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1927 Proof Canberra Florin REV B&B October 2017
1927 Canberra Proof Florin OBV B&B October 2017
COIN
1927 Proof Canberra Florin
QUALITY
Gem FDC
PROVENANCE
A. H. Baldwin.
PRICE
$45,000
COMMENTS
We have built our reputation for handling the very best Australian coins by having pieces such as this 1927 Proof Canberra Florin in our ‘stable of prized rarities’. In our view, this coin is the absolute finest Canberra Florin of them all and over the past forty years we have controlled this coin’s destiny by always placing it with a Coinworks client. To the naked eye this 1927 Proof Canberra Florin is an absolute stunner. And taking it under the glass only re-confirms its absolutely, sensational state. It passes the closest scrutiny. The Baldwin florins are reputed to have been hand-picked by Baldwin himself at the Melbourne Mint in 1927. The coins are lauded as having perfection in the blanks, super smooth. Ice like. The perfection continues in the edges. And they possess the most magnificent pink / violet hue which is believed related to their original storage in Baldwin’s vaults. One of our clients, a former owner, saw it on display at our stand at the recent Sydney Money Expo. Not having owned it for more than fifteen years, she could still identify the coin as being once part of her collection. Testimony to the coin’s unforgettable attributes.
STATUS
Available now
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1927 Canberra Proof Florin OBV B&B October 2017

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The Duke of York officially opened Parliament House in Canberra on 9 May 1927. To cement the occasion into the nation’s psyche, the Government authorised the minting of the Canberra Florin featuring Parliament House on the reverse and George V on the obverse.

While one million coins were struck for circulation, the Melbourne Mint issued 400 limited edition collector coins struck to proof quality.

It was the Melbourne Mint’s very first collector coin issue, the coin selling for a sixpence premium over face value. And it was Australia’s very first commemorative coin.

While 400 may seem on the high side for a pre-decimal proof, any suggestion that the coin is readily available is simply misleading. Finding a top quality example is genuinely difficult. That’s the reality. 

And the reason?

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.

The fate of this particular 1927 Proof Canberra Florin was however sealed the minute A H Baldwin laid eyes on it. It’s striking is remarkable. The blanks superb.

This coin was destined to become a prized collectible. It is an exquisite example of the Melbourne Mint's craftsmanship and a numismatic gem. 

 


1861 Sydney Mint Sov OBV October B&B
1861 Sydney Mint Sov Rev B&B October 2017
COIN
1861 Sydney Mint Sovereign
QUALITY
Choice Uncirculated
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Melbourne
PRICE
$ 15,000
COMMENTS
From the moment this 1861 Sydney Mint Sovereign was struck, it was destined to become a prized collector piece. The striking is sharp and the design highly detailed. Given that this coin was struck more than a century ago in the factory-like conditions of the nation’s first mint, the Sydney Mint, makes it all the more remarkable. Furthermore, it has been brilliantly preserved. The coin was presented to us painstakingly wrapped up into a minute parcel in tissue paper and had been hidden away for decades. The surfaces are superb, the edges intact. The coin still shows its original lustre. This is a rare date Sydney Mint Type II sovereign offered in the ultimate quality of Choice Uncirculated. It is a stand-alone investment piece. It also is the perfect option for the collector seeking to complete a portrait set of Australia’s sovereigns 1855 to 1931. For more information on this coin. And to discover the opportunities that a portrait set presents … READ MORE.
STATUS
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1861 Sydney Mint Sov Rev B&B October 2017

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First up … a bit of history. 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 that imparted a uniquely Australian flavour into the nation’s first official gold coinage. For the first - and only time - the word AUSTRALIA appeared on the reverse of our sovereigns.

A young portrait of Queen Victoria appeared on the obverse with a braid in her hair. This design, known as the Type I design, appeared in only the years 1855 and 1856.

The Australian flavour of the nation’s gold coinage was strengthened in 1857 when the design was altered to incorporate a sprig of Australia’s native flower, the banksia, in the Queen’s hair. This is referred to as the Type II portrait design and it ran from 1857 until 1870 inclusive.

This 1861 Sydney Mint Sovereign features the Type II portrait design.

If we consider for a moment the Type II design (1857 – 1870) we see that year 1865 is a defining point. Those coins struck in 1865 and earlier are extremely rare in choice quality. Those struck in 1866 and after, up until 1870, are relatively readily available, even in choice quality

Our experiences affirm this statement. We can count on the fingers of two hands the number of Sydney Mint Sovereigns that we have sold that were struck between 1857 and 1865 and that were in Choice Uncirculated, a reflection of their extremely limited availability at this quality level. 

So what is a portrait set? And why would this coin make a good choice for a Portrait Set?

Answer. The quality.

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)

The acquisition of this 1861 Sovereign takes care of the Type II portrait design, crossing one element off the above list, in the superb quality level of Choice Uncirculated.


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
$17,500
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
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1858 Sydney Mint Half Sovereign nr Unc - Unc obv B&B September 2017

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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. 


1896 £1 SPEC REV  170306-837
1896 £1 SPEC OBV  170306-839
Notes
NOTE
1896 Western Australian Bank One Pound
QUALITY
Specimen
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Perth
PRICE
$6,500
COMMENTS
Western Australia’s history is unique. Unlike New South Wales and Tasmania the colony at the Swan River was founded exclusively for private settlement. And not as a penal colony. It’s geographical separation from the eastern states fostered local investment, the Western Australian Bank one such provincial venture. The bank was founded in 1841 by purely local businessmen with only one employee: the Directors surmised that one staff member would suffice given the entire population of Perth totaled less than 3000 people. Confining its business interests to Western Australia, it was one of the few banks that did not suspend trade and continued to operate during the financial crisis of 1893. This extremely rare banknote was issued by the Western Australian Bank in 1896, the very same year that the Perth Mint laid its foundation stone and features the black swan, the state’s official emblem. The Western Australian Bank lives on today having amalgamated in 1927 with the Bank of New South Wales, now part of the Westpac Banking Group. A prized piece of Australia’s colonial banking history. And an even prouder piece of Western Australia’s heritage, less than twenty examples from this bank (of all denominations) have appeared over the last thirty-plus years.
STATUS
Sold October 2017
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1896 £1 SPEC OBV  170306-839

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1930 Penny Nearly Very Fine rev September 2017
1930 Penny Nearly Very Fine obv September 2017
COIN
1930 Penny
QUALITY
Nearly Very Fine
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Melbourne
PRICE
$35,000
COMMENTS
This 1930 Penny is a cut above those most commonly found and is graded Nearly Very Fine with an almost complete central diamond and six clear and plump pearls in the crown. The reverse is graded similarly and has strong upper and lower scrolls. Handsome chestnut toning, glossy fields, 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. And price watchers will note that it is being offered at a very advantageous price.
STATUS
Sold October 2017
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1930 Penny Nearly Very Fine obv September 2017

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close up diamond 1930 penny

Close up shot of the crown showing an almost complete central diamond and six plump pearls.

