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1916 Set in box front
COIN
Original Cased 1916 Presentation Set
QUALITY
FDC
PROVENANCE
Royal Australian Mint National Coin Collection
PRICE
$195,000
COMMENTS
This original cased 1916 Presentation Set was formerly owned by the Royal Australian Mint, Canberra, held as part of Australia’s National Coin Collection. The Set is sold with official documentation validating its beginnings and its pedigree. It is the only cased 1916 Presentation Set to confirm its origins. As you would expect with four coins that have been sequestered for more than a century in an archival environment, their quality is stunning and this set is regarded as the absolute finest known. An affirmation of the product, the set sold for $60,500 on an estimate of $25,000 in 2002 when it was offered at auction.
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1916 Set in box back b&b

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The Royal Mint London began supplying official cased sets of specimen and proof coinage in 1887 to commemorate special events and the striking of new designs.

Melbourne, as a branch of the Royal Mint London followed traditions with the issuing of the 1916 Presentation Set.

The four coins of florin, shilling, sixpence and threepence were struck to specimen quality, and featured the ‘M’ (for Melbourne) mint mark below the date 1916. The four coins were housed in a handsome royal blue case.

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

  • The Specimen Florin is beautifully struck, with superb detail in all its design elements. With even matte surfaces and superb pale peach toning, the coin shows the classic striations associated with this controlled striking.
  • The Specimen Shilling is superbly struck and beautifully toned and again the coin shows strong striations reflecting meticulous die preparation.
  • The Specimen Sixpence has beautifully mirrored fields and is very well struck.
  • The Specimen Threepence also shows magnificent brilliance and again, is well struck.

While records show that 60 sets were produced, only 16 were sold, collectors charged 6/- for a cased set. 

A further 25 sets out of the original mintage were presented to dignitaries and politicians with the precise fate of the remaining sets unknown.

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

Over the past 35 years we have sighted only seven complete cased sets on the open market. And this is the only set with supporting documentation that validates its origins. Furthermore it is the finest.

It is pieces of the calibre of this 1916 Presentation Set that has cemented Coinworks reputation for handling the very best quality and the most significant of Australian coin rarities.

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

From a national perspective, the year 1916 was a significant one.

Australia continued to suffer casualties in the battles of World War I with the Battle of Fromelles a standout disaster. The 25th April was officially named and observed as ‘ANZAC’ day. The Returned Sailors and Soldiers Imperial League of Australia (the forerunner of the RSL) was founded.

And in a nationalistic expression of our financial independence the Labor Government under the leadership of Prime Minister Billy Hughes commissioned the Melbourne Mint to strike the nation’s Commonwealth silver coinage.

The decision coincided with increased silver production at Broken Hill.

 


British Guiana Holey Dollar and Dump Rev
COIN
British Guiana, 1808 Holey Dollar and Dump
QUALITY
Holey Dollar (Very Fine) Dump (Extremely Fine)
PROVENANCE
Holey Dollar - Glendinings London 1978, R. J. Ford Collection Spink London 1990, R. Climpson Collection. Dump - R. Climpson Collection.
PRICE
$95,000
COMMENTS
In the 18th and 19th centuries, the Spanish Silver Dollar was a universally accepted coin. And a universally adapted coin. It was the piece that Governor Lachlan Macquarie turned to for his Holey Dollars and Dumps, the very first coins struck on Australian soil. The story is well known … convicted forger, William Henshall, enlisted by Macquarie to cut a hole in the Spanish Silver Dollars and re-stamp them to turn them into Australia’s very first coins. It was a process that overseas governments also took up when they needed to supplement their currency. This extremely rare British Guiana Holey Dollar and Dump re-affirms the versatility and adaptability of the Spanish Silver Dollar in augmenting currencies the world over.
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British Guiana Holey Dollar and Dump Obv

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

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

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

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

The Dump, also struck in 1808, was the centre plug that fell out of the hole during the striking of the British Guiana Holey Dollar.

It has 19 notches and is counter stamped ‘E & D 3BT’ to confirm the issuing authority of Essequibo and Demerary and its monetary value of 3 bits (equal to 15 Dutch stiver).

