Record-breaking Proof 1927 Canberra Florin.

Record-breaking Proof 1927 Canberra Florin.
Record-breaking Proof 1927 Canberra Florin.
Available now
Brilliant FDC and one of very best with ice-smooth fields, a razor-sharp design and rich golden toning.
International Auction Galleries, Private Collection Melbourne
You are in no doubt when you view this florin that it is indeed a specially struck PROOF 1927 Canberra Florin. A superb FDC with a highly detailed design set against a backdrop of smooth, brilliant fields enhanced by rich golden and blue toning on the periphery. And if you think Parliament House looks impressive on the reverse, wait until you see the obverse. The design detail of George V is awesome and the silver fields, which occupy a greater area than the reverse, are like mirrors and blemish-free. They sparkle reflecting the light. Its glorious state is the very reason why this Proof Canberra Florin set a new price record at auction in 2005. And if you are technically-minded then we confirm there is heavy striations on both obverse and reverse reflecting solid preparation of the dies producing a pristine strike.
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Four reasons why the Proof 1927 Canberra Florin is so popular.

1. Genuine rarity

While Melbourne Mint records show a mintage of 400, it is generally accepted that the issue did not 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 gifted to politicians and sold to the general public (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 can be a minimum of two years. Perhaps even longer.

2. Historically important

The Proof Canberra is Australia's first commemorative coin, 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 in 1927. The coin is distinguished by a unique obverse featuring an enlarged bust of King George V, designed by Sir Edgar Mackennal.

3. A design that resonates with all Australians

In an article published in the CAB Magazine, February 2007, author and respected numismatist Vince Verheyen declared the Proof 1927 Canberra Florin "arguably Australia's most attractive predecimal silver coin". (We can only but agree.) The reverse of 'Old Parliament House' was designed by George Kruger-Gray.

4. Value and appreciating value

Two things are clear when you analyse auction realisations of the Proof 1927 Canberra Florin over the past forty years. The first thing you notice is that the coin is extremely scarce. On average one pristine Proof Canberra Florin appears at auction every few years. The second thing we noticed was that the coin has enjoyed solid price growth. In the 1980s, a Proof 1927 Canberra Florin was selling for approximately $1000 at auction. By the 1990s, the coin had doubled in price. The turn of the century saw the Proof Canberra Florin move to $6000. Five years into the 21st century, the Proof Canberra Florin was exceeding $20,000. More than a decade later, top quality Proof Canberra Florins are commanding in excess of $30,000.

What makes this Proof Canberra Florin so good?

  • Use the naked eye and 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.
  • Under a magnifying glass we note, 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.
  • The fields are unblemished. Amazing for a coin struck nearly a century ago. Our comment here is that this coin's former owners have always respected and cherished its quality for its state of preservation is remarkable. 

This Proof 1927 Canberra Florin is an exceptional quality coin.

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The historical significance of the 1927 Parliament House Canberra Florin

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, gifted to politicians and sold to collectors.


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