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49059-1887-Sovereign-MOOD-OBV-May-2022
49059-1887-Sovereign-MOOD-REV-May-2022
COIN
1887 Young Head Shield Sovereign Melbourne Mint, the last year of the Queen Victoria Young Head Sovereign Series and a world class rarity.
PRICE
$29,500
STATUS
Available now
QUALITY
Uncirculated with proof-like fields
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Victoria
COMMENTS
The Melbourne Mint 1887 Young Head Shield Sovereign is acknowledged as one of the 'rare-date' sovereigns of the Shield Series. The coin is a world-class rarity. And the quality of this particular example is superb. There is no explanation as to how sovereigns out of this era have come through the production process to retain their fine detail, impeccable edges, and sparkle of a brand-new coin. Also, hard to fathom how they were never used. This sovereign must have been plucked off the production line soon after it was minted and has been well looked after in the interim. The fields are proof-like. The technical shots shown below confirm the fabulous strike.
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49059-1887-Sovereign-MOOD-REV-May-2022
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49059-1887-Sovereign-TECH-OBV-May-2022

This 1887 Sovereign features the Young Head portrait of Queen Victoria. Presented in Uncirculated quality with proof-like surfaces. Under the glass, there is a hint of the kiss-curl in front of the ear.

49059-1887-Sovereign-TECH-REV-May-2022

The first thing to note about this coin is the superb edges. Then take in the intricate design set against a background of proof-like fields.


There are some key indicators that collectors look out for when making a numismatic purchase. And all of this is weighed up against the price. The date is critical. The more important the date, the better. How rare is the coin for the rarer the better. And finally, what about its quality? This Uncirculated 1887 Sovereign has the lot!

An important date.

The Shield reverse design superseded the Sydney Mint design on Australia's sovereigns in 1871. And continued for a further sixteen years until 1887. Queen Victoria’s Young Head portrait featured on the obverse.

The importance of this coin is clear. It marks the end of the era that produced Australia's Young Head Shield Sovereigns.

It is an acknowledged fact that collectors prefer the first and last year of a series over and above all others. The first year and the last year are defining. Those in between are not.

How rare is the coin?

Young Head & Shield. Or Young Head & St George. Collectors have options when it comes to the Young Head Sovereigns series for they were produced using two different reverse dies ... the Shield design by J B Merlen. And that of St George and the Dragon designed by Benedetto Pistrucci. And to make matters more intriguing for today's collectors they were struck in vastly different numbers with mintages that were undisclosed.

It is an acknowledged fact that the Shield series of sovereigns, particularly those struck at the Melbourne Mint, boast the key (rare) dates of the Young Head series. The dates are '1880', '1886' and this coin, ‘1887’.

History confirms the extreme rarity of the Melbourne Mint's 1887 Young Head Shield Sovereign (1887M).

Noble Numismatics is Australia’s largest Auction House holding three auctions annually each comprised of about 3000 lots.

Their auctions provide a plethora of invaluable information on prices realised and importantly, the frequency of sightings ... how often a coin can realistically be expected to appear on the market.

We note that:

  • Only three Uncirculated 1887M Young Head Shield Sovereigns have been offered at Nobles over the last ten years!
  • The most recent sale was in 2019 for $21,500. The pre-auction estimate was $12,500. And the coin on offer here is far superior.
  • Confirming the rarity of the 1887M across all quality levels, on average just one 1887 Melbourne Mint Young Head Shield Sovereign is offered at Nobles annually.
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Proof-1949-Half-Penny-Coin-of-Record-REV-43321-October-2021
Proof-1949-Half-Penny-Coin-of-Record-OBV-43321-October-2021
COIN
Proof 1949 Halfpenny struck as a Coin of Record at the Perth Mint
PRICE
$21,500
STATUS
Available now.
QUALITY
FDC with stunning opaline colours on both obverse and reverse and flashes of original copper brilliance on the reverse
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Tasmania
COMMENTS
Spectacular quality. And extremely rare. This Proof 1949 Halfpenny was struck 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 for its scarcity for today's collectors. Our own experiences attest to its scarcity. We are keen observers of auctions and we note that a Proof 1949 Halfpenny last came up at a major public auction more than twenty years ago, in November 2001. We also comment that we have sold only one other Proof 1949 Halfpenny during our lifetime of trading. Technical shots are provided and re-affirm this coin's glorious state.
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Proof-1949-Half-Penny-Coin-of-Record-OBV-43321-October-2021
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Proof-1949-Half-Penny-Coin-of-Record-REV-TECH-43321-October-2021

A magnificent interpretation of the flying kangaroo set against a backdrop of brilliant coloured fields. A spectacular proof strike with pristine denticles and highly polished edges. 

