Browse & Buy


1852-Adelaide-Pound-nr-Unc-Rev-July-2020
1852-Adelaide-Pound-nr-Unc-Obv-July-2020
COIN
1852 Adelaide Pound design type II
QUALITY
Uncirculated, highly lustrous on both obverse and reverse
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Victoria
PRICE
$75,000
COMMENTS
This Type II 1852 Adelaide Pound is offered in the remarkable state of Uncirculated. The coin is lustrous, in fact fully lustrous on both obverse and reverse. The only explanation we can offer as to its condition is that the coin must have been tucked away soon after it was minted. Dealers are aware, as are collectors, that Uncirculated Adelaide Pounds are rarely offered. We would be lucky to handle an Adelaide Pound at this quality level once every few years.
STATUS
Available now
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1852-Adelaide-Pound-nr-Unc-Obv-July-2020
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1852-Adelaide-Pound-nr-Unc-TECH-Rev-July-2020

1852 Adelaide Pound obverse with a fully struck up crown and strength in the legend

The 1852 Adelaide Pound holds a very special place in Australia's history as the nation's first gold coin. It is a classic Australian numismatic rarity, as is the 1813 Holey Dollar and 1813 Dump, the 1919 Square Penny and the 1930 Penny.

Its status as Australia’s first gold coin ensures that it will always be sought after and strengthens its investment value. Its investment value is also enhanced by its rarity for we estimate that perhaps 250 examples are available to collectors, across all quality levels.

While there may be a natural assumption that special care and attention would have been applied during the minting process of the Adelaide Pound. This was certainly NOT the case.

The Adelaide Assay Office was opened one hundred and sixty-eight years ago as a refinery to strike gold ingots.

Except for ensuring the accuracy of the weight and purity of gold in the Adelaide Pound, there was minimal care regarding the overall striking and its eye appeal. The coins were hammered out and hurled down an assembly line, more than likely into a barrel or bucket.

The Adelaide Pounds were to be used as currency, traded in commerce. Not preserved as collectables. And, as gold is a relatively soft metal, the rigours of circulation have treated most Adelaide Pounds harshly.

We also know from historical records, the striking of the Adelaide Pound was fraught with problems. During the first run of coins, the reverse die cracked. A second die was used, with a different design, and to minimise the risk of further cracking, the pressure was reduced.

While the reduced pressure extended the life of the dies, it created its own set of problems in the execution of the design detail. The very reason why we always consider the strength of the strike as well as the grading level and aesthetics.

 

1852-Adelaide-Pound-nr-Unc-TECH-Obv-July-2020

1852 Adelaide Pound reverse with a scalloped inner border abutting a beaded inner circle

Knowing the rough and ready way in which the Adelaide Pounds were struck. And the problems that occurred within the Assay Office during the minting process, we always consider three aspects whenever we are checking out an Adelaide Pound that has been struck with the second die.

The first consideration is the grading level.

Well circulated Adelaide Pounds are reasonably available, with expectations that a collector would sight a few examples each year. Once a buyer moves up the quality scale however, the pool of available examples rapidly diminishes.

Uncirculated Adelaide Pounds, such as the coin on offer here,  are extremely rare and would become available perhaps once every few years.

The second aspect we note is the Adelaide Pound's eye appeal. For us, irrespective of the quality, the coin has to look good. We don't like heavy knocks. And we don't like gouges.

The photographs clearly demonstrate the eye appeal of this coin. The fields are lustrous. The cross on the orb of the crown and the fleur de lis are complete and untouched.

Thirdly, we look at the strength of the strike. Given the difficulties that occurred during the minting of the nation's first coin, we examine just how well the design was executed.

There is strength in the legend in the ASSAY area which is seldom seen. The ermine in the lower band of the crown is visible. The pleats in the fabric in the crown also are highly detailed.

 

 

 

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1813-D2-Dump-Crown-side-July-2020
1813-D2-Dump-Fifteen-Pence-side-July-2020
COIN
1813 Dump. Struck with the rare D/2 dies and showing strong evidence of the original Spanish Dollar design on the obverse.
QUALITY
Nearly Extremely Fine, supreme quality and exceedingly rare as such.
PROVENANCE
Osborne Collection sold by Noble Auctions July 1993. "All That Is Holey" Exhibition, Royal Australian Mint Canberra 2019.
PRICE
$80,000
COMMENTS
A Nearly Extremely Fine 1813 Dump is a supreme-quality piece and rests in the top 5 per cent of surviving examples. A coin of this calibre is genuinely hard to find and is a chance opportunity. Now let’s factor in the name Osborne and the history-making July 1993 Noble Auction for a Nearly Extremely Fine Dump that was part of the Osborne Collection, is a once-in-a-decade opportunity. The Osborne Collection, liquidated by Noble Auctions in July 1993, was comprised of an almost complete collection of Square Pennies, stunning Holey Dollar and three quality Dumps, top 1930 Penny, Adelaide Pound Type I and Type II, this coin being one of the Dumps. That it was struck from the very rare D/2 dies, is supreme for quality and has strong evidence of the original Spanish Dollar design are the very reasons why we included this Dump in the "All That Is Holey" Exhibition at the Royal Australian Mint Canberra in 2019.
STATUS
Available now
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1813-D2-Dump-Fifteen-Pence-side-July-2020
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The names Ahbe, Jewell, Baldwin and Osborne are littered throughout Australia’s numismatic history for the high calibre coins that each collector had accumulated and owned.

The Osborne collection was liquidated by Noble Auctions in July 1993 offering an almost complete collection of Square Pennies, stunning Holey Dollar and three quality Dumps, top 1930 Penny, Adelaide Pound Type I and Type II and this coin was one of the Dumps.

The quality of this Dump, at Nearly Extremely Fine, places it in the top 5 per cent of surviving Dumps.

Given that there is a pool of approximately 800 Dumps available to collectors, this means that this coin is in the top forty known examples.

But you can start narrowing down the field again once you consider that this Dump was struck using the very rare D/2 dies. One out of every four Dumps were struck using the D/2 dies.

Which means that this coin is in the top ten out of all the known D/2 Dumps.

Over and above its supreme quality, this Dump shows considerable evidence of the design of the original Spanish Dollar from which it was created. (Referred to as the under-type.)

Historians have no doubt that heat was involved in the creation of the Dump. When the disc fell out of the centre of the Spanish Dollar, it still bore the original dollar design of a four quadrant shield, housing a lion and castle in each quadrant. And the shield's cross-bars.

High temperatures obliterated the original Spanish Dollar design from most examples. Those Dumps that retain the original dollar design elements are highly prized.

 

The Holey Dollar and its partner the Dump were struck in 1813 under the directions of Governor Lachlan Macquarie to create a medium of exchange in the cash-starved penal colony of New South Wales.

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: a donut shaped piece which became the Holey Dollar and a tiny central disc which became the Dump.

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.

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 'rarity' 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.

The chart also shows that at a quality level of About Extremely Fine to Extremely Fine you are in 'rarefied air' with very few examples available.

1813-Dump-Chart-July-2020
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1889-Proof-Sovereign-Obv-July-2020
1889-Proof-Sovereign-Rev-July-2020
COIN
Proof 1889 Sovereign depicting the Jubilee portrait of Queen Victoria. One of two known.
QUALITY
FDC
PROVENANCE
Spink Auctions Sydney March 1988
PRICE
$85,000
COMMENTS
This Proof Sovereign was struck at the Melbourne Mint in 1889. It is exceedingly rare. Only one other example has surfaced over the last century. Expertly crafted from 22 carat gold, the coin exudes luxury and wealth echoing the social and financial excesses at the time for in 1889, Melburnians were leading the high-life. The city was booming, its expansion fueled by land speculation that saw the value of property in parts of central Melbourne peak as high as that in London. This Proof 1889 Sovereign is an enduring symbol of our rich and golden past.
STATUS
Available now
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1889-Proof-Sovereign-Rev-July-2020
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The magnetism of gold is as strong as it has ever been. Gold jewellery. Gold bullion. Gold coins. Gold is still to this day viewed as a storage of wealth and gold is vigorously traded and possessed.

When it comes to collecting vintage gold coins, a collector has two distinct options.

The first option is to acquire coins that were struck for circulation and meant to be used. The second option is to acquire coins that were struck as presentation pieces to PROOF QUALITY.

The coin on offer is one such presentation piece, a Proof 1889 Sovereign struck at the Melbourne Mint featuring the Jubilee portrait of Queen Victoria.

That proof coins were struck in the nineteenth century may surprise some readers. But it has to be said that the striking of proof coins in Australia is not a modern day phenomenon. Nor a product of the decimal era. The nation’s mints were striking proofs of our pre-decimal coinage in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and the intention was then, as it is today, to create limited mintage coins struck to the highest standards of quality.

Each option, circulating coinage or proof coinage, presents the buyer with a vastly different sized pool of specimens from which to choose.

Average circulating gold sovereigns that are not made special by their date are available in the thousands if not the tens of thousands. Once the collector sets parameters on quality and dates, the pool of specimens narrows and it is true that acquiring a key date gold sovereign that was struck for circulation, particularly if you are looking for one that is in premium quality, can be a journey in time that involves many months, if not years.

 

And acquiring a gold proof? How difficult is that?

The pathway to acquiring a proof sovereign can involve many years, if not decades. And this is definitely true of proof sovereigns struck with the Jubilee portrait.

Consider that this coin last appeared at auction in 1988. And the only other known example has not been sighted since 1985.

Rarity is the key word when discussing proof gold. And it is a statement of fact that proof gold is extremely rare and buying opportunities will always be thin on the ground.

And the reasons?

  1. Proof gold coins were NOT struck every year.
  2. And of those dates that were struck as proofs, only one, or perhaps two up to a maximum of three made their way out into the collector market.
  3. Natural attrition has taken its toll on coins out of the original mintages with some of them filtering their way into circulation or being mishandled and thus having their quality marred. So suddenly one, two or three proofs becomes even less.
  4. Great coins tend to be held. The owner of the Madrid Collection held onto his gold proofs for more than twenty years. The Spalding family similarly.

This Proof 1889 Sovereign is a golden opportunity and for just one buyer. Only one other proof sovereign of this date has appeared over the last century.

 

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Proof-1916-Penny-Rev-July-2020
Proof-1916-Penny-Obv-July-2020
COIN
Proof 1916 Penny, unique in private hands
QUALITY
Superb F.D.C. with impeccable surfaces and a faultless strike
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Sydney
PRICE
$65,000
COMMENTS
This Proof 1916 Penny is as rare as it is important. Acquired in the U.S.A in 2008, the coin is unique. No other Proof 1916 Penny has ever been sighted in collector’s hands. This is the ultimate proof coin with smooth fields, impeccable surfaces, pristine uniformly spaced edge denticles, faultless inner beading and sculpted upper and lower scrolls. This is an incomparable opportunity for just one buyer.
STATUS
Available now
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Proof-1916-Penny-Obv-July-2020
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This Proof 1916 Penny was struck at the Bombay Mint as a Coin of Record.

As the name suggests, it was struck to put on record the date '1916' and as a Coin of Record it was struck to the highest minting standards.

The strike satisfied the needs of the mint rather than the wants of collectors.

Respected author, Greg McDonald, provides us with an insight as to why Coins of Record are so limited in numbers when he shared with us a definition put out by the Royal Mint London of a proof coin.

