Extremely rare Proof 1924 Penny. One of four known.

Extremely rare Proof 1924 Penny. One of four known.
Extremely rare Proof 1924 Penny. One of four known.
Sold April 2021
FDC with full copper brilliance on the reverse and stunning purple / blue colours on the obverse
Barrie Winsor, Philip Spalding
The collecting pursuits of legendary numismatist and author Philip Spalding extended well beyond the nation's colonial coins. Spalding was a long-term owner of Australia's proof coinage: a collection that included this spectacular Melbourne Mint, Proof 1924 Penny. He appreciated the magnificence of proof coins. And with full copper brilliance on the reverse and stunning purple / blue colours on the obverse this Proof 1924 Penny is indeed a magnificent proof. Spalding also relished the exclusivity of Australia's proof coins. And with only three other known examples, this Proof 1924 Penny had the exclusivity that Spalding was seeking. And Philip Spalding's Proof 1924 Penny is available now.
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Proof coins are the nation's story tellers

Proof coins are presentation pieces and were struck to the ultimate levels of quality. They define a mint, an era, or a year, like no other coin. They can also define an occasion and a monarch. They also tend to be connected with a dignitary or an influential collector.

And proof coins are excruciatingly rare.

This Proof Penny defines the operations of the Melbourne Mint in the year 1924 when the mint was commissioned by Australian Treasury to strike pennies for circulation.

To record their work for Treasury and in keeping with the traditions of the Royal Mint London, the mint struck a handful of Proof 1924 Pennies for posterity. Four are known in collector’s hands, one of which is this superb example.

Why wasn't the mintage larger? Surely collectors would have loved to get their hands on one!

Today's collectors can lay their hands on a Royal Australian Mint 2021 Proof Set with ease. In fact, they can buy a box-load of them if they want.

The harsh reality for collectors in the early twentieth century 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.

A numismatic masterpiece

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 1924 Penny, the Melbourne Mint's intention was to create a single masterpiece. And there is not a doubt that the mint's ambitions were fulfilled.

To create this numismatic gem:

  • 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.
  • The coin edges are square and highly polished.

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


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PO Box 1060 Hawksburn Victoria Australia 3142

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