The rarity of the Proof 1949 Halfpenny 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 halfpennies were struck at the Perth Mint in 1949.

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.

History of the Perth Mint ... 1899 to today


To facilitate the rapid conversion of gold into sovereigns and half sovereigns, the British Government authorised the establishment of the Sydney Mint in 1855 followed by the Melbourne Mint in 1872.

A gold rush, triggered in Western Australia following the discovery of vast gold fields in Coolgardie in 1892 and Kalgoorlie in 1893, convinced the British Government to authorise the opening of a mint in Perth.

The Perth Mint opened in 1899 and remained a gold producing mint from the year of its opening until 1931 when Australia struck its last sovereign and the coining presses at the Mint ground to a halt. The Perth Mint endured a nine-year period of nil coin production.

That the Melbourne Mint was striking Australia’s Commonwealth coins and that Australia was in the midst of a depression simply meant that the minting facilities at Perth were excess to requirements.

The onset of war created a window of opportunity and in 1940 the Perth Mint took up the reins for striking Australia’s circulating copper coins for the Commonwealth Government. The Perth Mint continued to strike copper coins until 1964, when two years later Australia converted to decimal currency.

In accordance with minting traditions the Perth Mint struck proof record pieces of those coins being struck for circulation. Referred to as Coins of Record.

Some of the pieces were archived. Some were gifted to prominent Australian and overseas institutions fulfilling the ideology of proofs being struck as display pieces.

There was no hint of commercialism in the production of these pieces. Posterity, the preservation of Australia’s coining heritage … that and a passion for numismatics were the driving forces behind their striking. The collector market was denied access to the coins.

Proof-1949-Half-Penny-Coin-of-Record-OBV-TECH-43321-October-2021

The portrait of George VI designed by Thomas Humphrey Paget. Again we comment on the pristine nature of the denticles and the stunning state of the fields.

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 1949 Halfpenny on the market every five to six years. And one as spectacular as this ... perhaps once in a decade, if we are lucky.

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52738-1852-Adelaide-Pound-Type-II-GEF-obv-August-2022
52738-1852-Adelaide-Pound-Type-II-GEF-rev-August-2022
COIN
1852 Adelaide Pound, second die with crenelated inner circle
PRICE
$35,000
STATUS
Available now.
QUALITY
Good Extremely Fine and highly lustrous
PROVENANCE
Downies sold by private treaty to the Peter Dawson Collection, 1999
COMMENTS
This 1852 Adelaide Pound is impressive, a highly lustrous coin with glorious design details. Take up the eye glass and it continues to shine with a whisper touch of circulation to the high points and minimal marks in the fields. The 1852 Adelaide Pound holds a very special place in Australia's history as the nation's first gold coin. It is an iconic Australian numismatic rarity, as is the 1930 Penny, the 1813 Holey Dollar and the 1813 Dump. Its status as Australia’s first gold coin ensures that it will always be sought after and strengthens its investment value. Its investment value is also enhanced by its rarity for we estimate that perhaps 250 examples are available to collectors, across all quality levels. The Adelaide Pound is a valuable coin so finding an example that doesn’t break the bank can be challenging which is why we are so excited by this coin. The coin presents well and is offered in a very popular price range.
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52738-1852-Adelaide-Pound-Type-II-GEF-rev-August-2022
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The 1852 Adelaide Pound holds a very special place in Australia's history as the nation's first gold coin. It is a classic Australian numismatic rarity, as is the 1813 Holey Dollar and 1813 Dump, the Square Penny and the 1930 Penny.

