Unique Perth Mint Gold Proofs - on show.

Rare Perth Mint coins collectively worth a million dollars will be flown from Melbourne and displayed at the Perth coin and banknote show on Saturday, March 7 and Sunday, March 8, 2015, courtesy of Coinworks. Highlight of the display, the unique 1901 Perth Mint Proof Half Sovereign and Proof Sovereign: the pair of coins valued in excess of half a million dollars. 

Coinworks managing director Belinda Downie says that ‘Proof’ coins are collector pieces, synonymous with rarity with only a handful ever struck and never intended to be used in every-day use.

But what makes Perth Mint ‘proof’ Gold Sovereigns incredibly rare is that over the years in which the Perth Mint was operating as a gold coin producer (1899 – 1931), the mint only struck ‘proof’ sovereigns in three separate years – 1899, 1901 and 1931.

1901 Gold Sovereign

Even rarer again, the Perth Mint struck ‘proof’ Gold Half Sovereigns in only two separate years – 1899 and 1901, both of which are unique.

Downie says a single Melbourne investor owns the 1901 Perth Mint Proof Gold Sovereign and the 1901 Perth Mint Proof Gold Half Sovereign.

The pair is unique and was acquired for $450,000 several years ago. Downie is bringing the pair to Perth after the owner agreed to a Coinworks request to display the coins at the show.   

But while the Perth Mint commenced striking Australia’s gold coins in 1899, and is still to this day a major gold coin producer, the mint in 1941 diversified its gold coining repertoire, and began striking the nation’s coppers (pennies and halfpennies) at the request of Treasury.

The mint continued to strike copper coins until 1964, two years before Australia converted to decimal currency.

Following the traditions of the Royal Mint London, the Perth Mint struck limited mintage ‘proof’ (presentation) strikings of those coins struck for circulation. 

In a tribute to the Perth Mint’s skills Coinworks will also display a selected number of “finest known” Perth Mint rarities out of this “copper coin” era, all of which are limited mintage presentation strikings and which include the 1947 Proof Penny, the 1948 Proof Penny and Proof Halfpenny, the 1950 Proof Penny, the 1952 Proof Penny and the 1953 Proof Penny.

The six proof coins will form part of a dedicated copper coin Perth Mint display prepared by Coinworks, valued in excess of $300,000.

Downie’s comments on the copper coins on display are as follows: “Well preserved proof coins of the Perth Mint are unrivalled for quality. The coins not only display superb levels of detail in their design, but qualities and colours that are simply unmatched by those of the Melbourne Mint. Each coin is a work of art, as individual and as beautiful as an opal. Furthermore they are rare. ”

The Perth Mint commenced striking proof coinage as part of a commercial enterprise in 1955 and continued until 1963, before decimal changeover. At the show, Coinworks will display some of the finest examples of coins struck at the Perth Mint between 1955 and 1963, including the very rare 1955 Proof Penny and Halfpenny and the 1956 Proof Penny.

“The proof record pieces of the Perth Mint form an integral part of our currency heritage,” Downie says. “It’s an historical edge and exclusivity that underpins their strong investment performance.”

Complementing its Perth Mint special coin collection, Coinworks will also be displaying some of the rarest and highest quality coins in Australia’s history. These include the unique Madrid Holey Dollar, the 1813 Dump and the 1852 Adelaide Pound. The combined value of these three coins alone is $1 million.

The 1813 Holey Dollar is one of Australia’s most desirable coins and dates back to Lachlan Macquarie, Governor of New South Wales between 1810 and 1821. The 1813 Holey Dollar had an original value of five shillings.

In March 2013, Coinworks sold a Holey Dollar to a Perth collector for a world record price of $495,000. It sold another in 2014 for $455,000.

However, Downie says the Madrid Holey Dollar is the holy of holies and stands alone.

“The Madrid Holey Dollar is not just any one out of the 300 known surviving Holey Dollars,” Downie says. “It’s regarded as the most desirable of them all. So unique, it’s the only privately held Holey Dollar to be struck from a Spanish Silver Dollar that was minted in Spain and features the Crowned M mintmark.

“When Spink Australia offered it for sale in 1988, during the nation’s bi-centennial celebrations, it described the Madrid Holey Dollar as the most desirable of all Holey Dollars.

Coinworks has recently been commissioned to sell the Madrid Holey Dollar. 


 “The Australasian Numismatics Dealers Association conducts regular trade shows and promotes the industry to great effect,” Belinda says. “I’m really looking forward to the show and meeting the many people who are so passionate about our industry.”

According to ANDA, there will be more than 30 tables with dealers from across Australia keen to buy and sell.

There will be displays by the Perth Mint. There will be more than $10 million of coins, banknotes and other collectables available for sale.

Belinda Downie and Paul Ratcliffe will be in Perth from Wednesday, March 4.


Perth ANDA Coin and Banknote Show 2015     

Bill Walker Room, Paterson’s Stadium, SUBIACO

7th & 8th March 2015

Show Hours: Saturday 10.00am to 5.00pm and Sunday 10.00am to 4.00pm