that 'less is best’ for you don't want the market to be flooded with coins from the same sector.

In the case of the Proof 1893 Sovereign the sector we are looking at is the Veiled Head era of Queen Victoria which ran from 1893 to 1901.

For us, the ideal ‘investment’ scenario occurs when a coin is rare. And the sector is rare.

OK ... now we know the Proof 1893 Sovereign is rare. It is a Coin of Record and is one of two known. But how many other Veiled Head Proof Sovereigns are out there?

To assess the Veiled Head sector, we researched auction records and our own private treaty sales for the past 50-plus years.

We confirmed the existence of twelve Proof Veiled Head Melbourne Mint Sovereigns, many of which have not been sighted since the 1980s and 1990s.

Now we know that twelve Proof Veiled Head Sovereigns are never going to be slapped onto the table in one hit and offered for sale at the same time, so how often can a buyer realistically expect to see one such coin?

Our research confirms that you could realistically expect to sight a Melbourne Mint Proof Veiled Head Sovereign on the market every four to five years.

Now that's rare!

enquire now

1927-Proof-Shilling-Reverse-August-2019
1927-Proof-Shilling-Obverse-August-2019
COIN
Proof 1927 Shilling
QUALITY
FDC
PROVENANCE
Spink Auctions 1978, Spink Auctions 1982
PRICE
$75,000
COMMENTS
Heritage piece. Family heirloom. Incomparable investment. This Proof 1927 Shilling is all of the above. In 1927, the Melbourne Mint fulfilled an order for Treasury to strike 1.4 million Commonwealth of Australia shillings. To time-capsule the mint’s coining achievements for future generations, the mint struck a handful of 1927 shillings to proof quality. One glance at the photos, both obverse and reverse, affirms that it is an exemplary proof coin. We have handled the silver proofs of 1920, 1921, 1924, 1926 and 1928 and unequivocally state that they pale in comparison with this Proof 1927 Shilling. This coin is the absolute finest silver proof out of this era and is a showpiece in the truest sense. Furthermore, this coin is rare. The only example available to collectors.
STATUS
Available now
Enquire Now
1927-Proof-Shilling-Obverse-August-2019
Read More

The Melbourne Mint's proud coining history began in 1872 when it commenced striking gold sovereigns and half sovereigns.

Then in 1916, the Melbourne Mint took up the mantle and began striking the Commonwealth of Australia’s silver coins. Three years later the mint began issuing Australia’s coppers.

The Melbourne Mint followed the traditions of the Royal Mint London, in striking a handful of proofs of those coins it was striking for circulation.

The harsh reality for collectors in this era was that, with very few exceptions, proofs minted in the George V era were NOT struck for the collector market.

  • Proofs were struck to be held in archives. Their purpose to record the mint’s circulating coin achievements.
  • Proofs were also struck to send to museums or public institutions, such as the Royal Mint London and British Museum.
  • There were times when proofs were struck to put on display at public exhibitions. So, whilst denying collectors the opportunity of ever owning them, they could at the very least get to look at them. The Exhibitions were however few and far between.

Whatever the end destination of the Melbourne Mint proofs - archives, institutions or public exhibitions - the situation demanded the highest quality minting skills. And only a handful of proofs were ever struck.

In the striking of this Proof 1927 Shilling, the Melbourne Mint's intention was to create a single masterpiece. 

And there is not a doubt in our minds that the mint's ambitions were fulfilled.

To create this numismatic gem:

  • The silver blanks were hand-picked and highly polished to produce a coin with a mirror shine and ice-smooth fields. The fields of this coin are simply sublime.
  • The dies were hardened and wire-brushed to ensure the design was sharp.
  • The dies were struck twice onto the blanks to create a well-defined, three-dimensional design.
  • The rims encircling the coins were high, creating a picture frame effect, encasing the coin.
  • The pristine nature of the striking is particularly evident in the denticles. They are crisp and uniformly spaced around the circumference of the coin.

This is a unique opportunity to acquire an important piece of Australia’s minting history.

 

Enquire now

1918-Half-Sovereign-A-Reverse-August-2019
1918-Half-Sovereign-A-Obverse-August-2019
COIN
1918 Half Sovereign Perth Mint
QUALITY
Uncirculated
PROVENANCE
Private Collection New South Wales
PRICE
$13,500
COMMENTS
The Perth Mint has struck many of Australia's greatest coin rarities, including this 1918 Half Sovereign. It is an important coin on many fronts. Australia struck its last half sovereign in 1918, making it a critical and highly historical date. The end of an era. And it is extremely rare. Respected numismatic author, Greg McDonald, contends that 200 to 300 pieces only are available to collectors. Important. Extremely rare. And available at $13,500. Excellent value.
STATUS
Available now
Enquire Now
1918-Half-Sovereign-A-Obverse-August-2019
Read More

The 1918 Perth Mint Half Sovereign is an enigma. It is the coin that according to Perth Mint records was never struck.

That’s a story that we have heard before.

The 1930 Penny, is another Australian coin rarity that according to its mint of origin, the Melbourne Mint, was also never struck.

In both cases the mystery surrounding their striking has added to their appeal underpinning collector demand.

The first appearance of a 1918 Perth Mint Half Sovereign occurred in 1967 and was noted in the then industry magazine, 'The Australian Coin Review'.

Inspired by the coin's first sighting, collectors commenced searching. And over the ensuing years a few more 1918 Perth Mint Half Sovereigns trickled out into the market place.

The extreme rarity of the 1918 Perth Mint Half Sovereign challenged historians and numismatists to come up with a plausible reason for the minuscule mintage.

Extensive research was undertaken on die usage at the Perth Mint in 1918 and in the years thereafter.

The conclusion was that a mintage of half sovereigns was struck in 1919 and again in 1920 - using the dies dated 1918 - all of which was exported overseas with the majority assumed melted down.

 

A stand-alone rarity. And a key coin in the George V Half Sovereign Series. 

This 1918 Half Sovereign was struck at the Perth Mint and features the obverse portrait of King George V.

The first Australian half sovereign to depict the portrait of George V was dated 1911.

The last half sovereign to depict his portrait was dated 1918.

A complete collection of George V Half Sovereigns involves nine coins.

  • Five from the Sydney Mint (1911, 1912, 1914, 1915 and 1916).
  • Three from the Perth Mint (1911, 1915 and 1918).
  • And one from the Melbourne Mint (1915).

It is a relatively easy collection to put together.

Except for one coin. That being the very last coin in the series and the most elusive, the 1918 Perth Mint Half Sovereign. This coin.

 

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
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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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CONTACT

PO Box 1060 Hawksburn Victoria Australia 3142

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