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£10 Sheehan McFarlane June 2018
£10 Sheehan McFarlane obv June 2018
NOTE
1940 Sheehan McFarlane, First Prefix, Ten Pounds (R58)
QUALITY
Uncirculated
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Perth
PRICE
$9,500
COMMENTS
This Sheehan McFarlane Ten Pounds was issued with the prefix V over 3, which signifies that it came from the very first print run of Ten Pounds issued in 1940 for the new monarch George VI. And that makes it particularly important and extremely rare. Even rarer again, given that the note is presented in Uncirculated quality. Crisp with full original colour. Historical records confirm that only seventeen Uncirculated Sheehan McFarlane First Prefix Ten Pounds have appeared at auction over the last forty-plus years.
STATUS
Sold June 2018.
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£10 Sheehan McFarlane obv June 2018
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Four signature combinations appeared on our Commonwealth of Australia Ten Pounds during the era of George VI, the Sheehan McFarlane combination being the very first, released in 1940.

Sir Harry Sheehan signing in his capacity as Governor of the Commonwealth Bank and Mr Stuart Gordon McFarlane as Secretary to the Commonwealth Treasury.

This was followed by the Armitage McFarlane combination in 1943, Coombs Watt in 1949 and the last pairing in 1952 of Coombs Wilson.  

The Sheehan McFarlane signature combination is by far the scarcest out of the George VI era.

A total of 21,924,000 Ten Pounds were printed during the George VI era (embracing the four signature combinations) with the Sheehan McFarlane signatories by far the scarcest with just under 10 per cent of the total Ten Pounds production.

The banknotes of George VI continued the colour and basic design of the deceased King George V.

Only minor modifications were made to the design ahead of its issue in 1940.

  • The portrait of George VI replaced that of George V.
  • And the watermark was changed from Edward VIII to Captain James Cook.

It is noted that the design of the banknote remained unchanged throughout the reign of George VI, with only the signatories being modified.

It is also noted that the signature combination of Sheehan & McFarlane was printed in red ink.

The remaining three combinations of Armitage McFarlane, Coombs Watt and Coombs Wilson were printed in black ink.


1813 A1 Dump about VF rev Large B&B 1 May 2018
1813 A1 Dump about VF obv B&B 1 May 2018
COIN
1813 Dump
QUALITY
About Very Fine
PROVENANCE
The Turner Collection
PRICE
$25,000
COMMENTS
Complete edge denticles that ‘picture-frame’ the coin. A strong Crown, legend New South Wales and date 1813. This Dump has all the attributes a collector would look for and is at least two grades higher than your average example. When William Henshall created the nation’s first coins, the Holey Dollar and the Dump, he began the process by punching a hole into a Spanish Silver Dollar. The Dump was the centre piece that fell out of the silver dollar and was over stamped by Henshall with a value of Fifteen Pence, the date 1813, a Crown and the issuing authority of New South Wales. Revered as one of Australia’s classic coin rarities, the coin is in demand at all quality levels and all dollar levels.
STATUS
Available now
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1813 A1 Dump about VF obv B&B 1 May 2018
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The 1813 Dump and its partner the Holey Dollar were the first coins struck in Australia. Not only are they rare, but their fascinating history has made them two of the world’s most famous coins.

The Dump with a value of Fifteen Pence circulated widely in the colony, the very reason why most Dumps are found today with minimal design attributes, harsh gouges and knocks and many of them are noted as having been submerged in water, developing porous surfaces.

This 1813 Dump ticks all the boxes.

  • The coin has complete edge denticles, an extraordinary attribute rarely seen in even the highest quality Dumps.

 

  • William Henshall left his mark by engraving an 'H' into some – but not all – of the dies used to strike the Dump. This coin has it. And its presence is highly prized.
  • A classically well centred striking. This Dump was struck using the Type A/1 dies.
  • A solid Crown showing the pearls and the fleur-de-lis.
  • A strong legend New South Wales.
  • A prominent date of 1813 that is well contained within the edge of the coin.
  • The value of Fifteen Pence is strong and three dimensional.