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

The prime rule in selecting a 1930 Penny is to pick a coin that is visually very attractive. Acquire a piece that has an heirloom feel about it.

The 1930 Penny that we have for sale fits that profile in every respect and is as per the photographs.

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. 

Which is why Coinworks applies strict protocols in the selection of 1930 Pennies to offer our clients.

We reject coins that have massive edge knocks or gouges. And we don't like coins that have significant scratches. Which is why we always suggest you buy a 1930 Penny "that you would be proud to show your family and friends". 

This particular 1930 Penny fits that profile in every respect.

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.

This 1930 Penny will be presented in a handsome black presentation case, with accompanying photographs and Certificate. 

Coinworks also has available...

Good Fine / about Very Fine 1930 Penny $29,500

1923 Sydney Mint Specimen Sovereign rev B&B October 2017
1923 Sydney Mint Specimen Sovereign obv B&B October 2017
COIN
1923 Specimen Sovereign Sydney Mint
QUALITY
Superb FDC
PROVENANCE
Quartermaster Collection
PRICE
$85,000
COMMENTS
This 1923 Specimen Sovereign is one of two held by private collectors and comes from a fabulous era in numismatics, the twenties. Furthermore it is superbly struck and is sold with the ‘Quartermaster’ tag. It does not get much better than that. While it is a fact that in accumulating the Quartermaster Collection, Tom Hadley’s focus was primarily on circulating coinage, he also had a strong interest in Australian proof and specimen gold rarities, attracted by their quality and extreme rarity. One coin of which was this stunning 1923 Specimen quality Sydney Mint Sovereign. That he chose to acquire this coin and place it alongside his million-dollar 1920 Sydney Mint Proof Sovereign speaks volumes on the quality and rarity of this coin and the respect with which it was held.
STATUS
Available now
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1923 Sydney Mint Specimen Sovereign obv B&B October 2017

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The portrait of George V appeared on Australia’s sovereigns from 1911 to 1928.

A modified portrait appeared in 1929 and lasted until Australia struck its last sovereign in 1931.

It is the first portrait of George V (or what we refer to as the standard portrait) that has brought forth some of Australia’s greatest gold coin rarities.

Looking more closely at the George V era we see that it is the 1920s that present a fabulous era for numismatic investors.

And the mint of choice out of this era is the Sydney Mint. (The Sydney Mint’s misfortune has become a bonanza for investors.)

The official reports from the Mint Master of the Sydney Mint to the Royal Mint London in the era 1922 to 1926 clearly reveal a mint that was quite literally going out of business.

As indeed it eventually did in 1926 when the Sydney Mint closed its doors and shut down its coining operations, the irony being that a mint could go broke making coins.

The mintages of the Sydney Mint’s circulating sovereigns in 1922, 1923 and 1926 were minuscule reflecting a mint in decline. 578,000, 416,000 and 130,050 respectively.

In Uncirculated quality they are a $45,000 - $50,000-plus item.

But it is the Sydney Mint’s presentation pieces out of this era that attract the most attention for their exclusivity and their superb striking.

  • The 1922 Specimen Sovereign is known by two examples.

  • The 1923 Specimen Sovereign is also known by two examples of which this coin is one.

  • The 1926 Specimen Sovereign is known by three examples.

The rule of thumb for us in this area of the market is clear.

The availability of a pre-decimal proof or specimen gold coin rarity is an opportunity. If you happen to be offered one of exceptional rarity, such as a 1923 Specimen Sovereign, then the opportunity is even more profound.

 


1956 Perth Proof Penny rev B&B October 2017
1956 Perth Proof Penny obv B&B October 2017
COIN
1956 Proof Penny Perth Mint
QUALITY
Superb FDC
PROVENANCE
Private Collector Melbourne
PRICE
$22,000
COMMENTS
This 1956 Proof Penny was struck at the Perth Mint as a limited mintage collector’s item and was never intended to be used in every-day use, much less jingle in a pocket. And doesn’t it show. The coin is a solid, blazing orange with impeccable surfaces and presents quality that is impossible to improve upon. The mintage of the 1956 Perth Proof Penny is a meagre 417 making it one of the least available in the series of proofs 1955 to 1963. And while the smallest mintage in the series is the 1955 Perth Mint Proof Penny and Halfpenny with a mintage of 301, for us and in our quest for top quality the 1956 Perth Penny is by far the hardest to find. We regard it as the key date. As a closing comment. Last month we sold a Collection of Melbourne Proof coins. The coins were stunning and the response to our offer was overwhelming; the set could have sold three times over. This 1956 Proof Penny was held by the very same client.
STATUS
Sold October 2017
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1956 Perth Proof Penny obv B&B October 2017

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The proof coin sets struck between 1955 and 1963 are a perfect entry point into the Australian rare coin market. Limited edition collector coins at affordable prices.

It comes at the top of our list of recommendations for clients looking to tuck something special away for their children or grandchildren.

It is without doubt one of the most popular collecting series in the Australian coin market.

We like this series and for the following reasons:

  • The sets are affordable.

  • The sets can be acquired progressively one year at a time.

  • Each proof set is a stand-alone rarity, so there is no pressure on buyers to complete the series.

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

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

 

 

The Melbourne Mint and the Perth Mint commenced regular proof coining for collectors in 1955 after obtaining Government approval.

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

As the Perth Mint was striking copper circulating coins for Treasury, it could strike only copper proof coins for collectors. (Penny and Halfpenny.)

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

Each piece was minted to exacting standards – from the selection and polishing of blanks, the preparation of dies and ultimately the actual striking.

The result is a coin that is pleasing to the eye, well struck with strong designs and superb smooth background fields.

Launched in 1955, the programme ended in 1963 just prior to decimal currency changeover.

The series was a catalyst for the introduction of a proof coining program for collectors by the Royal Australian Mint, Canberra.

