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1813 Dump aVF VF date B&B November 2017
1813 Dump aVF VF non date B&B November 2017
COIN
1813 Dump
QUALITY
About Very Fine / Very Fine
PROVENANCE
Private Collection 2007
PRICE
$27,500
COMMENTS
Let’s be clear. A coin doesn’t have to be uncirculated to appeal to us. We are the first to acknowledge that Australia’s classic coin rarities are in demand at all quality levels and at all dollar levels. However we also acknowledge that it's not easy to come across circulated examples that fit our selection criteria … which is why we are so excited about this particular 1813 Colonial Dump. The coin has all of the technical and aesthetic attributes that a collector could wish for but without the hefty price tag. We have graded the reverse of this Dump at About Very Fine with the obverse higher again at Very Fine. That’s at least two grades higher than your average example. The Dump with a value of fifteen pence circulated widely in the colony the very reason why most of them are found today with minimal design attributes, harsh gouges and knocks and many are noted as having been submerged in water, developing porous surfaces. Not so with this coin. It is a beauty.
STATUS
Sold November 2017
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1813 Dump aVF VF non date B&B November 2017

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The 1813 Dump and its partner, the Holey Dollar, were the first coins struck in Australia. Not only are they very rare, but their fascinating history has made them two of the world’s most famous coins.

This Dump has the following attributes:

  • The coin was struck with the Type A/1 dies and that means that the design, the crown, is classically well centred and aesthetically pleasing.
  • The legend New South Wales and the date 1813 are strong and well defined.
  • The reverse lettering, Fifteen Pence, also is strong and well defined.
  • This particular Dump clearly shows that is was formed from the centre of a Spanish Silver Dollar. The cross bars in the shield and the tail of the lion are evident through the date 1813 and the ‘South’ of New South Wales. Dumps that show their origins are highly prized. 
  • 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.
  • So too the pearls to the left and right of the Crown.
  • William Henshall etched his name into numismatic history forever when he incorporated an ‘H’ for Henshall into the reverse die used to mint the Dump. It is not always present. The ‘H’ on this coin is evident. 
  • Notice the oblique milling around the edge. The milling was used to prevent opportunists from 'filing' down the coin (thereby reducing its silver content). Yet another highly valued attribute of this Dump.

This A/1 1813 Dump is a highly collectable example of Australia’s first coin.

Furthermore it is well priced.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

John Oxley (1785 - 1828)

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

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

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

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

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

Edward Wollstonecraft (1783 – 1832)

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

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

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

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

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

For further reading.

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



1930 Penny good Fine - about Very Fine rev September 2017
1930 Penny good Fine - about Very Fine obv September 2017
COIN
1930 Penny
QUALITY
Good Fine / about Very Fine
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Melbourne
PRICE
$25,000
COMMENTS
The 1930 Penny is legendary and its star status has made it one of Australia's most valuable rare coins. The prime rule in selecting a 1930 Penny is to pick a coin that is visually very attractive. Acquire a piece that you would be proud to show your family and friends, one that has an heirloom feel about it. The 1930 Penny that we have for sale fits that profile in every respect and is as per the photographs above and at right.
STATUS
Available now
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1930 Penny good Fine - about Very Fine obv September 2017

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The aesthetics, how the 1930 Penny looks to the naked eye, is an important part of the selection process.

The reason is simply that the 1930 Penny was minted by accident and no one knew of its existence until at least ten years after it was issued.

Which means that the coins were used, with the majority well used, before collectors discovered its very being, enduring the rigours of being handled, mishandled, dropped, scratched and rattling around in change.

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

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

This particular 1930 Penny fits that profile in every respect.

The technical details of this coins are as follows:

  • The obverse is graded 'Good Fine' with a partial central diamond and six clear pearls in the crown.
  • The reverse is graded higher again at 'about Very Fine' and has strong upper and lower scrolls and well defined inner beading.

Handsome chestnut toning, minimal marks in the field, a strong ‘1930’ date, this coin will make owning an example of Australia’s most famous copper rarity a reality for just one buyer.

It is a truly attractive example of Australia’s most famous copper rarity and must have become a prized collectable very soon into its life for it shows minimal effects of having been used.

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

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

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First up … a bit of history. Australia’s gold coinage history began in 1855 with the introduction of the Sydney Mint design. It was a style that rejected the protocols of London and that imparted a uniquely Australian flavour into the nation’s first official gold coinage. For the first - and only time - the word AUSTRALIA appeared on the reverse of our sovereigns.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Answer. The quality.