“Struck on a slow-moving coining press using carefully polished dies which are frequently cleaned during use. The materials from which the coins are made are specially processed and the coin blanks are carefully selected and polished before use.

Blanks and minted coins are individually handled to prevent accidental damage.

The essential characteristics of proof coins are highly polished fields, fully reproduced designs free from any flaw, and square edges. Milling where present should be regular and free from any defect. Because of the very high standard set in manufacture, such coins are slow to make and relatively expensive to produce.”

 

In the striking of a proof coin, the mint’s intention was to create a single masterpiece, coining perfection. Perfection in the dies. Wire brushed so that they are razor sharp. Perfection in the design, highly detailed, expertly crafted. Perfection in the fields, achieved by hand selecting unblemished blanks, polished to create a mirror shine. Perfection in the edges to encase the design … exactly what a ‘picture frame does to a canvas’.

A proof coin is meant to be impactful, have the ‘wow’ factor and exhibit qualities that are clearly visible to the naked eye. A proof coin was never intended to be used in every-day use, tucked away in a purse. Or popped into a pocket.

Proof coins were struck to be preserved in government archives as a record of Australia’s coining history, time-capsuled for future generations. Proof coins were also used to showcase a mint’s coining skills, to display at major worldwide Exhibitions or sent to other mint’s and public institutions. A simple case of competitive one-up-man ship. (The British Museum was a major recipient of Australia’s proof coinage. So too the Royal Mint London.)

Proof coins were struck at the discretion of the Mint Master so there was no hard-fast rule about the regularity of the issues. Or the mintages.

The striking of proofs was very often influenced by the collecting zeal of the Mint Master. And his involvement with the collector market. The more passionate the collecting habits of the Mint Master, the greater the chance of proofs being struck.

 

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1919-Square-Penny-Type-3-Rev-July-2020
1919-Square-Penny-Type-3-Obv-July-2020
COIN
1919 Kookaburra Square Penny, featuring the unique Type 3 design
QUALITY
Choice Uncirculated with uniform edges, impeccable proof-like surfaces enhanced by handsome toning.
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Melbourne
PRICE
$55,000
COMMENTS
This is a superb quality 1919 Square Penny featuring the unique Type 3 design. Moreover, the coin is rare. Our records indicate that over the last half century we have sold only eight Type 3 Square Pennies.
STATUS
Available now
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1919-Square-Penny-Type-3-Obv-July-2020
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The Kookaburra Square Penny captures a great moment in time in Australia's history and is a ‘classic' Australian coin rarity. That's a title that is used sparingly, but glowingly, on pieces such as our first silver coins, the Holey Dollar and Dump. And our first gold coins, the Adelaide Pounds.

The Square Pennies that remain today are relics of our past, and the sentiment that they stir up in the current market is collector sentiment, driven by their novel shape and their extreme rarity.

Key points to note about the Type 3 Square Penny. It has a unique design and its is very rarely offered.

The Type 3 Square Penny, with its modern lettering and sleek-style kookaburra, has a design that is unique to its type. No other square penny type bears that design.

We estimate that fifteen 1919 Type 3 Square Pennies are available to collectors.

This is a minuscule number when you consider that the fifteen 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 1919 Type 3 on the market?

Our research, and our experience, confirms that you might expect to be offered a Type 3 Square Penny perhaps once every year.

In 2019, the Royal Australian Mint Canberra, released a modern coin issue acknowledging the historical importance of Australia's Kookaburra coinage.

Not surprisingly, the issue quickly sold out.

Three coins, each square shaped and having a 25 cent denomination commemorating the years the Square Penny was issued, 1919, 1920 and 1921.

And what design did the Royal Australian Mint choose to commemorate the 1919 Square Penny?

The Type 3 Square Penny of course.

 

The Melbourne Mint commenced striking Australia's Commonwealth copper pennies in 1919. No sooner had the mint started issuing the coins, than it was directed by Treasury to commence testing an entirely new penny concept, a square coin made from cupro-nickel.

The introduction of the Kookaburra Square Penny underpinned an attempt by the then Labor Government to stir up national sentiment post World War I. To evoke the great 'Aussie' spirit.

If you think about it. Putting the nation’s native bird - the kookaburra - onto a coin was a no-brainer to achieving that goal. A drastically changed shape, a square. And a new metal, cupronickel was part of the total package to maximise impact on the population.

The proposal was contentious in that the monarch, King George V, was to be depicted on the obverse without a crown. Some say it was the rumblings of a Republican movement way ahead of its time.

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

Sadly, in 1921 and after three years of testing, the scheme fell apart. The response to Australia’s square coinage was poor with widespread public resistance to change and people generally rejecting 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 Square Pennies were test pieces struck to assess public reaction. So, they were not struck to exacting minting standards, a tell-tale sign the lack of uniformity in the width of the edges.

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

It is noted that the Kookaburra Square Pennies tone, some more strongly than others, a reflection on their storage in the intervening years.

A Square Penny with minimal, attractive toning and beautiful surfaces is a joy to behold. And a prized classic Australian coin rarity.

 

 

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Proof-1924-Halfpenny-Rev-June-2020
Proof-1924-Halfpenny-Obv-June-2020
COIN
Proof 1924 Halfpenny, Melbourne Mint
QUALITY
FDC, with full brilliance on the obverse and full brilliance on the periphery of the reverse
PROVENANCE
Philip Spalding, Private Collection Sydney
PRICE
$19,500
COMMENTS
This Proof 1924 Halfpenny reflects the light and glows like 'molten copper'. The obverse has full brilliance and ice-smooth fields. The reverse has the same molten glow on the periphery and, as with the obverse, the fields are ice-smooth. And the strike is brilliant, the design deeply etched. Whoever was in charge at the Melbourne Mint was obviously seeking perfection for the coin has strong striations in the fields indicating that the dies were heavily brushed and well prepared. The coin has obviously been cherished. It's been held in the one collection for the last forty years, and prior to that, owned by renowned collector Philip Spalding. This is proof coining at its best. What makes this great coin even greater is that it is extremely rare. This Proof 1924 Halfpenny is one of only four known.
STATUS
Available now
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Proof-1924-Halfpenny-Obv-June-2020
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This Proof 1924 Halfpenny was struck at the Melbourne Mint as a Coin of Record.

As the name suggests, it was struck to put on record the date '1924' and as a Coin of Record it was struck to the highest minting standards.

The strike satisfied the needs of the mint rather than the wants of collectors.

Respected author, Greg McDonald, provides us with an insight as to why Coins of Record are so limited in numbers when he shared with us a definition put out by the Royal Mint London of a proof coin.

“Struck on a slow-moving coining press using carefully polished dies which are frequently cleaned during use. The materials from which the coins are made are specially processed and the coin blanks are carefully selected and polished before use.

Blanks and minted coins are individually handled to prevent accidental damage.

The essential characteristics of proof coins are highly polished fields, fully reproduced designs free from any flaw, and square edges. Milling where present should be regular and free from any defect. Because of the very high standard set in manufacture, such coins are slow to make and relatively expensive to produce.”

 

In the striking of a proof coin, the mint’s intention was to create a single masterpiece, coining perfection. Perfection in the dies. Wire brushed so that they are razor sharp. Perfection in the design, highly detailed, expertly crafted. Perfection in the fields, achieved by hand selecting unblemished blanks, polished to create a mirror shine. Perfection in the edges to encase the design … exactly what a ‘picture frame does to a canvas’.

A proof coin is meant to be impactful, have the ‘wow’ factor and exhibit qualities that are clearly visible to the naked eye. A proof coin was never intended to be used in every-day use, tucked away in a purse. Or popped into a pocket.

Proof coins were struck to be preserved in government archives as a record of Australia’s coining history, time-capsuled for future generations. Proof coins were also used to showcase a mint’s coining skills, to display at major worldwide Exhibitions or sent to other mint’s and public institutions. A simple case of competitive one-up-man ship. (The British Museum was a major recipient of Australia’s proof coinage. So too the Royal Mint London.)

Proof coins were struck at the discretion of the Mint Master so there was no hard-fast rule about the regularity of the issues. Or the mintages.

The striking of proofs was very often influenced by the collecting zeal of the Mint Master. And his involvement with the collector market. The more passionate the collecting habits of the Mint Master, the greater the chance of proofs being struck.

 

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Proof-1929-Penny-Rev-June-2020
Proof-1929-Penny-Obv-June-2020
COIN
Proof 1929 Penny, Melbourne Mint
QUALITY
FDC, with full copper brilliance on the reverse
PROVENANCE
Spink Auctions (Australia) 1984, Private Collection Victoria
PRICE
$25,000
COMMENTS
The essential characteristics of proof coins are highly polished fields, fully reproduced designs free from any flaw, and square edges. This description provided by numismatist and author Greg McDonald may well have been written for this Proof 1929 Penny. Struck at the Melbourne Mint to create an everlasting vestige of its role in striking Australia’s copper coinage in 1929, this coin is as important as it is rare. Only three other examples are known. This Proof 1929 Penny has full copper brilliance on the reverse and underlying brilliance on the obverse. The fields are smooth, the design deeply etched.
STATUS
Available now
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Proof-1929-Penny-Obv-June-2020
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This Proof 1929 Penny was struck at the Melbourne Mint as a Coin of Record.

As the name suggests, it was struck to put on record the date '1929' and as a Coin of Record it was struck to the highest minting standards.

The strike satisfied the needs of the mint rather than the wants of collectors.

Respected author, Greg McDonald, provides us with an insight as to why Coins of Record are so limited in numbers when he shared with us a definition put out by the Royal Mint London of a proof coin.

“Struck on a slow-moving coining press using carefully polished dies which are frequently cleaned during use. The materials from which the coins are made are specially processed and the coin blanks are carefully selected and polished before use.

Blanks and minted coins are individually handled to prevent accidental damage.

The essential characteristics of proof coins are highly polished fields, fully reproduced designs free from any flaw, and square edges. Milling where present should be regular and free from any defect. Because of the very high standard set in manufacture, such coins are slow to make and relatively expensive to produce.”

 

In the striking of a proof coin, the mint’s intention was to create a single masterpiece, coining perfection. Perfection in the dies. Wire brushed so that they are razor sharp. Perfection in the design, highly detailed, expertly crafted. Perfection in the fields, achieved by hand selecting unblemished blanks, polished to create a mirror shine. Perfection in the edges to encase the design … exactly what a ‘picture frame does to a canvas’.

A proof coin is meant to be impactful, have the ‘wow’ factor and exhibit qualities that are clearly visible to the naked eye. A proof coin was never intended to be used in every-day use, tucked away in a purse. Or popped into a pocket.

Proof coins were struck to be preserved in government archives as a record of Australia’s coining history, time-capsuled for future generations. Proof coins were also used to showcase a mint’s coining skills, to display at major worldwide Exhibitions or sent to other mint’s and public institutions. A simple case of competitive one-up-man ship. (The British Museum was a major recipient of Australia’s proof coinage. So too the Royal Mint London.)

Proof coins were struck at the discretion of the Mint Master so there was no hard-fast rule about the regularity of the issues. Or the mintages.

The striking of proofs was very often influenced by the collecting zeal of the Mint Master. And his involvement with the collector market. The more passionate the collecting habits of the Mint Master, the greater the chance of proofs being struck.