In a quality level of Extremely fine, this British Guiana Dump shows minimal circulation and is extremely well preserved. The detail in the design of the over stamp is simply amazing.

And that’s a fluke.

In the partnership of Holey Dollar and Dump, the Dump with its lesser value was the ‘coin of the people’. And was well used.

As with an Extremely Fine Australian Dump, this British Guiana Dump is a rarity of the highest order.


PEI 1807 HD rev LARGE
COIN
Canada, Prince Edward Island 1813 Holey Dollar
QUALITY
Very Fine
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Sydney
PRICE
$16,500
COMMENTS
This is an extremely rare Holey Dollar, struck by Canada’s Prince Edward Island, and is one of seventy nine (79) known specimens. While Governor Lachlan Macquarie was coining his Holey Dollars and Dumps in Sydney, a similar scheme was unfolding across the other side of the globe in Prince Edward Island, Canada. In 1813 the Island’s Lieutenant Governor, Charles Douglass Smith, created an internal currency for the British colony by cutting and over stamping 1000 Spanish Silver Dollars. The silver dollars were holed and over stamped with a circle with ten teeth like projections positioned (partially) on the King’s forehead.
SOLD
July 2017
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PEI 1807 HD obv LARGE

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The Holey Dollars of Prince Edward Island are Canada’s most exotic and celebrated colonial-era coin.

They are the only instance where the cutting and counter stamping of Spanish Silver Dollars occurred, in what is present day Canada.

This particular Prince Edward Island Holey Dollar was struck on an 1807 Spanish Silver Dollar that had been minted in the Spanish Colonial Mint of Mexico and is presented in a quality level of Very Fine. 

The sun-rayed over stamp is positioned on the forehead of Charles IIII, just before the word ‘DEI’ in the legend. 

This coin is Catalogued as C26 and is featured on page 212 of the Reference Book, “The Holey Dollars and Dumps of Prince Edward Island” penned by Christopher Faulkner.

Faulkner’s book is a literary and numismatic masterpiece. We can only say that Christopher Faulkner has paid homage to the 1813 Prince Edward Island Holey Dollar in the same vein as Philip Spalding did to the 1813 New South Wales Holey Dollar in his book, ‘The World of the Holey Dollar.’

The history of Prince Edward Island ... Discover More.


1813 HD - 1805 Charles IIII Unc rev LARGE
COIN
1813 Holey Dollar
QUALITY
Uncirculated
PROVENANCE
Howard D Gibbs Collection, sold in New York by Hans Schulman. Arthur Chesser Collection sold in London, Dix Noonan Webb London. Private Collection Melbourne.
PRICE
$595,000
COMMENTS
The Holey Dollar is the jewel in the crown of the Australian coin industry. It is the nation’s very first coin. The characteristics that define this coin are as ‘simple as it gets’ for this Holey Dollar is the absolute finest of the surviving examples and unique as such. There are no complications with this coin. It is the very best. If perfection is to be had in a Holey Dollar then this coin is it.
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1813 HD - 1805 Charles IIII Unc obv LARGE

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The original silver dollar from which this Holey Dollar was created is Uncirculated, there are no signs of it ever having been used. Miraculous.

The details stamped around the inner circular edge of the central hole in 1813 by William Henshall also are Uncirculated. So this coin was never used even after it was transformed into a Holey Dollar.

If perfection is to be had in a Holey Dollar then this coin is it.

The conundrum of this Holey Dollar is how it became to be presented in such a miraculous state.

It raises more questions than we can ever possibly answer and only adds to the intrigue and the mystery of this superb colonial gem.

The Holey Dollar began its life as a Spanish Silver Dollar. In the case of this Holey Dollar it began its life as a Spanish Silver Dollar that was minted at the Spanish colonial mint of Mexico, in 1805.

The coin was one of 40,000 Spanish Silver Dollars acquired by Governor Lachlan Macquarie in 1812, and that were destined to be converted into Holey Dollars and Dumps.

Given that the Spanish Silver Dollar was the most widely used, and accepted, coin in the world we ask the question.