Its status as Australia’s first gold coin ensures that it will always be sought after and strengthens its investment value. Its investment value is also enhanced by its rarity for we estimate that perhaps two hundred and fifty examples are available to collectors, across all quality levels.

Examining an Adelaide Pound is a three-point process.

1. Start off by looking at the coin in the flesh using just the naked eye. A truly great coin will always look good to the unaided eye.

This coin is fully lustrous on both obverse and reverse. The legend GOVERNMENT ASSAY OFFICE is strong.

Collectors should be aware that most Adelaide Pounds struck with the second die show extreme weaknesses in the legend. This coin is an exception to those we normally see.

There are no obvious defects or gouges. It's an overall well balanced coin with great eye appeal.

2. Take up the magnifying glass.

The eye glass re-confirms what we have seen with the naked eye ... and much more. The coin has undergone minimal circulation, the highpoints of the design, the fleur de lis and the cross on the orb on the crown showing a slight touch of usage. There are no unsightly gouges or marks.

3. And lastly, take another look with the naked eye just to make sure that you have taken everything in.

The final assessment of this Adelaide Pound is that it is a great coin and passes our three-point assessment with flying colours.

 

52738-1852-Adelaide-Pound-Type-II-GEF-obv-TECH-August-2022

1852 Adelaide Pound, Good Extremely Fine and lustrous. Note the strength in the legend.

52738-1852-Adelaide-Pound-Type-II-GEF-rev-TECH-August-2022

1852 Adelaide Pound struck with the second reverse die featuring a scalloped inner border abutting a beaded inner circle

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1813-Holey-Dollar-created-from-1804-Mexico-Mint-gVF-EF-OBV-43325-October-2021
1813-Holey-Dollar-created-from-1804-Mexico-Mint-gVF-EF-REV-43325-October-2021
COIN
1813 Holey Dollar created from a Charles IV Spanish Silver Dollar that was issued at the Mexico Mint in 1804. Of particular note, the vertical alignment of the obverse counter-stamps - 'New South Wales' and '1813' - with the date '1804'. This is the optimum position of the counter-stamps and was rarely ever achieved by mint master, William Henshall.
PRICE
$185,000
STATUS
Available now
QUALITY
Original coin: Very Fine, the surfaces highly reflective with subtle grey toning. Counter-stamps: Good Very Fine.
PROVENANCE
Money Company California, 1980. Noble Numismatics Auction April 2004, Lot 1383 selling for $114,000 on a pre-auction estimate of $90,000. Mira/Noble Reference 1804/13 page 49.
COMMENTS
We like the quality of this Holey Dollar. The coin has fabulous eye appeal. And we like its technical attributes, the vertical alignment of the counter-stamps 'New South Wales', '1813' with the date '1804', a trait that is seen in only a handful of Holey Dollars and is keenly sought and highly valued. Last, but by no means least, we like its price point. When it comes to buying a Holey Dollar, the price point of between $100,000 and $200,000 offers extreme value for your investment dollars. The buyer is taking up a coin that, to the naked eye looks relatively untouched and that has all its design details intact. (In comparison to those Holey Dollars priced below $100,000 that show obvious design wear and/or possible defects from usage.) The technical shots shown below confirm our glowing assessment of the coin.
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1813-Holey-Dollar-created-from-1804-Mexico-Mint-gVF-EF-REV-43325-October-2021
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The fundamentals of this Holey Dollar.

When Mint Master William Henshall created this Holey Dollar, he grabbed a Spanish Silver Dollar that had been struck at the Mexico Mint in 1804. The dollar depicted the legend and portrait of King Charles IV.

The coin was one of 40,000 Spanish Silver Dollars imported by Lachlan Macquarie to use as the basis of the colony's first currency.

Armed with a punch, Henshall cut a hole in the dollar. He then placed the holed coin into a simple drop hammer system which held two dies.

One die contained the elements ‘New South Wales’ and ‘1813’. The other die contained the denomination of ‘Five Shillings’, a double twig of leaves and an ‘H’ discretely placed at the juncture of the twigs, Henshall determined to leave his mark. The design elements on the two dies are known as the counter-stamps. Using gravitational force, the design elements of the dies were stamped onto both sides of the holed silver dollar around the inner circular edge of the hole.

