Browse & Buy


1930-Penny-2-Rev-October-2019
1930-Penny-2-Obv-October-2019
COIN
1930 Penny, with an almost complete central diamond and six plump pearls.
QUALITY
Nearly Very Fine / Very Fine
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Melbourne.
PRICE
$32,500
COMMENTS
This 1930 Penny has a double advantage. Quality and price. The edges are intact, the inner beading well defined, the upper and lower scrolls are strong, the toning is handsome and even and the fields undamaged. And if you take up a magnifying glass you see that the coin, on the obverse, has an almost complete central diamond (three sides and into the fourth) and six plump pearls. It is these two aspects, the diamond and the pearls, that classifies this 1930 Penny as a high-quality piece and in the top 15 per cent of surviving examples. This coin will appeal to the buyer that has always wanted a high grade 1930 Penny. And has been price shopping. At $32,500, this 1930 Penny has a definite double advantage of quality and price: a great coin offered at a great price.
STATUS
Available now
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1930-Penny-2-Obv-October-2019
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The 1930 Penny is legendary, and its star status has made it one of Australia's most valuable rare coins.

Because the dollars involved in acquiring a 1930 Penny are considerable, we offer one very basic (but important) tip for buyers to assist them in their decision-making process.

Select a 1930 Penny that is visually very attractive and has no obvious defects from its time in circulation.

Buyers should never forget that the aesthetics are an important part of the selection process.

Our insistence on the aesthetics simply relates to the point that collectors only discovered the existence of the 1930 Penny in the 1940s, a decade after they were released into circulation.

Which means that the coins were used, with the majority well used, before collectors discovered their very existence having endured the rigours of handling, mishandling, being dropped, scratched and rattling around in change.

Selecting a coin that is aesthetically pleasing really counts when, further down the track, it comes time for you to sell your coin and realise on your investment.

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

 

The obverse of this 1930 Penny is graded 'Nearly Very Fine'.

The key attributes of the obverse are as follows:

  • An almost complete central diamond with the left point of the diamond just slightly flattened.
  • The oval to the left of the central diamond is almost complete.
  • There are six clear, plump and well-defined pearls in the crown.
  • The lower band of the crown is complete.
  • The edges are intact, undamaged.
  • The fields are undamaged, the toning a handsome chocolate brown.

The reverse of this 1930 Penny is graded 'Very Fine'.

The key attributes of the reverse are as follows:

  • The upper and lower scrolls are strong and impressive.
  • The inner beading, circling the value ONE PENNY, is well defined.
  • The edges are intact, undamaged.
  • The fields are undamaged, the toning a handsome chocolate brown.

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now that's rare!

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Proof-1926-Halfpenny-Rev-October-2019
Proof-1926-Halfpenny-Obv-October-2019
COIN
Proof 1926 Halfpenny, Melbourne Mint
QUALITY
FDC
PROVENANCE
Spink Noble Numismatics, July 1993
PRICE
$17,500
COMMENTS
This Proof 1926 Halfpenny impressed the market when it came up at auction in July 1993. Competitive bidding saw it sell for $3000, well in excess of its then catalogue value and pre-auction estimate of $2000. The competitive bidding reflects the defining properties of the coin and its outstanding quality traits. This Proof 1926 Halfpenny was struck at the Melbourne Mint as a Coin of Record. Take it under the light and it is everything that you would expect from a proof coin. Super smooth, mirror-like surfaces radiating stunning colours. The extra bonus is that the coin has retained some original copper brilliance, particularly on the obverse. Furthermore, it is rare. This coin is the only Proof 1926 Halfpenny we have sold.
STATUS
On hold 7/11/2019.
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Proof-1926-Halfpenny-Obv-October-2019
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Today’s proof coin collectors are very well catered for. Both the Royal Australian Mint and the Perth Mint strike proofs on a regular basis. And the mintages are keenly set to satisfy collector demand to ensure very few miss out.

In the twentieth century, Australian collectors were not afforded the same luxury.

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

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

Whatever the end destination of the Melbourne Mint proofs - archives, institutions or public exhibitions - the situation demanded the highest quality minting skills.

We refer to them collectively as Coins of Record.

The striking of a Coin of Record was a slow process, labour intensive and a demand on mint resources, hence the limited number of proofs struck.

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

This Proof 1926 Halfpenny is a high quality piece and has retained original copper brilliance.

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

 

 

 

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1935-Proof-Penny-and-Halfpenny-Reverse-August-2019
1935-Proof-Penny-and-Halfpenny-Obverse-August-2019
COIN
Proof 1935 Penny and Halfpenny
QUALITY
Superb FDC. Full brilliant mint red.
PROVENANCE
IAG Auctions January 2005
PRICE
$75,000
COMMENTS
This Proof 1935 Penny and its matching Proof 1935 Halfpenny grabbed the headlines in 2005 when the pair made its first public appearance at auction. Records were smashed. The pre-auction estimate of $35,000 was over-run by frenetic bidding, the coins eventually selling for $45,500. The quality was unprecedented. It was nothing like anyone had ever seen before. Fully brilliant, mint red George V copper proofs. Captivating in appearance.
STATUS
Available now
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1935-Proof-Penny-and-Halfpenny-Obverse-August-2019
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We have a view that ... if you find George V copper proofs in their pristine almost original state then you grab them.

For they are rare to the point of being almost non-existent. Or to quote the proverbial saying ... as rare as hen's teeth.

The rarity of most top coins is defined by the number of annual sightings. Think Square Penny. Think 1930 Penny. Think Proof Canberra Florin, Holey Dollar ... and so on.

Coins of the calibre of this Proof 1935 Penny and Proof 1935 Halfpenny can never be measured by annual sightings.

They present a once-in-a-decade opportunity. At best.

In fact, once a decade may actually be light on when you consider that we have only ever seen one other fully brilliant mint red Proof 1935 Penny and Proof 1935 Halfpenny pair. And that was in 2007, at Nobles Auction Sydney.

As with the offering in 2005, Nobles enjoyed frenetic bidding that saw the coins sell for $56,000 on a pre-auction estimate of $30,000.

We attended the auction. And spoke to bidders and witnessed first hand the impetus that exceptional quality has on bidding.

For the record. The mintage of the 1935 Proof Penny and 1935 Proof Halfpenny was a minuscule 125 pairs. We note that many of the pairs have been broken up and sold off as individual coins. Collectors could therefore expect to sight a pair of proof 35s (in any quality) once every year to two years. 

As time passes the historic value and rarity of fine pieces increases. This fundamental dynamic is at the heart of rare coin collecting and investment.

The copper proofs of 1935 hold a very special place in Australia's currency heritage. They were struck at the Melbourne Mint and were the third only proof issue struck and sold to collectors.

The first time an Australian mint offered proofs for sale to the general public was in 1927, with the striking of the Proof Canberra Florin.

While the mint had displayed a hint of commercialism in producing the Proof Canberra, the reality was that it was a one-off.

It did not establish a precedent for the issuing of proofs in a commercial sense. Government policy dictated that minting resources be applied to the striking of circulating coins for Treasury, rather than pandering to the whims of collectors through the regular issuing of proofs.

