Browse & Buy


1930 Penny good Fine rev Large March 2018
1930 Penny good Fine obv Large March 2018
COIN
1930 Penny
QUALITY
About Very Fine
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Melbourne
PRICE
$29,500 (normal RRP $34,500).
COMMENTS
The 1930 Penny is legendary, and its star status has made it one of Australia's most valuable rare coins. Because the dollars involved in acquiring a 1930 Penny are considerable, we offer one very basic tip for buyers to assist them in their decision-making process. Select a 1930 Penny that is visually very attractive and has no obvious defects from its time in circulation. This simple point will really count when, further down the track, it comes time for you to sell your coin and realise on your investment. The 1930 Penny that we have for sale fits that profile in every respect and is as per the photographs above and at right. The coin has a technical obverse grading of About Very Fine. The reverse is graded similarly with strong upper and lower scrolls and immaculate inner beading. In a presentation befitting the coin, this 1930 Penny is presented in a handsome black presentation case, with accompanying photographs and Certificate of Authenticity. (Technical shots are provided in READ MORE.)
STATUS
Sold April 2016
Enquire Now
1930 Penny good Fine obv Large March 2018
Read More

1930 Penny technicals aVF REV April 2018

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

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

The reason is simply that the 1930 Penny was minted by accident and no one knew of its existence until at least ten years after it was issued.

Which means that the coins were used, with the majority well used, before collectors discovered its very being, enduring the rigours of being handled, mishandled, dropped, scratched and rattling around in change.

We don’t particularly like coins that have massive edge knocks or gouges. And we don't like coins that have significant scratches. If they have such defects we will price them down accordingly.

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

1930 Penny technicals aVF OBV April 2018

Obverse of the 1930 Penny showing three sides of the central diamond, six plump pearls and complete lower band. And again, superb edges. 

The obverse of this 1930 Penny is graded 'About Very Fine' with:

  • three sides of the central diamond showing.
  • six clear plump pearls in the crown.
  • the oval to the left of the central diamond is almost complete
  • the lower band of the crown is complete.

The reverse is graded similarly and has strong upper and lower scrolls and well defined inner beading.

Handsome chestnut toning, minimal marks in the field, a strong ‘1930’ date, this coin will make owning an example of Australia’s most famous copper rarity a reality for just one buyer. It is a coin that you will be proud to show your family and friends.

It is a truly attractive example of Australia’s most famous copper rarity and must have become a prized collectable very soon into its life for it shows minimal effects of having been used.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The 1930 Penny was selling for £50 in the 1950s. A decade later, by decimal changeover, the coin was fetching £255 ($510). By 1988, Australia's Bicentenary, the 1930 Penny had reached $6000. By the turn of the century, with interest in coins stimulated by the Sydney Olympics, 1930 Penny prices had moved to $13,000.

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


1927 Proof Canberra Florin rev Large April 2018
1927 Proof Canberra Florin obv Large April 2018
COIN
1927 Proof Canberra Florin
QUALITY
FDC
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Melbourne
PRICE
$ 25,000
COMMENTS
The original intention of proof coining was to create a numismatic masterpiece that would represent an era in Australia's history and tell a story that was an indelible part of our nation's past. The Melbourne Mint created a numismatic masterpiece when it struck the 1927 Proof Canberra Florin. The Duke of York officially opened Parliament House in Canberra on 9 May 1927. To commemorate the occasion, the Government authorised the minting of the Canberra Florin featuring Parliament House on the reverse and George V on the obverse. The Melbourne Mint issued 400 limited edition collector coins struck to proof quality. This coin is a superb example from the original mintage.
STATUS
Available now
Enquire Now
1927 Proof Canberra Florin obv Large April 2018
Read More

It was the Melbourne Mint’s very first collector coin issue, the 'Proof Canberra' selling for a sixpence premium over face value.

Furthermore it was Australia’s very first commemorative coin.

The release of the 1927 Proof Canberra Florin was a well-publicised event that saw the coins sell to members of the public outside traditional numismatic circles.

Coins being mishandled or pieces simply lost into circulation was the fate of many of the proofs out of the original mintage of 400.

So a small mintage of coins becomes even smaller for the buyer seeking a quality Proof Canberra Florin.

In today’s market we might sight one premium quality Proof Canberra Florin every year.

This particular 1927 Proof Canberra Florin is a premium quality example and is classified as FDC, with brilliant mirror fields. The coin shows the characteristic striations associated with Proof Canberra Florins which reflects meticulous die preparation.  Moreover, it has been sharply struck and brilliantly preserved.  Visually it is stunning.

As an exquisite example of the Melbourne Mint's craftsmanship, the coin is a numismatic gem.


1918P Half Sovereign Ch Unc Large rev April 2018
1918P Half Sovereign Ch Unc Large obv April 2018
COIN
1918 Perth Mint Half Sovereign
QUALITY
Choice Uncirculated
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Melbourne
PRICE
$20,000
COMMENTS
There are two aspects to this 1918 Perth Mint Half Sovereign that must be noted. The first is that the coin is presented as Choice Uncirculated. The addition of the word ‘CHOICE’ takes quality to a level that is the absolute exception and very rarely seen. A step up from Uncirculated, the coin has satin fields and a strong strike. We remark on the strength in the rider’s leg …. an inherent area of weakness in most 1918s. The second aspect that must be noted is that the 1918 Perth Mint Half Sovereign is rare with less than 300 believed in existence across all ranges of quality. This is a world class coin rarity presented in the supreme quality of Choice Uncirculated and, for the record, is only the second Choice Uncirculated example we have ever handled. (Technical shots are provided in the READ MORE section.)
STATUS
Sold April 2018.
Enquire Now
1918P Half Sovereign Ch Unc Large obv April 2018
Read More

1918 Half Sov tech shot REV April 2018

Reverse of the 1918 Half Sovereign with the ‘P’ above the date. 