 

Enquire now

1855-Sydney-Mint-Sov-gEF-aUnc-Obv-July-2020
1855-Sydney-Mint-Sov-gEF-aUnc-Rev-July-2020
COIN
1855 Sydney Mint Sovereign, a high quality example of the nation's very first official gold coinage
QUALITY
Good Extremely Fine / About Uncirculated with original gold lustre on both obverse and reverse
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Victoria
PRICE
$35,000
COMMENTS
There are three things we know about high quality 1855 Sydney Mint Sovereigns. NUMBER ONE. They are extremely rare. We have been in business twenty years and can count on the fingers of two hands the number of 1855 Sydney Mint Sovereigns we have sold at this high quality level. NUMBER TWO. They hold a unique status as Australia's first official gold coinage and will always be sought after. NUMBER THREE. Top quality 1855 Sovereigns are hard to find. So, if quality 1855 Sydney Mint Sovereigns are difficult to find today, then they are going to be even more difficult to procure as the years roll on. Which is why we maintain that high quality 1855 Sydney Mint Sovereigns are great coins to tuck away for the future. Technical shots are provided in the READ MORE section.
STATUS
Available now
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1855-Sydney-Mint-Sov-gEF-aUnc-Rev-July-2020
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1855-Sydney-Mint-Sov-gEF-aUnc-Obv-TECH-July-2020

1855 Sydney Mint Sovereign - a highly lustrous obverse with a strong date and minimal marks in the fields.

The 1855 Sydney Mint Sovereign has pride of place in every Australian sovereign collection. It is the nation’s first gold sovereign minted at the Sydney Mint, the nation’s very first mint, and brings to any collection a wonderful and everlasting history.

But, there is so much more to the 1855 Sydney Mint Sovereign than its historical place. In the quality level offered here the coin also offers exceptional rarity.

In the twenty years that Coinworks has been in business, you can count on the fingers of two hands the number of 1855 Sydney Mint Sovereigns that we have sold at Good Extremely Fine.

This is a clear affirmation of the coin’s limited availability in the upper quality echelons.

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.

The bar chart below clearly shows that rarity really cuts in at the ‘About Extremely Fine’ quality level.

And that as the quality gets higher, from Good Extremely Fine, About Uncirculated up to Uncirculated (and better), the availability of examples rapidly diminishes.

The 1855 Sydney Mint Sovereign has widespread appeal.

  • It is sought by the collector that is targeting key dates. The very first year of our official gold currency is an important date in Australia’s numismatic and financial history.
  • The 1855 Sovereign also appeals to the sovereign collector.
  • And given the scarcity of the '55 sovereign in the upper quality levels, it also appeals to the investor.
1855-Sydney-Mint-Sovereign-Bar-Chart-July-2020
1855-Sydney-Mint-Sov-gEF-aUnc-Rev-TECH-July-2020

1855 Sydney Mint Sovereign - a highly lustrous reverse, with strength in the crown and the word 'AUSTRALIA'.

On the 19 August 1853 Queen Victoria gave approval to establish Australia’s very first mint at or near Sydney in New South Wales.

Captain Edward Wolstenholme Ward, a sergeant, three corporals and 12 privates of the Royal Engineers were deposited on Circular Quay with the bales and boxes of Sydney new mint many months later.

Ward and his men brought with them, along with the bits of machinery and pre-fabricated building, the dies of the first Sydney Mint Sovereigns, patterns of which had been struck at the Royal Mint in 1853.

The final blue print was for one coining press, worked by animal power, capable of producing five million sovereigns per year: the whole lot, buildings included, to cost no more than £10,000. But when the Legislative Council learnt about the donkey engine another £10,000 was added to the budget for steam power.

The mint was set up in a building of Sydney’s Rum Hospital taking in its first gold in May 1855 and turning out its first sovereign one month later.

It was decided that, as the coin would only be legal tender in the colonies, a design specifically attributed to the Sydney Mint should be produced. Designs of Australia’s first gold coinage were prepared in 1853 at the Royal Mint London. The Royal Mint also manufactured the dies.

The reverse design incorporated the words Australia and Sydney Mint, the inclusion of the word Australia, a point of fascination with historians. At the time the nation was operating as separate colonies. Australia did not operate under a single Government until Federation in 1901.

In their infancy the Sydney Mint sovereigns were legal tender only in the colony of New South Wales. In 1857, the legal scope was widened to include all Australian colonies and Mauritius, Ceylon and Hong Kong. In 1868 the Sydney Mint Sovereigns became legal tender throughout the British Empire.

The design of Australia's first sovereigns - referred to as the Sydney Mint design -  lasted until 1870 and was the only time the word Australia appeared on our gold sovereigns.

From 1871, Australia's sovereigns and half sovereigns took on a traditional British design.

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Specimen-1916-Set-Rev-June-2020
Specimen-1916-Set-Obv-June-2020
COIN
1916 Presentation Set in original case of issue
QUALITY
Specimen
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Victoria
PRICE
$95,000
COMMENTS
A 1916 Presentation Set in an original case of issue always commands buyer attention. A Presentation Set of coins records an important moment or event in a nation's history and, for Australia, the year 1916 is indeed a significant one. Now add the final touch of the four words - original case of issue. The case is a stamp of authority and approval indicating that the coins are presented today as they were originally intended more than a century ago. This 1916 Presentation Set is a classic piece of Australiana that is as distinctive as it is rare. Especially created at the Melbourne Mint in 1916 to commemorate the mint’s inaugural striking of Australia’s Commonwealth coins, the set is comprised of the florin, shilling, sixpence and threepence struck to superb specimen quality. Only seven cased presentation sets have been observed at auction over the last half-century.
STATUS
Sold August 2020
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Early in November 1915 the Melbourne Mint was formally instructed to commence preparations for the striking of the Commonwealth's silver coinage. The silver was sourced locally from the Broken Hill mines. (Prior to 1915, the nation's silver coinage had been minted overseas at the Royal Mint London and the Heaton Mint in Birmingham.)

Towards the end of November 1915, dies for the set of four denominations were sent from London.

Six weeks after the dies were shipped, the Governor of Victoria Sir Arthur Stanley K.C.M.G, struck the first circulating 1916 shilling. it is logical that the Melbourne Mint would begin striking silver coinage with the shilling denomination given its similar physical size to their familiar sovereign.

The florin was struck almost immediately after, sixpences by the middle of 1916 with the threepences finally in December.

More than 11.5 million silver coins were released into circulation that year.

The availability of the four-coin specimen presentation set was confirmed in November 1916 when Albert Le Souëf, the Deputy Mint Master of the Melbourne Mint, recorded an entry of sixty specimen sets in the Mint Museums’ cash accounts with a face value of £11 5/-.

Each presentation set was comprised of the four silver coins of florin, shilling, sixpence and threepence struck to specimen quality and featured the Melbourne mint mark ‘M’ below the date 1916. The four coins were housed in a handsome, velvet-lined royal blue case that had been locally sourced.

While records show that 60 sets were produced, sixteen were sold, collectors charged 6/- for a cased set. A further 25 sets out of the original mintage were presented to dignitaries and politicians with the precise fate of the remaining sets unknown.

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

Over the past 50 years we have sighted only seven complete cased sets on the open market.

 

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

The Specimen Threepence.

The Specimen Threepence has a full brilliant mirror finish with handsome royal blue and gold toning. Given the uncompromising small size and weight of the threepence, this coin is extremely well struck, noticeable in the strength of strike in the star, shield and scroll. Microscopic striations confirm the careful preparation of the dies.

The Specimen Sixpence.

The Specimen Sixpence has beautifully mirrored fields and is very well struck. The denticles on the reverse rim, which tend to be weak, are unusually strong. Again, microscopic striations confirm the careful preparation of the dies.

The Specimen Shilling.

The Specimen Shilling is superbly struck and beautifully toned. The reverse reveals multiple striations (raised parallel lines) across its fields; with those between the scroll and date and behind the emu visible to the naked eye.

The Specimen Florin.

The Specimen Florin is beautifully struck, with superb detail in all its design elements. With even matte surfaces and beautiful purple gold toning on the reverse and olive green toning on the obverse, the coin shows the classic striations associated with this controlled striking.

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1930-Penny-good-Fine-Rev-May-2020
1930-Penny-good-Fine-Obv-May-2020
COIN
1930 Penny
QUALITY
Good Fine
PROVENANCE
Jaggards Sydney 1985, Private Collection N.S.W.
PRICE
$24,500
COMMENTS
Let there be no doubt, one of the prime reasons for the popularity of the 1930 Penny is its financial reliability. It is a solid coin. And in times such as we are experiencing, this genuinely counts. In fact, we would go one step further and say that over the long term it has probably been one of our most consistent and trustworthy numismatic performers. This 1930 Penny is graded Good Fine with nice edges and a strong ‘1930’ date. Take up a magnifying glass and you will see that the obverse has one side of the central diamond and six pearls. And while the quality should be enough to gain buyer attention, it is the price that makes this 1930 Penny irresistible buying. We are offering it at $24,500. Technical shots are shown below.
STATUS
Sold August 2020
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1930-Penny-good-Fine-Tech-Reverse-May-2020

1930 Penny reverse with strong edges and strong '1930' date.

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

1930-Penny-good-Fine-Tech-Obverse-May-2020

1930 Penny obverse with six pearls and partial central diamond.

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

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

The 1930 Penny was selling for £50 in the 1950s. A decade later, by decimal changeover, the coin was fetching £255 ($510).

By 1988, Australia's Bicentenary, the 1930 Penny had reached $6000.

By the turn of the century, with interest in coins stimulated by the Sydney Olympics, 1930 Penny prices had moved to $13,000.

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

 

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Proof-1927-Canberra-Florin-banner-July-2020
Proof-1927-Canberra-Florin-obv-July-2020
COIN
Proof 1927 Canberra Florin
QUALITY
A superb Gem FDC. A brilliant proof with stunning iridescent colours and one of the finest we have handled.
PROVENANCE
Nobles Auction March 2007, Private Collection NSW
PRICE
$30,000
COMMENTS
This Proof Canberra Florin set a new price record when it sold at auction in March 2007. Noted by the Auction House as having a quality of Gem FDC. and detailed as 'one of the finest', this stunning proof sold for nearly 50 per cent over its pre-auction estimate, bidders driven by its exceptional quality. The assessment of Gem FDC and its ranking as 'one of the finest' stands true to this very day. The photographs have done justice to this coin. It is simply magnificent.
STATUS
Sold August 2020
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Two things are clear when you analyse auction realisations of the Proof 1927 Canberra Florin over the past forty years.

The first thing you notice is that the coin is extremely scarce. On average one pristine Proof Canberra Florin appears at auction annually.

The second thing we noticed was that the coin has enjoyed solid price growth. In the 1980s, a Proof 1927 Canberra Flroin was selling for approximately $1000 at auction. By the 1990s, the coin had doubled in price. The turn of the century saw the Proof Canberra Florin move to $6000.

A rapid expansion of the rare coin market, a consequence of the 2000 Sydney Olympics coining program, saw prices on exceptional quality examples exceed $20,000.

Collectors that acquire a Proof 1927 Canberra Florin do so because they value the historical importance of the coin. 

The Proof Canberra 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.
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 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.

Collectors also enjoy the splendour of its design. And appreciate the value that the coin offers from a price / rarity perspective.

And they look to the future in the knowledge that, given its appeal and its very limited availability, the coin will increase in value.

The Proof Canberra Florin is genuinely scarce.

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 will be a minimum of twelve months.

What makes this Proof Canberra Florin so good?

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 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.

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.