How did an 1805 Spanish Silver Dollar retain its pristine state during the seven years up until its arrival in the colony of NSW?

Mint Master, William Henshall used a punch to cut out a disc from an 1805 Spanish Silver Dollar as the first step in creating this coin.

Henshall then placed the holed coin between two dies.

One die contained the elements ‘New South Wales’ and ‘1813’. The other die contained the denomination of ‘Five Shillings’ , a fleur de lis, a double twig of leaves , and an ‘H’ for Henshall.

Using the gravitational force of a simple drop hammer system, the design elements of the dies were stamped onto both sides of the holed silver dollar around the inner circular edge of the hole.

And it is at this point – and this point only – that the ‘holed’ silver dollar became the 1813 New South Wales Five Shillings (or Holey Dollar).

This coin was never used after it was transformed into a Holey Dollar.

The inner denticles, the lettering ‘ Five Shillings’ and ‘ New South Wales’ , date ‘1813’ , the fleur de lis , double twig of leaves and tiny ‘ H’ are as struck and fully detailed.  

We know the process of striking the Holey Dollars was haphazard but was there a controlled hand in the minting of this coin? Was it especially selected?

The circular hole cut out by Henshall is beautifully centred. The edges, the denticles are pristine. As struck.

How soon into its life did this Holey Dollar become a collectable?

The coin was identified as belonging to Howard Gibbs, an active American collector in the 1920s. The same collector owned the world renowned Madrid Holey Dollar.

It is a statement of fact that the majority of high calibre Holey Dollars were originally held by collectors residing overseas, the United Kingdom and America in particular.

It is noted that Britain and America already had a sophisticated collector market in the nineteenth century that saw top rarities move between the two continents.

Was this Holey Dollar taken back to England early on in its life by free settlers returning home?

There is no doubt that the gentry would have had the financial capacity to hold their five shillings as a collectable. And would seek out a prime example to hold as part of their personal collection.

We have no answers to these questions.

All that we can say is that this is an exceptional Holey Dollar, and an heirloom without parallel.


1918 Perth Half Sovereign Unc rev
COIN
1918 Perth Mint Half Sovereign
QUALITY
Uncirculated
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Melbourne
PRICE
$15,000
COMMENTS
The 1918 Perth Mint Half Sovereign and the 1930 Penny share a common bond: history records that both coins were accidentally struck. Their chance minting, in minuscule numbers, has created two world class rarities. And the mystery and intrigue surrounding their striking has fuelled their demand.
SOLD
July 2017
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1918 Perth Half Sovereign Unc obv

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Low, low mintage

The mintage of the 1918 Perth Mint Half Sovereign is 300.

Gold is Australia’s most popular collecting metal, both sovereigns and half sovereigns. We don’t believe much explanation is required here. Collectors will recognise the incredible scarcity of a coin struck with such a tiny mintage in an area of the market that is our most popular.

A key coin in a very popular series

The portrait of George V appeared on Australia’s Half Sovereigns between 1911 and 1918. It is a nine-coin series priced below $25,000 so very affordable and very popular.

Our advice to buyers is to always target the key coins within an area of the market, and the 1918 Perth Mint Half Sovereign is the key coin in the George V Half Sovereign Series.

The chart below details the mintages of the half sovereigns struck during the George V era with the 1918 Perth Mint Half Sovereign the obvious stand out piece.

Historically significant

The 1918 Perth Mint Half Sovereign denotes the end of an era. Australia struck its last half sovereign in 1918.

Uncirculated quality

Superb, Uncirculated quality … you could ask for no more.

In summary

This coin ticks every box.

It is a low mintage, world class rarity. A definite key coin and of the highest historical significance, presented in superb Uncirculated quality.

