Proof 1948 Penny struck as a Coin of Record at the Perth Mint

Proof 1948 Penny struck as a Coin of Record at the Perth Mint
Proof 1948 Penny struck as a Coin of Record at the Perth Mint
Sold 17 March 2023
Superb FDC with stunning reflective colours
Sale by Private Treaty to the Alan Long Collection 1998, Private Collection Queensland
This Proof 1948 Penny is compelling. Move the coin through the light and the colours are spectacular. The surfaces are superb glossy and smooth, the design details strong, the denticles pristine, the edges polished. This is the consummate proof coin. And it is extremely rare. This coin was especially struck as a collector's item at the Perth Mint in a minuscule mintage of sixteen. As was the custom at the time, the mint gifted the majority of the mintage to museums and overseas mints, retaining only a few for themselves. The very reason why it is scarce in today's collector market. We have sold only one other Proof 1948 Penny that we would describe as stunning, and that coin was acquired by us in 2007 and sold more recently in 2021. Look around and you can’t help but notice just how FEW truly fabulous Perth proofs are around. It is an ominous sign from a supply perspective.
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The rarity of the Proof 1948 Penny was confirmed in 1995 in an article published in the NAA journal (Volume 8) by John Sharples, the then Curator of Australia’s Numismatic Archives.

He examined the distribution of proof coins recorded in Perth Mint communications and records over the period 1940 – 1954.

He found evidence that sixteen proof pennies were struck at the Perth Mint in 1948.

He noted that two private collectors (most likely Syd Hagley and Ray Jewell) received examples of the pre-1955 proof coins, such was the influence of these collectors.

The balance of the mintage, however, was destined for the mint's own archives with the majority sent to Public Collections and Numismatic Societies.

The official list authorised to receive Perth proofs were the Australian War Memorial, Royal Mint London, British Museum, Royal Mint Melbourne, Japan Mint, National Gallery SA, Art Gallery WA, National Gallery Victoria, Victorian Numismatic Society, South Australian Numismatic Society and the Australian Numismatic Society.

That the bulk of the mintage was gifted to institutions is the very reason why they are so rare in today's collector market.

We might sight a Proof 1948 Penny on the market every two to three years. And one as spectacular as this ... perhaps once in a decade, if we are lucky.

Apart from its extreme rarity, we offer four sound reasons why this Proof 1948 Penny is a must-have for today's collector.

1. Brilliantly 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 unmatched by those of the Melbourne Mint. Each coin is a work of art, as individual, and as beautiful, as an opal.

2. Proof coins have a wonderful connection to the past.

They are the story tellers, defining an era, or a year, like no other coin. Proofs can also define an occasion. And a monarch. And they tend to have a connection to a prominent person, either a dignitary, a Mint Master or an influential collector.

3. Collectors are all but guaranteed that the market will never be flooded with examples.

The sector offers financial stability because there are so few Perth Mint Proof Record pieces around (particularly in high quality). The sector also has strength because it has widespread support amongst the Australian dealer market.

4. The Perth Mint is still operating.
That the Perth Mint is a leading coin producer makes their pre-decimal proofs historical. But also vibrantly current. So the ‘Perth Mint’ message always remains strong, underpinning future interest.

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PO Box 1060 Hawksburn Victoria Australia 3142

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