Australia began striking half sovereigns in 1855 at the Sydney Mint. The nation’s last half sovereign is dated 1918 and was struck at the Perth Mint.

During the period 1855 to 1918, three monarchs appeared on our coinage, Queen Victoria (1855 – 1901), Edward VII (1902 – 1910) and, as shown on this coin, George V (1911 – 1918).

The 1918 Perth Mint Half Sovereign is an absolute enigma. (Akin to the 1930 Penny in that mystery surrounds its striking.)

Perth Mint records indicate that no half sovereigns were struck in 1918.

The appearance of a 1918 Half Sovereign in the then industry magazine, 'The Australian Coin Review' in April 1967 set the records straight and proved otherwise.

1918 Half Sov tech shot OBV April 2018

Obverse of the 1918 Half Sovereign depicting the portrait of George V.

Extensive research has been undertaken on die usage at the Perth Mint in 1918 and in the ensuing years.

It is now believed that a mintage 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.

The 1918 Perth Mint Half Sovereign is the rare date in the George V Half Sovereign series. And this example is presented in the supreme quality of Choice Uncirculated.


1813 Holey Dollar 1798 Charles IIII good EF OBV March 2018
1813 Holey Dollar 1798 Charles IIII good EF REV Large SEO March 2018
COIN
1813 Holey Dollar struck from a Charles IIII, 1798 Mexico Mint Spanish Silver Dollar
QUALITY
Original Spanish Silver Dollar: Good Extremely Fine. Counter stamps: Good Extremely Fine.
PRICE
$495,000
COMMENTS
When William Henshall created this Holey Dollar in 1813, he grabbed a 1798 Spanish Silver Dollar that had been struck at the Mexico Mint. If William Henshall had been a numismatist he would have marvelled that the 1798 Spanish Silver Dollar that he was now handling showed virtually no signs of circulation and retained its original silver lustre. A miracle given that the coin was struck 15 years earlier. Committed to the task of creating holey dollars from silver dollars, he cut a hole in the coin 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 an 1813 Holey Dollar. Ownership of this outstanding quality Holey Dollar can be traced back to 1918 when it was sold at auction by Glendinings, London in the sale of the W. B. Thorpe Collection. Subsequent owners include revered collectors, A. H. Whetmore, Ray Jewell and Philip Spalding.
STATUS
Available now
Enquire Now
1813 Holey Dollar 1798 Charles IIII good EF REV Large SEO March 2018
Read More

1798 Holey Dollar Tech shot OBV SEO

Notice the detail in the hair and the robes. Also note the strength of the edges and the date 1798. This Holey Dollar is nicely toned and has original silver lustre.

1798 Holey Dollar Tech shot REV SEO

The counter stamps are a supreme quality Good Extremely Fine on both obverse and reverse and also have original silver lustre.

It is a statement of fact that most Holey Dollars are today found well worn. No quality parameters were set on Macquarie’s shipment of 40,000 silver dollars. This Holey Dollar is the exception.

The original 1798 Spanish Silver Dollar from which this Holey Dollar was created is graded in the absolute premium quality levels of Good Extremely Fine indicating that it underwent minimal circulation before the hole was cut into it in 1813. The coin has original silver lustre and light toning and is very attractive. And this is a point worth pursuing.

The earlier the date of the silver dollar, the greater the potential for circulation before the nation’s first mint-master, William Henshall, got his hands on it. In the case of this Holey Dollar the silver dollar had 15 years of potential circulation before it was holed.

Its state of preservation is therefore remarkable.

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 also graded in the premium quality levels of Good Extremely Fine and retain their original silver lustre.

Created in 1813 by mint-master William Henshall, circulated in the colony for 16 years when it was eventually demonetised with minimal usage in between.

That this coin has survived in this state is simply a miracle.

The Holey Dollar is one of Australia’s most desirable coins. Talk to those fortunate enough to own one, either private collectors or institutions such as Macquarie Bank, National Museum of Australia and the Mitchell Library, and they will tell you that the Holey Dollar is viewed as the jewel in their collection. And that statement is made irrespective of the quality level.

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

A Holey Dollar can resemble a washer if it is well circulated. Or it can reach the heady quality heights of this coin. No matter the quality, the pleasure of ownership is immeasurable.

Once you move from the well circulated Fine and Good Fine quality levels up to the Extremely Fine and Good Extremely Fine echelons, the differences in quality are marked and noticeable and clearly visible to the naked eye. It is the detail in the hair, the robes and the overall state of the fields as evidenced in this Holey Dollar.

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

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

The Holey Dollar is a coin that is held in the utmost respect. It is history. And yet it is refreshingly current. The ingenuity of Governor Lachlan Macquarie in creating our first coin is reflected in the naming of the Macquarie Bank and the bank’s ultimate adoption of the Holey Dollar as its logo.


A provenance of note.

This Holey Dollar coin has changed hands a few times over the last century and always into esteemed collector hands … S. A. H. Whetmore, Ray Jewell, Philip Spalding, to name but three.

The provenance is detailed below.

  • Glendinings London March 1918, in the sale of the W. B. Thorpe Collection
  • Glendinings London April 1961, in the sale of S. A. H. Whetmore Collection
  • Foley Collection (USA)
  • Ray Jewell (Australia) by private treaty
  • Philip Spalding (Australia) by private treaty

Renowned British collectors. Revered US collectors. And then eventually back to where it all began in Australia.