 


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 Treaty 1995
PRICE
$75,000
COMMENTS
This 1896 Proof Half Sovereign is history. This coin is perfection. This coin is exclusive. And this coin is destined for growth. 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. It is a strong and clear statement on the desirability of this 1896 Proof Half Sovereign that at its first and only recent auction appearance, the coin was the most heavily contested item in the session selling for more than double its pre-auction estimate of $25,000.
STATUS
Available now
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1896 Proof Half Sovereign obv FROSTED B&B October 2017

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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.

The prime role of the mints was to convert gold into circulating sovereigns and half sovereigns; the striking of proofs outside those parameters.

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. Proof coins are today struck specifically for a rapidly expanding collector market, the prime motivation of the mints that they be commercially viable.

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 is destined for growth.


1852 Adelaide Pound goodEF rev September 2017
1852 Adelaide Pound goodEF obv September 2017
COIN
1852 Adelaide Pound
QUALITY
good Extremely Fine
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Perth
PRICE
$ 32,500
COMMENTS
The 1852 Adelaide Pound is the nation’s first gold coin, struck at the Government Assay Office in Adelaide. For most Australian rare coin collectors, acquiring an Adelaide Pound fulfils a lifetime’s ambition. The first tip for buyers of Adelaide Pounds is to work through a budget because the coins come in a range of qualities and a range of prices. Irrespective of the budget, buyers should always select an Adelaide Pound that is visually very attractive. Take in the design elements, the crown in particular. Take a close look at the edges, the fields and the legend. Bottom line here, is that you should acquire a piece that you would be proud to show your family and friends, one that has an heirloom feel about it. The coin that we have for sale fits those protocols perfectly and is as per the photographs above and at right.
STATUS
Sold October 2017
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1852 Adelaide Pound goodEF obv September 2017

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The 1852 Adelaide Pound is the nation’s first gold coin, struck at the Government Assay Office in Adelaide from 22 carat gold brought from the Victorian goldfields.

For most Australian rare coin collectors, acquiring an Adelaide Pound fulfils a lifetime’s ambition.

Its historical standing, as Australia's first gold coin, ensures that it will always be sought after and preserves its investment value.

The prime rule in selecting an Adelaide Pound is to pick a coin that is visually very attractive. Acquire a piece that you would be proud to show your family and friends, one that has an heirloom feel about it.

The coin that we have for sale fits those protocols perfectly and is as per the photographs shown above.

The aesthetics, the look of an Adelaide Pound to the naked eye, is an important part of the selection process.

The Adelaide Assay Office was opened 165 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 collectibles.

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

This particular Adelaide Pound passes our selection criteria in every respect.

  • The coin is graded Good Extremely Fine which indicates that it has undergone nominal circulation. There is just a hint of 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. There are minimal marks in the fields in this coin.

This 1852 Adelaide Pound is accurately graded Good Extremely Fine and follows our rule that it is "a coin that you would be proud to show your family and friends".

 


1920 Type 7 Square Penny Unc obv September 2017
1920 Type 7 Square Penny Unc rev September 2017
COIN
1920 Square Penny Type 7
QUALITY
Uncirculated
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Melbourne
PRICE
$ 65,000
COMMENTS
There is one date within the Square Penny series that always triggers our interest, and that is 1920. While all Square Pennies are rare, with appearances on the market that can be counted on the fingers of one hand, those dated 1920 are particularly scarce. Take this coin for example. It is a world class rarity. We estimate that perhaps twelve examples of the Type 7 Square Penny are available to collectors. So, in terms of accessibility, what does that mean? The buyer that passes on this coin will more than likely wait at least one to two years for another example to come onto the market. Such rarity has earned the 1920 dated Square Pennies the title of the glamour coins of the series. And the very reason why they always command our attention. This 1920 Type 7 Square Penny has been well struck, the edges are uniform and the design highly detailed. Visually impactful, the coin has superb proof-like surfaces, most unusual for a coin struck from cupro-nickel.
STATUS
Sold October 2017
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1920 Type 7 Square Penny Unc rev September 2017

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Acquired in 1995 by a Melbourne collector, this coin has been stored by Coinworks, in a bank vault since the day it was bought and is superb for quality. The surfaces are mirror-like, a trait that is seldom if ever seen.

No one could have envisaged in 1919 when the Australian Labor Government directed the mint master of the Melbourne Mint to strike the Square Penny that the coin would one day become a world class rarity.

The Square Pennies were test pieces.

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. History indicates that over the three-year period 200 pieces, of various designs, were produced.

They were not struck to the exacting standards of proof coining. Given to dignitaries to assess their reaction, there was no protective packaging and we know that not every dignitary was a collector and would have handled them with care.

This 1920 Square Penny has been well struck, the edges are uniform and the design highly detailed. Visually impactful, the coin has superb proof-like surfaces, most unusual for a coin struck from cupro-nickel. 

The response to Australia’s 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.

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

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

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


British Guiana Holey Dollar and Dump Rev
British Guiana Holey Dollar and Dump Obv
COIN
British Guiana, 1808 Holey Dollar
QUALITY
Very Fine
PROVENANCE
Glendinings London 1974, R. J. Ford Collection Glendinings London 1989, R. Climpson Collection, Barrie Winsor Collection
PRICE
$65,000
COMMENTS
This is an extremely rare Holey Dollar struck in 1808 by the British colony of Guiana. Cutting a hole in a Spanish Silver Dollar and re-stamping the holed coin to create a local currency was a practice that was used in British colonies right across the globe. Holey Dollars from New South Wales, Dominica, Prince Edward Island, British Guiana. They are all part of the Holey Dollar story that has fascinated collectors for centuries. They are intriguing. They are extremely rare. And they come with a revered provenance a reflection of their numismatic clout and their historical significance. The first recorded sale of this Holey Dollar was in November 1974 at Glendinings Auction London, where it was purchased by renowned British colonial coin collector R. J. Ford. A second sighting occurred fifteen years later, in October 1989 when it was again sold at Glendinings London and acquired by respected Australian collector Robert Climpson.
STATUS
Available now
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British Guiana Holey Dollar and Dump Obv

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This Holey Dollar was struck in 1808 on a 1792 Mexico Mint Spanish Silver Dollar and is pierced with a hole etched by 19 notches.

The holed dollar was counter-stamped ‘E & D 3GL’ to confirm the issuing authority of Essequibo and Demerary and the monetary value of 3 Guilders, both of which reflect British Guiana’s early Dutch colonisation.

 

Essequibo and Demerary were the names of the original colonies settled by the Dutch in 1796 in what would later become British Guiana.

The colony is situated on the northern coast of South America and is now known as Guyana.