Every box is ticked. Including a price that wont break the bank.

 


1921 Square Penny Type 11 rev Large B&B February 2018
1921 Square Penny Type 11 obv Large B&B February 2018
COIN
1921 Square Penny Type 11
QUALITY
Choice Uncirculated
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Victoria
PRICE
$50,000
COMMENTS
This 1921 Square Penny must have become a prized collectable soon after it was minted for it has uncompromised quality with proof like surfaces, handsome toning and a deeply etched design of a sleek kookaburra resting on a twig. We refer to the design as the Type 11 and it is presented in Choice Uncirculated quality. It is at this point we ask the question … how often do you see the two words ‘Choice Uncirculated’ attached to a Square Penny? The answer is rarely. In fact, we checked back through our records and can confirm that we have only ever sold two Choice Uncirculated Type 11s in more than 40-plus years of trading and this coin is one of the two. In our view, this Square Penny is the perfect starting point for the buyer keen to acquire a Kookaburra Penny. Optimum quality, extreme rarity but at a price that is palatable.
STATUS
Sold May 2018.
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1921 Square Penny Type 11 obv Large B&B February 2018
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That currency reflects the mood of a nation – and the agenda of a Government - is never more evident than with the Square Penny and Halfpenny series and its mooted introduction in 1919.

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

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

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

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

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

Or passed around to colleagues … introducing multi possibilities of mishandling. 

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

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

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

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


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. 


1887M Young Head Shield Sovereign tech 2 obv May 2018
1887M Young Head Shield Sovereign rev 2 May 2018
COIN
1887 Young Head Shield Sovereign, Melbourne Mint
QUALITY
Brilliant Uncirculated
PROVENANCE
Robert Jaggard, Paul Terry, Tom Hadley (Quartermaster Collection)
PRICE
$35,000
COMMENTS
Barrie Winsor spent more than 20 years forming the Quartermaster Collection for Queensland collector, Tom Hadley. Included in the Quartermaster Collection, this Brilliant Uncirculated 1887M Young Head Shield Sovereign. Despite the fact that Winsor's ties to the Collection effectively ceased in 2009 when the Quartermaster Collection was sold at auction, the extraordinary quality traits of this coin remained firmly imprinted in his memory. So when Winsor heard that we had acquired some coins from the Quartermaster Collection, the very first question he asked us was whether our purchases included the '1887M Shield Sov.' It is an exceptional quality gold sovereign and according to Winsor, the finest known example with a highly detailed striking (notice the kiss-curl in front of the ear), perfect edges and satin fields. To the naked eye you would be forgiven for thinking that it was a matte proof.
STATUS
Sold May 2018.
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1887M Young Head Shield Sovereign rev 2 May 2018
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The Queen Victoria Young Head portrait design ran from 1871 to 1887 inclusively.

Two dates are noted as being the absolute rare dates in this series and, in premium quality, almost impossible to find.

They being this coin, the 1887 Melbourne Mint Young Head Shield Sovereign. And the 1886 Melbourne Mint Young Head Shield Sovereign.

This coin offers the collector extraordinary quality and extreme rarity.

It is an affirmation on the quality of this coin that its former owners include gold coin dealer Robert Jaggard (held as part of his personal collection), Paul Terry ( a consummate gold coin collector) and Tom Hadley of Quartermaster fame. 

This sovereign is a stand-alone investment piece. And for the collector looking to acquire a set of the eight portraits that make up Australia's sovereign series, it is the perfect acquisition. Quality that cannot be improved upon.

A complete portrait set of Australian sovereigns involves eight coins.

