Browse & Buy


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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
Available now
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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.
 


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1938-Proof-Penny-and-Half-Penny-Obverse-August-2019jpg
COIN
Proof 1938 Penny and Proof 1938 Halfpenny matched pair.
QUALITY
Superb FDC
PROVENANCE
J. J. Pitman, The Madrid Collection of Australian Rare Coins
PRICE
$35,000
COMMENTS
You will often see it written that “Great collectors only ever own great coins”. And it is true of this stunning matched pair of Proof 1938 Penny and Proof 1938 Halfpenny. A superb FDC, with full copper brilliance, the coins were formerly held by renowned American collector J. J. Pitman and later sold to the equally renowned owner of the Madrid Collection of Australian Rare Coins in 2005.
STATUS
Available now
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When the Melbourne Mint commenced striking circulation pennies in 1938, staff were instructed to prepare dies and hand-select copper blanks to produce one hundred pennies for collectors minted to proof quality.

The Melbourne Mint had decided it was time to start selling proof coins to collectors to test the waters of regular proof coining production.

The proofs were to be sold to collectors at a premium of one shilling over face value. Collectors could have them sent through the mail. Or could front up to the mint to collect their order.

History records that ninety-four proof pennies out of the mintage of one hundred sold, each coin selling for 1s. 1d.

It was a popular collector release given that the coin introduced a brand-new reverse design of the flying kangaroo. And an obverse design of the new king, George VI.

The same situation occurred when the mint began striking halfpennies for circulation in 1938. One hundred proof 1938 halfpennies were struck to sell to collectors.

History records that seventy-eight halfpennies out of the mintage of one hundred sold, each coin selling for 1s. 1/2d.

The subdued interest in the halfpenny simply a reflection that the halfpenny continued the original British design introduced in 1911.

We can recall only two other occasions when we have sold 1938 proof coppers at this superior quality level.

  • The first occasion was in 1996, sold to a client who wanted proofs that represented his birth year. Acquired from renowned numismatist, Barrie Winsor, the coins have never come back onto the market.
  • The second occasion was in 2000 when a pair was sold to the owner of the "Treasures of the Melbourne Mint" Collection. Also sourced from Barrie Winsor.

This is the most effective way we know to impart the extreme rarity of this matched pair of 1938 proof coppers.

We have always followed a rule of thumb regarding copper proofs.

If the coins have original copper brilliance, or even just a hint of copper brilliance, then you grab them with both hands. For it is hardly ever seen. And reflects meticulous handling throughout the coin’s life.

And so, it is with these coins. Both the penny and halfpenny have full copper brilliance.

They are a once-in-a-decade opportunity.

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COIN
1813 Holey Dollar, struck from an 1800 Mexico Mint Spanish Silver Dollar.
QUALITY
Fine
PROVENANCE
Private Collection New South Wales
PRICE
$80,000
COMMENTS
The 1813 Holey Dollar is the nation's first coin. Its standing means that it is a very valuable piece. The coin also is extremely rare with less than 200 examples available to collectors. Over the past few years that has been a noticeable increase in demand for Holey Dollars, steadily pushing prices higher. Securing a quality Holey Dollar priced below $100,000 has become a very difficult task. Which is why this coin is so appealing. Yes, it has circulated but the design details of the original Spanish Dollar are clear. And the over-stamping of New South Wales and the date 1813 is strong. This coin will make owning a Holey Dollar a reality for just one buyer. It is affordable. Conservatively priced, it offers excellent buying value.
STATUS
Sold February 2020
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More than 80,000 convicts were transported to the penal colony of New South Wales over an eighteen-year period.

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

When William Henshall created this Holey Dollar, he picked up an 1800 Charles IV Spanish Silver Dollar that had been struck at the Mexico Mint.

Using crude equipment, he cut a hole in it. He then continued the minting process by over-stamping the inner circular edge of the hole with the words New South Wales, the date 1813 and the value of Five Shillings.

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

The Holey Dollar is history that you can hold in your hand. It is history that can be passed onto the next generation.

Its status as Australia's first coin ensures that it will never be forgotten and, as time passes, its historical value can only increase.

The Holey Dollar is one of Australia’s most desirable coins. The coin is rare. And the coin is steeped in history.