1860 Aborigine Threepence Obv
1860 Aborigine Threepence Rev
COIN
1860 Hogarth & Erichsen Aborigine Threepence
QUALITY
Mint state, as struck
PROVENANCE
Sir Marcus Clark K.B.E, sold by James R Lawson 1954
PRICE
$195,000
COMMENTS
Colonial jewellers, Julius Hogarth and Conrad Erichsen gave indigenous Australians a voice when in 1860 they depicted an indigenous portrait on their privately issued silver threepence. It was thinking that was way ahead of its time. More than a century elapsed before a second indigenous portrait appeared on Australia’s coinage. In 1988, on our $2 coin, when the nation celebrated its bicentenary. Testimony to their social and historical contribution, the works of Hogarth and Erichsen are today held in Canberra’s National Library of Australia and National Gallery of Australia. And Melbourne’s National Gallery of Victoria and Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum.
STATUS
Available now
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1860 Aborigine Threepence Rev

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This 1860 Aborigine Threepence is culturally significant and is presented in superb mint state, ex Sir Marcus Clark K.B.E Collection.

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

Selling for £38, the Aborigine Threepence fetched more than twice that of an EF Dump (£18) and nearly double that of an Extremely Fine Cracked Die (£20) and a 1921 Square Halfpenny (£22).

And there is a reason. The threepence is far rarer. And the design is culturally significant as the only colonial piece to bear the design of an indigenous Australian.

The design of the 1860 Aborigine Threepence has made it an industry icon.

Struck in silver, a minuscule eight pieces of the 1860 Aborigine Threepence are known, with this piece acknowledged as the absolute finest. Presented as struck, in a mint state, the surfaces are proof-like.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


1893S Proof Sov rev SEO Page
1893S Proof Sov obv SEO page
COIN
1893 Sydney Mint Proof Sovereign, milled edge
QUALITY
Superb FDC
PROVENANCE
Henry Dangar, Sharps Pixley London, Philip Spalding
PRICE
$105,000
COMMENTS
To say that your coin was originally owned by Henry Cary Dangar is meaningful. Now add the names Sharps Pixley and Philip Spalding. And, if you are a collector, that’s very impressive. Dangar, Sharps Pixley and Spalding are noted names in the rare coin industry. This 1893 Proof Sovereign was originally owned by Henry Cary Dangar, lawyer and New South Wales Parliamentarian, a collector active from the 1880s until his death in 1917. Bequeathed to his son, Dangar’s Collection was sold by Glendinings London in 1953, where it was acquired by Sharps Pixley Bullion Traders, London. The Sharps Pixley Collection created numismatic history, so important were the coins it contained, when it was eventually sold in 1980 by Spink Auctions. The coin was acquired in 1980 by Philip Spalding from the Sharps Pixley Collection. It remained in the Spalding family holding for more than thirty-five years.
STATUS
Sold September 2017
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1893S Proof Sov obv SEO page

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I notice the length of time that this coin was held by each of its owners. This important piece of Australiana embodies the principle that ‘great collectors only ever own great coins’. And, they hold onto them. 

During the veiled head era of Queen Victoria, the Sydney Mint, the Melbourne Mint and the Perth Mint all contributed to Australia’s gold sovereign heritage, and each mint was prolific in their production of circulating coinage .

Proof coinage in this era is an entirely different matter.

  • The Melbourne Mint struck proofs in every year from 1893 until 1901.
  • The Perth Mint opened in 1899 and struck proof sovereigns in its inaugural year and two years later, in 1901.
  • The Sydney Mint only struck proofs in the very first year of the Veiled Head era, that being 1893.

The stand out mint in the veiled head series as far as proofs are concerned is the Sydney Mint.

And the stand out coin, the 1893 Proof Sovereign.

This 1893 Sydney Mint Proof Sovereign is a superb quality coin, impeccable FDC and depicts the veiled head portrait of Queen Victoria, the very first year that the design appeared on Australian sovereigns. 

When it comes to numismatic investment we look at rarity from two angles.

We look at the rarity of the coin itself.

How many of this date were believed issued? But more importantly, how many examples are there out there in the market place?

While three examples of this coin are believed available to collectors (which is minuscule in itself) the reality is that this coin is the only example that has been sighted and is therefore known.

We also look at the sector to which it belongs, in this case the veiled head era.

And we ask what other years were proofs produced in this area of the market? In asking this question we are exploring collector’s options for selecting another date out of the same era. The optimum situation is to have few options.

The least available of the mints Melbourne, Perth and Sydney in the veiled head era is the Sydney Mint. So if you are vying for a Sydney Mint example in the Veiled Head era, you have no options. The Sydney Mint only struck proof coins in 1893, the very first year of the Veiled Head era.


1852 Cracked Die Revb&b
1852 Cracked Die Obvb&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
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1852 Cracked Die Obvb&b

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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.  


1930 Penny good Fine - about Very Fine rev September 2017
1930 Penny good Fine - about Very Fine obv September 2017
COIN
1930 Penny
QUALITY
Good Fine / about Very Fine
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Melbourne
PRICE
$29,500
COMMENTS
The 1930 Penny is legendary and its star status has made it one of Australia's most valuable rare coins. The prime rule in selecting a 1930 Penny is to pick a coin that is visually very attractive. Acquire a piece that you would be proud to show your family and friends, one that has an heirloom feel about it. The 1930 Penny that we have for sale fits that profile in every respect and is as per the photographs above and at right.
STATUS
Available now
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1930 Penny good Fine - about Very Fine obv September 2017

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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.

Which is why Coinworks applies strict protocols in the selection of 1930 Pennies to offer our clients.

 We reject coins that have massive edge knocks or gouges. And we don't like coins that have significant scratches. Which is why we always suggest you buy a 1930 Penny " that you would be proud to show your family and friends" . 

This particular 1930 Penny fits that profile in every respect.

The technical details of this coins are as follows:

  • The obverse is graded 'Good Fine' with a partial central diamond and six clear pearls in the crown.
  • The reverse is graded higher again at 'about Very Fine' 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 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.

This 1930 Penny will be presented in a handsome black presentation case, with accompanying photographs and Certificate. 

Coinworks also has available ...