This Proof 1927 Canberra Florin is an exceptional quality coin.

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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.


$10-Phillip-Randall-Star-Rev-June-2020
$10-Phillip-Randall-Star-Obv-June-2020
NOTE
1968 Phillips Randall First Prefix Ten Dollar Star Note (R303SF)
QUALITY
Uncirculated
PROVENANCE
Private Collection W.A.
PRICE
$9500
COMMENTS
This Ten Dollar Phillips Randall banknote has the prefix/serial number ZSF 16769*. Key points of this banknote are as follows. The six-pointed asterisk indicates that it is an especially printed Star replacement note. The prefix ZSF indicates that this note was printed in the very first print run of Phillips Randall Ten Dollar Star Notes and that makes this note particularly important. Brilliantly preserved, the note is offered in Uncirculated quality. FIRST PREFIX and UNCIRCULATED. Three words that are music to a banknote collector’s ears. Now, let us add another two words that are particularly special to collectors. EXTREMELY RARE for fewer than ten comparable quality first prefix Phillips Randall Ten Dollar ‘stars’ have come onto the market over the last twenty years.
STATUS
Available now
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$10-Phillip-Randall-Star-Obv-June-2020
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First prefix & last signature combination. A pairing that collectors really like.

The Ten Dollar Star note issues commenced in 1966 with the Coombs Wilson signature combination. They were followed in 1967 by the Coombs Randall combination.

The third issue of Ten Dollar Star notes featured the Phillips Randall combination notes and occurred in 1968.

As the printing of star notes ceased in 1971, the Phillips Randall signature combination is the very last signature combination of Ten Dollar decimal star notes.

The history of Star Notes in Australia.

In the good old days before sophisticated equipment was introduced into the process of printing banknotes, the only way of ensuring that all the printed notes were accounted for was by way of the serial numbers.

So, if a note or notes were damaged during printing, it was replaced with a separate note hand printed with the same serial number.

It was a slow and laborious process of printing an individual note as distinct from printing a run of notes and was progressively phased out after 1948 with damaged notes being replaced by star notes printed in special print runs.

 

When decimal currency was introduced in 1966, the decimal star note system was only slightly modified.

Damaged notes were removed and replaced with substitute notes that were printed in a special run of notes. And with a different sequence of prefixes and serial numbers followed by a six-pointed asterisk.

The prefix commenced with the letter ‘Z’. The second letter of the prefix was coded to represent the denomination. ZA was allocated to the One Dollar note. ZF to the Two Dollar, ZN to the Fives, ZS to Tens and ZX for the Twenties.

The system ceased in 1971 and as the $50 note was first printed in 1973 and the $100 in 1984, there are no star notes of these denominations.

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

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

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1808-Pierced-Dollar-VF-Mexico-Rev-August-2020
1808-Pierced-Dollar-VF-Mexico-Obv-August-2020
COIN
Collection of cut and counter stamped Spanish Silver Dollars, the highlight a Holey Dollar issued by the British Colony of Trinidad.
QUALITY
See individual pieces below.
PROVENANCE
See individual pieces below.
PRICE
See individual pieces below.
COMMENTS
The Spanish Silver Dollar was fabled as pirate plunder. It was the famous ‘piece of eight’ of the Spanish empire and it was used – and abused – by British colonies right across the globe to create their very own local currency. Cut into quarters, half or three-quarter segments and stamped with the insignia of a colony, it served as small change for that dependency. Holed It became the famous Holey Dollar. This collection is comprised of five coins, all of which were created from the Spanish Silver Dollar. Extremely rare and highly historical, this collection of five coins is available now.
STATUS
Sold August 2020
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The Spanish Silver Dollar. The coin that ruled the world.

Beginning with Columbus in 1492 and continuing for nearly 350 years, Spain conquered and settled most of South America, the Caribbean, and the south west of America. 

It was however, the silver rich continent of South America that became Spain’s treasure trove, bank rolling its ascendancy as a world power. In 1536, Spain established its first colonial mint in Mexico. It was by far the most lucrative of the Spanish mints, coining more than 2 billion dollars’ worth of silver pieces over a 300 year period (1536 – 1821). The Lima and Potosi Mint came on board in 1568 and 1573 respectively.

Not only were the Spanish mint’s prolific but the monarchy in 1537 introduced exacting standards of weight and purity into its coinage. (A diameter of 39mm and a weight of 27.70 grams of pure silver.) That clever move resulted in worldwide dominance of the Spanish Silver Dollar and its ultimate acceptance as an international currency and medium of exchange.

The Spanish Silver Dollar was used – and abused – the world over for centuries.

It was the coin that was holed and counter stamped by Governor Lachlan Macquarie to create his Holey Dollar and Dump, the very first coins struck in Australia.

When the Spanish Dollar was cut into quarters, half or three-quarter segments and stamped with the insignia of a colony, it served as small change for that dependency.

Such practises were widely used throughout the British colonies of the Caribbean and several African nation’s including Sierra Leone.

Even Great Britain succumbed to the lures of the Spanish Silver Dollar. In 1797 the Bank of England purchased for its own account well over two million dollars of Spanish Silver Dollars to supplement its own coinage. These were counter stamped with an oval bust of King George III.


Extremely rare Trinidad Holey Dollar struck in 1811 from an 1808 Charles IV Spanish silver dollar

Quality Very Fine

Price $15,000 - SOLD

Australia is not the only nation to lay claim to having a 'Holey Dollar' as its official currency.

This extremely rare Holey Dollar was issued in 1811 by the British Commonwealth Island of Trinidad and was created from an 1808 Mexico Mint Silver Dollar that was pierced to create a plain cut, octagonal edged hole.

Irrespective of the issuing authority - New South Wales, Trinidad, Dominica or Canada's Prince Edward Island - the Holey Dollar is an internationally respected colonial coin that began its life as a Spanish Silver Dollar and is extremely rare and highly sought after.

1808-Pierced-Dollar-VF-Mexico-Rev-SQ-August-2020
1808-Pierced-Dollar-VF-Mexico-Obv-SQ-August-2020

1801 Tortola Charles III Quarter Dollar 

Quality of Counter stamps Good Fine

Price $2500 - SOLD

On 3 February 1801, the Assembly of the Virgin Islands passed an Act for stamping half dollars and quarter dollars. 'TORTOLA' was stamped in relief in a rectangular shaped indent.

Tortola is the largest island of the British Virgin Islands that lay in the Caribbean east of Puerto Rico and the US.

1801-Tortola-Charles-III-Quarter-Dollar-stamp-side-June-2020-
1801-Tortola-Charles-III-Quarter-Dollar-blank-side-June-2020-
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1801 Tortola Charles III Half Dollar 

Quality of Fine with counter stamps Very Fine

Price $2500 - SOLD

A Tortola issue of 1801, a cut half segment of a Charles IIII Mexico Mint Spanish Silver Dollar minted in 1794 counter stamped 'TORTOLA' in relief in a rectangular shaped indent.

From the Hopkins Hoard, sold with Spink London ticket.

1801-Tortola-Charles-III-Half-Dollar-VF-Obv-June-2020
1801-Tortola-Charles-III-Half-Dollar-VF-Rev-June-2020
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1805 - 1823 Tortola Charles IV Half Dollar  

Quality of Fine with counter stamps Very Fine

$2500 - SOLD

From the Tankersley Collection, Baldwins Auction Sale 18, October 1998.

A Tortola issue of a cut half segment of a Charles IV Mexico Spanish Silver Dollar counter stamped 'TIRTILA' in relief in a rectangular shaped indent.

1805-Tortola-Charles-IV-Half-Dollar-VF-Obv-June-2020
1805-Tortola-Charles-IV-Half-Dollar-VF-Rev-June-2020
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A cut square centre segment of a Spanish Silver Dollar, issued in 1811 in the British colony of Guadelope

Quality of Good Very Fine

Price $2000 - SOLD

The island of Guadelope is situated in the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean and came under British control on 4 February, 1810.

This square centre segment was cut out of a Spanish Silver Dollar and features crenellated edges and is counter stamped with a ‘G’ for Guadelope.

Spanish-silver-bit-rev-square-August-2020
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1805-Holey-Dollar-2-Date-April-2020
1805-Holey-Dollar-2-Date-April-2020jpg
COIN
1813 Holey Dollar struck on an 1805 Mexico Mint Spanish Silver Dollar
QUALITY
About Extremely Fine with counter stamps, Extremely Fine
PROVENANCE
Ray Jewell, Schulman Auction New York 1966, John Ahbe, Spink-Stern Auction Melbourne, 1975, Osborne Collection, Mira Noble Reference 1805/7
PRICE
$275,000
COMMENTS
This Holey Dollar is impactful. Notice the monarch’s eye and nose. Two facets of the design detail that are almost always obliterated in a Holey Dollar. Over and above the aesthetics of this coin, at About Extremely Fine this Holey Dollar is in the top 10 percentile for quality and has toned to a handsome charcoal grey with superb glossy surfaces. Check out the technical shots in the READ MORE section.
STATUS
Available now
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1805-Holey-Dollar-2-Date-April-2020jpg
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When William Henshall created this Holey Dollar in 1813, he grabbed an 1805 Spanish Silver Dollar that had been struck at the Mexico Mint.

If William Henshall had been a numismatist he would have acknowledged that the 1805 Spanish Silver Dollar that he was about to deface showed minimal signs of wear. Given that he was holding the world's greatest trading coin, that in itself was a miracle.

Committed to the task of creating holey dollars from silver dollars, he cut a hole in the dollar and continued the minting process by over-stamping the inner circular edge of the hole with the words New South Wales, the date 1813 and the value of five shillings, thereby creating this 1813 Holey Dollar.

The original 1805 Spanish Silver Dollar used to create this Holey Dollar is graded in the premium quality level of About Extremely Fine indicating that it underwent minimal circulation before the hole was cut into it in 1813.

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

The counter-stamps of this Holey Dollar are graded in the premium quality levels of Extremely Fine indicating that as a Holey Dollar this coin also underwent minimal use.

The Holey Dollar is one of Australia’s most desirable coins.

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

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

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

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.

1805-Holey-Dollar-Date-Tech-April-2020
1805-Holey-Dollar-Date-Tech-Rev-April-2020
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Proof-1924-Shilling-Rev-July-2020
Proof-1924-Shilling-Obv-July-2020
COIN
Proof 1924 Shilling, Melbourne Mint. Of the highest rarity as one of only three known.
QUALITY
Superb FDC
PROVENANCE
Philip Spalding
PRICE
$22,500
COMMENTS
Mr A. M. Le Souef was Deputy Master of the Melbourne Mint when this Proof 1924 Shilling was struck ... and doesn't it show. The coin was not struck for collectors as part of any mass-marketing sales campaign. It was struck for the mint's archives and the privileged few and Le Souef would have been the impetus behind the strike. Because it was a specially arranged striking of proof quality presentation pieces, only a handful were struck. The original silver blanks were hand selected and polished to achieve a dazzling mirror shine. Furthermore, the coin has strong striations in the fields indicating that the dies were heavily brushed and well prepared. Strong striations in the fields equate to a brilliant strike and this is indeed the case with this coin. Furthermore, the coin has strong striations in the fields indicating that the dies were heavily brushed and well prepared. Strong striations in the fields equate to a brilliant strike and this is indeed the case with this coin. Over and above its brilliant strike, this coin is well preserved and has obviously been cherished in the intervening years. We note that it bears the name Philip Spalding as one of its former owners.Over and above its brilliant strike, this coin is well preserved and has obviously been cherished in the intervening years. We note that it bears the name Philip Spalding as one of its former owners.
STATUS
Available now
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Proof-1924-Shilling-Obv-July-2020
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This Proof 1924 Shilling was struck at the Melbourne Mint as a Coin of Record.