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.

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

 

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Proof-1924-Penny-FDC-Rev-December-2019
Proof-1924-Penny-FDC-Obv-Large-December-2019
COIN
Proof 1924 Penny, Melbourne Mint
QUALITY
FDC
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Victoria
PRICE
$25,000
COMMENTS
As far as proof pennies are concerned the date ‘1924’ is genuinely scarce for this is the only Proof 1924 Penny that we have ever sold. We first encountered the coin when it came up at auction in August 1999. Described as an even glossy brown proof, serious bidding activity in the auction room saw the coin sell for $7000 on a pre-auction estimate of $4000.
STATUS
Available now
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The only Proof 1924 Penny that we have sold?

Yes. And this is the simplest way we know to impart the extreme rarity of the Proof 1924 Penny.

It is a point that many decimal coin collectors will find hard to fathom, particularly if they are Royal Australian Mint and Perth Mint subscribers that are being regularly treated to proof coin offerings.

The harsh reality for collectors in the early 1900s was that, with very few exceptions, proofs were NOT struck for collectors.

Proofs were struck as Coins of Record, minted at the discretion of the Mint Master. As head of the mint, it was his decision as to when they were struck and indeed how many were struck.

Such proofs were invariably destined for their archives. Their purpose to record the mint’s circulating coin achievements.

Proofs were also struck to send to museums or public institutions, such as the Royal Mint London and British Museum.

There were times when proofs were struck to put on display at public exhibitions. So, whilst denying collectors the opportunity of ever owning them, they could at the very least get to look at them.

 

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.”

This Proof 1924 Penny is a quality proof, sharply struck with impressive glossy surfaces.

Its offering presents a rare opportunity to acquire an important piece of Australia’s minting history.

 

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1798-Holey-dollar-Mexico-VF-Fine-rev-February-2020
1798-Holey-dollar-Mexico-VF-Fine-obv-February-2020
COIN
1813 Holey Dollar, counter-stamped 'T. Knight'
QUALITY
Good Fine / Very Fine
PROVENANCE
Private Collection New South Wales
PRICE
$95,000
COMMENTS
If you can incorporate the word ‘exceptional’ into a coin’s description, its investment value is enhanced. Exceptional quality. Exceptional rarity. That word ‘exceptional’ is simply the qualification that your coin stands out from the rest making it more appealing to any potential buyer. And so, it is with this coin. This Holey Dollar is distinguished as being the very finest of the T. Knight counter-stamped Holey Dollars.
STATUS
Sold February 2020
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The counter-stamp T. Knight on Australia’s colonial coins has intrigued historians for more than a century.

And has generated its own strong band of collector followers.

While little is known about the mysterious T. Knight, the fact that seven of the surviving Holey Dollars are counter-stamped with his name leads us to say that whoever he/she was – or whatever he/she did – they must have been a prominent force in the colony.

When William Henshall created this Holey Dollar he picked up a 1798 Charles IV Spanish Silver Dollar that had been struck at the Mexico Mint. Using crude equipment, he cut a hole in it.

Henshall then continued the minting process by over-stamping the inner circular edge of the hole with the words New South Wales, the date 1813 and the value of Five Shillings.

It was at this point in the process, the over-stamping of the holed Spanish Silver Dollar that it became the 1813 Holey Dollar.

 

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

The Holey Dollar is history that you can hold in your hand. It is history that can be passed onto the next generation.

Its status as Australia's first coin ensures that it will never be forgotten and, as time passes, its historical value can only increase.

Enquire now

1927-Canberra-Florin-B-Reverse-August-2019
1927-Canberra-Florin-B-Obverse-August-2019
COIN
Proof 1927 Canberra Florin
QUALITY
Superb FDC. A brilliant proof with stunning iridescent colours and one of the finest we have handled.
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Sydney
PRICE
$30,000
COMMENTS
The extreme scarcity of quality Proof Canberra Florins is out of sync with the suggested mintage of 400. Which is why we have done some additional research, working our way through old journals and manuscripts. We now know that while Melbourne Mint records show a mintage of 400, it is generally accepted that the issue was not a sell-out and a significant number of proofs were re-melted after failing to find a home. According to respected author Greg McDonald, the actual figure could be as low as 150.
STATUS
Available now
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Famed London coin dealers, A. H. Baldwin & Sons Ltd, was founded in 1872 by Albert Henry Baldwin. Respected the world over, Baldwin was perceptive and understood the mindset of his fellow collectors. He had the foresight to acquire twenty-five of the Proof Canberra Florins out of the original mintage of 400. The coins were archived by Baldwins for nearly sixty years before the company trickled them out into the Australian marketplace.