That the coin has attracted sustained buyer interest right across the globe for more than a century, in London and New York, reflects the international appeal of the Holey Dollar.

And the resounding appeal of this particular coin.

This Holey Dollar is featured on page  xvi  of the Philip Spalding book, The World of the Holey Dollar: a compliment in itself. Published in 1973 this book is still to this day a major reference on the Holey Dollar.

A copy of Spalding’s book will be provided with this coin. 

Spalding book March 2018

1852 Adelaide Pound about EF rev large B&B April 2018
1852 Adelaide Pound about EF obv large April 2018
COIN
1852 Adelaide Pound
QUALITY
about Extremely Fine
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Queensland
PRICE
$26,500
COMMENTS
The 1852 Adelaide Pound holds a very special place in Australia's history as the nation’s first gold coin struck from 22 carat gold brought from the Victorian goldfields. It was minted at the Government Assay Office in Adelaide. Its historical standing, as Australia's first gold coin, ensures that it will always be sought after and underpins its investment value. Its investment value is also preserved by its rarity for the industry estimates that 250 examples are available to collectors, across all quality levels. The Adelaide Pound is a valuable coin. Finding an example that doesn’t break the bank can be challenging which is why we are so excited by this coin. The coin has fared extremely well during its time in circulation, is well presented and is offered in a price range that is suitable to most collector's budgets.
STATUS
Available now
Enquire Now
1852 Adelaide Pound about EF obv large April 2018
Read More

The prime rule in selecting an Adelaide Pound is to pick a coin that is visually very attractive.

The aesthetics, the look of an Adelaide Pound to the naked eye, is an important part of the selection process. This simple point will really 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 166 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 to be used as currency, traded in commerce. Not preserved as collectables.

Gold also is a relatively soft metal and the rigours of circulation have treated many Adelaide Pounds harshly.

This 1852 Adelaide Pound passes our selection test with flying colours and is as per the photographs shown above and at right.

  It is a coin that you would be proud to show your family and friends. 

  • The coin is graded about Extremely Fine which indicates that it has undergone some circulation with slight wear to the high points.
  • The coin has strength in the edges. And the legend 'Government Assay office' is strong.
  • History records that the striking of the Adelaide Pound was fraught with problems. Pressure cracked the first die. Relaxing the pressure on the second die, while it increased the design detail in the crown, interfered with the execution of the edges and the legend 'Assay Office'. Many examples struck with the second die show weakness in the edges, with some areas of the legend almost non-existent.
  • The final scrutiny involves the fields. The rigours of circulation have treated this coin very kindly.

This Adelaide Pound is presented in a handsome black presentation case, with accompanying photographs and Certificate of Authenticity.


1858 Sydney Mint Half Sovereign nr Unc - Unc rev B&B September 2017
1858 Sydney Mint Half Sovereign nr Unc - Unc obv B&B September 2017
COIN
1858 Sydney Mint Half Sovereign
QUALITY
About Uncirculated / Uncirculated
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Sydney
PRICE
$14,500
COMMENTS
The owner of this quality 1858 Sydney Mint Half Sovereign was a passionate collector of high-grade Australian gold half sovereigns. She appreciated the inherent rarity of coins that were struck for circulation, coins that were intended to be used, but were still in supreme condition. She also enjoyed the challenge of collecting half sovereigns knowing that they are far rarer than their sovereign counterparts and far harder to acquire in superior quality. Her thinking was in sync with our own ideals. Our research confirms that the majority of 1858 Sydney Mint Half Sovereigns are found today well circulated and rough and ready. And that less than 20 high quality examples have come onto the market over the last 25 years. This coin is one of the elite few and is presented in virtually as struck condition. Note the smooth fields and the perfect edges.
STATUS
Available now
Enquire Now
1858 Sydney Mint Half Sovereign nr Unc - Unc obv B&B September 2017
Read More

Australia struck its first gold half sovereign in 1855. The last was minted during the reign of George V, in 1918. During this period, seven different designs were used.

Of the seven different designs, the most important is that of the Sydney Mint series. It was the first design used on our gold half sovereigns, classically Australian – and came from the nation’s first mint, the Sydney Mint.

The discovery of gold in Australia, in particular in the early 1850’s in New South Wales and Victoria transformed what was considered for the most part a remote outpost of colonial Britain into a country of global fame virtually overnight. Men and woman were lured to the goldfields in droves, creating a population explosion unprecedented to this day, and in three short years Australia became one of the richest countries in the world.  

Our lust for and fascination with gold continues to this day.  And no more so than with the half sovereigns struck at our first Mint, the Sydney Mint.

Australia’s economy was booming in the 1850’s with large deposits of gold being found almost daily. In 1852 alone New South Wales produced 26 tonnes of gold in a single year.

Storage and handling of such vast amounts of this precious metal was a major challenge for all involved. And with no ‘local’ currency the push was on to convert a portion of the gold into useable currency. 

1853 saw legislation pass in London granting permission for the establishment of Australia’s first mint, the first ‘Royal’ mint outside of London, in a wing of the old Rum Hospital in Sydney. In 1855, the first Australian gold sovereigns and half sovereigns were struck.  

A uniquely Australian reverse design on the coinage was pushed through and it is interesting to note that this ‘straying’ from normal design protocols was the first and last time the Royal Mint ever assented to a break in traditional designs in any of the ‘colonies’.