A complete sovereign collection is comprised of nearly 200 coins and that’s overwhelming for even the most financial of collectors. And potentially frustrating given the time that it would take to complete.

That’s why so many collectors take the short cut of completing a portrait set. The sense of completeness is definitely there. And the financial burden is substantially reduced.

The Australian Sovereign series ran from 1855 to 1931 and during this time eight different portraits were used, five of Queen Victoria, one of Edward VII and two of George V.

So a complete portrait set of Australian sovereigns involves only eight coins.

  1. Queen Victoria Sydney Mint Type 1 (1855 – 1856)
  2. Queen Victoria Sydney Mint Type 2 (1857 – 1870)
  3. Queen Victoria Young Head (1871 – 1887)
  4. Queen Victoria Jubilee (1887 – 1893)
  5. Queen Victoria Veiled Head (1893 – 1901)
  6. King Edward VII (1902 – 1910)
  7. King George V Large Head (1911 – 1928)
  8. King George V Small Head (1929 – 1931)

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


1937 Proof Crown REV B&B October 2017
1937 Proof Crown OBV B&B October 2017
COIN
1937 Proof Crown
QUALITY
FDC
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Melbourne
PRICE
$35,000
COMMENTS
This 1937 Proof Crown was sold in 1995 to the owner of the Madrid Collection of Australian Rare Coins: the collection so named after his most prized piece, the world famous 1813 ‘Madrid’ Holey Dollar. The collection was formed over twenty nine years and comprised the very best and the rarest Australian coins. Aside from the Madrid Holey Dollar it also included the Proof 1930 Penny, Sterling Silver 1919 Square Penny, 1899 Perth Mint Proof Half Sovereign and … this 1937 Proof Crown. The owner was as fanatical about quality as he was about history, this Proof Crown fulfilling both those ambitions. We found in the 1990s as we find today that it is not as easy as you might think to acquire a top quality 1937 Proof Crown. The original mintage of the Proof Crown was a meagre 100 pieces. Their release was a well-publicised event that saw coins move into non-collector hands introducing the possibility of being poorly handled. Or being accidentally used as a five shillings circulation coin. Of those that we sight or are offered today, four out of every five would be rejected as having gouges or unsightly toning. That a provenance does make a clear statement on quality is evidenced in this coin.
STATUS
Available now
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1937 Proof Crown OBV B&B October 2017

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When Edward VIII decided to abdicate the British throne in 1936, currency issues throughout the world were thrown into disarray.

In Australia, the government was about to launch new coin designs to coincide with Edward’s coronation that that would have introduced a strong Australian design element into the penny, florin, shilling and threepence.

The plans had to be scuttled due to Edwards’ abdication from the British throne to marry American Wallis Simpson.

To distract from the chaos, the Australian Government issued its first five-shilling piece, the 1937 Crown, depicting the portrait of the new king, George VI (Edward’s brother). 

The notion of a Crown sized coin was pushed by the Treasurer of the day, R G Casey who later became Governor General of Australia. The coin was - and still is - referred to as ‘Casey’s Cartwheel’.

The 1937 Crown is Australia’s only commemorative crown. And it was the only currency issue released in 1937 making it an extremely popular collectable. Its appeal is timeless.

Coinworks latest inventory ...

1813 Colonial Dump Extremely Fine B&B October 2017
one of the very best - 1813 colonial dump
1921 Square Penny 1 OBV B&B October 2017
choice uncirculated 1921 square penny
1861 Sydney Mint Sov OBV B&B November 2017
1861 sovereign choice uncirculated the first year of the Melbourne cup

1921 Square Penny OBV B&B October 2017
1921 Square Penny REV B&B October 2017
COIN
1921 Square Penny Type 12
QUALITY
Choice Uncirculated
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Victoria
PRICE
$45,000
COMMENTS
We invite you to scrutinise the obverse and reverse of this amazing 1921 Square Penny. It is an ‘exceptional’ quality piece and we particularly like the inclusion of the word ‘exceptional’ here. The coin has impeccable satin fields, a strong design and legend and perfect edges. It is a fact that Square Pennies are scarce. But it also is a fact that they are extremely difficult coins to find in premium quality. Consider this 1921 Square Penny. It has a quality rating of Choice Uncirculated and we ask the question how often do you see that attached to a Square Penny? The answer is not very often. We can count on the fingers of two hands the number of Choice Uncirculated 1921 Square Pennies that we have handled over an entire professional career. The reason is simply that the Square Pennies were test pieces and were not struck to the exacting standards of proof coining. Given to dignitaries to assess their reaction, there was no packaging and we know that not every dignitary was a collector and would have handled them with care. Given the outstanding quality traits of this coin we can only assume that this Square Penny must have become a prized collectable very early on its life.
STATUS
Sold November 2017
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1921 Square Penny REV B&B October 2017