And it is at this point – and this point only – that the ‘holed’ silver dollar became the 1813 New South Wales Five Shillings. Better known as the 1813 Holey Dollar.


1813-Holey-Dollar-Charles-IIII-1804-Mexico-Mint-Obv-TECH-43325-November-2021

The aesthetic appeal of this coin is enhanced by the position of the obverse counter-stamps 'New South Wales' and the date '1813'. They are in the same vertical vista as the date '1804'.

1813-Holey-Dollar-Charles-IIII-1804-Mexico-Mint-Rev-TECH-43325-November-2021

The Mexico Mint mark 'M' and a circle above it, shown clearly in the legend. A lovely coin with high quality counter-stamps.


We like the quality and eye appeal of this Holey Dollar. The design of both the original silver dollar and the counter-stamps is highly detailed. The coin is not dished and the counter-stamps, on the obverse, are in the optimum position, an attribute that is rarely ever seen.

Talk to those fortunate enough to own a Holey Dollar, either private collectors or institutions such as Macquarie Bank or the National Museum of Australia, and they will tell you that the Holey Dollar is viewed as the jewel in their collection. And that statement is made irrespective of the quality level.

Now, it is a fact that more than fifty per cent of Holey Dollars are found well circulated, in a quality ranging from Fair through to Good Fine.

This Holey Dollar is offered at Very Fine and is a well-above average example. And it shows. From the details in the hair, the robes and the overall state of the fields.

Aside from the quality aspects associated with the original 1804 Spanish Silver Dollar, this Holey Dollar has fared very well through the production process.

Great force had to be exerted on the Spanish Silver Dollar to punch out the central hole. As a consequence, many Holey Dollars are found slightly dished and distorted. And while the dishing does not impact on the value of the Holey Dollar, it can impact on the coin visually.

This is simply a fabulous Holey Dollar, the even shape allowing the design details to be displayed to the max.

Many Holey Dollars show a 'crazing' of the metal, once again due to the force of punching out the hole. This coin does not exhibit any metal fatigue.

The aesthetic appeal and the rarity of this Holey Dollar are enhanced by the alignment of the obverse counter-stamps. The counter-stamps 'New South Wales'' and '1813' are in vertical alignment with the date of the silver dollar, '1804'. Only a handful of Holey Dollars exhibit such alignment.

A study of the surviving Holey Dollars reveals that Henshall's application of the counter-stamps was wildly random, that the holed dollar was not placed in a particular position between the dies. And it obviously didn't matter which side of the holed dollar was facing up. Speed was of the essence. Precision was simply not required which is why the counter-stamps of most Holey Dollars are 'all over the shop'.

 

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50381-1921-SQ-Halfpenny-Rev-Mood-June-2022
50381-1921-SQ-Halfpenny-Obv-Mood-June-2022
COIN
1921 Kookaburra Square Halfpenny, one of the Commonwealth's great coin rarities
PRICE
$125,000
STATUS
Available now.
QUALITY
Choice Uncirculated with lustrous fields under soft antique toning
PROVENANCE
Jaggards, Roxburys Auction 2015
COMMENTS
This is an outstanding coin rarity. In superb quality. The Kookaburra Square Halfpenny is one of the great Commonwealth coin rarities and has been so acknowledged since Australian Auction records began in the 1950s. And this example, dated 1921, is offered in the optimum quality of Choice Uncirculated. Every series has its highlights, the show-stoppers, the scene stealers. And in the case of the Kookaburra Square Coin series, the Halfpenny commands attention. The reason is simply due to its inordinate scarcity. Whereas approximately two hundred Kookaburra Pennies are available to collectors, of varying dates, designs and prices. A minuscule twelve Kookaburra Halfpennies are available to the same buying audience. It’s these numbers that have made the Square Halfpenny one of Australia’s most elusive and sought-after coin rarities. In demand from collectors of the kookaburra coin series. And in demand from buyers with a pure investment focus. The technical shots re-affirm our glowing assessment of the coin.
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50381-1921-SQ-Halfpenny-Obv-Mood-June-2022
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50381-1921-SQ-Halfpenny-Rev-TECH-June-2022

The Kookaburra Halfpenny, one of twelve examples known to collectors and this coin brilliantly struck, with lustrous satin fields and very soft antique toning.