Initially, gold sovereigns and half sovereigns struck at the new Sydney Mint were only meant for circulation in New South Wales and it wasn’t until 1857, out of necessity, Australia’s first coinage became legal tender in Victoria. South Australia reluctantly followed suit in 1868. 


1930 Penny good Ef rev PP March 2018
1930 Penny good Ef obv PP March 2018
COIN
1930 Penny
QUALITY
Good Extremely Fine
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Melbourne
PRICE
$150,000
COMMENTS
This coin is for the buyer that is seeking one of the absolute finest examples of Australia’s famous 1930 Penny. We rate it as number THREE in the pecking order of known 1930 Pennies. The enormity of this offer becomes clear when you consider that there are quite likely one thousand (or more) 1930 Pennies in existence today. Given the clear and defining quality traits of this piece, it is in every respect a ‘miracle’ coin. READ MORE for technical shots of both obverse and reverse and more information.
STATUS
Sold April 2018.
Enquire Now
1930 Penny good Ef obv PP March 2018
Read More

1930 Penny OBV tech shot Good EF March 2018

Obverse of the Good Extremely Fine 1930 Penny on offer. Notice the complete crown. Take in the eye, moustache and robes and compare to the coin at right. 

1930 Penny OBV tech shot Fine March 2018

Obverse of a well circulated Fine 1930 Penny chosen for comparison. The differences in the crown area, eye, moustache and robes are obvious. 

It must be remembered that the 1930 Penny was issued during Australia’s Great Depression and as a low value coin became the workhorse of the nation.

Released into circulation into an environment of high unemployment, poverty, low profits and plunging incomes: a situation that meant every coin had to be used. And not stored away as a collectable.

And yet somehow this coin has miraculously been taken out of circulation and preserved very early on in its life. 

As the photographs show the crown is complete: a full central diamond that leaps out and knocks you in the eye. And eight plump pearls. The band of the crown is uninterrupted.

Notice the king’s eyebrow and moustache: the high points that along with the crown sustain wear during circulation. Also notice the detail in the king’s robes. 

Flip the coin over and take in the strength and formation of the upper and lower scrolls and the well-defined inner beading.

The legend, Commonwealth of Australia and the date ‘1930’ are prominent, almost three dimensional.

And we comment on the fields of this Good Extremely Fine 1930 Penny for they are undamaged, glossy and smooth, the toning an even chocolate brown.

It is certainly the finest 1930 Penny that we have handled.

Given that we have been involved in the Australian rare coin industry for forty-five years, this is meaningful. 

1930 Penny REV tech shot Good EF March 2018

Reverse of the Good Extremely Fine 1930 Penny on offer.  Notice the strength of the upper and lower scrolls and the well-defined inner beading.

1930 Penny REV tech shot Fine March 2018

Reverse of a well circulated Fine 1930 Penny chosen for comparison. Compare the upper and lower scrolls and the inner beading. Also note the quality of the fields.



1893M Half Sovereign EF rev PP March 2018
1893M Half Sovereign EF obv PP March 2018
COIN
1893 Melbourne Mint Veiled Head Half Sovereign.
QUALITY
Extremely Fine
PROVENANCE
Private Collection New South Wales
PRICE
$125,000
COMMENTS
Ask most collectors ... what is Australia's rarest circulating gold coin and they will respond with the answer, the 1920 Sydney Sovereign. Setting the record straight. Australia’s rarest circulating gold coin is the 1893 Half Sovereign struck at the Melbourne Mint, featuring the Veiled Head portrait of Queen Victoria. Up until last year, five coins were known, two of which are held in the Royal Australian Mint Collection, Canberra. And it must be noted that the five examples are all well circulated, bereft of significant design detail. This example, graded Extremely Fine, is a recent find and takes the tally of known examples to six. Aside from its discovery, this coin is the finest (by far). Below, we have included technical photographs of the famous Quartermaster example as a point of comparison.
STATUS
Available now.
Enquire Now
1893M Half Sovereign EF obv PP March 2018
Read More

The 1893M Veiled Head Proof Half Sovereign first came to public notice in the mid-eighties when it was offered by Spink Auctions Melbourne on 18 July 1985. Let's call it coin number 1.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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



1813 NSW Dump A1 good VF rev 1 b&b February 2018
1813 NSW Dump A1 good VF obv 1 b&b February 2018
COIN
1813 Dump
QUALITY
Good Very Fine
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Queensland
PRICE
$45,000
COMMENTS
In 2013, Coinworks curated an Exhibition for the Macquarie Group in celebration of the 200th anniversary of the striking of Australia’s first coins, the 1813 Holey Dollar and 1813 Dump. Thirteen elite Holey Dollars were displayed. And four Dumps. Given that the Dump is as important as its holed counterpart we ask - and answer - why the imbalance in numbers? The reason was quite simply the absolute difficulty in obtaining an equal number of top quality Dumps. High calibre Dumps are exceptionally hard to come by.
STATUS
Available now
Enquire Now
1813 NSW Dump A1 good VF obv 1 b&b February 2018
Read More

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

Given that a bottle of rum cost five shillings (the equivalent of a Holey Dollar), it was the Dump with a value of fifteen pence that became the workhorse of its citizenry.

The Dump circulated widely in the colony, the extreme wear on most Dumps evidence that they saw considerable use. The Holey Dollar being a higher valued piece had a narrower band of circulation, in the main stored as cash reserves in the Bank of New South Wales. (As the bank's records so indicate.)

So while the Dump may seem the diminutive partner of the Holey Dollar, the reality is top quality Dumps have authority. They are extremely rare, far rarer than their holed counterpart in the same quality level. It is a point that the market is recognising.