Nearly very fine 1930 Penny $35,000

Complete Set of Melbourne Mint Proof Coins 1955 – 1963
COIN
Complete Collection Melbourne 1955 – 1963 Proof Coins
QUALITY
Superb FDC
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Melbourne
PRICE
$35,000
COMMENTS
Over the years we have sourced some truly remarkable material, and at all dollar levels. And this collection of forty pre-decimal proof coins struck by the Melbourne Mint is genuinely remarkable. When it came across the counter last week our eyes lit up. We had sold the Collection several years before and we knew the minute we laid eyes on it that we could only have sourced it from one of two collectors. We checked and we were correct. The original owner was a Melbourne collector, an expert on Australian proof coinage and has authored many articles on the same. His coins are distinctively sensational.
STATUS
Sold September 2017
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This collection of proofs had been put together over a twenty-year period to a consistently high standard. The silver proofs are brilliant. The coppers, which are the driving force for rarity and price growth, are simply sensational.

The collection is comprised of:

  • 1955 Melbourne Proof Set (4 coins)
  • 1956 Melbourne Proof Set (5 coins)
  • 1957 Melbourne Proof Set (4 coins)
  • 1958 Melbourne Proof Set (5 coins)
  • 1959 Melbourne Proof Set (6 coins)
  • 1960 Melbourne Proof Set (4 coins)
  • 1961 Melbourne Proof Set (4 coins)
  • 1962 Melbourne Proof Set (4 coins)
  • 1963 Melbourne Proof Set (4 coins)

The proof coin sets struck between 1955 and 1963 are a perfect entry point into the Australian rare coin market. Limited edition collector coins at affordable prices.

It comes at the top of our list of recommendations for clients looking to tuck something special away for their children or grandchildren. It is without doubt one of the most popular collecting series in the Australian coin market.

We like this series and for the following reasons:

  • The sets are affordable.
  • The sets can be acquired progressively one year at a time.
  • Each proof set is a stand-alone rarity, so there is no pressure on buyers to complete the series.

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

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

The Sydney Mint closed in 1926 and during its years of operation would NEVER strike proofs for collectors. The Melbourne Mint and the Perth Mint did not commence regular proof coining for collectors until 1955, and only after obtaining Government approval.

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

As the Melbourne Mint was striking both silver and copper circulating coins for Treasury, it could strike both silver and copper proof coins for collectors. (Florin, shilling, sixpence, threepence, penny and halfpenny.)

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

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

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

 


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
$ 38,000
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
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1856 Sovereign non date side replacement 160928-9923

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The 1856 Sydney Mint Sovereign is a great rarity. And it's a fact that in the upper quality levels it is as difficult - if not more difficult - to acquire than 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.

On the 9th August 1853 Queen Victoria approved an Order in Council prepared by the British Government to establish Australia’s very first mint at or near Sydney, in New South Wales.

Two years later the designs had been approved. Dies produced at the Royal Mint London, and dated 1855, were despatched to the Sydney Mint which had been established on the site of the old Rum Hospital in Macquarie Street. 

The mint began receiving gold on May 14, 1855, and issued its first sovereigns soon after on June 23. Records indicate that 502,000 sovereigns were struck in the Sydney Mint’s first year of operation.

Though the reverse side featured a uniquely Australian design, with the words Australia and Sydney Mint featured boldly, the obverse side was similar to English coins with the plain, ribboned head of Queen Victoria. (Referred to as the Type 1 portrait design.)

The reverse design has fascinated historians and collectors alike for decades. The coins were inscribed with the national name, Australia, even though the country was operating as separate colonies. Australia did not operate under a single government until Federation in 1901.

The Australian flavour of the nation’s gold coinage was strengthened in 1857 when the design was altered to incorporate a sprig of banksia in the Queen’s hair. (Referred to as the Type 2 portrait design.)

This touch of colonial pride seems to have gone unnoticed in London for a number of years until, in 1871, approval for the Sydney Mint design was abruptly revoked and Australian Sovereigns once again took on the traditional British flavour.

Not only was the banksia removed from Queen Victoria’s hair, but two new reverse designs were also introduced – the traditional British St George and the Dragon, and a shield design, which ran in parallel. 


1911 London Bank of Melb £5 Specimen front b&b September 2017
1911 London Bank of Melb £5 Specimen back b&b September 2017
Notes
NOTE
1911 London Bank of Australia Ltd Five Pounds
QUALITY
Specimen
PROVENANCE
Spink London 2010
PRICE
$ 9,500
COMMENTS
More than a century of Australian history is presented in this crisp, colonial banknote. Australia’s private banking sector exploded following the gold rush of the 1850s; one of the new banks formed was the London Bank of Australia Ltd. The bank was established in London in 1852 to exploit the rapidly expanding economies of the Australian colonies with its first Australian branch opening in Sydney and Melbourne in 1853. During the financial crisis of 1893, a run on deposits forced the bank to suspend payments and close its doors. While many other private banks failed, the London Bank of Australia showed its resilience when it re-opened four months later and continued to robustly trade. The history of this colonial bank lives on. The London Bank of Australia Limited was subsequently absorbed by the English, Scottish and Australian Bank Limited in 1921 (ES&A) which in turn amalgamated with the ANZ Bank in 1970.
STATUS
Sold September 2017
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1911 London Bank of Melb £5 Specimen back b&b September 2017

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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
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St Vincent HD 1802 obv LARGE B&B August 2017

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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. 


$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
$12,000
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
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$2 Coombs Randall Star Single

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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.


BB - 7 1813 Holey Dollar Charles IIII 1808-6 near EF rev 161118-51
BB - 7A 1813 Holey Dollar Charles IIII 1808-6 near EF obv 161118-62
COIN
1813 Holey Dollar
QUALITY
about Extremely Fine / Extremely Fine
PROVENANCE
Philip Spalding, Private Collection Melbourne
PRICE
$ 275,000
COMMENTS
The Holey Dollar, whether it is an example that has been well used or it is one of the very best, has a special meaning to Australian collectors. It is the founding coin of this industry, the nation's very first coin. And it is not unusual to see collectors owning more than one example. Philip Spalding was one such collector. Revered numismatist and acclaimed author, he owned some of Australia’s most important Holey Dollars, including this coin. It is a statement on the calibre of this Holey Dollar that Spalding chose it to adorn the front cover of his famous book, The World of the Holey Dollar. Open Spalding's book, and the coin is again featured on the title page. The very reason why this coin was displayed in Sydney in 2013 as part of an Exhibition sponsored by the Macquarie Group in celebration of the 200th anniversary (1813 - 2013) of Holey Dollar.
STATUS
Available now
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BB - 7A 1813 Holey Dollar Charles IIII 1808-6 near EF obv 161118-62

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

Only one person out of this very small and privileged group can however claim to have their Holey Dollar featured on the front cover of Spalding’s eminent book.

Now in a retirement phase the current owner is passing the baton of owning this prized possession to a new collector. And with it the opportunity to take up an unparalleled investment opportunity.