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

BALDWIN'S VIEW IN 1927. Baldwin knew that the Proof 1927 Canberra Florin was the very first proof issue struck for Australian collectors.

OUR VIEW TODAY. The Proof 1927 Canberra Florin has the double whammy of being the very first proof issue struck for collectors. And as it so happens it was the only proof issue of that decade minted for collectors.

BALDWIN'S VIEW IN 1927. Baldwin would have been aware that the coin was minted for one of the most significant events in Australia’s journey to nationhood. The opening of the nation’s first Parliamentary buildings in the national capital. He had the experience of dealing in English coins to know that history counted and that the Proof Canberra Florin would have an everlasting appeal.

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

BALDWIN'S VIEW IN 1927. Baldwin must have perceived that a mintage of 400 for the Proof 1927 Canberra Florin was tiny and that the coin was destined for greatness.

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

Summary statement on this classic investment piece.

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

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The Journey to Parliament House Canberra

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


1805-Holey-Dollar-MM-gVF-Date-side-December-2019
1805-Holey-Dollar-MM-gVF-non-date--December-2019
COIN
1813 Holey Dollar struck from an 1805 Mexico Mint Silver Dollar
QUALITY
Good Very Fine / Extremely Fine
PROVENANCE
Maurice Eschwege, Captain H. Paget, Albert Bagnall, Philip Spalding.
PRICE
$265,000
COMMENTS
There is an immeasurable pride in owning an example of Australia’s first coin, the Holey Dollar. And if you can open not one, but TWO, of the most respected books on Holey Dollars and see your coin detailed and illustrated, then the feelings go even deeper. It is an affirmation of the proud history that accompanies your coin. And so it is with this Holey Dollar. It is illustrated in Philip Spalding's esteemed book, “The World of the Holey Dollar”. And the internationally respected “Holey Dollars of New South Wales” by Messrs. Mira & Noble. And it is true that only a handful of collectors can ever lay claim to having their Holey Dollars in both books.
STATUS
Sold February 2020
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The fundamentals of this Holey Dollar.

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

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

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

A well documented provenance. 

The coin is featured on page 195 and 196 of  Philip Spalding's book, "The World of the Holey Dollar": a compliment in itself. Published in 1973 this book is still to this day a major reference on the Holey Dollar. (A copy of Spalding’s book will be provided with this coin.)

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

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

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

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

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

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

Renowned British collectors and a renowned American collector and then eventually back to Australia through the illustrious hands of its fourth recorded owner, Philip Spalding.
That the coin has attracted sustained buyer interest right across the globe for nearly a century in Britain, the U.S. and Australia is testimony to the international appeal of the Holey Dollar.   

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1805-Holey-Dollar-non-date-Tech-December-2019
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The Holey Dollar is one of Australia's most desirable coins.

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

And that statement is made irrespective of the quality level.
Most Holey Dollars are today found well worn with many looking like a tap washer.

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

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

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

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

The Holey Dollar is a coin that is held in the utmost respect. It is history. And yet it is refreshingly current.

The ingenuity of Governor Lachlan Macquarie in creating our first coin is reflected in the naming of the Macquarie Bank and the bank’s ultimate adoption of the Holey Dollar as its logo.