Collectors and dealer agitation culminated in the striking of a second commercial proof issue in 1934 and then one year later in 1935 with this proof penny and halfpenny.

The success of these issues paved the way for three more commercial proof issues in 1937, 1938 and 1939.

And more importantly paved the way for the proof coining programme taken up by the Royal Australian Mint in 1966.

 

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1930-Penny-6-Rev-October-2019
1930-Penny-6-Obv-October-2019
COIN
1930 Penny. And one of the very finest of the surviving examples.
QUALITY
Extremely Fine
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Melbourne.
PRICE
$165,000
COMMENTS
There are five 1930 Pennies that stand out from the rest, acknowledged as being the absolute finest examples of Australia’s favourite copper rarity. And this coin, graded at Extremely Fine, is one of the five. It is of the highest rarity. And to put that comment into perspective, we have been involved in the industry for nearly half-a-century and this is the second only Extremely Fine 1930 Penny that we have handled. Waiting lists are the norm for a 1930 Penny at this quality level.
STATUS
Available now.
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1930-Penny-6-Obv-October-2019
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1930 Penny aEF Diamond & Pearl BAND 2


The photographs - and the close-up shot of the crown - will do most of the talking on this superb 1930 Penny.

Your average 1930 Penny has a grading level of Fine to Good Fine.

This coin, with a full central diamond and the seventh and eighth pearl is at least six quality levels higher than the average 1930 Penny.

The obverse of this 1930 Penny has:

  • A full central diamond that leaps out and knocks you in the eye.
  • Eight clear pearls in the crown. The seventh and eight pearls to the left of the central diamond on the King’s Crown is one of the first areas to wear during circulation. The presence of the seventh and eighth pearl is evidence that this coin is of the highest rarity.
  • An intact oval to the left of the central diamond.
  • Undamaged edges.
  • Undamaged fields that are glossy and smooth with even chocolate brown toning.
  • Minimal wear to the eyebrow and upper ear of the portrait of George V.
  • An intact lower band on the Crown.

The reverse of this 1930 Penny is equally impressive with:

  • Well-defined upper and lower scrolls and crisp well defined inner beading.
  • Unblemished edges and amazingly smooth fields.

 

And while all the information detailed in the bullet points may seem very technical … it is the complete and strong central diamond, the complete lower band and the seventh and eighth pearl that places this coin in a league of its own.

And justifies the supreme quality level of Extremely Fine.

Our experiences attest to the scarcity of a 1930 Penny at this quality level. We have been involved in the industry for nigh on half a century and this is the second only Extremely Fine 1930 Penny that we have handled.

The pie chart below, and in particular the area shown in grey, clearly shows the extreme scarcity of a 1930 Penny at this quality level.

1930 Pie Chart 5 July 2017
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1919-Square-Penny-Obv-October-2019
1919-Square-Penny-Rev-October-2019
COIN
1919 Square Penny, Type 3.
QUALITY
Choice Uncirculated. Proof-like and in our view the finest available.
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Queensland.
PRICE
$80,000
COMMENTS
So often we hear the term 'rare' used to describe a coin. The reality is the word 'rare' is rather loose unless it is quantified. What sets Coinworks apart from all other dealers is that we have the knowledge and the experience as Australia's only rare coin specialist to quantify the term 'rare'. And this coin is RARE. We are major buyers, and sellers, of the Kookaburra coins and yet over the last half century, we have sold only six 1919 Type 3 Square Pennies, and this coin is one of the six.
STATUS
Available now
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1919-Square-Penny-Rev-October-2019
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Aside from the extreme rarity of this Square Penny, we particularly like the Type 3 because it has a unique kookaburra design.

No other Square Penny bears the kookaburra design of the Type 3.

Rare, unique design and absolutely superb for quality. Take this coin under the light and you would be forgiven for thinking that it was struck to proof quality.

And there is a fourth consideration with the Square Penny coins. They are popular.

The Kookaburra Square Penny captures a great moment in time in Australia's history and is viewed as a ‘classic' Australian coin rarity.

Classic Australian coin rarity. That's a title that is used sparingly, but glowingly, and is reserved for pieces such as our first silver coins, the Holey Dollar and Dump. Our first gold coins, the Adelaide Pounds.

And our first cupro-nickel square coins, the Kookaburras.

Even the Royal Australian Mint, Canberra, has recognised the historical importance of Australia's Kookaburra coinage.

The mint's recent decimal coin release was comprised of three coins, commemorating the Kookaburra Pattern coins.

Each coin has a 25-cent denomination and is square shaped, depicting a design used on the Square Pennies struck in 1919, 1920 and 1921, the years in which the Square Pennies were struck.

And which type did the mint re-create to represent the coins struck in 1919. Yes, you guessed it, the 1919 Type 3 Square Penny.

Well done Royal Australian Mint!

It is noted that during the mint's promotion of the product, we took several enquiries from decimal coin collectors keen to acquire an original Square Penny.

 

The rumblings of a Republican movement were heard in 1919 when the Australian Labor Government decided to discard the traditional British penny and halfpenny designs and replace the coins with square coinage featuring the kookaburra.

The change to incorporate Australia's native bird onto our coinage was politically motivated.

A wave of nationalism was sweeping the country post World War I and the Government saw political advantage in tapping into the mood of the people by introducing a uniquely Australian flavour to our coinage.

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

A new metal was also proposed. The square kookaburra coins were tested in cupro-nickel.

Trials 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. It is believed that over the three year period 200 pieces, of various designs, were produced.

The response to Australia’s square coinage was however poor. There was widespread public resistance to change, while the elderly rejected the small size of the coins.

However, the final decision not to proceed seems to have been based mainly on another consideration. The large number of vending machines then in operation requiring a circular coin.

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

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

(It is noted that Australia did eventually go its own way and although we didn't introduce a quirky square coin into circulation, cupro-nickel was introduced in 1966 as part of our our decimal currency changeover.)

 

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1927-Canberra-Florin-B-Reverse-August-2019
1927-Canberra-Florin-B-Obverse-August-2019
COIN
Proof 1927 Canberra Florin
QUALITY
Superb FDC. A brilliant proof with stunning iridescent colours and one of the finest we have handled.
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Sydney
PRICE
$35,000
COMMENTS
The extreme scarcity of quality Proof Canberra Florins is out of sync with the suggested mintage of 400. Which is why we have done some additional research, working our way through old journals and manuscripts. We now know that while Melbourne Mint records show a mintage of 400, it is generally accepted that the issue was not a sell-out and a significant number of proofs were re-melted after failing to find a home. According to respected author Greg McDonald, the actual figure could be as low as 150.
STATUS
Available now
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1927-Canberra-Florin-B-Obverse-August-2019
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Famed London coin dealers, A. H. Baldwin & Sons Ltd, was founded in 1872 by Albert Henry Baldwin. Respected the world over, Baldwin was perceptive and understood the mindset of his fellow collectors.

He had the foresight to acquire twenty-five of the Proof Canberra Florins out of the original mintage of 400. The coins were archived by Baldwins for nearly sixty years before the company trickled them out into the Australian marketplace.