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

In 1919, the Labor Government proposed a currency change to incorporate Australia’s native bird - the kookaburra - into the nation’s coinage. The Government wanted to break away from British designs and introduce a uniquely Australian style into our currency.

The mooted change was politically motivated. A wave of nationalism was sweeping the country post World War I and the Government saw advantage in tapping into the mood of the nation.  A laughing kookaburra design and the depiction of the monarch without a crown were two of the elements of the new coinage that while highly contentious and provocative, the Government believed would now be accepted.

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

Public reaction to the introduction of the square coinage was poor.

There was widespread public resistance to change, while the elderly rejected the small size of the coins.

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

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

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

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

Coinworks latest inventory ...

1937 Proof Crown Light Rev SS November 2017
fdc 1937 proof crown
1813 Colonial Dump Extremely Fine B&B October 2017
one of the very best - 1813 colonial dump
1861 Sydney Mint Sov OBV B&B November 2017
1861 sovereign choice uncirculated the first year of the Melbourne cup

$2 Coombs Randall Star Pair
$2 Coombs Randall Star Single
Notes
NOTE
1968 $2 Coombs Randall Star Consecutive Pair
QUALITY
Uncirculated
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Western Australia
PRICE
$9,500
COMMENTS
COOMBS. RANDALL. STAR. UNCIRCULATED. Four words that define the extreme rarity of these notes. It is a fact that the Coombs Randall signature combination is the scarcest in the $2 banknote series. That these notes are ‘Star Notes’ makes them scarcer again. And they are presented in Uncirculated quality. It really doesn't get any better than this. These extremely rare collectables are offered as a consecutive pair. While we believe a pair is an advantage, they are also available as single notes. Contact us for an individual price.
STATUS
On hold.
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$2 Coombs Randall Star Single

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The Australian banknotes that bear the Coombs Randall signature combination are scarce in all denominations from the One Dollar up to the Twenty Dollar.

In the case of the Coombs Randall $2 notes, they were issued for a matter of months, from November 1967 until September 1968 and are the rarest $2 decimal banknote and the absolute ‘key’ to the series.

But this is not a standard Coombs Randall $2 note, this is a Coombs Randall $2 ‘Star Note’ which is rarer again.

Why are star notes so scarce?

Star notes were issued only between 1968 and 1971 and printed in a special run to replace those banknotes spoilt during the normal printing process.

The number sequence of the spoilt note(s) was maintained by reprinting the note with its first five digits and a star appearing in place of its sixth digit. (123456 – 12345*) This procedure was followed to maintain the numbering sequence of the bundle.

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

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

Why are Coombs Randall notes so scarce?

Three factors:

  1. Australia’s decimal changeover was in the planning stage for years, involving the introduction of decimal banknotes and the withdrawal of our pre-decimal notes. To this end, the Government printed a massive quantity of the first decimal notes that featured the Coombs Wilson signature combination.
  2. When banknote signatory Roland Wilson retired in 1966, notes featuring his replacement Richard Randall were simply not required until later in 1967 (and 1968 in the case of the $1 note).
  3. The retirement of Herbert “Nugget” Coombs in 1968 saw a new signature combination of Phillips Randall appear: a combination that lasted several years.

A surplus of the very first decimal banknotes - and a spate of retirements of our banknote signatories in a space of two years – are the reasons why less than 2 per cent of all 'Commonwealth of Australia' (1966-73) notes were issued in the names of Coombs & Randall.


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

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

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

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

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

And the reason?