  

Half Sovereign Mintage
1911 Sydney Mint 252,000
1911 Perth Mint 130,000
1912 Sydney Mint 278,000
1914 Sydney Mint 322,000
1915 Sydney Mint 892,000
1915 Melbourne Mint 126,000
1915 Perth Mint 138,000
1916 Sydney Mint 448,000
1918 Perth Mint   300

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

1930 Penny EF rev Large July 2017
COIN
1930 Penny
QUALITY
Extremely Fine
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Melbourne
PRICE
$140,000
COMMENTS
There are five 1930 Pennies that stand out from the rest, acknowledged as being the absolute finest examples of Australia’s favourite copper rarity. And this coin is one of them. Waiting lists are the norm for a 1930 Penny at this quality level.
SOLD
July 2017
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1930 Penny EF obv Large July 2017

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

1930 Penny aEF Diamond & Pearl BAND 2

With a full central diamond and the seventh and eighth pearl, this 1930 Penny is at least six quality levels higher than the average 1930 Penny that has a quality level of Fine to Good Fine.

This Extremely Fine 1930 Penny has 

  1. A full central diamond that leaps out and knocks you in the eye.
  2. Eight clear pearls in the crown. The seventh and eight pearls to the left of the central diamond on the King’s Crown is one of the first areas to wear during circulation. The presence of the seventh and eighth pearl is evidence that this coin is of the highest rarity.
  3. The oval to the left of the central diamond is intact.
  4. The edges are undamaged. The fields are undamaged, glossy and smooth. The toning is an even chocolate brown.
  5. Minimal wear to George V’s eyebrow and upper ear.
  6. Lower band of the Crown is intact. 
  7. The reverse is particularly impressive with well-defined upper and lower scrolls and inner beading. The edges are intact and unblemished, the fields amazingly smooth.

And while all the details on the left may seem very technical … it is the complete and strong central diamond, the complete lower band and the seventh and eighth pearl that places this coin in a league of its own and justifies the supreme quality level of Extremely Fine.

Our experiences attest to the scarcity of a 1930 Penny at this quality level.

We have been involved in the industry for more than forty-five years and this is the second only Extremely Fine 1930 Penny that we have handled.

The pie chart (the area shown in grey) clearly shows the extreme scarcity of a 1930 Penny at this quality level.

1930 Pie Chart 5 July 2017

1852 Cracked Die Revb&b
COIN
1852 Adelaide Pound First or Cracked Die
QUALITY
about Extremely Fine
PROVENANCE
Private Collection NSW
PRICE
$88,000
COMMENTS
The collector that is keen to acquire an 1852 Cracked Die Adelaide Pound should not go past this piece. The coin will withstand the strongest scrutiny for it has minimal marks in both the fields and the edges. And at $88,000, it is well priced. Given that there are only forty Cracked Dies available to collectors we believe this coin is more than ‘well priced’. It is a ‘steal’. In consideration of the extreme rarity of Cracked Dies, we don’t preclude investors from this dialogue either.
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1852 Cracked Die Obvb&b

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This 1852 Adelaide Pound was minted at the Government Assay Office in Adelaide and was struck using the first reverse die that featured a beaded inner circle. The crack in the ‘DWT’ area of the legend confirms that it is indeed a famous Cracked Die, struck during the run of the first forty Adelaide Pounds.

From a technical perspective, this coin features the ‘thin’ crack.

There are about forty 1852 Cracked Die Adelaide Pounds available to collectors. And let’s be clear on this point. That’s forty coins across all levels of quality, from the very best to the very worst. 

1852 Adelaide Pound Cracked Die

The very best are so few and far between they command a half million dollar price tag making them out of reach financially for most collectors.

Now let’s consider the very worst examples. Because gold is a soft metal, well used Adelaide Pounds are in the main rough and ready and a bit unsightly. Some have even been gilded for mounting in jewellery.

Which is why we have no hesitation in recommending this coin.

Yes this 1852 Cracked Die Adelaide Pound has been used (slightly) but the rigours of circulation have treated the coin very kindly. 


1852 Adelaide Pound date side
COIN
1852 Adelaide Pound Second Die
QUALITY
good Extremely Fine
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Perth
PRICE
$ 38,000
COMMENTS
The quality standards that we adhere to in the selection of Adelaide Pounds maximises the coin's investment potential. It also underpins our philosophy of buying back coins from our clients. This Adelaide Pound for example. It was an outstanding example when we sold it to a Perth collector in 2004. The years have only re-affirmed that is remains an outstanding example today. A quality coin at a value price.
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1852 Adelaide Pound Second Die

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

Its historical standing as Australia's first gold coin ensures that it will always be sought after.