1. Queen Victoria Sydney Mint Type 1 (1855 - 1856)

2. Queen Victoria Sydney Mint Type 11 (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)

 


1855 Sydney Mint Sovereign EF obv B&B May 2018
1855 Sydney Mint Sovereign EF rev B&B May 2018
COIN
1855 Sydney Mint Sovereign
QUALITY
Extremely Fine
PROVENANCE
The Turner Collection
PRICE
$18,000
COMMENTS
Every collector that embraces the Australian sovereign series will at some point in time contemplate the purchase of an 1855 Sydney Mint Sovereign. That’s understandable given that it is the nation’s very first sovereign. Two matters will be foremost in a buyer’s mind. A budget. And the quality that those dollars will deliver. But there is another consideration for potential buyers of the 1855 Sydney Mint Sovereign and that’s availability. For while well circulated examples are reasonably readily available, coins such as this Extremely Fine ’55 sovereign are genuinely scarce. More than 12 months have elapsed since we last offered a ’55 sovereign at this quality level. This coin is rare. Technical shots have been included in the READ MORE section.
STATUS
Sold May 2018.
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1855 Sydney Mint Sovereign EF rev B&B May 2018
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1855 Sydney Mint Sov tech shot rev May 2018

Reverse of the 1855 Sydney Mint Sovereign.

Every circulated coin has a grading level at which serious rarity kicks in. That is the point at which the balance between acquiring a coin as a collectible - and as an investment - shifts more towards the latter.

For the 1855 Sydney Mint Sovereign that point is the grading level of ‘About Extremely Fine’.

Below ‘About Extremely Fine’, in the quality levels of Fine to Good Very Fine, the 1855 Sydney Mint Sovereign is reasonably readily available, as auction records attest.

At About Extremely Fine, Extremely Fine, Good Extremely Fine and above, the 1855 Sydney Mint Sovereign is exceedingly scarce.

Our experience attests to the scarcity. We commented above that we last handled an Extremely Fine ’55 Sovereign more than twelve months ago.

This coin is well priced and, in our view, earmarked for growth. It should be a $20,000-plus coin. It can be a $20,000-plus coin.

And why do we believe so strongly in the price potential of the 1855 Sydney Mint Sovereign?

The 1855 Sydney Mint Sovereign is far rarer than the Adelaide Pound in comparable quality (four times as rare) and yet priced well below. That’s an anomaly that we believe will be addressed over time.

The Sydney Mint was opened on June 23, 1855 to strike Australia’s very first official gold currency. Except for ensuring the accuracy of the weight and the purity of gold in the coin, there was minimal care regarding the overall striking. The coins were to be used as currency, traded in commerce. Not preserved as collectibles.

1855 Sydney Mint Sov tech shot obv May 2018

Obverse of the 1855 Sydney Mint Sovereign. 

In it first year of operation the Sydney Mint produced 502,000 sovereigns.

Some three years later, mintage figures had doubled, the very reason why the 1855 Sovereign is so scarce.

Australia’s first sovereign was struck depicting a youthful portrait of Queen Victoria with a braid in her hair. The design referred to as the Type 1 design appeared in 1855 and 1856 only.

It was replaced in 1857 depicting Queen Victoria with a sprig of Australia’s native flower, the banksia, in her hair. It is referred to as the Type 2 design.

The reverse design of both the Type 1 and Type 2 sovereigns was classically Australian: the word AUSTRALIA emblazoned across the face of the coin.