Philip Spalding front cover
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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
$35,000
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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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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1860-Sovereign-Obv-July-2019
1860-Sovereign-Rev-July-2019
COIN
1860 Sydney Mint Sovereign
QUALITY
Choice Uncirculated
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Melbourne
PRICE
$25,000
COMMENTS
From the day this 1860 Sydney Mint Sovereign was struck, it was destined to become a prized collectible. It is a superb coin to the naked eye and an equally superb coin under a magnifying glass. The striking is sharp, the portrait of Queen Victoria highly detailed. Given that this sovereign was struck in the factory-like conditions of the nation’s first mint, the Sydney Mint, makes the coin even more remarkable. Furthermore, it has been brilliantly preserved, painstakingly wrapped up into a minute parcel in tissue paper, hidden away for decades. The surfaces are excellent. The denticles crisp, the coin still shows its original lustre. Technical shots have been included in the READ MORE section.
STATUS
Available now.
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1860-Sovereign-Tech-Obv-July-2019

1860 Sydney Mint Sovereign Obverse. 

1860-Sovereign-Tech-Rev-July-2019

1860 Sydney Mint Sovereign Reverse. 

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.

This 1860 Sovereign has widespread appeal.
And will appeal to:

  • The sovereign buyer that targets key dates.
  • The sovereign buyer that seeks out premium quality. Choice Uncirculated Sydney Mint Sovereigns are very rarely offered.
  • The investor. This is a classic numismatic investment piece. Key date and superb quality.

 

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1930-Penny-1-Rev-October-2019-
1930-Penny-1-Obv-October-2019-
COIN
1930 Penny, with a partial central diamond and six pearls. And our BONUS OFFER of a free 1923 Halfpenny.
QUALITY
Good Fine - Very Fine
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Melbourne
PRICE
$29,500
COMMENTS
This 1930 Penny is the classic example of a coin that has circulated but has miraculously survived its time in circulation unscathed. A glance at the photos, both obverse and reverse, shows it to be so. With this coin you can tick the box for QUALITY. The coin has survived its time in circulation with minimal affect. You can also tick the box on PRICE. It won't be long before Good Fine 1930 Pennies, with a Very Fine reverse, command upwards of $30,000. But there is a third box relating to this coin that must be ticked. And that's the box titled VALUE FOR MONEY for there is a bonus offer on this coin of a free 1923 Halfpenny. A great 1930 Penny has now become even greater with our bonus offer.
STATUS
Available now
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Tick the box for quality.

We follow a very simple rule when it comes to 1930 Pennies. We only consider coins that are visually very attractive and have no obvious defects from their time in circulation.

The reason is simply that 1930 Pennies were used, with the majority very well used, before collectors realised they even existed. Which means that most of the 1930 Pennies had been handled, mishandled, dropped, scratched or rattled around in change.

The very reason why we reject more 1930 Pennies than we accept.

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.

This coin follows our prime rule of acquiring a visually attractive 1930 Penny, as the photographs reveal.

The obverse shows the first and into the second side of the central diamond and six plump pearls. Sounds technical? Probably it does but it is these facts that indicate the level of circulation that this coin has sustained.

The reverse is graded higher again at Very Fine and is very impressive with strong upper and lower scrolls, well defined inner beading and very nice edges.

Both obverse and reverse have minimal marks in the fields and handsome toning.

This is a coin that you will be proud to show your family and friends. And is guaranteed to attract positive comments in return.

 

Tick the box for price.

The average grade 1930 Penny comes with a quality level of Fine to Good Fine on the obverse.

And let's be clear, we have no issue with average 1930 Pennies because they are affordable.

We are fussy with all our coins, so we are always looking for 1930 Pennies that have a bit extra. Coins that while they have circulated, have a higher quality Very Fine reverse.

WHAT WE KNOW IS THAT THEY ARE EXTREMELY DIFFICULT TO FIND.

We were genuinely excited when we saw two 1930 Pennies were coming up for auction in Sydney in November. Until we checked. We had rejected both coins when they were offered in July. They were unsold lots from the July auction that were simply being re-offered.

In our view quality Fine to Good Fine 1930 Pennies that have a Very Fine reverse are genuinely scarce on the ground. It won't be long before they start to command $30,000-plus.

This coin has everything a collector would want in a 1930 Penny. All the technical details - pearls, upper and lower scrolls, moustache, inner beading - and none of the defects, such as scratches and gouges, that we see in most circulated coins.

Tick the box for value for money.

This 1930 Penny attracts our bonus offer of a free 1923 Halfpenny. A great 1930 Penny has now become even greater with our bonus offer of Australia's rarest halfpenny.