Fulfilling our ‘wish list’ to find an Adelaide Pound that has circulated but has minimal marks and no obvious defects, is a challenging task.

Gold is a soft metal and the majority of circulated gold coins show serious blemishes including knocks to the edges: defects that are clearly visible to the naked eye.

Not so with this Adelaide Pound. It is impressive.

Accurately graded Good Extremely Fine with just a hint of wear to the high points, the edges are undamaged and there are minimal marks in the field.

This 1852 Adelaide Pound is an extremely attractive coin: one  that you would be proud to show your family and friends.

 


$20 Coombs Randall Pair
Notes
NOTE
1967 Coombs Randall $20 Consecutive Pair
QUALITY
Uncirculated
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Western Australia
PRICE
$12,500
COMMENTS
Guaranteed original, Uncirculated quality. And guaranteed rarity. The Australian banknotes that bear the Coombs Randall signature combination are scarce in all denominations from the One Dollar up to the Twenty Dollar. And the ‘Coombs Randall Twenties’ are the scarcest and most sought after of them all. While most banknotes are issued throughout a year, the Coombs Randall $20 notes were issued for only a matter of weeks, from mid-September 1967 until October 1967. This note is Australia’s rarest issued decimal banknote and the absolute ‘key’ to the series. Available individually or as a pair. Contact us for a single note price.
SOLD
July 2017
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$20 Coombs Randall Single

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The Australian banknote market is going through a process of re-invigoration courtesy of the Reserve Bank of Australia.

The overhaul of our polymer notes, commencing with the $5 last year and the $10 this year, is attracting a new audience to this collecting area.

And as always, once collectors become immersed in their area of pursuit they go back and collect earlier banknote issues.

Collectors will find acquiring the Coombs Randall Twenty Dollar banknote a significant hurdle to overcome. 

Why are Coombs Randall notes so scarce? Three factors:

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

A surplus of the very first decimal banknotes - and a spate of retirements of our banknote signatories within a two year timeframe - has meant that less than 2 per cent of all 'Commonwealth of Australia' (1966-73) notes were issued in the name of Coombs & Randall.


$2 Coombs Randall Star Pair
Notes
NOTE
1968 $2 Coombs Randall Star Consecutive Pair
QUALITY
Uncirculated
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Western Australia
PRICE
$12,000
COMMENTS
COOMBS. RANDALL. STAR. Three words that define the extreme rarity of these notes. The Coombs Randall signature combination is the scarcest in the $2 banknote series. That these notes are ‘Star Notes’ makes them scarcer again. These extremely rare collectables are offered as a consecutive pair. While we believe a pair is an advantage, they are also available as single notes. Contact us for an individual price.
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$2 Coombs Randall Star Single

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

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

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

Why are star notes so scarce?

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

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

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

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

Why are Coombs Randall notes so scarce?

Three factors:

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 


1823 Macintosh & Degraves obv
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.
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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. 


1861 Sydney Mint Sovereign
COIN
1861 Sydney Mint Sovereign
QUALITY
Choice Uncirculated
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Melbourne
PRICE
$ 16,500
COMMENTS
Most Aussie collectors start their gold sovereign collection with a Sydney Mint Sovereign. It's only natural given that they are the nation’s first sovereigns, struck between 1855 and 1870. But most collectors won’t be given the opportunity to start their collection at the premium quality level of this coin, Choice Uncirculated. This is a remarkable piece of Australian currency history, a genuine rarity at a truly affordable price.
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1861 Sydney Mint Sovereign

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It is hard to fathom how this particular 1861 Sydney Mint Sovereign came through the production process to become a prized collector piece. Brilliantly preserved, it must have been put aside soon after it was struck for the coin has immaculate edges and satin fields.

The coin features the Sydney Mint Type II design which depicts Queen Victoria with a sprig of banksia in her hair.

