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Spectacular Proofs 1955 to 1963

It is a fact that we have been trying to acquire a particular Collection of Proof coins (1955 to 1963) for several years now. We have known where they were held. Melbourne.

We knew their background; that they were acquired in the US in the 1980s while the vendor was residing overseas. Now while that may come as a surprise to many readers, it is a further endorsement on the quality of the coins.

It is a fact that both the Melbourne and Perth Mint had developed a large export market for its early commercial proofs (1955 to 1963); US collectors its prime target market. It is also acknowledged that the quality of those coins sold into the US were superior to those sold locally.

The owner simply didn’t have a reason to liquidate his collection –that is up until now. His imminent retirement became the reason for him to part with his treasured possessions.

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He has done the hard work for all of us, painstakingly putting this collection together over a twenty year period. Furthermore he is an expert on Australian proof coinage and has authored many articles on the same. His eye for detail, his knowledge, his appreciation for quality is reflected in each of the coins we acquired.

Those coins that were acquired are as follows:

  • 1957 Perth Proof Penny - $3000SOLD
  • 1958 Perth Proof Penny - $3000. SOLD
  • 1959 Perth Proof Penny - $3000. SOLD
  • 1960 Perth Proof Penny and Halfpenny FDC - $4500. SOLD
  • 1961 Perth Proof Penny and Halfpenny FDC - $4500. SOLD
  • 1962 Perth Proof Penny and Halfpenny FDC - $4500. SOLD
  • 1963 Perth Proof Penny and Halfpenny FDC - $4500. SOLD
  • 1955 – 1963 Melbourne Mint Proof Collection of 40 coins FDC - $26,500. We have never seen - much less handled - a collection of Melbourne Proofs that shows such a consistently high quality standard. Simply brilliant coins, the copper in particular is superb. The Collection offers sensational value for money. SOLD
  • 1956 Perth Proof Penny FDC - $20,000.  One of the key coins in the series 1955 to 1963. We would sight an average specimen on the market every year. But this is unequivocally one of the finest we have handled and we would be lucky to sight such heady quality once every ten years. SOLD
  • 1955 Perth Proof Penny and Halfpenny FDC - $35,000.  The absolute key coins in the series 1955 to 1963. The quality of both coins is superb: two perfectly matched blazing, orange copper proofs. Unequivocally this pair is one of the finest we have handled. We would sight an average specimen on the market every one to two years. But this is again one of the finest we have handled and we would be lucky to sight such heady quality once every ten years. SOLD

 Australian Proof Coinage 1955 - 1963

The collector issues of the Royal Australian Mint and Perth Mint have played a prime role in expanding the numismatic market post 1966. 

The mints are today geared to regular production of proof coins to cater to a growing market. The result is that decimal proof sets  are plentiful and readily available to the collector.

This may have some collectors believing that pre-decimal proofs were equally abundant; this is simply not the case.

The Perth Mint (and the Melbourne Mint) only began striking proof coins for collectors on a commercial basis in 1955. Approval to embark on the program had to come from Treasury. 

The ‘collector’ proof coin series, launched in 1955 to the delight of the collecting public came to a conclusion in 1963, just prior to decimal currency changeover.

Government intervened in just one aspect of the program - only those coins being struck for circulation were to be issued as proofs. For the Perth Mint, operating as a copper producing mint, this meant the striking of penny and halfpenny proofs only.

The coins were released annually with an official issue price of face value plus a premium of one shilling per coin … mintages averaged around the 1,500 mark.

Each piece was minted to exacting standards – from the selection and polishing of blanks, the preparation of dies and ultimately the actual striking. The result is a coin that is pleasing to the eye, well struck with strong designs and superb smooth background fields.

It is an important series in our currency heritage for it represents Australia’s very first annual proof coining program and the pre-cursor to that taken up by the Royal Australian Mint in Canberra in 1966.

 

Year Perth Mint Mintage Melbourne Mint Mintage
1955 1d & 1/2d 301 1d & 3d, 6d & 1/- 1200
1956 1d 417 1d & 3d, 6d, 1/- & 2/- 1500
1957 1d 1112 3d, 6d, 1/- & 2/- 1256
1958 1d 1028 1d & 3d, 6d, 1/- & 2/- 1506
1959 1d 1030 1d, 1/2d & 3d, 6d, 1/- & 2/- 1506
1960 1d & 1/2d 1030 3d, 6d, 1/- 7 2/- 1509
1961 1d & 1/2d 1040 3d, 6d, 1/- & 2/- 1506
1962 1d & 1/2d 1064 3d, 6d, 1/- & 2/- 2106
1963 1d & 1/2d 1100 3d, 6d, 1/- & 2/- 5042

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