When the Kookaburra Square Penny and Halfpenny were created, Australians were recovering from the war and determined to lessen the ties with Great Britain. The mood even filtered through to our coinage!

The Government planned to introduce a square penny and halfpenny with our native bird on the reverse. And the monarch minus his crown on the obverse!

Provocative and contentious but uniquely Australian.

Australia entered a modern age post World War I. For many Australians, it was a time for breaking out socially, of questioning and changing old values and behaviour and enjoying the good life. It was a time of great change. People forgot the old and embraced the new in an attempt to leave the hardship and struggles of the war behind them.

New technology was being created, like toasters and cars, things that today we take for granted. The fashion world was exploding, great changes were embraced in styles of dress. Australians were identifying with their own culture, keen to lessen the emotional and cultural ties with Great Britain.

50381-1921-SQ-Halfpenny-Obv-TECH-June-2022

The 1921 Square Halfpenny obverse featuring an uncrowned King George V. The legend and portrait both highly detailed.

Creating a new, totally Australian coinage was a part of the deal which is why the Government floated the idea of the Kookaburra Penny envisaging a coin that would be unique to Australia.

The Government's plan was to discard the British-styled penny and halfpenny and to create a coin with a typically Australian design featuring the nation's native bird, the kookaburra.

To maximise impact, a new shape was planned with the move from circular to square. And bronze was to be discarded and a new metal taken up, that of cupro-nickel.

Tests began at the Melbourne Mint in 1919 and continued for three years, ending in 1921.

Today there are about two hundred kookaburra pennies held by private collectors. And about twelve kookaburra halfpennies.

 


30305-Header-Proof-1855-Sov-&-Half-Sov-Pair-March-2022
COIN
Proof 1855 Sydney Mint Sovereign and Proof 1855 Sydney Mint Half Sovereign, the only pair held in Australia.
PRICE
$220,000 (Sovereign), $220,000 (Half Sovereign)
STATUS
Sold August 2022
QUALITY
Flawless FDC, ultra cameo, glowing with mirrored lustre
PROVENANCE
Detailed individually below
COMMENTS
This Proof 1855 Sydney Mint Sovereign and Proof 1855 Sydney Mint Half Sovereign is the only pair available in Australia. Only one other pair is known, held overseas. The coins are an integral part of Australia's coining history. Treasures of the Sydney Mint, they were struck at the Royal Mint London prior to the opening of the Sydney Mint in 1855.Visually stunning with a provenance that can be traced back to 1903, the coins were held as part of the esteemed John G. Murdoch Collection. And these stunning ultra-rare 1855 Cameo Proofs are available now. Copies of the Catalogues attesting to their provenance will be provided.
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A market that is chasing gold proofs ...

Australia has some of the rarest and most beautiful coins you could imagine, particularly in the proof gold sector. The coins, proof sovereigns and proof half sovereigns, have always been popular with local collectors, simply because of their inherent rarity.

Local collectors are now under pressure from overseas investors. Over the last two years international buyers have been steadily encroaching into our market, pushing prices. In the latter part of 2021, overseas investors blitzed an auction in Zurich where Australian proof gold was offered paying top dollar to secure our proof gold coin rarities.

Prices for Australian proof sovereign and proof half sovereigns have, as a result, rocketed overseas. And it will have a flow-on effect into the local market.

 

Proof coins are numismatic works of art. They are the story tellers that define a year or an era like no other coin. Proof coins can also denote an occasion. And they tend to have a connection to a prominent person or an influential collector.

The more potent its history and its narrative, the more influential the coin. And we see this quite clearly in the value the market places on these gold proofs.

Even more compelling ... proof coins are extremely rare. The exclusivity exemplified in this pair. Only one other pair is known, held overseas.

This is the only pair held in Australia.


30305-Proof-1855-Sovereign-Rev-March-2022

Australia, Queen Victoria, proof sovereign, dated 1855, struck at the Royal Mint London. Australia at centre beneath a crown surrounded by a bowed wreath, ONE SOVEREIGN at the bottom as a curved legend.