1855 Sydney Mint Sov Pie Chart

1913 R51 Collins Allen Ten Pounds Front May 2018
1913 R51 Collins Allen Ten Pounds Back May 2018
NOTE
1913 Collins Allen Ten Pounds (R51)
QUALITY
About Fine, with three minor pinholes
PROVENANCE
Evan Mackley Collection, Private Collection Perth
PRICE
$15,000
COMMENTS
Prime Minister Andrew Fisher fulfilled his promise to the nation when he introduced Australia’s very first Commonwealth of Australia banknotes in 1913. The Ten Shillings was introduced in May 1913, the One Pound in June, the Five Pounds in September and the Ten Pounds in October of the same year and all featured the Collins Allen signature combination. As Fisher intended, the banknote designs were unapologetically Australian and featured the new Commonwealth Coat of Arms and on the reverse an Aussie scene that promoted Australia’s proud infrastructure achievements and our primary industries. The two high denomination notes, the Five and the Ten Pounds are the rarest out of all these issues, historical records noting that a minuscule seventeen Collins Allen Ten Pounds have survived out of the original mintage. It is also noted that all the surviving Ten Pounds examples are well circulated.
STATUS
Sold May 2018.
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1913 R51 Collins Allen Ten Pounds Back May 2018
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Ask any serious collector of Australian pre-decimal banknotes what is at the very top of their ‘wish list’ and they will tell you, banknotes from the George V era.

If you ask them to be more specific, they will indicate the very first examples out of the George V era.

Those notes that feature the signature combination of James R. Collins and George Thomas Allen.

This Collins Allen Ten Pounds is an investment in history.

The note will take its owner on a nostalgic journey through time, back more than a century ago.

To an era when Australia's banknotes were printed and issued as paper notes. And wages were paid in hard cash, pinned to a pay slip. (The very reason why so many of the early notes have pin holes.)

Back to a time when George V was the ruling monarch. And the average Australian weekly wage was less than three pounds, this note therefore representing a gargantuan amount. More than three weeks wages.


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

Furthermore it was Australia’s very first commemorative coin.

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

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

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

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

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

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


1813 Holey Dollar 1793 Spanish Dollar good Fine obv May 2018
1813 Holey Dollar 1793 Spanish Dollar good Fine rev B&B May 2018
COIN
1813 Holey Dollar
QUALITY
Good Fine
PROVENANCE
The Turner Collection
PRICE
$95,000
COMMENTS
The pride and joy of owning the nation’s first coin, the 1813 Holey Dollar, is indefinable and for many Australian coin collectors it is their ultimate goal. The coin is extremely rare with less than 200 available to private collectors. Given its scarcity, and its significance to the nation, it also is highly valued. So finding a quality Holey Dollar priced below the $100,000 level is no easy task ... which is why we believe this coin is so special. Technical shots are available in the READ MORE section.
STATUS
Sold May 2018.
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1813 Holey Dollar 1793 Spanish Dollar good Fine rev B&B May 2018
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1793 Holey dollar date side tech shot May 2018

The date 1793 is strong. As is the legend and portrait of Charles IIII. The counter stamps also are clear and legible.

The design details of the original eight Spanish Silver Dollar are clear and the over stamping of the date 1813, News South Wales and its value of Five Shillings is strong and fully legible.

Of significance, the date 1793.

Holey Dollars struck from silver dollars minted pre-1800 are far scarcer than those created from silver dollars minted post-1800. 

This coin will make owning a Holey Dollar a reality for one buyer.

It is affordable. Conservatively priced, the coin offers excellent buying value.

More than 80,000 convicts were transported to the penal colony of New South Wales over an eighteen-year period.

One of the most famous of them all was William Henshall, the emancipated convict charged with the responsibility of creating our very first coins.

1783 Holey dollar non date side tech shot May 2018

The counter stamp Five Shillings is strong. Note the double twig of leaves and the tiny H at the junction.

When William Henshall created this coin, he picked a 1793 Spanish Silver Dollar that had been struck at the Mexico Mint. Using crude equipment, he cut a hole in it. He then continued the minting process by over-stamping the inner circular edge of the hole with the words New South Wales, the date 1813 and the value of five shillings.

In so doing he created history by becoming Australia’s first mint master and created one of Australia’s greatest coin rarities, the 1813 Holey Dollar.

The rarity and significance of the Holey Dollar touches all owners. We speak from experience. We have seen it first hand with our clients, the sheer excitement of acquiring a Holey Dollar. You can hear it in their voice. You can see it in their face.