As the name suggests, it was struck to put on record the date '1924' and as a Coin of Record it was struck to the highest minting standards.

The strike satisfied the needs of the mint rather than the wants of collectors.

Respected author, Greg McDonald, provides us with an insight as to why Coins of Record are so limited in numbers when he shared with us a definition put out by the Royal Mint London of a proof coin.

“Struck on a slow-moving coining press using carefully polished dies which are frequently cleaned during use. The materials from which the coins are made are specially processed and the coin blanks are carefully selected and polished before use.

Blanks and minted coins are individually handled to prevent accidental damage.

The essential characteristics of proof coins are highly polished fields, fully reproduced designs free from any flaw, and square edges. Milling where present should be regular and free from any defect. Because of the very high standard set in manufacture, such coins are slow to make and relatively expensive to produce.”

 

In the striking of a proof coin, the mint’s intention was to create a single masterpiece, coining perfection. Perfection in the dies. Wire brushed so that they are razor sharp. Perfection in the design, highly detailed, expertly crafted. Perfection in the fields, achieved by hand selecting unblemished blanks, polished to create a mirror shine. Perfection in the edges to encase the design … exactly what a ‘picture frame does to a canvas’.

A proof coin is meant to be impactful, have the ‘wow’ factor and exhibit qualities that are clearly visible to the naked eye. A proof coin was never intended to be used in every-day use, tucked away in a purse. Or popped into a pocket.

Proof coins were struck to be preserved in government archives as a record of Australia’s coining history, time-capsuled for future generations. Proof coins were also used to showcase a mint’s coining skills, to display at major worldwide Exhibitions or sent to other mint’s and public institutions. A simple case of competitive one-up-man ship. (The British Museum was a major recipient of Australia’s proof coinage. So too the Royal Mint London.)

Proof coins were struck at the discretion of the Mint Master so there was no hard-fast rule about the regularity of the issues. Or the mintages.

The striking of proofs was very often influenced by the collecting zeal of the Mint Master. And his involvement with the collector market. The more passionate the collecting habits of the Mint Master, the greater the chance of proofs being struck.

 

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1813-Dump-PP-March-2020jpg
1813-Dump-PP-OBV-March-2020
COIN
1813 Dump, Type A/1 with super-smooth, highly reflective fields and handsome blue-grey toning.
QUALITY
Nearly Extremely Fine, supreme quality and exceedingly rare as such.
PROVENANCE
Ray Jewell Collection, Noble Numismatics April 2004
PRICE
$75,000
COMMENTS
A Nearly Extremely Fine 1813 Dump is a supreme-quality piece and rests in the top 5 per cent of surviving examples. A coin of this calibre is genuinely hard to find and is a chance opportunity. Now let’s factor in the provenance of Ray Jewell for a Nearly Extremely Fine Dump that has the name Ray Jewell attached to it, is a once-in-a-decade opportunity. Jewell was a foremost dealer and collector and a founding father of Australia’s rare coin industry. He was as learned as he was well-respected, and this Dump was part of his prized collection. It is a coin that has all the attributes that a collector could ask for in an 1813 Dump including a well-executed central design, traces of the original Spanish Dollar design details, strong denticles and the presence of the ‘H’ for Henshall on the reverse.
STATUS
Sold July 2020.
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1813-Dump-PP-OBV-March-2020
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The Holey Dollar and its partner the Dump were struck in 1813 under the directions of Governor Lachlan Macquarie to create a medium of exchange in the cash-starved penal colony of New South Wales.

They are much-lauded as the nation's first coins.

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: a donut shaped piece which became the Holey Dollar and a tiny central disc which became the Dump.

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" as far as the 1813 Dump is concerned and establish the point at which 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.

 

Ray Jewell 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 fields are smooth and highly reflective, toned to a handsome pale blue/grey.
  • 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.
  • 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 is well 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. The design detail of the original Spanish Dollar from which this Dump was created is evident on the reverse. We refer to it as the under-type and its presence is again highly prized.
Dump-chart-March-2020
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Proof-1924-Florin-Rev-July-2020
Proof-1924-Florin-Obv-July-2020
COIN
Proof 1924 Florin, Melbourne Mint. One of only five known.
QUALITY
Superb FDC
PROVENANCE
Spink Auctions March 1982, Philip Spalding
PRICE
$22,500
COMMENTS
Mr A. M. Le Souef was Deputy Master of the Melbourne Mint when this Proof 1924 Florin was struck ... and doesn't it show. The coin was not struck for collectors as part of any mass-marketing sales campaign. It was struck for the mint's archives and the privileged few and Le Souef would have been the impetus behind the strike. Because it was a specially arranged striking of proof quality presentation pieces, only a handful were struck. The original silver blanks were hand selected and polished to achieve a dazzling mirror shine. Furthermore, the coin has strong striations in the fields indicating that the dies were heavily brushed and well prepared. Strong striations in the fields equate to a brilliant strike and this is indeed the case with this coin. Over and above its brilliant strike, this coin is well preserved and has obviously been cherished in the intervening years. We note that it bears the name Philip Spalding as one of its former owners.
STATUS
Available now
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Proof-1924-Florin-Obv-July-2020
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This Proof 1924 Florin was struck at the Melbourne Mint as a Coin of Record.

As the name suggests, it was struck to put on record the date '1924' and as a Coin of Record it was struck to the highest minting standards.

The strike satisfied the needs of the mint rather than the wants of collectors.

Respected author, Greg McDonald, provides us with an insight as to why Coins of Record are so limited in numbers when he shared with us a definition put out by the Royal Mint London of a proof coin.

“Struck on a slow-moving coining press using carefully polished dies which are frequently cleaned during use. The materials from which the coins are made are specially processed and the coin blanks are carefully selected and polished before use.

Blanks and minted coins are individually handled to prevent accidental damage.

The essential characteristics of proof coins are highly polished fields, fully reproduced designs free from any flaw, and square edges. Milling where present should be regular and free from any defect. Because of the very high standard set in manufacture, such coins are slow to make and relatively expensive to produce.”

 

In the striking of a proof coin, the mint’s intention was to create a single masterpiece, coining perfection. Perfection in the dies. Wire brushed so that they are razor sharp. Perfection in the design, highly detailed, expertly crafted. Perfection in the fields, achieved by hand selecting unblemished blanks, polished to create a mirror shine. Perfection in the edges to encase the design … exactly what a ‘picture frame does to a canvas’.

A proof coin is meant to be impactful, have the ‘wow’ factor and exhibit qualities that are clearly visible to the naked eye. A proof coin was never intended to be used in every-day use, tucked away in a purse. Or popped into a pocket.

Proof coins were struck to be preserved in government archives as a record of Australia’s coining history, time-capsuled for future generations. Proof coins were also used to showcase a mint’s coining skills, to display at major worldwide Exhibitions or sent to other mint’s and public institutions. A simple case of competitive one-up-man ship. (The British Museum was a major recipient of Australia’s proof coinage. So too the Royal Mint London.)

Proof coins were struck at the discretion of the Mint Master so there was no hard-fast rule about the regularity of the issues. Or the mintages.

The striking of proofs was very often influenced by the collecting zeal of the Mint Master. And his involvement with the collector market. The more passionate the collecting habits of the Mint Master, the greater the chance of proofs being struck.

 

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Proof-1935-Penny-Halfpenny-Pair-Rev-July-2020
Proof-1935-Penny-Halfpenny-Pair-Obv-July-2020
COIN
Proof 1935 Penny and Proof 1935 Halfpenny matched pair
QUALITY
FDC. A perfectly matched pair, with full underlying brilliance on both penny and halfpenny
PROVENANCE
Sold by private treaty to Coinworks 2002, Private Collection Sydney
PRICE
$39,500
COMMENTS
A Trans-Tasman connection was alive and kicking when New Zealander, Henry George Williams, financed the striking of a small number of 1935 Proof Pennies and 1935 Proof Halfpennies at the Melbourne Mint. In so doing, Williams unwittingly created an Australian 'numismatic star'. The term 'numismatic star' falls well short in describing these particular 1935 Proofs. The coins are perfectly matched, with glass-like surfaces and original copper brilliance, and are in every respect NUMISMATIC SUPER-STARS. We would be lucky to sight such quality '35 proofs on the market once every five years.
STATUS
Sold July 2020
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Proof-1935-Penny-Halfpenny-Pair-Obv-July-2020
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The pride and satisfaction associated with owning a special coin is markedly enhanced with knowledge of both the people associated with its production and previous owners through whose hands it has passed.

New Zealand numismatist, Henry George Williams played a key role in persuading the Melbourne Mint to issue proof coins on a commercial basis in 1935.

Williams was captivated by the golden-eye appeal achieved by the Melbourne Mint with their proof coppers and ordered 126 pairs.

Williams sold the majority of pairs into the advanced collector markets in the U.K. and the U.S, the very reason why the coins are so scarce in the Australian market.

That Williams did not request the minting of any proof silver coins in 1935 reflected his personal preference and his insight into the market, that demand for the bronze coins far outweighed that for the silver.

As the photos reveal, the strike detail and the finish of the coins is unsurpassed by any other proofs out of the George V era.

Historical letters confirm that the proofs of 1935 were struck from especially hardened blanks, and were struck twice with fresh dies in the presses. The lack of bag marks is consistent with the coins being made effectively by hand.

Natural attrition has taken its toll on the original mintage with many of the pairs broken up and individual coins sold-off.

We would expect to sight a pair of the 1935 proofs on the open market, perhaps once every year.

Now add the word "matched" and the words "original copper brilliance" for the chance to acquire a matched par of Proof 1935 Penny and Proof 1935 Halfpenny, both with full underlying copper brilliance is an offer that might occur once in every five years. 

With on-line ordering and toll-free phone numbers, buying your favourite collector coin from the Royal Australian Mint has never been easier. Collectors in the nineteenth and twentieth century however were not afforded the same consideration from the operating mints.

The Sydney Mint opened in 1855 as a branch of the Royal Mint London and closed in 1926. Throughout its entire history, the mint did not strike proofs for collectors on a commercial basis. The Melbourne Mint, Australia’s second coining facility, opened in 1872. During its first forty-four years of operation, the mint did not strike coins for collectors on a commercial basis.

The Melbourne Mint’s first commercial foray for collectors occurred in 1916 when the mint especially created a presentation set to commemorate its inaugural striking of the Commonwealth’s silver coins.

Sadly, for collectors, the 1916 Presentation Set did not set a precedent for further coin issues. 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.

Over the next thirty-eight years, from 1916 to 1953, the Melbourne Mint played ‘cat and mouse’ with collectors by releasing only another seven proof and/or specimen issues. The issues were ad hoc. The mintages inconsistent.

The years in which the collector issues occurred were 1916, 1927, 1934, 1935, 1937, 1938, 1939 and 1953.

We refer to these eight issues as ‘The Collector Coins of the Melbourne Mint, 1916 to 1953’.

They were pivotal in changing Australia's coin collecting landscape in the twentieth century, the pre-cursor to the series taken up by the Royal Australian Mint in 1966.