The specifics of this coins are as follows. Struck on a Charles IIII 1808, Mexico Mint Silver Dollar the original coin is graded at about Extremely Fine. The countermarks New South Wales, Five Shillings and 1813 are graded higher again at Extremely Fine. And this coin is in the top ten per cent for quality.

Perhaps it was the date '1808', or its superior quality, but the coin was quite obviously special to Spalding for he had many Holey Dollars to choose from.

When you are talking Holey Dollars unequivocally, Philip Spalding is the most revered name in numismatics.

Spalding was passionate about Australia’s first coin, the 1813 Holey Dollar. And he owned many examples.

His passion however extended far beyond ownership. He authored what is still to this day regarded as the ultimate reference on the history of Australia’s Holey Dollar.

Published in 1973, ‘The World of the Holey Dollar’ is his greatest legacy and one of the finest contributions to the study of numismatics.


1953 Perth Proof Penny rev FDC B&B August 2017
1953 Perth Proof Penny obv FDC B&B August 2017
COIN
1953 Perth Mint Proof Penny
QUALITY
Superb FDC
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Melbourne
PRICE
$38,000
COMMENTS
It has been years since we last offered a spectacular Perth Mint Proof Penny such as this coin. Brilliantly struck and brilliantly preserved, this coin has unblemished glossy surfaces and magnificent iridescent toning. We are always on the look-out for top quality Perth Mint copper proofs, pre-1955. They are almost unobtainable, very rarely offered; the reason being that the mintages were tiny. And we are now more than seventy years down the track with natural attrition and poor handling taking its toll on the original mintage. Forty-five years in the industry and we have recorded the sale of only two other supreme quality 1953 Perth Mint Proof Pennies. One of the prime reasons for our enthusiasm of Perth proofs is that the mint is still operating which makes their pre-decimal coins historical - but vibrantly current - so the ‘Perth Mint’ message remains strong, underpinning future interest.
STATUS
Available now
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1953 Perth Proof Penny obv FDC B&B August 2017

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The Perth Mint was established in 1899 as a branch of the Royal Mint in London, producing sovereigns and half sovereigns from gold dug from the fields of Western Australia.

The prime role of the mint during the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s was to strike pennies and halfpennies for Treasury.

Throughout its history, the mint followed the protocols of the Royal Mint London in striking proof coins.

The Perth Mint crafted proofs as a representative example of those coins they were striking for circulation; struck to be preserved in government archives as a record of Australia’s coining history, time-capsuled for future generations.

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. Given that proof coining was also a very labour intensive process and time consuming, minimal numbers of proofs were struck. Believed less than twenty. (We compare this figure to today’s proof issues that are minted in the tens of thousands.)

That a trickle of the coins have come out into the collector market simply reflects a mint’s desire to sell off duplicate coins to fund their own agenda for acquisition.

In the striking of this 1953 Proof Penny, the Perth 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 canvas’.

This 1953 Proof Penny was meant to be impactful, have the ‘wow’ factor. And it does. 


1917 Proof Sixpence date side
1917 Proof Sixpence
COIN
1917 Proof Sixpence
QUALITY
Superb FDC
PROVENANCE
Madrid Collection Australian Rare Coins 1994, Private Collection Melbourne 2005
PRICE
$ 35,000
COMMENTS
This 1917 Proof Sixpence (emphasis on the word 'Proof') was crafted as the representative example of those coins released into circulation in the very same year. One perfect example symbolising a year's toil. One absolute showpiece to be preserved in archives so that future generations could reflect on - and embrace - Australia's proud coining history. Given the intended purpose of this 1917 Proof Sixpence - a perfect example and an absolute showpiece - the coin was crafted to the highest quality standards with a superbly detailed design, mirror-ice smooth fields and strong, well defined edges. This coin is powerful and impressive. And that's exactly how it was intended. Furthermore it is rare. It is the only Proof 1917 Sixpence that we have sighted on the collector market.
STATUS
Available now
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1917 Proof Sixpence

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This 1917 Proof Sixpence was struck 100 years ago and yet looking at it, you would think it was just plucked off the proof coining press.

This coin represents a century of history. It also is a piece of national significance for 1917 was the very first year that the Melbourne Mint struck proof coinage.

Testimony to this coin's importance, an example is held in the Museum of Victoria Archives.

Sold privately in 1994 to the famed Madrid Collection of Australian Rare Coin, then to a private collector in Melbourne in 2005, this coin has changed hands only twice over the last twenty two years.

And that is a typical holding pattern for most top rarities. Coins of this ilk are quite literally once-in-a-decade opportunities.

Question ... what makes this coin so special? Answer ... the method of striking and its rarity.

Question ... why don’t we see more of these coins popping up? Answer .... again the limited numbers minted.

 

The production of proofs in this era necessitated a ‘kid-gloves’ approach and was labour intensive: hence the limited numbers struck.

  • The blanks were hand-picked, highly polished to produce a coin that has a mirror shine and ice-smooth fields.
  • The blanks were hardened and brushed to ensure that the design was sharp and almost three-dimensional in its appearance.
  • The dies were struck twice to create a sharp, well-defined design.
  • The rims encircling the coins were always high, creating a picture frame effect and 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 rare opportunity to acquire an important piece of Australia’s coinage history.


DOMINICA HD & D rev LARGE B&B August 2017
Dominica HD & D obv LARGE B&B August 2017
COIN
Dominica Holey Dollar and Dump (Charles IIII with portrait of Charles III)
QUALITY
Holey Dollar (Fine) Dump (Nearly Extremely Fine)
PROVENANCE
Howard. D. Gibbs Collection (HD) Gordon Collection (Dump)
PRICE
$57,500 (price includes both the Holey Dollar and the Dump)
COMMENTS
Had the craftsman that tooled out this Holey Dollar been a numismatist he would have recognised that the Spanish Silver Dollar that he was about to deface was a great numismatic rarity. The Silver Dollar was struck in 1790 and had the legend of King Charles IIII but featured the portrait of the deceased King Charles III, who died two years earlier in 1788. This Holey Dollar is referred to as a transitional Holey Dollar, struck from a silver dollar that was created during a period of transition at the Mexico Mint when the portrait of the new King had not been received. Irrespective of the issuing authority, transitional Holey Dollars are extremely rare. We note the first formal record of ownership of this Holey Dollar is Howard D Gibbs. A great collector with a keen eye for rarity, he was a former owner of the world famous Madrid Holey Dollar and the Uncirculated New South Wales Holey Dollar that we are currently offering. This Holey Dollar from the British colony of Dominica is supremely rare.
STATUS
Sold August 2017
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Dominica HD & D obv LARGE B&B August 2017

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This Holey Dollar was struck in 1813 on a 1790 Mexico Mint Spanish Silver Dollar, pierced from the reverse side with crenellations. The pierced dollar was then counter stamped on the King’s head and on the reverse with a crowned 16 within a shaped indent. The monetary value was 16 bitts (the Dump had a value of 2 bitts).