It is a fact that well circulated Dumps are reasonably readily available. And that’s not to decry their importance or their historical relevance.

Or their collectability for that matter for as Australia’s first silver coin the Dump is in demand at all quality levels. (As is the Holey Dollar.)

See chart below that shows their relative frequency.

Our point here is that high quality Dumps are seriously rare, infrequently sighted and in our view, undervalued. They have a long way to go to reach their full price potential.

So what is the point at which rarity cuts in for the Dump?

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

This 1813 Dump is graded Good Very Fine and was struck using the Type A/1 dies.

This die combination produced coins with a design that was classically centred and well executed.

What sets this coin apart from a well circulated example is as follows:

  • The fleur de lis on the left hand side and the right hand side of the crown have definition and have not melded into the coin.
  • The pearls to the left and right of the Crown are well defined and again have not melded into the coin.
  • The legend New South Wales and the date 1813 are strong and well contained in the coin.
  • The denticles around the edge of the coin are complete, a feature that is seldom if ever seen on even the very best examples.
  • Notice the oblique milling around the edge. Strong, well defined and fully evident.
  • The reverse Fifteen Pence also is strong and three dimensional.
  • The ‘H’ for Henshall also is defined. William Henshall declared his involvement in the creation of the Dump by inserting an H into some (but not all) of the dies used during its striking. Its presence is highly prized.
  • While the Holey Dollar glaringly shows that it is one coin struck from another, in a less obvious way so too does the Dump. There is underlying detail in the coin below the word ‘Fifteen Pence’. That’s the design from the center of the original Spanish Dollar from which this Dump was created. We refer to it as the undertype and its presence is again highly prized.

This is a high quality, well priced example of Australia’s first coin, the 1813 Colonial Dump.

1813 Dump graph


1921 Square Penny Type 11 rev Large B&B February 2018
1921 Square Penny Type 11 obv Large B&B February 2018
COIN
1921 Square Penny Type 11
QUALITY
Choice Uncirculated
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Victoria
PRICE
$50,000
COMMENTS
This 1921 Square Penny must have become a prized collectable soon after it was minted for it has uncompromised quality with proof like surfaces, handsome toning and a deeply etched design of a sleek kookaburra resting on a twig. We refer to the design as the Type 11 and it is presented in Choice Uncirculated quality. It is at this point we ask the question … how often do you see the two words ‘Choice Uncirculated’ attached to a Square Penny? The answer is rarely. In fact, we checked back through our records and can confirm that we have only ever sold two Choice Uncirculated Type 11s in more than 40-plus years of trading and this coin is one of the two. In our view, this Square Penny is the perfect starting point for the buyer keen to acquire a Kookaburra Penny. Optimum quality, extreme rarity but at a price that is palatable.
STATUS
Available now
Enquire Now
1921 Square Penny Type 11 obv Large B&B February 2018
Read More

That currency reflects the mood of a nation – and the agenda of a Government - is never more evident than with the Square Penny and Halfpenny series and its mooted introduction in 1919.

The proposed change was pure politics. With some saying it was the rumblings of a republican movement way ahead of its time, the Labor Government wanting to break away from the traditional British designs of Australia’s then copper penny and halfpenny.

A wave of nationalism was sweeping the country post World War I and the Government saw advantage in tapping into the mood of the nation and introducing a uniquely Australian style into our currency by depicting a laughing kookaburra on our coinage.

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

The extreme scarcity of choice quality Square Pennies is connected to the fact that the coins were test pieces and were not struck to the exacting standards of proof coining.

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. 

Public reaction to the introduction of the square coinage was poor. There was widespread public resistance to change, while the elderly rejected the small size of the coins. However, the final decision not to proceed seems to have been based mainly on another consideration – the large number of vending machines then in operation requiring a circular coin.

Perhaps the most contentious issue of the proposed currency change was the depiction of the monarch minus his crown: the Royalists demanding that George V should always be depicted on the currency of the realm wearing his crown.

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

The kookaburra coins never went into production and Australia lost a great opportunity to go its own way. But with only the 200 prototypes to show as evidence of the Government’s grand scheme, Australian coinage gained another wonderful coin rarity. 


1896 Proof Half Sovereign rev FROSTED B&B October 2017
1896 Proof Half Sovereign obv FROSTED B&B October 2017
COIN
1896 Proof Half Sovereign Melbourne Mint
QUALITY
Superb FDC
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Melbourne
PRICE
$85,000
COMMENTS
This 1896 Proof Half Sovereign was struck at the Melbourne Mint and is extremely rare. It was acquired by private treaty in 1995 and has only recently surfaced. Only two other examples are known and both were offered at auction in the 1980s. One of the two re-appeared at auction in 1998: the other has never been sighted since. Such sporadic offerings reflect the rarity of Australia’s pre-decimal proof gold sovereigns and half sovereigns; an area of the Australian coin market that is acknowledged as its rarest and its most prestigious.
STATUS
Available now
Enquire Now
1896 Proof Half Sovereign obv FROSTED B&B October 2017
Read More

It is a statement of fact that proof gold, irrespective of the sector, is extremely rare and buying opportunities will always be thin on the ground.

But there is another consideration. Great coins tend to be held. This coin for instance. It was acquired by private treaty in 1995 and has only recently surfaced. The owner of the Madrid Collection held onto his gold proofs for more than twenty years. The Spalding family similarly. So too Tom Hadley in the formation of the Quartermaster Collection.