QUESTION. What inherent qualities did the Canberra Florin have that prompted Baldwins to take up more than 6 per cent of the mintage?

STATUS.
Baldwin knew that the Proof 1927 Canberra Florin was the very first proof issue struck for Australian collectors.

HISTORY.
Baldwin would also have been aware that the coin was minted for one of the most significant events in Australia’s journey to nationhood. The opening of the nation’s first Parliamentary buildings in the national capital. He had the experience of dealing in English coins to know that history counted and that the Proof Canberra Florin would have an everlasting appeal.

RARITY.
The Proof 1927 Canberra Florin was destined for greatness. Baldwin must have perceived that the mintage of 400 was tiny.

History has shown us that Baldwin was correct on all counts.

STATUS.
Not only the very first proof issue for collectors, the Proof Canberra Florin was the only proof issue of that decade sold to collectors.

HISTORY.
While Federation occurred in 1901, Federal Parliament sat in temporary accommodation for twenty-six years in Victoria. The opening of Parliament House in Canberra was a big deal, a milestone in Australia’s pathway to unity. Officiated by the Duke of York (later King George VI), the formal opening of Parliament House was broadcast to more than one million people via radio stations in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia. History is the crucial element for underpinning continuity of demand in the numismatic industry. Baldwin knew it. And we know it. History truly counts.

RARITY.
While Melbourne Mint records show a mintage of 400, it is generally accepted that the issue was not a sell-out and a significant number of proofs were re-melted after failing to find a home. According to respected author Greg McDonald, the actual figure could be as low as 150. The proofs were sold without a case, thereby introducing the possibility of mishandling. So for the buyer that makes quality a priority, the waiting time for a really nice Proof 1927 Canberra Florin to come along may be twelve months. Or even longer.

So what makes a top Canberra? A coin such as the piece offered here.

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

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

This Proof 1927 Canberra Florin is a superb proof and an exceptional coin.

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

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

Summary statement on this classic investment piece.

This Proof 1927 Canberra Florin is well struck with a sharp three dimensional design. The coin has been brilliantly preserved and is an exception to those most commonly sighted.

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The Journey to Parliament House Canberra

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


1957-1963-Perth-Proofs-FDC-July-2019
COIN
A quality collection of Perth Mint Proof Coins, 1957 to 1963.
QUALITY
FDC
PROVENANCE
Private Collection New South Wales
PRICE
Available individually. Or as a complete collection of eleven proofs for $25,000.
COMMENTS
The proof coins struck by the Perth Mint between 1957 and 1963 are a perfect entry point into the Australian rare coin market. Limited edition proof coins, especially struck for collectors in the 1950s and 1960s. In top quality they are extremely rare and very affordable and are far-sighted pieces to tuck away for the future either for yourself, for your children or your grandchildren. It’s food for thought that an entire collection of Perth Mint Proofs 1957 to 1963 (comprised of eleven coins) can be acquired for less than the price of a 1930 Penny.
STATUS
Available now
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We like this area of the market and for the following reasons:

  • The coins are affordable. The single proofs are available at $3000. The pair of proofs for $4500. This is a dollar level that attracts a lot of buyer interest.
  • In top quality, the coins are stunning to look at, a solid blazing orange.
  • There is no pressure on buyers to complete the series as each year is a stand-alone rarity.

Quality is paramount.

While all the coins were struck to proof quality, their state of preservation, how well they have been cared for in the intervening years is critical to maintaining their value and underpinning their future capital growth.

In the 1950s and 1960s the Perth Mint did not use any fancy packaging to contain the coins. A cellophane paper envelope was the chosen medium to house the coins and send to buyers.

The collection is comprised of the following Perth Mint Proof coins. They are available individually or as a complete set for $25,000.

Each coin is a superb F.D.C. blazing solid orange, and in the case of the pairs of proofs, superbly matched.

  • 1957 Perth Mint Proof Penny PRICE $3000
  • 1958 Perth Mint Proof Penny PRICE $3000
  • 1959 Perth Mint Proof Penny PRICE $3000
  • 1960 Perth Mint Proof Penny & Halfpenny PRICE $4500
  • 1961 Perth Mint Proof Penny & Halfpenny PRICE $4500
  • 1962 Perth Mint Proof Penny & Halfpenny PRICE $4500
  • 1963 Perth Mint Proof Penny & Halfpenny PRICE $4500
  • The complete collection 1957 to 1963 (eleven proof coins). PRICE $25,000.

 

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

The Sydney Mint opened in 1855 and closed in 1926 and throughout its entire minting history, did not strike proofs on a commercial basis for collectors.

The Melbourne Mint opened in 1872. And the Perth Mint in 1899 and both mints did not strike proofs for collectors on a regular basis until 1955.

The collector proof program introduced in 1955 continued uninterrupted until 1963 just prior to decimal currency changeover.

The coins featured the flying kangaroo design on the reverse. And Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse.

The program was so popular that it became a catalyst for the introduction of a decimal proof coining program for collectors by the Royal Australian Mint, Canberra in 1966.

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

As the Perth Mint was striking only copper circulating coins for Treasury, it could strike only copper proof pennies and halfpennies for collectors.

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

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

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

The coins are visually stunning and very affordable, appealing to a wide buying audience.

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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1852 Adelaide Pound EF rev September 2017
1852 Adelaide Pound EF obv September 2017
COIN
1852 Adelaide Pound
QUALITY
Extremely Fine
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Victoria
PRICE
$32,000
COMMENTS
For most Australian rare coin collectors, acquiring an 1852 Adelaide Pound fulfils a lifetime’s ambition. The coin holds a special place in Australia’s history and in the hearts of Australian rare coin collectors like no other. Struck one year after gold was discovered in Victoria in 1851, it is the nation’s very first gold coin. The Adelaide Pound is rare, so finding an example that doesn't break the bank is no easy task. Which is why we are so excited about this coin. It is genuinely tough to secure an Adelaide Pound that fits our protocols, is well presented and is suitable to most collector's budgets. This is an extremely attractive 1852 Adelaide Pound and shows minimal effects of circulation. It is a piece that you will be proud to show your family and friends.
STATUS
Sold October 2019.
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1852 Adelaide Pound EF obv September 2017
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1852-Adelaide-Pound-II-REV-good-EF-Jones-October-2019

The 1852 Adelaide Pound, obverse.

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

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. The industry estimates that just 200 examples are available to collectors, across all quality levels.

The first tip for buyers of Adelaide Pounds is to work through a budget because the coins come in a range of qualities and a range of prices.

Irrespective of the budget, buyers should always select an Adelaide Pound that is visually very attractive.

Take in the design elements and especially the crown which is a feature of the obverse. Take a close look at the edges, the fields and the legend.

Bottom line here, is that you should acquire a piece that you would be proud to show your family and friends, one that has an heirloom feel about it.

 

1852-Adelaide-Pound-II-OBV-good-EF-October-2019

The 1852 Adelaide Pound, reverse.