Transitional Holey Dollars are supremely rare. They chronicle the limitations of communications in this era and the challenges of the colonial mints wishing to maintain silver coin production while at the same time observing the currency protocols necessitated for the passing of a monarch.

Eager to maintain production of silver coins to flow into Spanish coffers, a Royal decree granted the colonial mints the right to continue striking coins with the portrait of the deceased King Charles III. The legend was however amended to acknowledge the new monarch Charles IIII.

By 1791, the mints had received the portrait of the new king; the official portrait of Charles IIII appearing on the Spanish Silver Dollars for the first time in that year.

Dominica is a Caribbean Island. First sighted by Christopher Columbus in 1493, later colonized by the French in the 17th century and a British colony one century later.

Between 1642 and 1650, French missionary Raymond Breton became the first regular European visitor to the island.

In 1660, the French and English agreed that Dominica and St. Vincent should not be settled, but left to the Caribs as neutral territory.

But its natural resources attracted expeditions of English and French foresters, who began harvesting timber. 

In 1690, the French established their first permanent settlements. French woodcutters from Martinique and Guadeloupe began to set up timber camps to supply the French islands with wood and gradually become permanent settlers. 

In 1727, the first French commander, M. Le Grand, took charge of the island with a basic French government; Dominique formally became a colony of France, and the island was divided into districts or "quarters".

Already installed in Martinique and Guadeloupe and cultivating sugarcane, the French gradually developed plantations in Dominica for coffee. They imported so many African slaves to fill the labour demands that the population became predominantly African in ethnicity.

In 1761, during the Seven Years' War in Europe, a British expedition against Dominica led by Andrew Rollo conquered the island along with several other Caribbean islands. In 1763, France ceded the island to Great Britain under the Treaty of Paris.

The same year, the British established a legislative assembly, representing only European colonists. French remained the official language, but Antillean Creole was spoken by most of the population. In 1778 the French, with the active co-operation of the population, began the Invasion of Dominica, which was ended by the 1783 Treaty of Paris. French invasions in 1795 and 1805 ended in failure.

 


1919 Square Penny Type 3
1919 Square Penny Type 3
1919 Square Penny Type 3
COIN
1919 Square Penny Type 3
QUALITY
Choice Uncirculated
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Melbourne 1995
PRICE
$ 50,000
COMMENTS
The 1919 Square Penny is a world-class rarity. The very reason why this coin was on show at the recent Melbourne Money Expo. It is a known fact that whenever Coinworks attends an Expo, we only ever display our best and our rarest inventory and this coin was a natural. It has the ‘wow’ factor with quality traits that are clearly visible to the naked eye. Acquired in 1995, it has been stored in a bank vault ever since. Furthermore the coin is supremely rare with perhaps fifteen examples available to collectors. (Compare that to the 1930 Penny where 1500 examples are known.) Need further convincing? The Type 3 design is unique. While the Melbourne Mint juggled around with various kookaburra designs, differing portraits and different lettering, the sleek kookaburra and modern lettering was used only once. On this coin, the 1919 Type 3 Kookaburra Square Penny.
STATUS
Sold September 2017
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1919 Square Penny Type 3

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The value of currency in recording the mood of a nation is clearly shown in this distinguished Australian coin rarity.

A wave of nationalism was sweeping the country post World War I. In a purely political move, the Labor Government proposed a currency change to incorporate Australia’s native bird - the kookaburra - into the nation’s coinage. The Government wanted to break away from British designs and introduce a uniquely Australian style into our currency. A new metal was also on the drawing board, for the Kookaburra coins were produced from cupro-nickel.

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

Tests commenced at the Melbourne Mint in 1919 and continued until 1921 with the coins ultimately passed to dignitaries and Government officials to assess their reaction. History indicates that over the three year period 200 pieces, of various designs, were produced.

That Australia’s square coinage did not proceed was largely based on a practical consideration. Vending machines then in operation at the time required a circular coin.

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

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

The coins were not housed in protective 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.

The very reason why finding a supreme quality Square Penny is a hard task.

Coinworks is the only company to have handled all of the design types and metals that make up the Square Penny and Square Halfpenny series. And we have seen the broadest cross-section of qualities. We have seen the very best down to the poorest.

And the 1919 Square Penny offered here is amongst the very best.


1916 Set in box front 2 July B&B
1916 Set in box back b&b 3
COIN
Original Cased 1916 Presentation Set
QUALITY
FDC
PROVENANCE
Royal Australian Mint National Coin Collection
PRICE
$195,000
COMMENTS
This original cased 1916 Presentation Set was formerly owned by the Royal Australian Mint, Canberra, held as part of Australia’s National Coin Collection. The Set is sold with official documentation validating its beginnings and its pedigree. It is the only cased 1916 Presentation Set to confirm its origins. As you would expect with four coins that have been sequestered for more than a century in an archival environment, their quality is stunning and this set is regarded as the absolute finest known. An affirmation of the product, the set sold for $60,500 on an estimate of $25,000 in 2002 when it was offered at auction.
STATUS
Sold September 2017
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1916 Set in box back b&b 3

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

History was made when, in 1916, the Melbourne Mint commenced striking Australia's Commonwealth coins on home soil.

Prior to that the nation's coinage was minted overseas at the Royal Mint London and the Heaton Mint Birmingham.

The occasion was celebrated - and commemorated - by the production of the 1916 Presentation Set.

Melbourne Mint records confirm that sixty sets were prepared. 

Each set was comprised of the four silver coins of florin, shilling, sixpence and threepence struck to specimen quality and featured the ‘M’ (for Melbourne) mint mark below the date 1916.

The four coins were housed in a handsome, velvet-lined royal blue case.

A close examination of the coins in this particular set confirm that:

  • The Specimen Florin is beautifully struck, with superb detail in all its design elements. With even matte surfaces and beautiful pale peach toning, the coin shows the classic striations associated with this controlled striking.
  • The Specimen Shilling is superbly struck and beautifully toned and again the coin shows strong striations reflecting the meticulous die preparation of this controlled specimen striking.
  • The Specimen Sixpence has beautifully mirrored fields and is very well struck.
  • The Specimen Threepence also shows magnificent brilliance and again, is well struck.

