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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
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1855 Sydney Mint Sovereign good EF about Unc REV B&B December 2017

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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
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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 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.


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 / nearly Very Fine
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Melbourne
PRICE
$25,000
COMMENTS
The 1930 Penny is legendary and its star status has made it one of Australia's most valuable rare coins. 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
Sold January 2018
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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 'nearly 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 ...

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1927 Proof Shilling date
1927 Proof Shilling non date
Shilling, Coins
COIN
1927 Proof Shilling
QUALITY
FDC
PROVENANCE
Spink Auctions 1978, Spink Auctions 1982
PRICE
$ 65,000
COMMENTS
An experienced collector will recognise the masterpiece qualities of this coin. It is unequivocally one of the very finest Australian silver proof coins around, if not the finest. The experienced collector will also be aware that as a George V silver proof, the coin is of the highest rarity. (And this is indeed the case for it is the only example that we have sighted on the open market in more than half a century.) The novice collector will simply look at this coin and just say 'wow'.
STATUS
Available now
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1927 Proof Shilling non date

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

And there is not a single doubt that the mint's ambitions were fulfilled through the striking of this coin.

The Melbourne Mint's aim was to have:

Perfection in the dies. The dies were wire brushed so that they were razor sharp to create a highly detailed design.

The criss-crossed markings that are visible in the photograph are in fact 'striations': the wire brush marks that have been stamped onto the coin through the striking process. The stronger the striations ... the better the striking.

Perfection in the fields. Achieved by hand selecting unblemished blanks, polished to a mirror shine.

Perfection in the edges. Encasing the design like a 'picture frame' to a canvass.

Proof coins were never intended to be tucked into a purse or be used in day to day transactions. Proof coins in this era were struck to be preserved in Government archives as a record of Australia's coining history, time capsuled for future generations.

 

The minting process was precise and labour intensive; the reality being that only a handful were ever struck.

One for the Melbourne Mint. One for the Royal Mint London. And perhaps one or two extra.

The very reason why Australia's George V archival proofs are so rare in today's collector market.

This 1927 Proof Shilling has been exhibited in Australia on many occasions, its most recent appearance at the 2017 Sydney Money Expo.

Whenever it has been displayed, we note the respect and adulation of the collecting public. And perhaps even more important, the praise from our dealer colleagues.

Classic heritage piece, family heirloom, investment ....  this superb 1927 Proof Shilling is all of the above.

 


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
$35,000
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
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1937 Proof Crown OBV B&B October 2017

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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

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
$85,000
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.


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. 


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
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1852 Cracked Die Revb&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.  


$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
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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.


Twenty Spanish Dollars Banner
20 Spanish Dollars front view
NOTE
1824 Bank of New South Wales Twenty Spanish Dollars
QUALITY
Good Fine
PROVENANCE
Ross Pratley Collection, Private Collection Sydney
PRICE
$495,000
COMMENTS
The Governor of New South Wales, Major General Sir Thomas Brisbane, 1st Baronet. Explorer and Director of the Bank of New South Wales, John Oxley. Magistrate and Director of the Bank of New South Wales, Edward Wollstonecraft. Revered names that are all part of the historical tapestry that make up this unique 1824 Bank of New South Wales Twenty Spanish Dollars. Sold at public auction in 1991 for $31,500. Seven years later, in 1998, the note was sold by private treaty for $105,000. Offered at $495,000 today, this is an investment opportunity without parallel and a profound piece of colonial history.
STATUS
Available now
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20 Spanish Dollars front view

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This Bank of New South Wales Twenty Spanish Dollars, hand signed by Oxley and Wollstonecraft and issued on 1 January 1824 is unique.

It survives today as evidence that Australia operated under a decimal currency system in the 1820s. Our first decimal banknote as such.

The surprising and intriguing aspect to most Australians is that the note was issued by the nation’s first private bank, the Bank of New South Wales, in Spanish Dollars.

By the late 18th century, the Spanish Silver Dollar was accepted as an international currency. Its powerful influence saw Sir Thomas Brisbane, in 1822, take the colony onto a dollar currency standard, rejecting the protocols of the British sterling standard.

Brisbane’s thinking was way ahead of its time. It was not until 1958 that our then Prime Minister Sir Robert Menzies committed himself in an election promise to investigate the feasibility of decimal changeover.

That five radio stations, five newspapers and two television stations picked up the offering of this 1824 Bank of New South Wales Twenty Spanish Dollars affirms its historical significance and its importance to the nation.

Major General Sir Thomas Brisbane, 1st Baronet (1773 – 1860)

Sir Thomas Brisbane was preceded as Governor of the penal colony of New South Wales by Lachlan Macquarie and succeeded by Ralph Darling.

While Governor he tackled the problems associated with a rapidly growing colony, working to improve the land grants system and to reform currency.  He set up the first Agricultural training college in NSW and was the first patron of the NSW Agricultural Society. He conducted experiments in growing tobacco, cotton, coffee and New Zealand flax in the colony.

He oversaw a time of increased prosperity in the colony through vigorous enterprise, pastoral expansion and capital imports. The population grew from 13,300 in 1815 to 33,500 in 1825 and land settlement spread out over wider areas of NSW, beyond Bathurst and Goulburn towards the Murrumbidgee and beyond the Hunter River to the North. 

In 1823 Brisbane sent John Oxley to find a new site for convicts who were repeat offenders. The first settlement was established in 1824 at Redclifffe Point but several months later was re-located to where the Brisbane CBD is today. It was Oxley that suggested that the river and the settlement be named after Brisbane.

 

John Oxley (1785 - 1828)

John Oxley was born in England and joined the Royal Navy in 1799. He sailed the colony as master’s mate arriving in Sydney in 1802.

Oxley returned to England where he was commissioned lieutenant in 1807. He sought retirement from the navy in 1811 and sailed again to Sydney to commence his new duties as surveyor general.  

He sailed South and North of Sydney and upon his recommendations, Moreton Bay in Queensland was settled.

Oxley had growing business interests in the colony and became a director of the Bank of New South Wales in 1817 and then in 1826 became a founder and director of the new rival bank, Bank of Australia.

He died bankrupt at the age of 42. While the British Government refused to sanction a pension to his widow, it agreed to a grant of 5000 acres to Oxley’s sons in recognition of their father’s services to the colony.

Edward Wollstonecraft (1783 – 1832)

Edward Wollstonecraft arrived in Sydney in 1819 and was granted 2000 acres of land of which 500 acres were located on the north side of Sydney.

He became a magistrate and a director of the Bank of New South Wales and later the Bank of Australia.

Wollstonecraft was considered chiefly responsible for maintaining the general financial liquidity of the colony’s economy in the 1820s.

In 1821 he and his business partner, Alexander Berry were rewarded with a grant of a further 10,000 acres on the Shoalhaven River on their undertaking to maintain 100 convicts.

Today a north shore suburb of Sydney keeps his name alive.

For further reading.

'Bank of New South Wales - A History 1817 – 1893' by R F Hodder .



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.
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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.

 


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
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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. 


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.
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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
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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.
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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.


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.
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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

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.
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1823 Macintosh and Degraves Rev

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

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

1823 Macintosh & Degraves documents

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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