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1930-Penny-goodFine-aVF-Rev-June-2020
1930-Penny-goodFine-aVF-Obv-June-2020
COIN
1930 Penny with three sides of the central diamond and six plump pearls
QUALITY
About Very Fine / Very Fine
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Melbourne
PRICE
$29,500 (Normal RRP $34,500)
COMMENTS
The 1930 Penny is legendary, and its star status has made it one of Australia's most valuable rare coins. As buying a 1930 Penny is an important decision, we offer one very basic tip for collectors to assist them in their selection process. Acquire a 1930 Penny that is visually very attractive and has no obvious defects from its time in circulation. A glance at the TECHNICAL PHOTOS, both obverse and reverse, of this coin shows that it is simply a great 1930 Penny. The obverse is graded About Very Fine and the reverse a higher quality grading of Very Fine. Collectors will note the partial central diamond and six plump pearls in the king’s crown. If you have been sitting back watching the market and waiting for a quality 1930 Penny to come along, priced below $30,000 ... then this is the coin for you.
STATUS
Sold July 2020
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1930-Penny-goodFine-aVF-Obv-June-2020
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1930-Penny-goodFine-aVF-Rev-TECH-June-2020

An impactful reverse with strength in the edges, upper and lower scrolls and the date '1930'.

One of the prime reasons for the popularity of the 1930 Penny is its financial reliability. It is a solid coin. And in times such as we are experiencing in 2020 with worldwide financial upheavals, this genuinely counts.

In fact, we would go one step further and say that over the long term the 1930 Penny has probably been one of our most consistent and trustworthy numismatic performers.

It is an industry phenomenon, for in a market that is quality focused it is interesting to note that the 1930 Penny is keenly sought irrespective of its quality ranking. And growth over the mid to long term has been significant across all quality levels.

What is most interesting about the 1930 Penny is that the coin  stumbled into fame. A review of records at the Melbourne Mint confirms that apart from the six 1930 Pennies struck to proof quality, no pennies were struck for circulation in that year.

Our insistence on the aesthetics when acquiring a 1930 Penny simply relates to the point that the coin was not discovered until the 1940s, a decade after they were released into circulation.

Struck during the Great Depression and with unemployment tipping 30 per cent, the notion that coins could be saved or kept as a collectible was nonsensical. Any coin that came into a family's hands was used.

It is a fact that all 1930 Pennies have circulated, with the majority well used.

Our advice therefore is to reject a coin with a huge unsightly gouge. Or a massive edge knock. There will always be some signs of circulation with a 1930 Penny, but if they overwhelm the overall aesthetics of the coin, then in our view, do not buy it.

The simple point - of acquiring a 1930 Penny that looks 'good' - really counts when, further down the track, it comes time for you to sell and realise on your investment.

 

1930-Penny-goodFine-aVF-Obv-TECH-June-2020

An impactful obverse with strength in the edges. A look at the crown area shows a complete lower band and three sides of the central diamond and six plump pearls.

Examining a 1930 Penny is a three-point process.

Start off by scrutinising the coin in the flesh using just the naked eye. A truly great coin will always look good to the unaided eye.

This coin has strong edges, the upper and lower scrolls also are strong.

The obverse and reverse fields are reflective and smooth with handsome brown toning.

Move the obverse through the light you see the central diamond and a complete lower band of the crown.

You also observe the strong design details of the monarch's robes.

Secondly, pick up a magnifying glass to examine the technical details, the diamond and the pearls, to re-confirm its technical grading.

The eye glass re-confirms what we have seen to the naked eye ... and much more.

This coin has a partial diamond with three out of the four sides showing. The oval to the left of the central diamond is almost intact.

The final step is to take another look with the naked eye just to make sure that you have taken everything in.

The final assessment of this 1930 Penny confirms that it is a great coin and passes our three-point assessment with flying colours.

The price makes it even more attractive.

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1957-1963-Perth-Proofs-FDC-July-2019
COIN
A collection of Perth Mint Proof Coins, 1957 to 1963
QUALITY
Superb blazing orange proofs. FDC.
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Melbourne
PRICE
A 20th anniversary celebratory price of $15,000 (normal R.R.P. $21,000)
COMMENTS
On 1 July 2020, Coinworks will have been trading twenty years. We are kick starting the celebrations and for one week only, we are offering this collection of twelve stunning copper proofs at a celebratory price of $15,000 (normal R.R.P. $21,000).
STATUS
Sold June 2020
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This collection is comprised of the following Perth Mint proof coppers.

  • 1957 Perth Mint Proof Penny - the Proof 1957 Penny was minted in a matte and bright finish. Both types are offered in this collection.
  • 1958 Perth Mint Proof Penny
  • 1959 Perth Mint Proof Penny
  • 1960 Perth Mint Proof Penny & Proof Halfpenny
  • 1961 Perth Mint Proof Penny & Proof Halfpenny
  • 1962 Perth Mint Proof Penny & Proof Halfpenny
  • 1963 Perth Mint Proof Penny & Proof Halfpenny

We have always liked this area of the market and for the following reasons:

  • That the Perth Mint is still operating makes these coins a vital part of the mint's history and yet at the same time refreshingly current.
  • 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.
  • The mintages are minuscule, around the 1500 mark.
  • The opportunities for purchase are severely reduced if you are a collector seeking out the calibre of the coins on offer. Less than a handful would be sighted on the market at this quality level annually.
  • Rare and yet affordable, the coins are available at a dollar level that attracts a lot of collectors.
  • In top quality, the coins are stunning to look at, a solid blazing orange.
  • And very importantly, they are highly historical collector items. The success of the Perth Mint's proof coin program was a catalyst for the introduction of a decimal proof coining program for collectors by the Royal Australian Mint, Canberra in 1966.
  • They are great pieces to tuck away for the future either for yourself, for your children or your grandchildren.

 

 

 

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.

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.

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1860-Sydney-Mint-Sovereign-Obv-June-2020
1860-Sydney-Mint-Sovereign-Rev-June-2020
COIN
1860 Sydney Mint Sovereign
QUALITY
Choice Uncirculated
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Melbourne
PRICE
$25,000
COMMENTS
It is a fact. 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. Given that this sovereign was struck in the factory-like conditions of the nation’s first mint, there can only be one explanation as to its remarkable state. The coin must have been put aside soon after minting. Put aside but also especially cared for in the interim for the coin has been brilliantly preserved, the fields lustrous. When it was presented to us, it had been painstakingly wrapped up in tissue paper into a minute parcel, seemingly hidden away for decades. Technical shots have been included in the READ MORE section.
STATUS
Available now.
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1860-Sydney-Mint-Sovereign-Rev-June-2020
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1860-Sydney-Mint-Sovereign-Obv-TECH-June-2020

1860 Sydney Mint Sovereign Obverse. 

1860-Sydney-Mint-Sovereign-Rev-TECH-June-2020

1860 Sydney Mint Sovereign Reverse. 

This 1860 Sovereign will have widespread appeal. To the sovereign buyer that targets key dates. To the sovereign buyer that just wants top quality. And to the investor for this is a classic numismatic investment piece. The combination of a key date and superb quality.

The year 1860 is 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.

 

Superb quality. And a great rarity.

The value 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.

It is a fact that 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.

Sydney mint - our first gold sovereign series.

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.

 

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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
$65,000
COMMENTS
This Proof 1899 Half Sovereign is a golden opportunity. Your chance to acquire an extremely rare and highly important piece of proof gold, at the conservative price of $65,000. This coin is a showpiece of our industry. Tick the box for quality. It is brilliant and flawless. And tick the box for rarity. Exceedingly rare, only one other example has surfaced over the last century. And tick the box for importance. In 1899, the Footscray Football Club (now Western Bulldogs) won their second premiership in the club’s history. It is the coin that has it all ... including the price.
STATUS
Sold June 2020
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1899M-Proof-Half-Sovereign-FDC-obv-July-2019
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The magnetism of gold is as strong as it has ever been. Gold jewellery. Gold bullion. Gold coins. Gold is still to this day viewed as a storage of wealth and gold is vigorously traded and possessed.

When it comes to collecting vintage gold coins, collectors have two distinct options.

They can acquire coins that were struck for circulation: coins that were meant to be used. Or they can collect coins that were struck as presentation pieces to PROOF QUALITY.

The coin on offer is one such presentation piece, a Proof 1899 Half Sovereign struck at the Melbourne Mint.

That proof coins were struck in the nineteenth century may surprise some readers. But it has to be said that the striking of proof coins in Australia is not a modern day phenomenon. Nor a product of the decimal era. The nation’s mints were striking proofs of our pre-decimal coinage in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and the intention was then, as it is today, to create limited mintage coins struck to the highest standards of quality.

Each option, circulating coinage or proof coinage, presents the buyer with a vastly different sized pool of specimens from which to choose.

General date (non-key date), average circulating gold sovereigns, are available in the thousands if not the tens of thousands. Once the collector sets parameters on quality and dates, the pool of specimens narrows and it is true that acquiring a key date gold coin that was struck for circulation, particularly one in premium quality, can be a journey in time that involves many months, if not years.

 

The task of acquiring gold proofs of our pre-decimal coinage is far more challenging.

The pathway to proof coinage for buyers can involve many years, if not decades.

Rarity is the key word when discussing proof gold. And it is a statement of fact that proof gold, irrespective of the sector, is extremely rare and buying opportunities will always be thin on the ground.

And the reasons?

  1. Proof gold coins were NOT struck every year.
  2. And of those dates that were struck as proofs, only one, or perhaps two up to a maximum of three made their way out into the collector market.
  3. Natural attrition has taken its toll on coins out of the original mintages with some of them filtering their way into circulation or being mishandled and thus having their quality marred. So suddenly one, two or three proofs becomes even less.
  4. Great coins tend to be held. The owner of the Madrid Collection held onto his gold proofs for more than twenty years. The Spalding family similarly.

This Proof 1899 Half Sovereign is a golden opportunity and for just one buyer.

Only one other proof half sovereign of this date has appeared over the last century.

 

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Cerrutty-Collins-50-Pounds-1-March-2020
Cerrutty-Collins-50-Pounds-2-March-2020
NOTE
1920 Cerutty Collins Fifty Pounds
QUALITY
Good Very Fine, crisp body and strong colours
PROVENANCE
International Auction Galleries 2010, Private Collection Melbourne
PRICE
$65,000
COMMENTS
Australia’s Cerutty Collins £50 banknote is an acclaimed rarity. Three print runs occurred during the lifetime of the Cerutty Collins Fifty Pounds, the first in 1920, the second in 1924 and the final run in 1940 each run identified by variations in the font and structure of the serial number. The serial number Y110704 of this £50 note confirms it as coming from the first run, and printed in 1920, which makes it of the highest rarity. Only three other examples are known, this being one of the finest. A validation of the respect held for this note, it is photographed in Mick Vort Ronald’s reference book, Australian Banknote Pedigrees, Second Edition, page 396.
STATUS
Available now
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Cerrutty-Collins-50-Pounds-2-March-2020
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The Cerutty Collins £50 is a highly valued commodity, acclaimed by today’s collectors.

But it is noted that the Cerutty Collins £50 was a highly valued piece of currency way back in 1920 when it was first issued for it represented three months wages for male workers. And six months wages for their female counterparts.

Furthermore, it was issued in an era of economic turmoil. Australia was experiencing high inflation in 1920 when this note was issued, the economy moving quickly into a severe recession some three years later.