The availability of a gold proof sovereign and proof half sovereign - of any year - is an opportunity. If you happen to be offered one of exceptional rarity then the opportunity is even more profound.

In the striking of a proof coin, the Melbourne Mint’s intention was to create a single masterpiece, coining perfection. Perfection in the dies. Wire brushed so that they were 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’.

And nothing has changed.

Coining perfection is still the prime goal of the Royal Australian and the Perth Mint. Only the processes have changed, modernised so that instead of one or two coins being struck, thousands can be commercially produced.

 

In the striking of proof coins, the Melbourne Mint was not commercially motivated.

In the 19th and 20th centuries, the Australian mints (Melbourne, Sydney and Perth) crafted gold proofs as representative examples of those sovereigns and half sovereigns they were striking for circulation.

The coins were struck to be preserved in government archives as a record of Australia’s coining history, time-capsuled for future generations.

Given that proof coining was also a very labour intensive process and time consuming, minimal numbers of proofs were struck.  Less than ten was the norm.

A far cry from today's decimal coin market.

This coin exemplifies all that is good about the Australian rare coin industry. This coin is history. This coin is perfection. This coin is exclusive. And this coin has the potential for capital growth.


1937 Proof Crown REV B&B October 2017
1937 Proof Crown OBV B&B October 2017
COIN
1937 Proof Crown
QUALITY
FDC
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Melbourne
PRICE
$27,500
COMMENTS
This 1937 Proof Crown was sold in 1995 to the owner of the Madrid Collection of Australian Rare Coins: the collection so named after his most prized piece, the world famous 1813 ‘Madrid’ Holey Dollar. The collection was formed over twenty nine years and comprised the very best and the rarest Australian coins. Aside from the Madrid Holey Dollar it also included the Proof 1930 Penny, Sterling Silver 1919 Square Penny, 1899 Perth Mint Proof Half Sovereign and … this 1937 Proof Crown. The owner was as fanatical about quality as he was about history, this Proof Crown fulfilling both those ambitions. We found in the 1990s as we find today that it is not as easy as you might think to acquire a top quality 1937 Proof Crown. The original mintage of the Proof Crown was a meagre 100 pieces. Their release was a well-publicised event that saw coins move into non-collector hands introducing the possibility of being poorly handled. Or being accidentally used as a five shillings circulation coin. Of those that we sight or are offered today, four out of every five would be rejected as having gouges or unsightly toning. That a provenance does make a clear statement on quality is evidenced in this coin.
STATUS
Available now
Enquire Now
1937 Proof Crown OBV B&B October 2017
Read More

When Edward VIII decided to abdicate the British throne in 1936, currency issues throughout the world were thrown into disarray.

In Australia, the government was about to launch new coin designs to coincide with Edward’s coronation that that would have introduced a strong Australian design element into the penny, florin, shilling and threepence.

The plans had to be scuttled due to Edwards’ abdication from the British throne to marry American Wallis Simpson.

To distract from the chaos, the Australian Government issued its first five-shilling piece, the 1937 Crown, depicting the portrait of the new king, George VI (Edward’s brother). 

The notion of a Crown sized coin was pushed by the Treasurer of the day, R G Casey who later became Governor General of Australia. The coin was - and still is - referred to as ‘Casey’s Cartwheel’.

The 1937 Crown is Australia’s only commemorative crown. And it was the only currency issue released in 1937 making it an extremely popular collectable. Its appeal is timeless.

Coinworks latest inventory ...

1813 Colonial Dump Extremely Fine B&B October 2017
one of the very best - 1813 colonial dump
1921 Square Penny 1 OBV B&B October 2017
choice uncirculated 1921 square penny
1861 Sydney Mint Sov OBV B&B November 2017
1861 sovereign choice uncirculated the first year of the Melbourne cup

1855 Sydney Mint Sovereign good EF about Unc B&B December 2017
1855 Sydney Mint Sovereign good EF about Unc REV B&B December 2017
COIN
1855 Sydney Mint Sovereign
QUALITY
Good Extremely Fine / about Uncirculated
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Sydney
PRICE
$35,000
COMMENTS
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 an exceptional rarity. You can count on the fingers of two hands the number of 1855 Sydney Mint Sovereigns that we have sold at Good Extremely Fine, 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 a Good Extremely Fine 1855 Sydney Mint Sovereign. It’s a picture that speaks a 1000 words.
STATUS
Available now
Enquire Now
1855 Sydney Mint Sovereign good EF about Unc REV B&B December 2017
Read More

Pie chart November 2017

We have addressed the importance of the 1855 Sydney Mint Sovereign in our introduction. We have also addressed its rarity. But perhaps the most important issue for the buyer is its price potential.

The 1855 Sydney Mint Sovereign is Australia’s first official currency, our first gold sovereign. The 1852 Adelaide Pound, struck three years earlier, is Australia’s first gold coin.

Both coins are extremely popular with collectors. They were minted from 22 carat gold: gold being our most popular collecting metal.  And they have a special place in our history that ensures that they will always be sought after, underpinning their future price growth.

So it is inevitable that a rarity/price comparison will be made between the two.  

It is a statement of fact that the 1855 Sovereign in the upper quality levels is about four times as scarce as the Adelaide Pound. And yet the price levels are comparable. That’s a price anomaly that has to be addressed over time. 

Coins such as this 1855 Sydney Mint Sovereign have the greatest potential for growth.

Why are so many Australian collectors pursuing a Portrait Set?

A complete sovereign collection is comprised of nearly 200 coins and that’s overwhelming for even the most financial of collectors. And potentially frustrating given the time that it would take to complete.