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

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

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

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

 


1858 Sydney Mint Half Sovereign nr Unc - Unc rev B&B September 2017
1858 Sydney Mint Half Sovereign nr Unc - Unc obv B&B September 2017
COIN
1858 Sydney Mint Half Sovereign
QUALITY
About Uncirculated / Uncirculated
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Sydney
PRICE
$17,500
COMMENTS
The owner of this quality 1858 Sydney Mint Half Sovereign was a passionate collector of high-grade Australian gold half sovereigns. She appreciated the inherent rarity of coins that were struck for circulation, coins that were intended to be used, but were still in supreme condition. She also enjoyed the challenge of collecting half sovereigns knowing that they are far rarer than their sovereign counterparts and far harder to acquire in superior quality. Her thinking was in sync with our own ideals. Our research confirms that the majority of 1858 Sydney Mint Half Sovereigns are found today well circulated and rough and ready. And that less than 20 high quality examples have come onto the market over the last 25 years. This coin is one of the elite few and is presented in virtually as struck condition. Note the smooth fields and the perfect edges.
STATUS
Available now
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1858 Sydney Mint Half Sovereign nr Unc - Unc obv B&B September 2017

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Australia struck its first gold half sovereign in 1855. The last was minted during the reign of George V, in 1918. During this period, seven different designs were used.

Of the seven different designs, the most important is that of the Sydney Mint series. It was the first design used on our gold half sovereigns, classically Australian – and came from the nation’s first mint, the Sydney Mint.

The discovery of gold in Australia, in particular in the early 1850’s in New South Wales and Victoria transformed what was considered for the most part a remote outpost of colonial Britain into a country of global fame virtually overnight. Men and woman were lured to the goldfields in droves, creating a population explosion unprecedented to this day, and in three short years Australia became one of the richest countries in the world.  

Our lust for and fascination with gold continues to this day.  And no more so than with the half sovereigns struck at our first Mint, the Sydney Mint.

Australia’s economy was booming in the 1850’s with large deposits of gold being found almost daily. In 1852 alone New South Wales produced 26 tonnes of gold in a single year.

Storage and handling of such vast amounts of this precious metal was a major challenge for all involved. And with no ‘local’ currency the push was on to convert a portion of the gold into useable currency. 

1853 saw legislation pass in London granting permission for the establishment of Australia’s first mint, the first ‘Royal’ mint outside of London, in a wing of the old Rum Hospital in Sydney. In 1855, the first Australian gold sovereigns and half sovereigns were struck.  

A uniquely Australian reverse design on the coinage was pushed through and it is interesting to note that this ‘straying’ from normal design protocols was the first and last time the Royal Mint ever assented to a break in traditional designs in any of the ‘colonies’.

Initially, gold sovereigns and half sovereigns struck at the new Sydney Mint were only meant for circulation in New South Wales and it wasn’t until 1857, out of necessity, Australia’s first coinage became legal tender in Victoria. South Australia reluctantly followed suit in 1868. 


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • The 1922 Specimen Sovereign is known by two examples.

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

  • The 1926 Specimen Sovereign is known by three examples.

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

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

 


1896 Proof Half Sovereign rev FROSTED B&B October 2017
1896 Proof Half Sovereign obv FROSTED B&B October 2017
COIN
1896 Proof Half Sovereign Melbourne Mint
QUALITY
Superb FDC
PROVENANCE
Private Treaty 1995
PRICE
$85,000
COMMENTS
This 1896 Proof Half Sovereign is history. This coin is perfection. This coin is exclusive. And this coin is destined for growth. This 1896 Proof Half Sovereign was struck at the Melbourne Mint and is extremely rare. It was acquired by private treaty in 1995 and has only recently surfaced. Only two other examples are known and both were offered at auction in the 1980s. One of the two re-appeared at auction in 1998: the other has never been sighted since. Such sporadic offerings reflect the rarity of Australia’s pre-decimal proof gold sovereigns and half sovereigns; an area of the Australian coin market that is acknowledged as its rarest and its most prestigious. It is a strong and clear statement on the desirability of this 1896 Proof Half Sovereign that at its first and only recent auction appearance, the coin was the most heavily contested item in the session selling for more than double its pre-auction estimate of $25,000.
STATUS
Available now
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1896 Proof Half Sovereign obv FROSTED B&B October 2017

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It is a statement of fact that proof gold, irrespective of the sector, is extremely rare and buying opportunities will always be thin on the ground.

But there is another consideration. Great coins tend to be held. This coin for instance. It was acquired by private treaty in 1995 and has only recently surfaced. The owner of the Madrid Collection held onto his gold proofs for more than twenty years. The Spalding family similarly. So too Tom Hadley in the formation of the Quartermaster Collection.

The availability of a gold proof sovereign and proof half sovereign - of any year - is an opportunity. If you happen to be offered one of exceptional rarity then the opportunity is even more profound.