Then in October 1929, the American stock market crashed, acting as a catalyst that sent countries around the world into depression, including Australia that endured a 32 per cent unemployment rate in 1932.

And yet somehow this £50 note survived the turmoil and was kept aside as a collectable.

Simply remarkable when you consider the value that it held in 1920. And the economic and financial upheavals that is has endured.

Mick Vort Ronald, Australia’s foremost banknote author, and famed collector, reveals in a recent article in the Coin and Banknote Magazine, that he only ever had one example of the Fifty Pounds denomination in what was a lifetime of collecting.

The design of the £50 reflected Andrew Fisher’s vision as originally laid out in 1913 of having a uniquely Australian design featuring the new Commonwealth Coat of Arms and a scene of Australia on the back. (Andrew Fisher was Prime Minister of Australia in 1913.)

The £50 was printed in blue in a style of printing referred to as intaglio and featured the new Australian Coat of Arms at centre top, with the words THE COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA and the words AUSTRALIAN NOTE below.

The centre of the £50 has the paragraph, “The Treasurer of the Commonwealth of Australia Promises to pay the Bearer FIFTY POUNDS in gold coin on Demand at the Commonwealth Treasury at the Seat of Government.”

There is no mistaking that this is a £50 note. The value 50 POUNDS is the main feature of almost the entire background of the front of the note with the number '50' appearing liberally in the borders.

The back features a flock of merino sheep at Bungaree South Australia. Also printed in blue intaglio, the borders of the note are ornate and feature the number ‘50’.

James Richard Collins C.M.G.
Born on 14th March 1869, at Ballarat, Victoria, Collins entered the Victorian Public Service on 16th June 1886 as Treasury Clerk. Rising through the ranks he was eventually appointed Secretary to the Treasury and signed the note in that capacity.

Charles John Cerutty C.M.G.
Born on 25th November 1870, at Sale, Victoria, Cerutty entered the Victorian Public Service in 1888 as Treasury Clerk.  Rising through the ranks, he was eventually appointed Assistant Secretary to the Treasury and signed the note in that capacity.

(C.M.G. Commander of the order of St Michael & St George)

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1893-Melbourne-Proof-Sovereign-rev-Large-July-2019
1893-Melbourne-Proof-Sovereign-obv-Large-July-2019
COIN
Proof 1893 Sovereign depicting the Veiled Head portrait of Queen Victoria. One of two known.
QUALITY
A brilliant and flawless FDC
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Perth
PRICE
$65,000
COMMENTS
This Proof Sovereign was struck at the Melbourne Mint in 1893. It is exceedingly rare. Only one other example has surfaced over the last century. It also is exceedingly important. In 1893, Australia changed the obverse portrait of the nation's sovereigns to depict Queen Victoria in her twilight years. Expertly crafted from 22 carat gold, the coin exudes luxury and wealth a dichotomy to the economic and social horrors of the year in which it was struck. And the city in which it was struck. For Australia in 1893 was experiencing a depression that lasted longer than anywhere else in the world and Melbourne was its epicentre. This Proof 1893 Sovereign is an enduring symbol of our past.
STATUS
Sold June 2020
Enquire Now
1893-Melbourne-Proof-Sovereign-obv-Large-July-2019
Read More

The magnetism of gold is as strong as it has ever been. Gold jewellery. Gold bullion. Gold coins. Gold is still to this day viewed as a storage of wealth and gold is vigorously traded and possessed.

When it comes to collecting vintage gold coins, collectors have two distinct options.

They can acquire coins that were struck for circulation: coins that were meant to be used. Or they can collect coins that were struck as presentation pieces to PROOF QUALITY.

The coin on offer is one such presentation piece, a Proof 1893 Sovereign struck at the Melbourne Mint.

That proof coins were struck in the nineteenth century may surprise some readers. But it has to be said that the striking of proof coins in Australia is not a modern day phenomenon. Nor a product of the decimal era. The nation’s mints were striking proofs of our pre-decimal coinage in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and the intention was then, as it is today, to create limited mintage coins struck to the highest standards of quality.

Each option, circulating coinage or proof coinage, presents the buyer with a vastly different sized pool of specimens from which to choose.

General date (non-key date), average circulating gold sovereigns, are available in the thousands if not the tens of thousands. Once the collector sets parameters on quality and dates, the pool of specimens narrows and it is true that acquiring a key date gold coin that was struck for circulation, particularly one in premium quality, can be a journey in time that involves many months, if not years.

 

The task of acquiring gold proofs of our pre-decimal coinage is far more challenging.

The pathway to proof coinage for buyers can involve many years, if not decades.

Rarity is the key word when discussing proof gold. And it is a statement of fact that proof gold, irrespective of the sector, is extremely rare and buying opportunities will always be thin on the ground.

And the reasons?

  1. Proof gold coins were NOT struck every year.
  2. And of those dates that were struck as proofs, only one, or perhaps two up to a maximum of three made their way out into the collector market.
  3. Natural attrition has taken its toll on coins out of the original mintages with some of them filtering their way into circulation or being mishandled and thus having their quality marred. So suddenly one, two or three proofs becomes even less.
  4. Great coins tend to be held. The owner of the Madrid Collection held onto his gold proofs for more than twenty years. The Spalding family similarly.

This Proof 1893 Sovereign is a golden opportunity and for just one buyer.

Only one other proof sovereign of this date has appeared over the last century.

enquire now

Proof-1932-Penny-Rev-June-2020
Proof-1932-Penny-Obv-June-2020
COIN
Proof 1932 Penny, Melbourne Mint
QUALITY
FDC, with full underlying brilliance, on both obverse and reverse
PROVENANCE
Spink Auction 1999
PRICE
$35,000
COMMENTS
Numismatic history and numismatic catalogues were re-written in 1999, when this Proof 1932 Penny appeared at auction. Up until then no one knew that a Proof Penny from 1932 even existed. As you would expect, the market reacted and frenetic bidding saw the coin sell for nearly seventy per cent above its pre-auction estimate. This is a stunning coin with impeccable mirror fields, full underlying copper brilliance on both obverse and reverse. The opaline colours of the obverse in particular are simply glorious.
STATUS
Sold June 2020
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Proof-1932-Penny-Obv-June-2020
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This Proof 1932 Penny was struck at the Melbourne Mint as a Coin of Record.

As the name suggests, it was struck to put on record the date '1932' and as a Coin of Record it was struck to the highest minting standards.

The strike satisfied the needs of the mint rather than the wants of collectors.

Respected author, Greg McDonald, provides us with an insight as to why Coins of Record are so limited in numbers when he shared with us a definition put out by the Royal Mint London of a proof coin.

“Struck on a slow-moving coining press using carefully polished dies which are frequently cleaned during use. The materials from which the coins are made are specially processed and the coin blanks are carefully selected and polished before use.

Blanks and minted coins are individually handled to prevent accidental damage.

The essential characteristics of proof coins are highly polished fields, fully reproduced designs free from any flaw, and square edges. Milling where present should be regular and free from any defect. Because of the very high standard set in manufacture, such coins are slow to make and relatively expensive to produce.”

 

In the striking of a proof coin, the mint’s intention was to create a single masterpiece, coining perfection. Perfection in the dies. Wire brushed so that they are razor sharp. Perfection in the design, highly detailed, expertly crafted. Perfection in the fields, achieved by hand selecting unblemished blanks, polished to create a mirror shine. Perfection in the edges to encase the design … exactly what a ‘picture frame does to a canvas’.

A proof coin is meant to be impactful, have the ‘wow’ factor and exhibit qualities that are clearly visible to the naked eye. A proof coin was never intended to be used in every-day use, tucked away in a purse. Or popped into a pocket.

Proof coins were struck to be preserved in government archives as a record of Australia’s coining history, time-capsuled for future generations. Proof coins were also used to showcase a mint’s coining skills, to display at major worldwide Exhibitions or sent to other mint’s and public institutions. A simple case of competitive one-up-man ship. (The British Museum was a major recipient of Australia’s proof coinage. So too the Royal Mint London.)

Proof coins were struck at the discretion of the Mint Master so there was no hard-fast rule about the regularity of the issues. Or the mintages.

The striking of proofs was very often influenced by the collecting zeal of the Mint Master. And his involvement with the collector market. The more passionate the collecting habits of the Mint Master, the greater the chance of proofs being struck.

 

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1919-Square-Penny-Non-Date-February-2020
1919-Square-Penny-Date-February-2020
COIN
The Sterling Silver 1919 Square Penny, Type 4A and unique as such
QUALITY
FDC
PROVENANCE
The Collection of Albert Le Souef, Deputy Mint Master Melbourne Mint, 1919 to 1926
PRICE
$300,000
COMMENTS
This coin is a numismatic prize, a trophy piece. A Square Penny depicting the Type 4 design, struck in Sterling Silver. And unique as such.
STATUS
Available now
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1919-Square-Penny-Date-February-2020
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Albert Le Souef was Deputy Mint Master of the Melbourne Mint between 1919 and 1926.

Aside from his professional involvement in numismatics at the Melbourne Mint, he was also a passionate collector, his preference for coins struck in silver.

Le Souef amassed a magnificent collection that was almost entirely donated to the Museum of Victoria.

His passion for silver coinage was the driving force behind the striking of three Square Pennies in Sterling Silver.

The first was struck depicting the Type 4 design. A second depicting the Type 5 and the third the design of the Type 6.

Each is unique. And each is stunning.

And the 1919 Type 4 struck in Sterling Silver is available now.

The introduction of the Kookaburra Square Penny underpinned an attempt by the then Labor Government to stir up national sentiment post World War I. To evoke the great 'Aussie' spirit.

If you think about it. Putting the nation’s native bird - the kookaburra - onto a coin was a no-brainer to achieving that goal. A drastically changed shape - a square - was part of the total package to maximise impact on its citizens. Sadly, after three years of testing, the scheme fell apart.

The coins that remain today are relics of our past, and the sentiment that they stir up in the current market is collector sentiment, driven by their novel shape and their extreme rarity.

The buyer of this piece should take on board the fact that the 1919 Square Penny Type 4 in cupro-nickel is the prized gem of the entire series of cupro-nickel Square Pennies dated 1919.

Four designs were tested in cupro-nickel in 1919 and our estimates on the numbers available to collectors are as follows. 1919 Type 3 (15), 1919 Type 4 (4), 1919 Type 5 (8), 1919 Type 6 (8).

We note that we last sold a Type 4 cupro-nickel Square Penny in 2018 for $150,000, a reflection of its extreme rarity.

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1860-Aboriginal-Threepence-rev-FDC-July-2019
1860-Aboriginal-Threepence-obv-FDC-July-2019
COIN
The Marcus Clark, 1860 Aborigine Threepence
QUALITY
Struck in silver and presented in mint state, with proof-like surfaces.
PROVENANCE
Sir Marcus Clark K.B.E, sold by James R. Lawson Auctioneers 1954. Exhibited, 'The Dollars & Dumps' Exhibition ANZ Gothic Bank Melbourne, 2007.
PRICE
$75,000
COMMENTS
A Holey Dollar. A Cracked Die Adelaide Pound. An Adelaide Pound Type II. And an Aborigine Threepence. That is an impressive collection of Australian colonial coin rarities. Now, let us talk about the Montagu Holey Dollar. The Mortimer Hammel Cracked Die. The Eliasberg Adelaide Pound Type II. And the Marcus Clark Aborigine Threepence. We are talking about very specific coins here and suddenly, we have raised the calibre of the entire collection to a totally new sphere. These coins are the very best of their kind indelibly linked to their former owners. They are industry icons. And they set the benchmark for quality. The person who acquires this Aborigine Threepence will take their place in history, permanently associating themselves with both the coin and the famous Marcus Clark name.
STATUS
Available now
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1860-Aboriginal-Threepence-obv-FDC-July-2019
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We have always held the 1860 Aborigine Threepence in the highest regard.