That’s why so many collectors take the short cut of completing a portrait set. The sense of completeness is definitely there. And the financial burden is substantially reduced.

The Australian Sovereign series ran from 1855 to 1931 and during this time eight different portraits were used, five of Queen Victoria, one of Edward VII and two of George V.

So a complete portrait set of Australian sovereigns involves only eight coins.

  1. Queen Victoria Sydney Mint Type 1 (1855 – 1856)
  2. Queen Victoria Sydney Mint Type 2 (1857 – 1870)
  3. Queen Victoria Young Head (1871 – 1887)
  4. Queen Victoria Jubilee (1887 – 1893)
  5. Queen Victoria Veiled Head (1893 – 1901)
  6. King Edward VII (1902 – 1910)
  7. King George V Large Head (1911 – 1928)
  8. King George V Small Head (1929 – 1931)

And why would this 1855 Sydney Mint Sovereign be a great choice for the Set?

The reality is collectors only have two choices for the Type I Sydney Mint design, they being 1855 or 1856.

And in high quality they are simply not always available.

This coin is rare. This coin is affordable. And this coin is superb for quality. Showing just the slightest wear to the high points, it still retains its original lustre.


1856 Sovereign date side replacement 160928-9907
1856 Sovereign non date side replacement 160928-9923
COIN
1856 Sydney Mint Sovereign
QUALITY
Good Extremely Fine / About Uncirculated
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Sydney
PRICE
$ 35,000
COMMENTS
A fascination with coins as a child, and a passion for colonial history as an adult, saw a Sydney resident pursue the Sydney Mint Sovereign series over a twenty year period. His focus was on quality, but in the case of rare date sovereigns (such as the 1855 and 1856) he held a number of examples. This superb 1856 Sydney Mint Sovereign is one such coin from his collection.
STATUS
Available now
Enquire Now
1856 Sovereign non date side replacement 160928-9923
Read More

The 1856 Sydney Mint Sovereign is a great rarity. And it's a fact that in the upper quality levels it is as difficult to acquire as the 1855 Sovereign.

And yet the mintages of both coins would suggest otherwise. (1855 – 502,000. 1856 – 981,000.)

The industry has always acknowledged the scarcity of the 1856 Sovereign.

Both the '55 and '56 sovereigns have shared the same catalogue value for decades, declaring them equally as important.

Why are so many collectors pursuing a Portrait Set?

A complete sovereign collection is comprised of nearly 200 coins and that’s overwhelming for even the most financial of collectors. And potentially frustrating given the time that it would take to complete.

That’s why so many collectors take the short cut of completing a portrait set. The sense of completeness is definitely there. And the financial burden is substantially reduced.

The Australian Sovereign series ran from 1855 to 1931 and during this time eight different portraits were used, five of Queen Victoria, one of Edward VII and two of George V.

 

So a complete portrait set of Australian sovereigns involves only eight coins.

  1. Queen Victoria Sydney Mint Type 1 (1855 – 1856)
  2. Queen Victoria Sydney Mint Type 2 (1857 – 1870)
  3. Queen Victoria Young Head (1871 – 1887)
  4. Queen Victoria Jubilee (1887 – 1893)
  5. Queen Victoria Veiled Head (1893 – 1901)
  6. King Edward VII (1902 – 1910)
  7. King George V Large Head (1911 – 1928)
  8. King George V Small Head (1929 – 1931)

And why would this 1856 Sydney Mint Sovereign be a great choice for the Set?

The reality is collectors only have two choices for the Type I Sydney Mint design, they being 1855 or 1856. And in high quality they are not always available.

This coin is rare. This coin is affordable. And this coin shows just the slightest wear to the high points and has retained original lustre.


1852 Cracked Die Obvb&b
1852 Cracked Die Revb&b
COIN
1852 Adelaide Pound First or Cracked Die
QUALITY
about Extremely Fine
PROVENANCE
Private Collection NSW
PRICE
$88,000
COMMENTS
Don’t assume that the Adelaide Pound struck with the first die is the same as that struck with the second. For the coins were struck with distinctly different reverse dies. The very reason why most collectors aspire to acquire one of each. The difference extends beyond its design. The first reverse die was used to produce approximately forty coins before a crack developed in the DWT area of the legend making it amazingly scarce. In fact, one of the scarcest of our colonial coin rarities.
STATUS
Available now
Enquire Now
1852 Cracked Die Revb&b
Read More

History records that the striking of Australia’s very first gold coin at the Adelaide Assay Office was plagued with problems. Excessive pressure exerted during the minting process cracked the first obverse die. A second obverse die was then taken up to continue striking coins.

First die? Cracked Die? Second die? It all sounds a little bit pedantic but it is a fact that the designs of the first two dies used in the production of the Adelaide Pound were different. The first die featured a beaded inner circle and produced approximately 40 coins before a die crack was noticed. (That’s why the terms First Die and Cracked Die are synonymous.)

1852 Adelaide Pound Cracked Die

A second die, featuring a  crenellated inner circle , was then taken up and was used to strike a further 24,600-plus coins.

Not only is there a distinct design difference between the coins struck from the first and second die, what is obvious from the figures is that those Adelaide Pounds struck using the first die are incredibly rare. Our experience affirms its rarity. In a career that spans forty-plus years we have handled less than ten examples.

Having accepted the rarity of the coin we now move on to discuss the quality levels that are available to buyers.

It is a fact that the majority of Adelaide Pounds from the first run are found today well worn. And that is not surprising. Because the die cracked, the coin was viewed as being faulty, so very few examples out of the first run were kept as souvenirs.

