Proof 1928 Shilling, Melbourne Mint, extremely rare with perhaps three known in private hands

Proof 1928 Shilling, Melbourne Mint, extremely rare with perhaps three known in private hands
Proof 1928 Shilling, Melbourne Mint, extremely rare with perhaps three known in private hands
Sold February 2021
Brilliant FDC
Ray Jewell Collection, Nobles Auction July 1993, Nobles Auction July 2000, The Madrid Collection of Australian Rare Coins
Ray Jewell was a foremost Australian collector and a highly respected professional, his involvement in the industry spanning more than three decades. He set the bar very high when it came to collecting proofs. A coin that was owned by Ray Jewell had to be rare and had to be top quality, traits that were duly acknowledged by the broader collector market whenever his coins came up at public auction. This Proof 1928 Shilling was a crowd-pleaser and a record breaker all along the way, selling in July 1993 for $11,000 on an estimate of $4000. And in the year 2000 selling for $22,540 on a pre-auction estimate of $15,000. In 2003, this numismatic gem was sold to the owner of the Madrid Collection of Australian Rare Coins where it has remained ever since.
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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.

And proof coins are excruciatingly rare.

This Proof Shilling defines the operations of the Melbourne Mint in the year 1928 when the mint was commissioned by Australian Treasury to strike shillings 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 1928 Shillings for posterity. Three 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.

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 1928 Shilling, 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 silver blanks were hand-picked and highly polished to produce a coin with a mirror shine and ice-smooth fields.
  • The fields of this coin are simply sublime, beautifully toned.
  • 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 is a unique opportunity to acquire an important piece of Australia’s minting history.


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