The Duke of York officially opened Parliament House in Canberra on 9 May 1927.
To cement the occasion into the nation’s soul, the Government authorised a special minting of a florin featuring Parliament House on the reverse and George V on the obverse.
The coin is today known as the ‘Canberra’ Florin, thereby distinguishing it from the traditional coat of arms florin.
The Melbourne Mint struck one million Canberra Florins for circulation and it became one of Australia’s most recognised coins. And treasured keepsakes.
The Melbourne Mint was further authorised to issue 400 limited edition proof coins for collectors, the proofs selling for a sixpence premium over face value.
It was the Melbourne Mint’s very first collector issue of Australia’s very first commemorative coin.
The release of the Proof 1927 Canberra Florin was a well-publicised event that saw the coins sell to members of the public outside traditional numismatic circles.
Proofs being mishandled - or pieces simply lost into circulation - was the fate of many of the coins out of the original mintage of 400.
So how often can a buyer realistically expect to see a premium quality Proof Canberra Florin on the market?
Our experience suggests that we might see one quality example at auction annually.
The quality of this piece suggests that it must have become a treasured keepsake from the very outset for the coin has been brilliantly preserved and has developed stunning iridescent colours.
The coin shows the characteristic striations associated with Proof Canberra Florins which reflects meticulous die preparation.
The attention to sharpening the dies has produced a coin that is very well struck and highly detailed.
We have not sighted a comparable piece on the open market for years.