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

And nothing has changed.

Coining perfection is still the prime goal of the Royal Australian and the Perth Mint. Only the processes have changed, modernised so that instead of one or two coins being struck, thousands can be commercially produced.

 

In the striking of proof coins, the Melbourne Mint was not commercially motivated.

In the 19th and 20th centuries, the Australian mints (Melbourne, Sydney and Perth) crafted gold proofs as representative examples of those sovereigns and half sovereigns they were striking for circulation.

The coins were struck to be preserved in government archives as a record of Australia’s coining history, time-capsuled for future generations.

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

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

A far cry from today's decimal coin market. Proof coins are today struck specifically for a rapidly expanding collector market, the prime motivation of the mints that they be commercially viable.

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


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

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

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

 

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


1852 Cracked Die Obvb&b
1852 Cracked Die Revb&b
COIN
1852 Adelaide Pound First or Cracked Die
QUALITY
about Extremely Fine
PROVENANCE
Private Collection NSW
PRICE
$88,000
COMMENTS
Don’t assume that the Adelaide Pound struck with the first die is the same as that struck with the second. For the coins were struck with distinctly different reverse dies. The very reason why most collectors aspire to acquire one of each. The difference extends beyond its design. The first reverse die was used to produce approximately forty coins before a crack developed in the DWT area of the legend making it amazingly scarce. In fact, one of the scarcest of our colonial coin rarities.
STATUS
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1852 Cracked Die Revb&b

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History records that the striking of Australia’s very first gold coin at the Adelaide Assay Office was plagued with problems. Excessive pressure exerted during the minting process cracked the first obverse die. A second obverse die was then taken up to continue striking coins.

First die? Cracked Die? Second die? It all sounds a little bit pedantic but it is a fact that the designs of the first two dies used in the production of the Adelaide Pound were different. The first die featured a beaded inner circle and produced approximately 40 coins before a die crack was noticed. (That’s why the terms First Die and Cracked Die are synonymous.)

1852 Adelaide Pound Cracked Die

A second die, featuring a  crenellated inner circle , was then taken up and was used to strike a further 24,600-plus coins.

Not only is there a distinct design difference between the coins struck from the first and second die, what is obvious from the figures is that those Adelaide Pounds struck using the first die are incredibly rare. Our experience affirms its rarity. In a career that spans forty-plus years we have handled less than ten examples.

Having accepted the rarity of the coin we now move on to discuss the quality levels that are available to buyers.

It is a fact that the majority of Adelaide Pounds from the first run are found today well worn. And that is not surprising. Because the die cracked, the coin was viewed as being faulty, so very few examples out of the first run were kept as souvenirs.

The Cracked Die Adelaide Pound is an iconic Australian rarity with less than forty examples available to private collectors, across all levels of quality.  


1856 Sovereign date side replacement 160928-9907
1856 Sovereign non date side replacement 160928-9923
COIN
1856 Sydney Mint Sovereign
QUALITY
Good Extremely Fine / About Uncirculated
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Sydney
PRICE
$ 38,000
COMMENTS
A fascination with coins as a child, and a passion for colonial history as an adult, saw a Sydney resident pursue the Sydney Mint Sovereign series over a twenty year period. His focus was on quality, but in the case of rare date sovereigns (such as the 1855 and 1856) he held a number of examples. This superb 1856 Sydney Mint Sovereign is one such coin from his collection.
STATUS
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1856 Sovereign non date side replacement 160928-9923

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The 1856 Sydney Mint Sovereign is a great rarity. And it's a fact that in the upper quality levels it is as difficult - if not more difficult - to acquire than the 1855 Sovereign.

And yet the mintages of both coins would suggest otherwise. (1855 – 502,000. 1856 – 981,000.)

The industry has always acknowledged the scarcity of the 1856 Sovereign.