Proof 1855 Sydney Mint Sovereign

In terms of minting expertise and design skills, the British mint did all the heavy lifting to ensure that the Sydney Mint would open its doors in 1855. Two years ahead of the colonial opening the Royal Mint London had finalised designs and created the dies.

Minting protocols were followed and a minute number of presentation pieces were struck to proof quality testing the dies. And the designs.

This Proof 1855 Sydney Mint Sovereign was one such presentation piece.

Only three Proof 1855 Sydney Mint Sovereigns are known ... the surprising point here is that none are held in museums either here or overseas. Every known example is held by a private collector.

30305-Proof-1855-Sovereign-Obv-March-2022

Australia, Queen Victoria, proof sovereign, dated 1855, struck at the Royal Mint London. Second young head wearing a wreath of banksia leaves and showing the queen's braided hair drawn around and beneath her ear.

 

This Proof 1855 Sydney Mint Sovereign has an illustrious provenance that can be traced back to the early twentieth century.

  • Sold by Sotheby's London, 1903, as part of the famous John G. Murdoch Collection.
  • Sold by Sothebys London, 1922, as part of the equally famous Nobleman (Baron La Renotiere Ferrari) Collection.
  • Max Stern Melbourne, 1969 (where it was offered privately to Barrie Winsor).
  • Sold by Spink Australia July 1985 for $32,000, the coin's first and only appearance at an Australian Auction.
  • Acquired from Barrie Winsor in 2000 and sold by private treaty to a Sydney collector.

30305-Proof-1855-Half-Sovereign-Rev-March-2022

Australia, Queen Victoria, proof half sovereign, dated 1855, struck at the Royal Mint London. Australia at centre beneath a crown surrounded by a bowed wreath, HALF SOVEREIGN at the bottom as a curved legend.

Proof 1855 Sydney Mint Half Sovereign

If you are a collector of Australian gold sovereigns and half sovereigns, then the year 1855 is key. The nation's gold coin history began in that year with the opening of our first mint in Sydney. And the issuing of our first official gold coinage.

This Proof 1855 Sydney Mint Half Sovereign was struck at the Royal Mint London, in preparation for the issuing of Australia's first official gold currency. The coin was struck with a brilliant mirror finish and features a grained edge.

Only two quality proof specimens are held in private collections, one in Australia (this coin) and the other overseas. A third example is known, a confirmed proof, but the coin has circulated and has a quality grading of Good Fine.

 

30305-Proof-1855-Half-Sovereign-Obv-March-2022

Australia, Queen Victoria, proof half sovereign, dated 1855, struck at the Royal Mint London. Second young head wearing a wreath of banksia leaves and showing the queen's braided hair drawn around and beneath her ear.


This Proof 1855 Sydney Mint Half Sovereign has an illustrious provenance that can be traced back to the early twentieth century.

  • Sold Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge in 1903, in the liquidation of the John G. Murdoch Collection.
  • Acquired by foremost U.S. collector Virgil Brand, then to  aviation pioneer Captain Vivian Hewitt and then to New York collector, John L. Ahbe.
  • The first public appearance at an Australian auction was in November 1981.
  • A second public appearance occurred in November 1992 at Spink Auctions.
  • Acquired from Barrie Winsor in 2000 and sold by private treaty to a Sydney collector.
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Coinworks recommends