 

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1930-Penny-Fine-Rev-Large-December-2019
1930-Penny-Fine-Obv-Large-December-2019
COIN
1930 Penny with a hint of the central diamond and six pearls
QUALITY
Fine
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Melbourne
PRICE
$21,000
COMMENTS
Every couple of years we come across a 1930 Penny that is a genuine bargain. It doesn't happen very often, but when it does happen, we grab it with both hands knowing that Australia’s classic coin rarity is wanted at all dollar levels. And all quality levels. This 1930 Penny has the hint of a central diamond and six pearls on the obverse. The reverse has strong upper and lower scrolls and complete inner beading. This is an impressive 1930 Penny offered at an even more impressive price of $21,000.
STATUS
Sold February 2020
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1930-Penny-Fine-Obv-Large-December-2019
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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 were 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.

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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1877-Bank-of-Melbourne-5-Pound-Specimen-Tech-January-2020
1877-Bank-of-Melbourne-5-Pound-Specimen-Tech-Back-January-2020
Notes
NOTE
1877 City of Melbourne Bank Ltd Five Pounds
QUALITY
Specimen
PROVENANCE
Bradbury & Wilkinson Archives, Spink London 2010
PRICE
$8500
COMMENTS
This 1877 City of Melbourne Bank Ltd Five Pounds is an extremely rare, historically important pre federation banknote from Melbourne’s golden era. It offers a fabulous insight into Australia’s early currency history.
STATUS
Sold February 2020
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1877-Bank-of-Melbourne-5-Pound-Specimen-Tech-Back-January-2020
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Archived for more than a century by London engravers and printers Bradbury & Wilkinson, this City of Melbourne Bank Ltd Five Pounds has retained its original characteristics and original colour unaffected by the passing of time.

The Pre-federation specimen banknotes attract solid interest because they offer genuine quality. They also offer scarcity and have a glorious, rich history.

And they are being offered at a price that makes them very affordable.

The City of Melbourne Bank commenced business in Melbourne, Victoria in 1873 with a head office situated at Collins Street West.

Submitting its first ‘banking returns’ in 1874 the bank quickly prospered and was considered a pillar of the Melbourne establishment, eventually opening a branch in London in 1886. However, the bank eventually fell victim to unsustainable land speculation by some of its largest depositors, one of many factors that ultimately led to the banks demise.

The bank finally closed its doors on 7 August 1895.

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1813-Dump-gVF-small-date-side-September-2019
1813-Dump-gVF-non-date-side-small-September-2019
COIN
1813 Dump, design type A/1
QUALITY
Good Very Fine
PROVENANCE
Dr. John Chapman
PRICE
$75,000
COMMENTS
A Good Very Fine 1813 Dump is a high quality piece and is genuinely hard to find. A chance opportunity. A Good Very Fine 1813 Dump that has been owned by Dr. John Chapman is a once-in-a-decade opportunity. Dr John Chapman has been involved in the Australian numismatic market as a foremost collector for as long as we can remember. He is as learned as he is well respected and this Dump was part of his prized collection. It is a coin that has all the attributes that a collector would look for in a colonial Dump including the original Spanish Dollar design (particularly strong), complete denticles and the presence of the ‘H’ for Henshall on the reverse. It is an impactful coin, the very reason why respected author and numismatist Greg McDonald features it in his annual Pocket Price Guide. And has so for many, many years. Technical shots are provided.
STATUS
Sold January 2020
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1813-Dump-gVF-non-date-side-small-September-2019
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1813-Dump-gVF-date-side-technical-September-2019-

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • The design is classically well centred and well struck.
  • The legend New South Wales and the date 1813 are sharp.
  • The fleur de lis on the left-hand side and the right-hand side of the crown have definition and have not melded into the coin.