Both the '55 and '56 sovereigns have shared the same catalogue value for decades, declaring them equally as important.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


St Vincent HD 1802 rev LARGE B&B
St Vincent HD 1802 obv LARGE B&B August 2017
COIN
St Vincent Holey Dollar
QUALITY
Nearly Extremely Fine
PROVENANCE
J. J. Ford
PRICE
$55,000
COMMENTS
There is a rule of thumb in our industry. Great collectors only ever own great coins and so it is with this extremely rare St Vincent Holey Dollar. Its first recorded owner was renowned American collector John J. Ford. It was Ford’s 1813 New South Wales Dump - the absolute finest of the D/2 variety - that created numismatic history in 2004 when it sold at auction at Stacks New York breaking the $100,000 barrier for the first time ever. His respect for quality and the opportunities he saw in owning coins of great rarity is evidenced in his ownership of the Dump and this St Vincent Holey Dollar.
STATUS
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St Vincent HD 1802 obv LARGE B&B August 2017

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This Holey Dollar was struck circa 1811 on an 1802 Mexico Mint Spanish Silver Dollar and is counter stamped on the King’s head with an ‘S over XII’ within a shaped indent. The Holey Dollar took on a monetary value of 12 bitts.

In the 18th and 19th centuries, the Spanish Silver Dollar was a universally accepted coin. And a universally adapted coin.

It was the piece that Governor Lachlan Macquarie turned to for his Holey Dollars and Dumps, the very first coins struck on Australian soil. 

It was a process that other British colonies also took up when they needed to supplement their currency, including the Caribbean island of St Vincent.

This extremely rare St Vincent Holey Dollar re-affirms the versatility and adaptability of the Spanish Silver Dollar in augmenting currencies the world over. 


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Proof coins were struck at the discretion of the mint master so there was no hard-fast rule about the regularity of the issues. Or the mintages. Given that proof coining was also a very labour intensive process and time consuming, minimal numbers of proofs were struck. Believed less than twenty. (We compare this figure to today’s proof issues that are minted in the tens of thousands.)

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

In the striking of this 1953 Proof Penny, the Perth Mint’s intention was to create a single masterpiece, coining perfection.

Perfection in the dies. Wire brushed so that they are razor sharp. Perfection in the design, highly detailed, expertly crafted. Perfection in the fields, achieved by hand selecting unblemished blanks, polished to create a mirror shine. Perfection in the edges to encase the design … exactly what a ‘picture frame does to a canvas’.

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1823 Macintosh & Degraves obv
1823 Macintosh and Degraves Rev
COIN
1823 Macintosh and Degraves Shilling
QUALITY
nearly Uncirculated
PROVENANCE
Guy Newton-Brown, Private Collection Sydney
PRICE
$ 95,000
COMMENTS
That historians have traced a business transaction involving the 1823 Macintosh & Degraves Kangaroo Shilling back to 1848 attests to the importance of this iconic piece of Australiana. The transaction was a purchase for the esteemed London National Collection. The Kangaroo Shilling has a remarkable history with a connection that lives on today to Tasmania's Cascade Brewery.
STATUS
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1823 Macintosh and Degraves Rev

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

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

1823 Macintosh & Degraves documents

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


1813 Colonial Dump Fine small B&B October
1813 Colonial Dump Fine obv small B&B October
COIN
1813 Dump
QUALITY
Fine
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Melbourne
PRICE
$18,000
COMMENTS
A coin does not have to be ‘the finest known’ to appeal to us for we recognise that there is a market for the 1813 Dump at all quality levels and all dollar levels. When William Henshall created the nation's first coin, the 1813 Dump, he punched a hole into a Spanish Silver Dollar. The Dump was the centre piece that fell out of the Dollar, over stamped with its value of fifteen pence, date of 1813, a crown and the issuing authority of New South Wales. While we acknowledge this coin has undergone circulation (if only it could talk) it has all the details that define an 1813 Dump and clearly reflects its origins by showing the design of the original Spanish Dollar from which it was created; a much sought after and seldom seen quality. This is a classic example of Henshall’s masterpiece, struck with the A/1 dies, offered at a price that won’t break the bank.
STATUS
On hold
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1813 Colonial Dump Fine obv small B&B October

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This 1813 Dump offers every notable aspect that you could be looking for in an example of Australia's first silver coin, the News South Wales Fifteen Pence.

It was struck using the Type A/1 dies, noted for producing Dumps that are well centred. And aesthetically pleasing.

The coin has:

  • A clear legend, New South Wales
  • Clear value of fifteen pence
  • A strong legible date, 1813
  • A strong crown, showing the pearls and fleur-de-lis
  • Evidence of the oblique milling around the edge
  • Evidence of the design of the original eight reales from which the Dump was created, shown around the edge of the coin, encircling the words 'Fifteen Pence'.

 

As Australia’s first coin, the Dump has a place in history that can never be undermined by the passing of time.

Quite the reverse, as time passes, its importance and its value, can only be strengthened.


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