 

While records show that 60 sets were produced, only 16 were sold, collectors charged 6/- for a cased set. 

A further 25 sets out of the original mintage were presented to dignitaries and politicians with the precise fate of the remaining sets unknown.

What we do know is that many of the cases have been lost and many of the sets have been broken up and sold as individual coins. We also know that others were accidentally used as circulating coins, their value irreparably reduced through wear.

Over the past 35 years we have sighted only seven complete cased sets on the open market. And this is the only set with supporting documentation that validates its origins. Furthermore it is the finest.

It is pieces of the calibre of this 1916 Presentation Set that has cemented Coinworks reputation for handling the very best quality and the most significant of Australian coin rarities.

From a national perspective, the year 1916 was a significant one.

Australia continued to suffer casualties in the battles of World War I with the Battle of Fromelles a standout disaster. The 25th April was officially named and observed as ‘ANZAC’ day. The Returned Sailors and Soldiers Imperial League of Australia (the forerunner of the RSL) was founded.

And in a nationalistic expression of our financial independence the Labor Government under the leadership of Prime Minister Billy Hughes commissioned the Melbourne Mint to strike the nation’s Commonwealth silver coinage. The coins were manufactured from silver mined from  Broken Hill.

 


1926S Sovereign Unc rev 160324 horiz-527 Winsor
1926S Sovereign Unc rev 160324 horiz-536 Winsor
COIN
1926 Sovereign Sydney Mint
QUALITY
Uncirculated
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Sydney
PRICE
$ 49,500
COMMENTS
The official reports from the Sydney Mint to the Royal Mint London during the 1920s clearly reveal a mint in decline; the minimal output of gold sovereigns evidence of such. The Sydney Mint Sovereigns out of this era have as a consequence become vibrant collector’s items. The stand-out year for most collectors is the year 1926, which denotes the mint’s final year of coining. Recent auction results evidence of such.
STATUS
Available now
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1926S Sovereign Unc rev 160324 horiz-536 Winsor

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The Sydney Mint began receiving gold on May 14, 1855, and issued its first sovereigns soon after on June 23. After seventy one years the mint was forced to close. Its operations had been unprofitable for some time the irony being that a mint could go broke making coins.

A ceremony to mark the closure of the Sydney Mint was held on 11 August 1926, its very last day of operation. Noted numismatic luminaries such as Mr A M Le Souef and Sir William Dixson were in attendance.

A Sydney Auction held in March 2016, re-affirmed the appeal of the Sydney Sovereigns struck between 1922 and 1926. Three coins, dated 1922, 1924 and 1926 were offered at auction.

The Auction House set high pre-auction estimates. Given that the coins had slightly circulated this seemed a gutsy move. It certainly did not dampen buyer enthusiasm, bidders responding vigorously with all coins selling between 20 and 30 per cent above their estimates.

Of significance here is that the ‘about Uncirculated’ example of the 1926 Sovereign sold for 25 per cent above its pre-auction estimate of $40,000. A clear affirmation of the coin’s appeal.

This 1926 Sovereign is a stand-out coin presented in the stand-out quality of Uncirculated. 

Year Mintage
1921 839,000
1922 578,000
1923 416,000
1924 394,000
1926 131,050

1916 Specimen Penny rev horizontal b&b August 2017
1916 Specimen Penny obv horizontal b&b August 2017
COIN
1916 Specimen Penny
QUALITY
Specimen
PROVENANCE
Barrie Winsor
PRICE
$ 28,000
COMMENTS
This superb quality 1916 Specimen Penny is extremely rare. Affirmation of its scarcity, it is the third only example that we have offered in a career that spans forty five plus years. The coin is sharply struck and under the glass, it shows the heavy striations associated with distinct die preparation. Brilliantly preserved, it is offered more than a century after it was struck, with beautiful blue / purple / golden toning.
STATUS
Sold September 2017
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1916 Specimen Penny obv horizontal b&b August 2017

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Barrie Winsor is a respected numismatist. And was the guiding hand behind the formation of the now famous Quartermaster Gold Sovereign and Half Sovereign Collection.

He also was the former owner of this spectacular 1916 Specimen Penny.

 

The date 1916 is a pivotal one for the numismatic industry.

It was the very first year that the Melbourne Mint struck our silver Commonwealth coins. And the first year that the Bombay Mint began minting our pennies and halfpennies.

 


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. 


Complete Collection 1957 – 1963 Perth Mint Copper Proofs
COIN
Complete Collection 1957 – 1963 Perth Mint Copper Proofs
QUALITY
FDC
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Perth
PRICE
Available individually - Read More
COMMENTS
The Perth proofs come high on our list of recommendations to clients. So high that when Melbourne journalist Anthony Black asked Coinworks to list ten coin rarities that were priced below $ 10,000 - and were destined for growth – the Perth Mint proofs struck between 1957 and 1963 were at the very top of our list. Available individually. The option is yours to select.
STATUS
Sold October 2017
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  • 1957 Perth Proof Penny (two are available) -  $3500 . SOLD
  • 1958 Perth Proof Penny -  $3500 . SOLD
  • 1959 Perth Proof Penny -  $3500 . SOLD
  • 1960 Perth Proof Penny and Halfpenny FDC -  $4950 . SOLD
  • 1961 Perth Proof Penny and Halfpenny FDC -  $4950 . SOLD
  • 1962 Perth Proof Penny and Halfpenny FDC -  $4950 . SOLD
  • 1963 Perth Proof Penny and Halfpenny FDC -  $4950 . SOLD

These are limited edition collector coins: a popular choice amongst our clients, in particular those that want to tuck something truly special away for children or grandchildren.

The key to their success is their rarity. And the extreme rarity of top quality pieces.

  • The mintages of the 1957, 1958 and 1959 Perth Pennies are 1112, 1028 and 1030 respectively which are indeed tiny mintages.
  • The mintages of the 1960, 1961, 1962 and 1963 Perth Penny and Halfpenny pairs are 1030, 1040, 1064 and 1100 respectively which again are indeed tiny mintages.
  • At least seven out of every ten Perth proofs that we sight are assessed by us as being inferior for quality, mishandled, toned and harshly spotted thereby reducing the pool of quality examples to a truly minuscule number.

It has to be said that the task of putting this collection together to such a consistently high standard would normally take years. Available individually. The option is yours to select.


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