50916-1864-Half-Sovereign-Unc-Obv-June-2022
50916-1864-Half-Sovereign-Unc-Rev-June-2022
COIN
1864 Sydney Mint Half Sovereign, and one of the smallest mintages of the Sydney Mint Half Sovereign Series
PRICE
$35,000
STATUS
Sold August 2022
QUALITY
Uncirculated, with proof-like surfaces and very rare in this condition
PROVENANCE
Quartermaster Collection sold by Monetarium 4 June 2009, lot 243
COMMENTS
The name, Barrie Winsor, is legendary. And so is the collection he formed, the Quartermaster Collection. Winsor, had an eye for detail. He could spot a great coin 'a mile away'. And he had the experience and knowledge built up over fifty-plus years in the industry to make a relative assessment on each coin. Which coin was better. Which coin was, in his opinion, the best. And he used both his eye and his experience to assemble the Quartermaster Collection for Queensland collector, Tom Hadley. It took twenty years to complete the task! There is no greater endorsement of this 1864 Half Sovereign than it was acquired to become part of the Quartermaster Collection. The coin is highly lustrous, a cameo-perfect example with strong, unblemished edges that frame the coin. Given the limitations in size, the design is well-executed and the fields are super smooth. Quite amazing when you consider that the Half Sovereign was the lifeblood of the colony, manufactured for use in every-day commerce. Even more amazing that it survived the production process at the Sydney Mint unscathed where it would have hurtled down a chute and into a barrel. And this superb colonial gem is available now. The technical shots re-affirm its glorious state.
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50916-1864-Half-Sovereign-Unc-Rev-June-2022
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In 1864, nine years after it opened, the Sydney Mint was in full-swing and struck close to 3 million Sovereigns. Half Sovereign production was modest ... a tiny 140,000 coins.

And this coin was one out of the original mintage.

Given that eastern colonies (Queensland, Victoria and New South Wales) recorded one million inhabitants, that equates to one half sovereign for every seven citizens. The very reason why most half sovereigns out of the Sydney Mint colonial era come well used.

An investigation of auction records re-affirms the scarcity of the 1864 Half Sovereign, and in particular top quality examples. Over the past thirty years just over one hundred 1864 Sydney Mint Half Sovereigns have come onto the market. Of those only three were Uncirculated. And this coin is one of the three.

This 1864 Half Sovereign is a stand-out piece. Well struck and obviously cherished in the one hundred and fifty eight years since its striking. Its state of preservation verges on the miraculous.

50916-1864-Half-Sovereign-Unc-Obv-TECH-June-2022

Designed by Leonard Charles Wyon, the obverse depicts Queen Victoria with a sprig of banksia in her hair.  Note the edges and the surfaces.

50916-1864-Half-Sovereign-Unc-Rev-TECH-June-2022

Designed by Leonard Charles Wyon, the reverse incorporates the Sydney Mint, the issuing authority, and the word 'AUSTRALIA'.

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In 1851, the Sydney Morning Herald published an editorial championing the establishment of a branch of the Royal Mint in Sydney to buy gold at full price and strike it into sovereigns.

The plan for a branch of the Royal Mint received great support from the diggers. Solid opposition came from the banks and a prominent group of private individuals both of whom had become major buyers of gold on the fields at prices discounted well below the full London price. Profits were at stake! Both factions had earlier joined forces to quash a proposal for a Sydney Assay Office that would have also impacted negatively on their commercial interests.

While it is true that New South Wales had in 1851 formally petitioned the home office in London for a branch of the Royal Mint, the decision had already been made in the British Parliament to give the colonies greater autonomy and establish a branch mint to allow them to strike coins of the realm, the sovereign and the half sovereign.

The Sydney Mint would strike sovereigns and half sovereigns to exactly the weight and fineness levels at the Royal Mint but they would have their own design. This was to protect the international reputation of the imperial sovereign in the event that Sydney was unable to meet the exacting standards demanded of the coin.

On the 19 August 1853 Queen Victoria gave formal approval to establish Australia’s very first mint at or near Sydney in New South Wales. In the same year, the Royal Mint London prepared designs of Australia’s first gold coinage and manufactured the dies.

 

The sovereign (and half sovereign) obverse design was a filleted bust of Victoria, only slightly different to that used on British sovereigns. The obverse quickly fell out of favour and James Wyon was ordered to engrave a new obverse that would be uniquely Australian to easily distinguish the colonial sovereigns from their British counterparts.

To this end, a new portrait was introduced in 1857 that featured Queen Victoria with a banksia wreath in her hair instead of the band.

The reverse design was based loosely around contemporary reverse designs of the British sixpence and shilling. Its strong point of difference to the British sovereigns was the inclusion of the words 'Australia' and 'Sydney Mint'.

The use of the word Australia, a fascination with historians. At the time the nation was operating as separate colonies. Australia did not operate under a single Government until Federation in 1901.