The Cracked Die Adelaide Pound is an iconic Australian rarity with less than forty examples available to private collectors, across all levels of quality.  


$2 Coombs Randall Star Pair
$2 Coombs Randall Star Single
Notes
NOTE
1968 $2 Coombs Randall Star Consecutive Pair
QUALITY
Uncirculated
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Western Australia
PRICE
$9,500
COMMENTS
COOMBS. RANDALL. STAR. UNCIRCULATED. Four words that define the extreme rarity of these notes. It is a fact that the Coombs Randall signature combination is the scarcest in the $2 banknote series. That these notes are ‘Star Notes’ makes them scarcer again. And they are presented in Uncirculated quality. It really doesn't get any better than this. These extremely rare collectables are offered as a consecutive pair. While we believe a pair is an advantage, they are also available as single notes. Contact us for an individual price.
STATUS
Available now
Enquire Now
$2 Coombs Randall Star Single
Read More

The Australian banknotes that bear the Coombs Randall signature combination are scarce in all denominations from the One Dollar up to the Twenty Dollar.

In the case of the Coombs Randall $2 notes, they were issued for a matter of months, from November 1967 until September 1968 and are the rarest $2 decimal banknote and the absolute ‘key’ to the series.

But this is not a standard Coombs Randall $2 note, this is a Coombs Randall $2 ‘Star Note’ which is rarer again.

Why are star notes so scarce?

Star notes were issued only between 1968 and 1971 and printed in a special run to replace those banknotes spoilt during the normal printing process.

The number sequence of the spoilt note(s) was maintained by reprinting the note with its first five digits and a star appearing in place of its sixth digit. (123456 – 12345*) This procedure was followed to maintain the numbering sequence of the bundle.

With the ever-increasing volume of new banknotes being printed the star replacement note system became impracticable and was no longer an option after 1971. 

After this time it was not deemed necessary to replace a damaged note with a star replacement note or to keep a bundle of 100 notes in numerical sequence, another random note was simply added until a total of 100 notes was achieved.

Why are Coombs Randall notes so scarce?

Three factors:

  1. Australia’s decimal changeover was in the planning stage for years, involving the introduction of decimal banknotes and the withdrawal of our pre-decimal notes. To this end, the Government printed a massive quantity of the first decimal notes that featured the Coombs Wilson signature combination.
  2. When banknote signatory Roland Wilson retired in 1966, notes featuring his replacement Richard Randall were simply not required until later in 1967 (and 1968 in the case of the $1 note).
  3. The retirement of Herbert “Nugget” Coombs in 1968 saw a new signature combination of Phillips Randall appear: a combination that lasted several years.

A surplus of the very first decimal banknotes - and a spate of retirements of our banknote signatories in a space of two years – are the reasons why less than 2 per cent of all 'Commonwealth of Australia' (1966-73) notes were issued in the names of Coombs & Randall.


St Vincent HD 1802 rev LARGE B&B
St Vincent HD 1802 obv LARGE B&B August 2017
COIN
St Vincent Holey Dollar
QUALITY
Nearly Extremely Fine
PROVENANCE
J. J. Ford
PRICE
$55,000
COMMENTS
There is a rule of thumb in our industry. Great collectors only ever own great coins and so it is with this extremely rare St Vincent Holey Dollar. Its first recorded owner was renowned American collector John J. Ford. It was Ford’s 1813 New South Wales Dump - the absolute finest of the D/2 variety - that created numismatic history in 2004 when it sold at auction at Stacks New York breaking the $100,000 barrier for the first time ever. His respect for quality and the opportunities he saw in owning coins of great rarity is evidenced in his ownership of the Dump and this St Vincent Holey Dollar.
STATUS
Available now
Enquire Now
St Vincent HD 1802 obv LARGE B&B August 2017
Read More

This Holey Dollar was struck circa 1811 on an 1802 Mexico Mint Spanish Silver Dollar and is counter stamped on the King’s head with an ‘S over XII’ within a shaped indent. The Holey Dollar took on a monetary value of 12 bitts.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, the Spanish Silver Dollar was a universally accepted coin. And a universally adapted coin.

It was the piece that Governor Lachlan Macquarie turned to for his Holey Dollars and Dumps, the very first coins struck on Australian soil. 

It was a process that other British colonies also took up when they needed to supplement their currency, including the Caribbean island of St Vincent.

This extremely rare St Vincent Holey Dollar re-affirms the versatility and adaptability of the Spanish Silver Dollar in augmenting currencies the world over. 


1823 Macintosh & Degraves obv
1823 Macintosh and Degraves Rev
COIN
1823 Macintosh and Degraves Shilling
QUALITY
nearly Uncirculated
PROVENANCE
Guy Newton-Brown, Private Collection Sydney
PRICE
$ 95,000
COMMENTS
That historians have traced a business transaction involving the 1823 Macintosh & Degraves Kangaroo Shilling back to 1848 attests to the importance of this iconic piece of Australiana. The transaction was a purchase for the esteemed London National Collection. The Kangaroo Shilling has a remarkable history with a connection that lives on today to Tasmania's Cascade Brewery.
STATUS
Available now
Enquire Now
1823 Macintosh and Degraves Rev
Read More

This particular Macintosh and Degraves Shilling is the finest of 15 known examples. Excessively rare, consistently in demand, this piece stands shoulder to shoulder with some of Australia’s great coin rarities.

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

1823 Macintosh & Degraves documents

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


CONTACT

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

© Copyright: Coinworks 

BE INFORMED

Discover new coins and collections added weekly.