Proof 1926 Halfpenny, Melbourne Mint

Proof 1926 Halfpenny, Melbourne Mint
Proof 1926 Halfpenny, Melbourne Mint
Sold November 2019.
Spink Noble Numismatics, July 1993
This Proof 1926 Halfpenny impressed the market when it came up at auction in July 1993. Competitive bidding saw it sell for $3000, well in excess of its then catalogue value and pre-auction estimate of $2000. The competitive bidding reflects the defining properties of the coin and its outstanding quality traits. This Proof 1926 Halfpenny was struck at the Melbourne Mint as a Coin of Record. Take it under the light and it is everything that you would expect from a proof coin. Super smooth, mirror-like surfaces radiating stunning colours. The extra bonus is that the coin has retained original copper brilliance, particularly on the obverse. Furthermore, it is rare. This coin is the only Proof 1926 Halfpenny we have sold.
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Today’s proof coin collectors are very 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.

We refer to them collectively as Coins of Record.

The striking of a Coin of Record was a slow process, labour intensive and a demand on mint resources, 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 1926 Halfpenny is a high quality piece and has retained original copper brilliance.

This is a rare 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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