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

The Adelaide Assay Office was opened 165 years ago as a refinery to strike gold ingots. Except for ensuring the accuracy of the weight and purity of gold in the coin, there was minimal care regarding the overall striking and the eye appeal of the coin.

The Adelaide Pounds 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 Adelaide Pound passes our selection criteria in every respect. It is indeed a coin that you would be proud to show your family and friends. 

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1899M-Proof-Half-Sovereign-FDC-rev-July-2019
1899M-Proof-Half-Sovereign-FDC-obv-July-2019
COIN
Proof 1899 Half Sovereign, Melbourne Mint
QUALITY
Superb FDC
PROVENANCE
Murdoch Collection, A. H. Baldwin, Nobles 2004
PRICE
$75,000
COMMENTS
This Proof 1899 Half Sovereign is an investment piece. The coin has the qualities and characteristics to be successful. It is one of two known so, you can tick the box for rarity. A superb FDC you can tick the box for quality. And the date is appealing for it is a classic turn-of-the-century gold proof coin struck at the Melbourne Mint.
STATUS
Available now
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1899M-Proof-Half-Sovereign-FDC-obv-July-2019
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The rarity and price potential of the Proof 1899 Half Sovereign.

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

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

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

So how many other Veiled Head Proof Half Sovereigns are out there? Our philosophy is that 'less is best’ for you don't want the market to be flooded with examples from the same sector.

The ideal ‘investment’ scenario occurs when the coin is rare. And the sector is occupied by very few other coins.

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

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

 

In 2018, proof gold emerged as one of the most fiercely contested areas of the rare coin market.

Prices paid at auction for proof sovereigns and proof half sovereigns surged by about 20 per cent, the consequence of infrequent availability and an expanding market thirsting for top quality rarities.

Now while it is true that gold is Australia’s most popular collecting metal, the key to the growth in proof gold has been its inordinate scarcity.

Buyers know that there is NEVER a chance that the market will be flooded with examples. The scarcity has simply given the market the confidence to buy.

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

 

 

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1927-Proof-Shilling-Reverse-August-2019
1927-Proof-Shilling-Obverse-August-2019
COIN
Proof 1927 Shilling
QUALITY
FDC
PROVENANCE
Spink Auctions 1978, Spink Auctions 1982
PRICE
$75,000
COMMENTS
Heritage piece. Family heirloom. Incomparable investment. This Proof 1927 Shilling is all of the above. In 1927, the Melbourne Mint fulfilled an order for Treasury to strike 1.4 million Commonwealth of Australia shillings. To time-capsule the mint’s coining achievements for future generations, the mint struck a handful of 1927 shillings to proof quality. One glance at the photos, both obverse and reverse, affirms that it is an exemplary proof coin. We have handled the silver proofs of 1920, 1921, 1924, 1926 and 1928 and unequivocally state that they pale in comparison with this Proof 1927 Shilling. This coin is the absolute finest silver proof out of this era and is a showpiece in the truest sense. Furthermore, this coin is rare. The only example available to collectors.
STATUS
Available now
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1927-Proof-Shilling-Obverse-August-2019
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The Melbourne Mint's proud coining history began in 1872 when it commenced striking gold sovereigns and half sovereigns.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To create this numismatic gem:

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

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

 

Enquire now

1920-Type-7-Square-Penny-Obverse-August-2019-
1920-Type-7-Square-Penny-Reverse-August-2019-
COIN
1920 Square Penny Type 7
QUALITY
Choice Uncirculated, with highly reflective surfaces.
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Melbourne
PRICE
$70,000
COMMENTS
Early in 2017, we sold a 1920 Type 7 Square Penny for $55,000. Eight months later, we sold a second example for $60,000. Today this coin, the third 1920 Type 7 Square Penny we have handled in two and a half years is being offered at $70,000. There are some pretty basic reasons as to why the price of this coin - and other top quality Australian coin rarities - have moved. And we detail them in the READ MORE section.
STATUS
Sold October 2019.
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1920-Type-7-Square-Penny-Reverse-August-2019-
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As noted in our comments, the 1920 Type 7 Square Penny has been on an impressive growth path over the past few years.

The reason is a combination of the coin’s extreme scarcity and its popularity.

So, let's look at its scarcity.

We estimate that twelve 1920 Type 7 Square Pennies are available to collectors. (Compare that figure to the number of 1930 Pennies around.)

Twelve is a minuscule number, particularly when you consider that the twelve coins are never going to be slapped onto a table in one hit and offered for sale at the one time.

So how often can a buyer realistically expect to see a 1920 Type 7 on the market?

Our research confirms that you might expect to be offered a Type 7 Square Penny once every two to three years. Now that's rare!

Now let's look at the coin’s popularity.

The Kookaburra Square Penny captures a great moment in time in Australia's history and is viewed as a ‘classic Australian coin rarity'.

That's a title that is used sparingly, but glowingly, reserved for pieces such as our first silver coins, the Holey Dollar and Dump. Our first gold coins, the Adelaide Pounds.

And our first cupro-nickel square coins, the Kookaburras.

Even the Royal Australian Mint, Canberra, has recognised the historical importance of Australia's Kookaburra coinage.

The mint's latest decimal coin release, comprised of three coins, commemorates the Kookaburra Pattern coins.

Each coin has a 25 cent denomination and is square shaped, depicting a design used on the Square Pennies struck in 1919, 1920 and 1921. (The years in which the Square Pennies were struck.)

It is noted that we have already taken several enquiries from mint customers keen to acquire an original Square Penny.

 

Now for a bit of history ...

The rumblings of a Republican movement were heard in 1919 when the Australian Labor Government decided to discard the traditional British penny and halfpenny designs and replace the coins with square coinage featuring the kookaburra.

The change to incorporate Australia's native bird onto our coinage was politically motivated.

A wave of nationalism was sweeping the country post World War I and the Government saw political advantage in tapping into the mood of the people by introducing a uniquely Australian flavour to our coinage.

A kookaburra design and the depiction of the monarch without a crown were two of the elements of the new coinage that while highly contentious and provocative, the Government believed would be accepted. A new metal was also used. The square kookaburra coins were tested in cupro-nickel.  

Trials 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.

It is believed that over the three year period 200 pieces, of various designs, were produced.

The response to Australia’s square coinage was however poor. There was widespread public resistance to change, while the elderly rejected the small size of the coins.

However, the final decision not to proceed seems to have been based mainly on another consideration. The large number of vending machines then in operation requiring a circular coin.

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

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

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

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1928-Penny-Reverse-August-2019
1928-Penny-Obverse-August-2019
COIN
Proof 1928 Penny, Melbourne Mint
QUALITY
FDC with much original copper brilliance.
PROVENANCE
Spink Auctions 1981, Richard Williams Collection
PRICE
$35,000
COMMENTS
By the end of 1928, the population of the city of Melbourne was approaching one million. And the coining presses at the Melbourne Mint in William Street were working overtime as the mint sought to fulfil its order for Treasury of more than three million copper pennies. To time-capsule the mint’s coining achievements for future generations, a handful of 1928 pennies were struck to proof quality. This Proof 1928 Penny is one of the finest of the original mintage and is one of six known.
STATUS
Available now
Enquire Now
1928-Penny-Obverse-August-2019
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Today’s proof coin collectors are so well catered for.