The Holey Dollar is history that you can hold in your hand, history that can be passed to the next generation. Its status as Australia’s first coin ensures that it will never be forgotten and, as time passes, its historical value can only increase.


1860 Aborigine Threepence Obv
1860 Aborigine Threepence Rev
COIN
1860 Hogarth & Erichsen Aborigine Threepence
QUALITY
Mint state, as struck
PROVENANCE
Sir Marcus Clark K.B.E, sold by James R. Lawson Auctioneers 1954.
PRICE
$145,000
COMMENTS
The 1860 Aborigine Threepence is an industry icon. It is the earliest representation of an indigenous person to appear on Australian currency. Its appeal extends far beyond the numismatic industry. It is a piece that has cultural significance. And national significance.
STATUS
Available now
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1860 Aborigine Threepence Rev
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This 1860 Aborigine Threepence was formerly owned by Sir Marcus Clark K.B.E and is presented in a superb mint state.

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

Selling for £38, the Aborigine Threepence fetched more than twice that of Clark's Extremely Fine Dump (£18). Today the Dump would be valued in excess of $100,000. 

At £38, the Aborigine Threepence fetched nearly double that of Clark's Extremely Fine 1852 Adelaide Pound Cracked Die (£20) which today would be valued at $175,000.

The potential of this piece is further highlighted by the realisation of Sir Marcus Clark's Ferdinand VII Holey Dollar in the same 1954 Lawson Auction. The Holey Dollar sold for £72. That very same coin is currently on offer at Coinworks for $465,000.

Struck in silver, a minuscule eight pieces of the 1860 Aborigine Threepence are known, with this piece acknowledged as the absolute finest.

Presented as struck, in a mint state, the surfaces are proof-like.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1798 Holey Dollar Tech shot REV SEO

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

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

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

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

Its state of preservation is therefore remarkable.

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

The counter-stamps of this Holey Dollar are also graded in the premium quality levels of Good Extremely Fine and retain their original silver lustre.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


A provenance of note.

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

The provenance is detailed below.

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

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

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

And the resounding appeal of this particular coin.

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

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

Spalding book March 2018

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

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

It must be remembered that the Adelaide Assay Office was opened 166 years ago as a refinery to strike gold ingots. Except for ensuring the accuracy of the weight and purity of gold in the coin, there was minimal care regarding the overall striking and the eye appeal of the coin.

The coins were to be used as currency, traded in commerce. Not preserved as collectables.

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

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

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

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

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


1893M Half Sovereign EF rev PP March 2018
1893M Half Sovereign EF obv PP March 2018
COIN
1893 Melbourne Mint Veiled Head Half Sovereign.
QUALITY
Extremely Fine
PROVENANCE
Private Collection New South Wales
PRICE
$95,000
COMMENTS
Ask most collectors ... what is Australia's rarest circulating gold coin and they will respond with the answer, the 1920 Sydney Sovereign. Setting the record straight. Australia’s rarest circulating gold coin is the 1893 Half Sovereign struck at the Melbourne Mint, featuring the Veiled Head portrait of Queen Victoria. Up until last year, five coins were known, two of which are held in the Royal Australian Mint Collection, Canberra. And it must be noted that the five examples are all well circulated, bereft of significant design detail. This example, graded Extremely Fine, is a recent find and takes the tally of known examples to six. Aside from its discovery, this coin is the finest (by far). Below, we have included technical photographs of the famous Quartermaster example as a point of comparison.
STATUS
Available now.
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1893M Half Sovereign EF obv PP March 2018
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The 1893M Veiled Head Proof Half Sovereign first came to public notice in the mid-eighties when it was offered by Spink Auctions Melbourne on 18 July 1985. Let's call it coin number 1.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

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

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

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

See chart below that shows their relative frequency.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1813 Dump graph


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

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

A far cry from today's decimal coin market.

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


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

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.


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
On hold.
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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.


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