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

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

The mint began receiving gold on May 14, 1855, and issued its first sovereigns soon after on June 23.

Records indicate that 502,000 sovereigns were struck in the Sydney Mint’s first year of operation.

Though the reverse side featured a uniquely Australian design, with the words Australia and Sydney Mint featured boldly, the obverse side was similar to English coins with the plain, ribboned head of Queen Victoria. (Referred to as the Type 1 portrait design.) The reverse design has fascinated historians and collectors alike for decades. The coins were inscribed with the national name, Australia, even though the country was operating as separate colonies. Australia did not operate under a single government until Federation in 1901.

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

This touch of colonial pride seems to have gone unnoticed in London for a number of years until, in 1871, approval for the Sydney Mint design was abruptly revoked and Australian Sovereigns once again took on the traditional British flavour. Not only was the banksia removed from Queen Victoria’s hair, but two new reverse designs were also introduced – the traditional British St George and the Dragon, and a shield design, which ran in parallel. 


1856 Sovereign date side replacement 160928-9907
COIN
1856 Sydney Mint Sovereign
QUALITY
Good Extremely Fine / About Uncirculated
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Sydney
PRICE
$ 45,000
COMMENTS
A fascination with coins as a child, and a passion for colonial history as an adult, saw a Sydney resident pursue the Sydney Mint Sovereign series over a twenty year period. His focus was on quality, but in the case of rare date sovereigns (such as the 1855 and 1856) he held a number of examples. This superb 1856 Sydney Mint Sovereign is one such coin from his collection.
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1856 Sovereign non date side replacement 160928-9923

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


1919 Square Penny Type 3
COIN
1919 Square Penny Type 3
QUALITY
Choice Uncirculated
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Melbourne 1995
PRICE
$ 60,000
COMMENTS
The 1919 Type 3 Square Penny is a great rarity with perhaps fifteen examples available to collectors. To put that figure into perspective a buyer will wait at least twelve to eighteen months for an example to come onto the market. Acquired in 1995 by a Melbourne collector, this coin has been stored in a bank vault since the day it was bought and is superb for quality.
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1919 Square Penny Type 3

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The Type 3 is the most popular choice of collectors seeking a 1919 Square Penny. One of the prime reasons for its popularity is its unique design.

No other square penny in the series shares the style of kookaburra and the very modern, stylish lettering of ‘one penny’. And it’s the design difference that separates it from the rest.

Technical comments: Four different designs were tested in 1919 and they are referenced as the Type 3, 4, 5 and 6.

For more information on Australia’s Square Coinage 1919 – 1921 view our latest Catalogue.

Click here to view Catalogue

1927 Proof Canberra Florin
COIN
1927 Proof Canberra Florin
QUALITY
FDC
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Melbourne
PRICE
$ 35,000
COMMENTS
The Duke of York officially opened Parliament House in Canberra on 9 May 1927. To cement the occasion into the nation’s psyche, the Government authorised the minting of the Canberra Florin featuring Parliament House on the reverse and George V on the obverse. While one million coins were struck for circulation, the Melbourne Mint issued 400 limited edition collector coins struck to proof quality. This coin is a superb example from the original mintage.
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1927 Proof Canberra Florin

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Complete Collection 1957 – 1963 Perth Mint Copper Proofs
COIN
Complete Collection 1957 – 1963 Perth Mint Copper Proofs
QUALITY
FDC
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Perth
PRICE
Available individually - Read More
COMMENTS
The Perth proofs come high on our list of recommendations to clients. So high that when Melbourne journalist Anthony Black asked Coinworks to list ten coin rarities that were priced below $ 10,000 - and were destined for growth – the Perth Mint proofs struck between 1957 and 1963 were at the very top of our list. Available individually. The option is yours to select.
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  • 1957 Perth Proof Penny (two are available) -  $3500 . SOLD
  • 1958 Perth Proof Penny -  $3500 . SOLD
  • 1959 Perth Proof Penny -  $3500 . SOLD
  • 1960 Perth Proof Penny and Halfpenny FDC -  $4950 . SOLD .
  • 1961 Perth Proof Penny and Halfpenny FDC -  $4950 .
  • 1962 Perth Proof Penny and Halfpenny FDC -  $4950 .
  • 1963 Perth Proof Penny and Halfpenny FDC -  $4950 . SOLD.