Both the Royal Australian Mint and the Perth Mint strike proofs on a regular basis. And the mintages are keenly set to satisfy collector demand to ensure very few miss out.

In the twentieth century, Australian collectors were not afforded the same luxury.

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

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

Whatever the end destination of the Melbourne Mint proofs - archives, institutions or public exhibitions - the situation demanded the highest quality minting skills.

It necessitated a ‘kid-gloves’ approach and was labour intensive, hence the limited number of proofs struck.

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

This Proof 1928 Penny is an exceptional quality proof, sharply struck with much original copper brilliance.

This is a rare opportunity to acquire an important piece of Australia’s minting history, the former property of renowned Commonwealth coin collector, Richard Williams.

 

 

Enquire now

Circa-1860-Taylor-Pattern-Shilling-milled-edge-Obv-July-2019-
Circa-1860-Taylor-Pattern-Shilling-milled-edge-Rev-July-2019-
COIN
Circa 1855 Kangaroo Office Copper Shilling, milled edge
QUALITY
Superb FDC. A brilliant proof with a ring of mint red.
PROVENANCE
John Ahbe, Syd Hagley
PRICE
$75,000
COMMENTS
King Farouk of Egypt loved his gold Kangaroo Office Shilling. So too did Queensland collector Tom Hadley. He held an unprecedented seven Kangaroo Office shillings as part of the famous Quartermaster Collection, accumulated over a thirty-year time frame. The importance of this offer is reflected in our statement that, in a career that now spans fifty years, this is the ONLY milled edge Kangaroo Office Copper Shilling that we have ever handled. It is easy to go overboard on the superlatives when you talk about the coins of the Kangaroo Office. But the reality is they offer the ultimate in scarcity. The coins are incredibly rare. They showcase one of the most remarkable chapters in Australia’s history. They are respected worldwide, owned by some of the absolute greatest Australian and international collectors of all time.
STATUS
Available now
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Circa-1860-Taylor-Pattern-Shilling-milled-edge-Rev-July-2019-
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The ultimate in rarity and importance. The milled edge particularly so.

This milled edge copper Shilling struck by William Taylor would have been Australia’s very first copper coin, had Taylor's plan for Melbourne's Kangaroo Office, a private mint, come to fruition.

A brilliant proof, glossy surfaces, with a ring of mint red the coin features a portrait of Queen Victoria wearing a jeweled crown on the obverse. And a large figure ‘1’ in the centre of the reverse on a broad raised engraved rim.

This copper shilling features the milled edge. And that adds to its significance for the Kangaroo Office coins were also struck with a plain edge.

It is believed that the milled edge coins were struck in Australia. The plain edge varieties somewhat later (circa 1860) in London.

Now let’s be clear. Both styles are rare. But the milled edge is the rarer of the two.

Only one other milled edge copper shilling is believed to have survived. Four of the plain edge.

Revered owners … including royalty.

The coins struck at Melbourne’s Kangaroo Office have been owned by some of the greatest collectors of our time: Hyman Montague, King Farouk of Egypt, J. J. Pitman, John Ahbe, Syd Hagley, Philip Spalding and Tom Hadley to name but a few.

In our mind the names that have impacted the most on the market have been King Farouk of Egypt. And more recently, Queensland collector, Tom Hadley.

King Farouk amassed a multi-million dollar gold collection, including a gold Kangaroo Office Shilling. When Farouk's collection was sold by Sothebys London in 1954, the Kangaroo Office coinage captured international attention on a grand scale.

The attention was even grander when Tom Hadley's Quartermaster Collection was sold in 2009.

Tom Hadley was a passionate gold coin collector who achieved the ultimate in completing a collection of Australia’s gold sovereigns and half sovereigns. But his passion for collecting extended well beyond our first circulating gold coins. Hadley owned the largest collection of Kangaroo Office Patterns.

Records were smashed - and new price levels set - when seventeen of his Kangaroo Office coins sold at the Quartermaster Auction. (Total price realised was $1.678 million.) 

A remarkable chapter in Australia’s history.

The Kangaroo Office was a bold plan by English entrepreneur William Joseph Taylor to establish Australia’s first privately run Mint.

Taylor was an engraver and die sinker by trade, active in the numismatic industry producing both coins and medals. He was an entrepreneur. And a shrewd businessman.

 

Towards the end of 1852 Taylor became aware that gold could be bought from diggers on the Ballarat fields at greatly reduced prices.

His plan was to establish a private mint in Melbourne, strike gold coins and release them at their full value in London.

Taylor formed a syndicate with two colleagues, Messrs Hodgkin and Tyndall: the three investing £13,000 in the enterprise.

They chartered a fully rigged 600-ton vessel to transport the coining press, the dies and two employees, Reginald Scaife (manager) and William Morgan Brown (assistant).

The vessel was aptly named ‘The Kangaroo’, then, as now, a symbol of Australia.

Taylor’s mint was known as the Kangaroo Office and was situated near Melbourne’s Flagstaff Gardens in what is now Franklin Street West.

‘The Kangaroo’ arrived at Hobsons Bay on 23rd October 1853, and the huge coining press was deposited on the wharf. And there it sat.

Unfortunately, it was too heavy to transport. The only option was to take it apart and move it, piece-by-piece, to the Kangaroo Office, where it was reassembled and put into working order.

The Kangaroo Office eventually commenced operations in May 1854, striking gold coins. To thwart currency laws, the designs were made to look more like weights than coins. Taylor himself cut the dies for a 2oz, 1oz, 1/2oz and ¼oz gold piece, each dated 1853.

The company was under financial pressure right from the outset. By the time the mint was operational gold, which had been £2/15/- per ounce when the plan was hatched, had moved up to £4/4/- an ounce. And there was a glut of English sovereigns in circulation.

Despite the financial challenges of the operation Taylor was unconvinced that his days as a coin designer and manufacturer were at an end. 

In 1855 he produced dies for the striking of a sixpence and shilling in gold, silver and copper. This was his first attempt at producing a piece depicting a value rather than a weight.

The coins display the same broad engine-turned rim, the obverse featuring a superb portrait of Queen Victoria with VICTORIA and AUSTRALIA embedded in the rim. The reverse features the denomination in figures at the centre and in letters embedded in the rim above.

Taylor operated his Kangaroo Office for three years during which time he sustained substantial losses.

With all hope of a profit gone, the dispirited promoters in London issued instructions for the Kangaroo Office to be closed.

Now while it is true that Taylor never achieved his ambitions, the Port Phillip Kangaroo Office coins are revered by collectors and investors in Australia. And right across the globe.