 

  • The pearls to the left and right of the Crown are well defined and again have not melded into the coin.
  • The denticles around the edge of the coin are complete, a feature that is seldom if ever seen on even the very best examples.
  • Notice the oblique milling around the edge. Strong, well defined and fully evident.
  • The reverse Fifteen Pence also is strong and three dimensional.
  • The ‘H’ for Henshall also is defined. William Henshall declared his involvement in the creation of the Dump by inserting an H into some (but not all) of the dies used during its striking. Its presence is highly prized.
  • While the Holey Dollar glaringly shows that it is one coin struck from another, in a less obvious way so too does the Dump. There is strong design detail of the original Spanish Dollar from which this Dump was created on the entire obverse. We refer to it as the undertype and its presence is again highly prized.
1813 Dump graph
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Circa-1860-Taylor-Pattern-Shilling-milled-edge-Obv-July-2019-
Circa-1860-Taylor-Pattern-Shilling-milled-edge-Rev-July-2019-
COIN
Circa 1855 Kangaroo Office Copper Shilling, milled edge
QUALITY
Superb FDC. A brilliant proof with a ring of mint red.
PROVENANCE
John Ahbe, Syd Hagley
PRICE
$60,000
COMMENTS
King Farouk of Egypt loved his gold Kangaroo Office Shilling. So too did Queensland collector Tom Hadley. Hadley held an unprecedented seven Kangaroo Office shillings as part of the famous Quartermaster Collection, accumulated over a thirty-year time frame. The importance of this offer is reflected in our statement that, in a career that now spans fifty years, this is the ONLY milled edge Kangaroo Office Copper Shilling that we have ever handled. It is easy to go overboard on the superlatives when you talk about the coins of the Kangaroo Office. But the reality is they offer the ultimate in scarcity. The coins are incredibly rare. They showcase one of the most remarkable chapters in Australia’s history. They are respected worldwide, owned by some of the absolute greatest Australian and international collectors of all time.
STATUS
Available now
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Circa-1860-Taylor-Pattern-Shilling-milled-edge-Rev-July-2019-
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The ultimate in rarity and importance. The milled edge particularly so.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Revered owners … including royalty.

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

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

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

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

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

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

A remarkable chapter in Australia’s history.

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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1910 Specimen Set Date Side in case June 2018
COIN
1910 Specimen Set
QUALITY
Uncirculated
PROVENANCE
Barrie Winsor Collection
PRICE
$135,000
COMMENTS
Every dealer has one or two items, be they a coin or a banknote, that is close to their heart. In the case of industry figurehead, Barrie Winsor, it is this 1910 Specimen Set. He has always viewed it as the ‘ultimate set’. And for all sorts of reasons. Struck as a Presentation set at the Royal Mint London, in an original case of issue, it is comprised of the four silver coins, the 1910 florin, 1910 shilling, 1910 sixpence and 1910 threepence minted to glorious specimen quality. Furthermore, it is unique in private hands. Only one other set is known, held in the Museum of Victoria Archives. And it is history. The set is a celebration. A commemoration of the issuing of Australia’s very first Commonwealth of Australia coinage in 1910. Only a person of influence would ever have had access to such a striking. (Technical photos are provided in the READ MORE section.)
STATUS
Available now
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And the person of influence ?

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

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

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

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

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

That the coins were struck to specimen quality was confirmed.

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

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

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

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

1910 Specimen Set Techs

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

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

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

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

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1910 Specimen Florin rev June 2018

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

1910 Specimen Florin obv June 2018

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

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1910 Specimen Shilling rev June 2018

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

1910 Specimen Shilling obv June 2018

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

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1910 Specimen Sixpence rev June 2018

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

1910 Specimen Sixpence obv June 2018

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

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1910 Specimen Threepence rev June 2018

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

1910 Specimen Threepence obv June 2018

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

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Proof-1936-Penny-FDC-Rev-December-2019
Proof-1936-Penny-FDC-Obv-December-2019
COIN
Proof 1936 Penny
QUALITY
FDC
PROVENANCE
Australian Coin Auctions February 2002, Madrid Collection of Australian Rare Coins
PRICE
$45,000
COMMENTS
Prices of Australian pre-decimal proofs rocketed between 2000 and 2002 when a collection of elite Proof Melbourne coppers came up at auction. This Proof 1936 was a part of the collection. The coins had never been sighted before, the vendor indicating that he had bought them in the 1950s from renowned collector Roy Farman. He, in turn, had held them from the day they were struck. We attended the auction and the competition for acquisition was amazing, as strong as we have ever seen. A case in point, this Proof 1936 Penny, sold for more than three times its pre-auction estimate of $8000 and it is noted that the auction estimates reflected price guides at the time. And the reason for the heady prices?
STATUS
Sold January 2020
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Proof-1936-Penny-FDC-Obv-December-2019
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The rarity of the Proof 1936 Penny.