These are limited edition collector coins: a popular choice amongst our clients, in particular those that want to tuck something truly special away for children or grandchildren.

The key to their success is their rarity. And the extreme rarity of top quality pieces.

  • The mintages of the 1957, 1958 and 1959 Perth Pennies are 1112, 1028 and 1030 respectively which are indeed tiny mintages.
  • The mintages of the 1960, 1961, 1962 and 1963 Perth Penny and Halfpenny pairs are 1030, 1040, 1064 and 1100 respectively which again are indeed tiny mintages.
  • At least seven out of every ten Perth proofs that we sight are assessed by us as being inferior for quality, mishandled, toned and harshly spotted thereby reducing the pool of quality examples to a truly minuscule number.

It has to be said that the task of putting this collection together to such a consistently high standard would normally take years. Available individually. The option is yours to select.


Circa 1900, Bank of Victoria Ltd Five Pounds Specimen
NOTE
Circa 1900, Bank of Victoria Ltd Five Pounds
QUALITY
Uncirculated
PROVENANCE
Archives of note printers Bradbury Wilkinson
PRICE
$ 7,950
COMMENTS
The Bank of Victoria was founded by Dr Thomas Black, a physician from the Richmond area of Melbourne. The bank was registered in Victoria in 1852 and commenced operations in January 1853 as the Bank of Victoria Limited. By 1887 the bank had 65 branches, all in Victoria. The Bank of Victoria amalgamated with the Commercial Banking Company of Sydney Limited in 1927 and eventually became part of the National Bank of Australia in 1981. Archived for more than a century by London engravers and printers Bradbury & Wilkinson, this high denomination colonial note retains its original characteristics and colour unaffected by the passing of time.
SOLD
July 2017
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Circa 1900, Bank of Victoria Ltd Five Pounds Specimen

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Circa 1924 Twenty Pound
NOTE
Circa 1924 Twenty Pounds
QUALITY
Specimen
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Sydney
PRICE
$ 325,000
COMMENTS
An opportunity to acquire a piece of Australia’s banknote history that is as rare as it is significant. Discovered in London in a deceased estate, contained in an envelope dated 1924, and the only known example. It is noted that the Reserve Bank of Australia does not hold an example in its Currency Museum.
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It is pieces of the calibre of this banknote that has cemented Coinworks reputation for handling the most significant Australian currency rarities.

Australia’s Commonwealth of Australia banknotes were introduced in 1913 with the high denomination notes of the £20, £50 and £100 issued in 1914. An interesting point on our first banknotes that the designs did not include the monarch.

In the 1920s the Commonwealth of Australia’s banknotes underwent major design changes, the most significant of which was the inclusion of the monarch on the front of the note. The size of the notes also was significantly reduced.

The newly designed Ten Shillings and Pound notes were first issued in 1923. The five pounds in 1924, followed by the Ten Pounds in 1925.

The high denomination notes of £20, £50 and £100 were never re-issued, the one design remained during their lifetime.

We do however know that there were plans to revise the designs of the high denomination notes as evidenced by this specimen.

This note is unique. It was discovered in London via a deceased estate, contained in an envelope dated February 1924.

The front features the Coat of Arms and at the right a profile of King George V, akin to that used on Australia’s sovereign coinage. A prominent ‘20’ lies at each corner. The under-print contains a large TWENTY in the centre of the design.

The back of the note re-produces the Bruny Island timber-cutting scene used on the first and only £20 Commonwealth note issue.

The note has been securely housed in an envelope for more than ninety years which has ensured that no discoloration has occurred. It is as printed. For the record, one slight (and very minor) margin tear is noted.

This is an opportunity to acquire a piece of Australia’s banknote history that is as rare as it is significant.


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PO Box 1060 Hawksburn Victoria Australia 3142

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