 

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1918-Half-Sovereign-A-Reverse-August-2019
1918-Half-Sovereign-A-Obverse-August-2019
COIN
1918 Half Sovereign Perth Mint
QUALITY
Uncirculated
PROVENANCE
Private Collection New South Wales
PRICE
$13,500
COMMENTS
The Perth Mint has struck many of Australia's greatest coin rarities, including this 1918 Half Sovereign. It is an important coin on many fronts. Australia struck its last half sovereign in 1918, making it a critical and highly historical date. The end of an era. And it is extremely rare. Respected numismatic author, Greg McDonald, contends that 200 to 300 pieces only are available to collectors. Important. Extremely rare. And available at $13,500. Excellent value.
STATUS
Available now
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1918-Half-Sovereign-A-Obverse-August-2019
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The 1918 Perth Mint Half Sovereign is an enigma. It is the coin that according to Perth Mint records was never struck.

That’s a story that we have heard before.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

It is a relatively easy collection to put together.

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

 

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1852-Adelaide-Pound-TypeII-Obv-July-2019
1852-Adelaide-Pound-TypeII-Rev-July-2019
COIN
The Mortimer Hammel 1852 Adelaide Pound Type 2
QUALITY
Brilliant Uncirculated
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Sydney
PRICE
$185,000
COMMENTS
There are Adelaide Pounds. And then there is the HAMMEL Adelaide Pound, so named because it was formerly owned by one of the world's greatest 20th century gold coin collectors, Mortimer Hammel. It is one of the absolute finest examples of Australia’s first gold coin and when viewed it simply glows. Its highly lustrous, brilliant state implies that the coin must have been put aside soon after minting and has had special care ever since its striking. The person who acquires this Adelaide Pound will take their place in history, permanently associating themselves with both the coin and the famous Hammel name.
STATUS
Sold October 2019.
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1852-Adelaide-Pound-TypeII-Rev-July-2019
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Acquiring an 1852 Adelaide Pound in Uncirculated quality is a difficult enough task. (We estimate that we might sell one such coin every three to four years.)

But this coin is not just graded Uncirculated. It is assigned the far higher rating of Brilliant Uncirculated which reflects the stunning state of the fields.

This is a once-in-a-decade opportunity.

The lustrous condition of the Hammel Adelaide Pound indicates that for the coin’s lifetime, every owner has absolutely known that it was special.

Over and above the fields, the coin is incredibly well struck and is certainly impressive.

The cross on the orb at the top of the crown, the pearls, the fleur-de-lis and the lower band of the crown are all perfectly defined.

It also has exceptional strength in the legend and the denticles.

 

 

The Hammel Adelaide Pound was part of the Mortimer Hammel Collection, a name and collection so esteemed in numismatic folklore that it adds a special cachet to any coin associated with it.

Mortimer Hammel's preference was gold coins and he was particularly drawn to coins in the highest state of preservation. Such as this coin and his Cracked Die Adelaide Pound.

His entire Collection of 1086 coins was auctioned in the U.S. in September 1982 by Stacks New York.

One hundred and twenty four coins were photographed and featured in the Catalogue.

Testimony to the calibre of Hammel's 1852 Adelaide Pounds, Cracked Die (Type 1) and Type 2 coins, both were photographed.

history of the adelaide pound

1805-Holey-Dollar-obv-July-2019
1805-Holey-Dollar-rev-July-2019
COIN
1813 Holey Dollar struck from an 1805 Mexico Mint Silver Dollar
QUALITY
Good Very Fine / Extremely Fine
PROVENANCE
Maurice Eschwege, Captain H. Paget, Albert Bagnall, Philip Spalding.
PRICE
$265,000
COMMENTS
There is an immeasurable pride in owning an example of Australia’s first coin, the Holey Dollar. And if you can open not one, but TWO, of the most respected books on Holey Dollars and see your coin detailed and illustrated, then the feelings go even deeper. It is an affirmation of the proud history that accompanies your coin. And so it is with this Holey Dollar. It is illustrated in Philip Spalding's esteemed book, “The World of the Holey Dollar”. And the internationally respected “Holey Dollars of New South Wales” by Messrs. Mira & Noble. And it is true that only a handful of collectors can ever lay claim to having their Holey Dollars in both books.
STATUS
Available now
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1805-Holey-Dollar-rev-July-2019
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The fundamentals of this Holey Dollar.

This Holey Dollar was created from a Spanish Silver Dollar that was struck at the Mexico Mint in 1805 and features the legend and portrait of Charles IV.

The original silver dollar is graded in the upper quality levels of Good Very Fine and has toned to a glorious, soft gun-metal grey.

What we know is that once converted to a Holey Dollar in 1813 the coin underwent minimal circulation for the counter-stamps are graded higher again at Extremely Fine. 

A well documented provenance.

The coin is featured on page 195 and 196 of  Philip Spalding's 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.)

It is also featured on page 51 the "Holey Dollars of New South Wales" by Messrs. Mira and Noble. 

Only a handful of collectors can ever lay claim to having their Holey Dollars in both books.

The Holey Dollar is respected and sought after worldwide, and that has been the case for more than a century. As this coin illustrates.   

Its first recorded owner was British collector Maurice Eschwege, jeweller and pawnbroker, located at 47 Lime Street, Liverpool. His collection was sold by Sotheby’s London, 30 March 1931, the Holey Dollar offered as lot 116.

The next recorded owner was British Royal Naval Officer, Captain H. E. G. Paget. His collection was sold at Glendining’s London, June 1944, the Holey Dollar appearing as lot 144.

The coin traversed the globe when it was acquired by American collector Albert E. Bagnall whose collection was sold in 1964 by Spink London.

Renowned British collectors and a renowned American collector and then eventually back to Australia through the illustrious hands of its fourth recorded owner, Philip Spalding.

That the coin has attracted sustained buyer interest right across the globe for nearly a century in Britain, the U.S. and Australia is testimony to the international appeal of the Holey Dollar.   

1805-Holey-Dollar-Rev-Tech-June-2019
1805-Holey-Dollar-Obv-Tech-June-2019
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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.

Most Holey Dollars are today found well worn with many looking like a tap washer.

The reason is simply that no quality parameters were set on Macquarie’s shipment of 40,000 silver dollars. That and the extensive use of the dollar as an international trading coin meant that most of the coins imported by Macquarie were well worn.

Once you move from the well circulated Good to Good Fine quality levels up to the Very Fine and Good Very Fine echelons, the differences in quality are marked and noticeable, clearly visible to the naked eye.

It is the details in the hair, the robes and the overall state of the fields.

The price of this Holey Dollar reflects its outstanding quality attributes.

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.

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History of the Holey Dollar

1788 - 1812. From a penal colony to a commercial hub.

That Australia was settled in 1788, and the Holey Dollar and Dump not struck until 1813, raises the question about the medium of currency operating in the intervening years.

No consideration had been given to the monetary needs of the penal settlement of New South Wales. It was planned on the assumption that it would be self-supporting, with no apparent need for hard cash for either internal or external purposes.

Even if it had been theoretically planned for, it would have been physically impossible for the British Government to fund this new venture. Britain’s own currency was in a deplorable state and the Royal Mint’s priorities were clearly set at making improvements on the home front, not diverting hard cash off-shore.

Foreign coins arrived haphazardly in trade, and acquired local acceptability and brief legal recognition, but what was received quickly left the colony to pay for imports.