This Proof 1936 Penny is a Coin of Record. It was struck to proof quality, to put on record the date '1936', satisfying the needs of the mint rather than the wants of collectors.

Coins of Record out of this era are amazingly scarce. Up until its offering in 2002 only three other proof pennies dated 1936 had been sighted.

The exceptional quality of the Proof 1936 Penny.

The auctions instigated the introduction of the term “super proof” into the industry’s numismatic dictionary. One such "super proof", this Proof 1936 Penny.

The industry contends that the exceptional quality of the Proof 1936 Penny, and the other proofs offered at the auction, was a consequence of Farman’s close relationship with Albert Le Souef.  

Le Souef was, like Farman, a passionate collector and occupied a position of influence in the Melbourne Mint that would eventually see him become Deputy Mint Master between 1921 and 1926. He maintained his influence in numismatic circles well into the 1930s.

In this era there was nothing untoward, or unethical, with ensuring that a collector friend received the very best proof collector striking.

It was a simple matter of selecting the smoothest copper blanks. And polishing the dies to ensure a crisp and highly detailed striking.

A brilliant state of preservation.

This coin has had only three owners over the last eighty four years. That’s almost as rare as the coin itself. Its state of preservation reflects the minimal number of owners. And that all along the way this coin has been cherished.

The purpose of proof coining.

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.”

 

The purpose of proof coining ... cont'd.

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 canvass’.

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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1852-Adelaide-Pound-Type-II-Obv-Date-Unc-December-2019
1852-Adelaide-Pound-Type-II-Rev-Unc-non-date-December-2019
COIN
1852 Adelaide Pound with crenelated inner circle (Type II)
QUALITY
Uncirculated with underlying golden lustre, the obverse fully lustrous and proof-like
PROVENANCE
Private Collection New South Wales
PRICE
$75,000
COMMENTS
This 1852 Adelaide Pound is offered in a remarkable state. The grading level is Uncirculated, so it has never been used. And the coin is lustrous, in fact fully lustrous on the reverse and almost proof-like. There is only one explanation that we can offer as to its condition. The coin must have been tucked away soon after it was created. Dealers are aware. As are collectors. This coin offers a level of quality that is rarely offered. This is the second only Uncirculated Type II Adelaide Pound that we have offered over the past five years.
STATUS
Sold January 2020
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1852-Adelaide-Pound-Type-II-Rev-Unc-non-date-December-2019
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An Uncirculated grading on an 1852 Adelaide Pound warrants buyer attention. That's for sure.

But there is more to an Adelaide Pound than its grading level. There is the strike, just how well the design details have been executed. And this is reflected in the denticles and the legend. And the depth of detail in the crown.

While there may be a natural assumption that care and attention would have been applied during the minting process of the nation's first gold coin. This was certainly NOT the case.

The Adelaide Assay Office was a refinery opened to re-cast gold into rough and ready 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 the eye appeal.

We also know from historical records that the striking of the Adelaide Pound was fraught with problems.

Pressure cracked the first die. The first die was swapped over for a second die that featured a crenelated inner circular design and the decision was made to relax the pressure to minimise the risk of the second die cracking.

While the reduced pressure extended the life of the dies, it created its own set of problems in the execution of the design detail.

It is a fact that many Adelaide Pounds show weakness in the edges and the legend 'Assay Office'. With some coins this area is almost non-existent. In other Adelaide Pounds we see weakness in the crown area. A flattened cross on the orb and no ermine in the band.

When it comes to assessing an Adelaide Pound, we always start at the edges and work our way in.

We confirm the strength of the edge denticles and the legend Government Assay Office. We then move inwards to the crown. And lastly, we examine the fields.

Taking up this rule and applying it to this coin we see:

  • The edges provide an almost ‘picture-frame’ effect to the coin which is quite extraordinary and seldom seen.
  • There is strength in the legend in the ASSAY area. Again, seldom seen.
  • The cross on the orb of the crown is complete and untouched.
  • The fleur-de-lis are complete and untouched.
  • The ermine in the lower band of the crown are visible.
  • The pleats in the fabric in the crown are complete and highly detailed.
  • The fields are lustrous.