It is the earliest representation of an indigenous person to appear on Australian currency. it is a piece of cultural significance. And national significance.

Furthermore, it is rare. Only eight pieces are known.

But, the Marcus Clark Aborigine Threepence is in a class all on its own. It is the finest example of the Aborigine Threepence, mint state and proof-like.

The first public appearance of this Aborigine Threepence occurred in July 1954 when James R. Lawson Auctioneers sold the collection of the late Sir Marcus Clark K.B.E.

His 1860 Aborigine Threepence 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 that sold for £18. (The Dump is today held with a Coinworks client residing in Perth and is 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 $150,000-plus. (We have an Extremely Fine Cracked Die coming up next week for $150,000.)

The potential of the Aborigine Threepence is further highlighted by the realisation of Sir Marcus Clark's Ferdinand VII Holey Dollar in the same 1954 Lawson Auction.

The Holey Dollar, struck on an 1809 Ferdinand VII silver dollar sold for £72. (That very same coin was sold by Coinworks in 2018 for $440,000.)

Marcus Clark's Aborigine Threepence was auctioned again 27 years later, and in a fiercely contested bidding war, sold for $23,000 on a pre-auction estimate of $12,500.

A more recent auction appearance occurred in July 2005. 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.

The 1860 Aborigine Threepence was minted by jewellers Julius Hogarth and Conrad Erichsen. Scandinavian citizens, Hogarth was a sculptor and silversmith. Erichsen an engraver.

Both migrated to Australia to make their fortunes on the gold fields reaching Sydney on 11 December 1852.

Failing to realise their ambitions, they utilised their skills and went into partnership as silversmiths opening their first enterprise at 255 George Street Sydney.

The firm quickly gained a reputation in the development of ‘Australiana’ themed decoration on metalwork and jewellery, which actively promoted the use of indigenous Australian floral and faunal elements and indigenous figures.

Hogarth & Erichsen achieved great success during the 1850s notably through the vice-regal patronage of Governors Young and Denison.

The works of Hogarth and Erichsen are revered and are held by the following institutions, to name but a few.
•    The National Library of Australia, Canberra
•    The National Gallery of Australia, Canberra
•    The National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne
•    The Powerhouse Museum, Sydney

Hogarth & Erichsen were numismatic trailbllazers when in 1860 they created the Aborigine Threepence.

It would be another 128 years before Australia would acknowledge the contribution of Indigenous Australians to our society when a portrait of a tribal elder appeared on the nation's Two Dollar coins created especially for the Bicentenary in 1988.

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British-coin-collection-Date-February-2020
COIN
Colonial Proof Coin Collection, 1787 – 1804, comprised of nine superb quality proof coins
QUALITY
FDC
PROVENANCE
Spink London, Wayte Raymond, J. J. Pitman Collection
PRICE
$26,000
COMMENTS
That proof coining is a tradition that goes back centuries is exemplified in this collection of nine colonial proof coins, the former property of Wayte Raymond and John Jay Pitman, both world renowned U.S. collectors.
STATUS
Available now
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The superb quality of these coins, and their rarity, is affirmed by the provenance of Wayte Raymond and John Jay Pitman. Both collectors were meticulous in the selection of their coins. And the notation of their background.

These coins eventually came onto the open market in 1999 when the Pitman collection was sold at auction in the U.S. This collection of nine superb ‘colonial’ proof coins is comprised of:

1787 George III Proof Silver Sixpence - Coin 1.
A choice proof with blue/violet toning and mirror fields purchased from Spink London in 1946.

1787 George III Proof Silver Shilling - Coin 2.
As above, a choice proof with blue/violet toning and mirror fields purchased from Spink London in 1946.

1788 George III Proof Copper Halfpenny - Coin 3.
Evenly toned with a distinctively handsome blue hue. Beautifully glossy.

1797 George III Proof Copper Halfpenny. - Coin 4.
Superb quality, smooth chocolate brown fields. Flawless.

1797 George III Proof Copper ‘Cartwheel’ Penny - Coin 5.
A hefty coin and very impressive when it is struck to proof quality.

1797 George III Proof Copper ‘Cartwheel’ Twopence - Coin 6.
Impressive and even more imposing than the penny detailed above.

1799 George III Proof Farthing - Coin 7.
Subtle pink and orange hues on each side of this colonial gem. Stunning. 

1799 George III Proof Halfpenny - Coin 8.
Highly detailed design and even patina.

1804 George III Bank of England Proof Five Shillings - Coin 9.
A very scarce proof with brilliant mirror fields and beautiful toning, purchased from Spink London in 1949 for £11.20.

 

How and why such coins have come to be embraced by the Australian coin market makes for a fascinating story.

The penal colony of New South Wales was settled in 1788. And struck its first coins in 1813, the Holey Dollar and Dump.

The time lag prompts many collectors to ask … so what was the money supply in the intervening years?

Local currency came in the form of British and foreign coins that filtered their way into the colony in the pockets of settlers and incoming vessels.

Coins such as the classic and imposing Cartwheel Penny and the even more imposing Twopence of Mathew Boulton, struck at the famous Soho Mint in London. And the George III silver Shilling and Sixpence and the George III copper Penny and Halfpenny.

Many of these coins came to be formally recognised in Governor King’s Proclamation of 1800 and for most collectors the Proclamation era is seen as the beginning of numismatics in Australia.

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1893-Sydney-ten-pound-notejpg
1893-Sydney-ten-pound-note-back-February-2020
Notes
NOTE
1893 City Bank of Sydney Ten Pounds
QUALITY
Specimen
PROVENANCE
Spink London 2010
PRICE
$12,500
COMMENTS
You will have a fabulous insight into Australia’s early financial history with this extremely rare, high denomination, 1893 City Bank of Sydney Ten Pounds. London engravers Bradbury Wilkinson incorporated some classically Australian design elements into this pre-federation gem. The finely etched Emu above Britannia, and the Kangaroo below. And on the back of the note, an exquisite maritime design featuring an indigenous Australian standing shoulder to shoulder with an English sailor.
STATUS
Sold July 2020
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1893-Sydney-ten-pound-note-back-February-2020
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This 1893 City Bank of Sydney Ten Pounds is an original specimen note from one of Australia’s early colonial banks.

It is a superb piece of history at a truly reasonable price.

The City Bank of Sydney was formed in 1863 in New South Wales. The bank subsequently opened for business on 1 February 1864.

The notes of the Bank were prepared by London engravers and printers Bradbury Wilkinson.

Archived for more than a century before being offered for sale in 2010 at London Auction House Spink, this pre federation gem reflects its British design origins while at the same time it screams out “Colonial Australia” with the inclusion of a kangaroo and emu and an indigenous Australian.

Sir William Dixson was Chairman of Directors of the City Bank of Sydney.  

You only need to visit Sydney’s Mitchell Library or ‘google’ William Dixson’s name to appreciate his contribution to banking circles and the Australian numismatic industry.

He was a prominent collector, accumulating a superb collection of coins, banknotes and tokens that were later donated to the Mitchell Library.

The City Bank of Sydney lives on through its subsequent mergers.

The bank merged with the Australian Bank of Commerce Ltd in 1916 and was eventually absorbed by The Bank of New South Wales in 1931, now known as The Westpac Banking Group Limited.
 


1921-Type-12-Square-Penny-Rev-November-2019-SOL
1921-Type-12-Square-Penny-Obv-November-2019-SOL
COIN
1921 Square Penny Type 12
QUALITY
Uncirculated
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Melbourne
PRICE
$30,000
COMMENTS
This coin, the 1921 Square Penny, is the most popular coin in the entire kookaburra square coin series. It has the exclusivity that rare coin buyers are seeking. And importantly, for buyers, this Square Penny is affordable. The 'kookaburra' coin never fails to engage its owners and generate excitement; the engagement due to its unique shape and its place in history. This is your invitation to obtain a pristine example from the original mintage of Square Pennies struck at the Melbourne Mint.
STATUS
Available now
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1921-Type-12-Square-Penny-Obv-November-2019-SOL
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The Kookaburra Square Penny is an Australian 'classic'. It's a title that is applied to very few Australian coins. But when it is used, it is applied glowingly.

On pieces such as our first silver coins, the Holey Dollar and Dump. And our first gold coins, the Adelaide Pounds.

And the nation's favourite copper rarity, the 1930 Penny.

The 'kookaburra' coins never fail to engage their owners and generate excitement; the engagement due to their unique shape and their place in the nation's history.

This Square Penny is known as the design type 12 and we estimate that perhaps 40 examples are available to private collectors.

Now it is true that we are as picky with our Square Pennies as we are with our 1930 Pennies.

So ... if you factor quality into your purchase equation you will find a tiny pool of about 20 to 30 nice quality design type 12 Square Pennies available.

Now, 20 to 30 Square Pennies are NEVER going to appear on the market at any one time. In fact, we would be lucky to sight ONE quality Type 12 Square Penny on the open market annually.

A comparison with Australia's classic copper rarity, the 1930 Penny - where it is believed 1500 are known - highlights the extreme rarity of the Square Penny.

The Square Penny is history. A point in time when the Australian Federal Government planned the introduction of square coinage. And it is the historical angle that ensures sustained buyer interest, underpinning the coin's investment value.

The Square Kookaburra coins were thrown into the spotlight in 1954 when Sir Marcus Clark O.B.E. sold his extensive and famous collection of Australian coin rarities.

It is on record that his 1921 Square Penny and 1921 Square Halfpenny sold for £36. Even more interesting is that in the same auction an Extremely Fine Ferdinand VII Holey Dollar sold for just over twice that amount at £72 10/-. (The investment potential of the Square Penny and Square Halfpenny lies in the fact that the Holey Dollar is now a $450,000-plus item.)

The popularity of the kookaburras continued throughout the 1960s and 1970s with extensive reporting of their appearances occurring in the then industry magazine, The Australian Coin Review.

Strong collector and investor interest in the Square Kookaburras continues to this very day. That interest in the series spans more than half a century is comforting for new buyers entering the market.

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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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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
Sold August 2020
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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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1823 Macintosh & Degraves obv
1823 Macintosh and Degraves Rev
COIN
1823 Macintosh and Degraves Shilling
QUALITY
nearly Uncirculated
PROVENANCE
Guy Newton-Brown, Private Collection Sydney
PRICE
$ 95,000
COMMENTS
That historians have traced a business transaction involving the 1823 Macintosh & Degraves Kangaroo Shilling back to 1848 attests to the importance of this iconic piece of Australiana. The transaction was a purchase for the esteemed London National Collection. The Kangaroo Shilling has a remarkable history with a connection that lives on today to Tasmania's Cascade Brewery.
STATUS
Available now
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1823 Macintosh and Degraves Rev
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This particular Macintosh and Degraves Shilling is the finest of 15 known examples. Excessively rare, consistently in demand, this piece stands shoulder to shoulder with some of Australia’s great coin rarities.

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

1823 Macintosh & Degraves documents

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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