The essence of all business is a medium of exchange. Having very little hard cash, the inhabitants, from governor to free settlers and convicts, improvised by issuing hand-written promissory notes, in denominations as low as 3d, to settle their debts.

Commercial transactions were also facilitated through barter of goods and services. Liquor was the prime commercial force and medium for barter in the colony and for almost forty years was part of the wages received by a considerable section of the population.

 

By 1812 the social fabric of Sydney as a community was emerging. It was no longer a redistribution point for convicts, with only the military as permanent residents.

Streets were being named. Macquarie, Phillip, Elizabeth, Castlereagh, Pitt and George Street. A post office was established and the common had been christened Hyde Park.

Houses had to be aligned and numbered and heavy industry was being re-located out of the city centre to the suburbs. 

Despite the social improvements, there was no bank and liquor remained the most commonly negotiated medium of currency exchange.

Rum, which cost 7/6 a gallon was being sold for up to £8 and its use as a negotiating medium was utilized by all sections of the community, including government.

And the highest levels of Government at that. Even Lachlan Macquarie used rum to buy a house. The cost? 200 gallons.

By 1812, the penal colony of New South Wales had shaken off the shackles of being a receptacle for convicts.

It was no longer a ‘jail’. And was emerging as a structured society and a commercial hub.

The stage was set for Governor Lachlan Macquarie to introduce Australia’s first currency.


1813. A coinage is conceived from imported Spanish Silver Dollars.

Governor Lachlan Macquarie etched his name into numismatic history forever when in 1812 he imported 40,000 Spanish Silver Dollars to alleviate a currency crisis in the infant colony of New South Wales.

Macquarie’s order for Silver Dollars did not specify dates. Any date would do. He wasn’t concerned about the various mints at which they were struck. Nor was he fussy about the quality of the coins. The extensive use of the Spanish Silver Dollar as an international trading coin meant that most were well worn.

Concluding that the shipment of 40,000 Spanish Silver Dollars would not suffice, Macquarie decided to cut a hole in the centre of each dollar, thereby creating two coins out of one, a ring dollar and a disc. It was an extension of a practice of ‘cutting’ coins into segments, widespread at the time.

Macquarie needed a skilled coiner to carry out his coining project. William Henshall, acquired his skills as an engraver in Birmingham, where the major portion of his apprenticeship consisted of mastering the art of die sinking and die stamping for the shoe buckle and engraved button trades.

In the same year as the Spanish Silver Dollar was minted - 1805 - he was apprehended for forgery, faking Bank of England Dollars, and sentenced to the penal colony of New South Wales for seven years.

Enlisted by Lachlan Macquarie as the colony’s first mint master, Henshall commenced the coining process by cutting out a disc from each silver dollar using a hand-lever punch.

He then proceeded to re-stamp both sides of the holed dollar around the inner circular edge with the value of five shillings, the date 1813 and the issuing authority of New South Wales.

Other design elements in this re-stamping process included a fleur de lis, a twig of two leaves and a tiny ‘H’ for Henshall. 

The holed coins were officially known as ring, pierced or colonial dollars and although ‘holey’ was undoubtedly applied to them from the outset, the actual term ‘holey’ dollar did not appear in print until the 1820s.

We refer to the coins today as the 1813 New South Wales Five Shillings (or Holey Dollar).

The silver disc that fell out of the hole wasn’t wasted. Henshall restamped the disc with a crown, the issuing authority of New South Wales and the lesser value of 15 pence and it became known as the Dump.

In creating two coins out of one, Macquarie effectively doubled the money supply. And increased their total worth by 25 per cent.

Anyone counterfeiting ring dollars or dumps were liable to a seven-year prison term; the same penalty applied for melting down. Jewellers were said to be particularly suspect. To prevent export, masters of ships were required to enter into a bond of £200 not to carry the coin away.

Of the 40,000 silver dollars imported by Macquarie, records indicate that 39,910 of each coin were delivered to the Deputy Commissary General’s Office by January 1814 with several despatched back to Britain as specimens, the balance assumed spoiled during production.

The Holey Dollar and Dumps remained as currency within the colony until 1829. The colony had by then reverted to a standard based on sterling and a general order was issued by Governor Darling to withdraw and demonetise the dollars and dumps.

The recalled specie was eventually shipped off to the Royal Mint London, melted down and sold off to the Bank of England for £5044.

It is estimated that 300 Holey Dollars exist today of which a third are held in public institutions with the balance owned by private collectors.


1860-Aboriginal-Threepence-obv-FDC-July-2019
1860-Aboriginal-Threepence-rev-FDC-July-2019
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
$105,000
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-Aboriginal-Threepence-rev-FDC-July-2019
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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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1860-Sovereign-Obv-July-2019
1860-Sovereign-Rev-July-2019
COIN
1860 Sydney Mint Sovereign
QUALITY
Choice Uncirculated
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Melbourne
PRICE
$32,500
COMMENTS
From the day this 1860 Sydney Mint Sovereign was struck, it was destined to become a prized collectible. It is a superb coin to the naked eye and an equally superb coin under a magnifying glass. The striking is sharp, the portrait of Queen Victoria highly detailed. Given that this sovereign was struck in the factory-like conditions of the nation’s first mint, the Sydney Mint, makes the coin even more remarkable. Furthermore, it has been brilliantly preserved, painstakingly wrapped up into a minute parcel in tissue paper, hidden away for decades. The surfaces are excellent. The denticles crisp, the coin still shows its original lustre. It is a privilege and a pleasure to offer one of the absolute rare dates of the Sydney Mint series, the 1860 Sydney Mint Sovereign in Choice Uncirculated. Technical shots have been included in the READ MORE section.
STATUS
Available now.
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1860-Sovereign-Rev-July-2019
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1860-Sovereign-Tech-Obv-July-2019

1860 Sydney Mint Sovereign Obverse. 

1860-Sovereign-Tech-Rev-July-2019

1860 Sydney Mint Sovereign Reverse. 

'1860' - a key date of the series.

Every series has its key dates, those years that are harder to find than others.

In the case of the Sydney Mint Sovereign series, the 1860 Sydney Mint Sovereign is one of the great rarities.

The Sydney Mint Sovereign series ran from 1855 until 1870 with the first obverse design appearing between 1855 and 1856 and the second between 1857 and 1870.

Two dates are regarded as the absolute key dates of the second obverse design series they being 1858 and this coin, the 1860.

A key date in superb quality. And a great rarity.

The value today of any coin is a combination of two elements.

The finesse of the striking. And just how well it has been cared for in the intervening years.

And this 1860 Sydney Mint Sovereign scores highly on both counts. Brilliant strike. And painstakingly preserved.

The 1860 Sydney Mint Sovereign is an elusive coin in any quality. 

But the coin on offer here is just not ‘any quality’. This coin is ascribed the higher grading level of Choice Uncirculated.

You can count on the fingers of one hand the number of premium quality 1860 Sydney Mint Sovereigns that we have sold.

A classic Australian gold sovereign rarity.

Australia’s gold coinage history began in 1855 with the introduction of the Sydney Mint design.

It was a style that rejected the protocols of London and which imparted a uniquely Australian flavour into the nation’s first official gold coinage.