The 1852 Adelaide Pound holds a very special place in Australia's history as the nation's first gold coin struck from gold brought from the Victorian gold fields.

It is an iconic Australian numismatic rarity, as is the 1930 Penny, the 1813 Holey Dollar and the 1813 Dump.

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.

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now that's rare!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Well done Royal Australian Mint!

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

Enquire now

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

enquire now

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To create this numismatic gem:

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

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

 

Enquire now

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

Enquire now

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

That’s a story that we have heard before.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

It is a relatively easy collection to put together.

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

 

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1957-1963-Perth-Proofs-FDC-July-2019
COIN
A complete collection of Perth Mint Proof Coins, 1957 to 1963. Including both types of Proof 1957 Penny.
QUALITY
FDC
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Melbourne
PRICE
$24,000 for the complete collection of twelve proof coins.
COMMENTS
There are times when we make everything look so easy. Take for example, this tray of twelve Pre-decimal proof copper coins. We are offering it as a complete collection but it took years for the owner to put the set together to such a consistently high standard. Superb quality and a solid orange in colour. One collector's labour of love is now a great opportunity for one single Coinworks client for this stunning complete collection of proofs, 1957 to 1963, is available now. And includes both types of Proof 1957 Penny, the matte and brilliant version.
STATUS
Available now.
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This collection is comprised of the following Perth Mint proof coppers. Each coin is a superb blazing orange and the pairs perfectly matched.

The normal R.R.P on the 1957 to 1959 Proof Pennies is $3000 each and $4500 for each pair. That's a total of $30,000.

This collection is being made available to just one buyer as a complete unit of twelve coins for $24,000. (A saving of $6000)

  • 1957 Perth Mint Proof Penny - both matte and bright types
  • 1958 Perth Mint Proof Penny
  • 1959 Perth Mint Proof Penny
  • 1960 Perth Mint Proof Penny & Halfpenny
  • 1961 Perth Mint Proof Penny & Halfpenny
  • 1962 Perth Mint Proof Penny & Halfpenny
  • 1963 Perth Mint Proof Penny & Halfpenny

The proof coins struck by the Perth Mint between 1957 and 1963 are a perfect entry point into the Australian rare coin market. Limited edition proof coins, especially struck for collectors in the 1950s and 1960s.

In top quality they are extremely rare and very affordable and are great pieces to tuck away for the future either for yourself, for your children or your grandchildren.

It’s food for thought that an entire collection of Perth Mint Proofs 1957 to 1963 (comprised of eleven coins) can be acquired for less than the price of a 1930 Penny.

We like this area of the market and for the following reasons:

  • The coins are affordable. The single proofs are available at $3000. The pair of proofs for $4500. This is a dollar level that attracts a lot of buyer interest.
  • In top quality, the coins are stunning to look at, a solid blazing orange.

Quality is paramount.

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

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

The fact that the Royal Australian Mint and Perth Mint are today such prolific producers of proof coins may have some collectors believing that proofs struck in the pre-decimal era (prior to 1966) were similarly available.

This is simply not the case.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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1860-Aboriginal-Threepence-obv-FDC-July-2019
1860-Aboriginal-Threepence-rev-FDC-July-2019
COIN
1860 Hogarth & Erichsen Aborigine Threepence
QUALITY
Mint state, as struck
PROVENANCE
Sir Marcus Clark K.B.E, sold by James R. Lawson Auctioneers 1954.
PRICE
$105,000
COMMENTS
The 1860 Aborigine Threepence is an industry icon. It is the earliest representation of an indigenous person to appear on Australian currency. Its appeal extends far beyond the numismatic industry. It is a piece that has cultural significance. And national significance.
STATUS
Available now
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1860-Aboriginal-Threepence-rev-FDC-July-2019
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This 1860 Aborigine Threepence was formerly owned by Sir Marcus Clark K.B.E and is presented in a superb mint state.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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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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PO Box 1060 Hawksburn Victoria Australia 3142

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