For the first - and only time - the word AUSTRALIA appeared on our sovereigns.

The Sydney Mint design continued until 1870.

In 1871 Australia’s gold coinage took on the more traditional English designs of St George and the Dragon and the Shield.

The buyer that acquires this sovereign will be taking up a classic Australian coin rarity.

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1813-Dump-gVF-small-date-side-September-2019
1813-Dump-gVF-non-date-side-small-September-2019
COIN
1813 Dump, design type A/1
QUALITY
Good Very Fine
PROVENANCE
Dr. John Chapman
PRICE
$75,000
COMMENTS
A Good Very Fine 1813 Dump is a high quality piece and is genuinely hard to find. A chance opportunity. A Good Very Fine 1813 Dump that has been owned by Dr. John Chapman is a once-in-a-decade opportunity. Dr John Chapman has been involved in the Australian numismatic market as a foremost collector for as long as we can remember. He is as learned as he is well respected and this Dump was part of his prized collection. It is a coin that has all the attributes that a collector would look for in a colonial Dump including the original Spanish Dollar design (particularly strong), complete denticles and the presence of the ‘H’ for Henshall on the reverse. It is an impactful coin, the very reason why respected author and numismatist Greg McDonald features it in his annual Pocket Price Guide. And has so for many, many years. Technical shots are provided.
STATUS
Available now
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1813-Dump-gVF-non-date-side-small-September-2019
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1813-Dump-gVF-date-side-technical-September-2019-

Beautifully well centred striking with strong date, crown and legend New South Wales. Note the undertype. It is magnificent. The castle and the lion are clear.

1813-Dump-gVF-non-date-side-technical-September-2019-

William Henshall left his mark on this coin with the 'H' for Henshall strong.

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

Governor Lachlan Macquarie enlisted the services of emancipated convict, William Henshall, to cut a hole in 40,000 Spanish Silver Dollars, creating two coins out of one. 

The Dump, the small disc that fell out of the centre of the holed silver dollar, was then over stamped with the date 1813, a crown, New South Wales and the value of fifteen pence.

The buyer that pursues a top quality Dump will find the task extremely challenging. It can be years before a premium quality example comes onto the market.

The Dump circulated widely in the colony, the extreme wear on most Dumps evidence that they saw considerable use. So, while the Dump may seem the diminutive partner of the Holey Dollar, the reality is top quality Dumps have authority.

So let's define the words "top quality" for the 1813 Dump and establish where extreme rarity kicks in.

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

For the 1813 Colonial Dump that point is Good Very Fine.

The chart 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.

Dr John Chapman certainly knew what he was doing when he selected this 1813 Dump. It is a beauty.

  • The design is classically well centred and well struck.
  • The legend New South Wales and the date 1813 are sharp.
  • 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 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 strong design detail of the original Spanish Dollar from which this Dump was created on the entire obverse. We refer to it as the undertype and its presence is again highly prized.
1813 Dump graph
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1910 Specimen Set Date Side in case June 2018
COIN
1910 Specimen Set
QUALITY
Uncirculated
PROVENANCE
Barrie Winsor Collection
PRICE
$135,000
COMMENTS
Every dealer has one or two items, be they a coin or a banknote, that is close to their heart. In the case of industry figurehead, Barrie Winsor, it is this 1910 Specimen Set. He has always viewed it as the ‘ultimate set’. And for all sorts of reasons. Struck as a Presentation set at the Royal Mint London, in an original case of issue, it is comprised of the four silver coins, the 1910 florin, 1910 shilling, 1910 sixpence and 1910 threepence minted to glorious specimen quality. Furthermore, it is unique in private hands. Only one other set is known, held in the Museum of Victoria Archives. And it is history. The set is a celebration. A commemoration of the issuing of Australia’s very first Commonwealth of Australia coinage in 1910. Only a person of influence would ever have had access to such a striking. (Technical photos are provided in the READ MORE section.)
STATUS
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And the person of influence ?

We were not surprised when Barrie Winsor commented that he believes the original owner of the set was Sir Robert Johnson, Deputy Mint Master of the Royal Mint London. We have handled several of Johnson's coins, including the unique 1937 Uniface Shilling.

Many of the coins held in Johnson’s collection were acquired by famed dealers A. H. Baldwin following Johnson’s untimely death in 1938.

Winsor acquired the 1910 Presentation Set in 1984 from Spink Auctions paying $4500 on an estimate of $1500.

He recalls the moment he first laid eyes on the set. And the auction session in which it was acquired. The coins were handsomely and uniformly toned, a magnificent olive green / blue hue. 

And as was the case in the ‘good old days’, he took the coins to the Museum of Victoria to compare them against those housed in the Museum’s Collection.

That the coins were struck to specimen quality was confirmed.

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

Federation on 1 January 1901 was a pivotal moment in our history, when the the six self-governing colonies of Australia became a single country.

Eight years would elapse before the Australian Parliament would pass legislation to allow the striking of Commonwealth of Australia silver coins of two shillings, one shilling, sixpence and threepence. And bronze or cupro nickel coins of the penny and halfpenny. 

The coins were based on the British system of pounds shillings and pence.

1910 Specimen Set Techs

The first silver coins of the new Commonwealth were eventually struck in 1910. Unfortunately, none of Australia’s three mints were set up to strike the new denominations, so the coins were struck at the Royal Mint in London.

The design of the coins was intended to be nation building and to underpin the Government’s efforts to unify the country. Each coin featured the newly created Australian Coat of Arms as authorised by King Edward VII in a Royal Warrant issued on 7 May 1908. 

The Coat of Arms was a simple shield featuring the cross of St George, with five six-pointed white stars along the cross and six smaller shields around the edge of the larger shield representing the six states.  

The shield was supported by a kangaroo and an emu standing on a grassy mound. Above the shield was the crest containing the seven-pointed gold star of Federation. Below on a ribbon the motto 'Advance Australia' is inscribed.

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1910 Specimen Florin rev June 2018

Reverse of the 1910 Specimen Florin depicting the Commonwealth of Australia Coat of Arms.

1910 Specimen Florin obv June 2018

Obverse of the 1910 Specimen Florin depicting a crowned King Edward VII.

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1910 Specimen Shilling rev June 2018

Reverse of the 1910 Specimen Shilling depicting the Commonwealth of Australia Coat of Arms.

1910 Specimen Shilling obv June 2018

Obverse of the 1910 Specimen Shilling depicting a crowned King Edward VII.

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1910 Specimen Sixpence rev June 2018

Reverse of the 1910 Specimen Sixpence depicting the Commonwealth of Australia Coat of Arms.

1910 Specimen Sixpence obv June 2018

Obverse of the 1910 Specimen Sixpence depicting a crowned King Edward VII.

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1910 Specimen Threepence rev June 2018

Reverse of the 1910 Specimen Threepence depicting the Commonwealth of Australia Coat of Arms.

1910 Specimen Threepence obv June 2018

Obverse of the 1910 Specimen Threepence depicting a crowned King Edward VII.

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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
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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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PO Box 1060 Hawksburn Victoria Australia 3142

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