The first Deputy Master of the Sydney Mint was Captain Edward Wolstenholme Ward, a trained member of the Royal Engineers. Ward arrived in the colony in October 1854 on the ship Calcutta, along with other members of the Royal Engineers, a sergeant, three corporals and twelve privates. The group was deposited on Circular Quay with the bales and boxes of Sydney's new mint, along with the dies.

The Sydney Mint was established in a wing of the 'Rum Hospital' in Macquarie Street, Sydney. The mint began receiving gold on 14 May 1855 and issued its first gold sovereign soon after on June 23. Half sovereigns were minted some months later.


46905-Proof-1927-Canberra-Florin-Rev-July-2022
46905-Proof-1927-Canberra-Florin-Obv-July-2022
COIN
Proof 1927 Canberra Florin, an exceptional quality piece and one of the finest we have handled.
PRICE
$23,500
STATUS
Sold July 2022
QUALITY
Brilliant FDC with rich golden toning.
PROVENANCE
International Auction Galleries 2005, Private Collection Melbourne
COMMENTS
Name the top five all-time favourite Australian rare coins. Without doubt the 1930 Penny would be at the top of the list. But, the Proof 1927 Canberra Florin would, in all likelihood, be at position number two. For many collectors, it's not a matter of 'if' I will buy a Proof Canberra Florin, it's 'when' I will buy one. The coin is historically important and was struck to commemorate the opening of Parliament House in Canberra. And it is rare with numismatic authority Greg McDonald contending that the mintage could be as low as 150, an explanation as to why so few are appearing on the market. And this Proof 1927 Canberra Florin is superb, its glorious state prompted aggressive bidding when it first appeared at auction in 2005, setting a new price record. And price records only happen when the coin warrants it! A superb FDC with a highly detailed design set against a backdrop of smooth, brilliant fields enhanced by rich golden toning. And this record-breaking 1927 Proof Canberra Florin is available now.
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46905-Proof-1927-Canberra-Florin-Obv-July-2022
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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 - $1500 at auction. Two decades later, top quality Proof Canberra Florins are commanding in excess of $20,000.

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 impressive. 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.
 


Proof-1945-Penny-Rev-41102-August-2021
Proof-1945-Penny-Obv-41102-August-2021
COIN
Australia's rarest penny, the 1945 Penny, struck at the Melbourne Mint
PRICE
$150,000
STATUS
Available now.
QUALITY
FDC, a spectacular proof strike, fully brilliant with a golden obverse and reddish brown reverse
PROVENANCE
The Museum of Victoria Collection
COMMENTS
This 1945 Penny was held in the Museum of Victoria Collection until 1988. The museum parted with the coin, taking it out of their own archives and offering it to the collecting public in the now famous Spink Auctions 1988 Bicentennial Sale. The coin is Australia's rarest penny. By a mile. Now let's be clear. And don't get excited if you happen to have a 1945 Penny in your bottom drawer! More than ten million pennies were struck in 1945 at the Perth Mint making it one of Australia's most readily available pennies, a dot after the 'Y' in 'PENNY' identifying that it was struck at Perth. The Melbourne Mint, on the other hand, struck only FOUR pennies in 1945 - minus the dot. The four prized coins were retained by the mint for posterity. And this example is one of the four. In a market that values rarity - and quality - above all else, this coin takes the prize for it is the nation's rarest penny. A superb FDC, with full brilliance on both obverse and reverse, this magnificent piece of Australian numismatic history is available now.
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Proof-1945-Penny-Obv-41102-August-2021
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Ask most collectors - or most Australians for that matter - what is Australia's rarest penny and they will respond with the answer, 'the 1930 Penny'.

The correct answer is however the 1945 Penny struck at the Melbourne Mint.

Only four coins were struck to test new master tools before new dies were prepared for the Perth Mint. The Melbourne Mint retained the four prized coins.

In 1978 the Melbourne Mint Collection was transferred to the Museum of Victoria, the collection included the four Proof 1945 Pennies.

Very little was known about Australia's rarest penny until 1988, when the Museum of Victoria decided to sell off one of their coins at auction as part of the nation's Bicentennial celebrations. This coin!

As you would imagine, collectors pounced. The opportunity to acquire Australia's rarest and most prestigious penny too good to resist, the coin selling for $16,100 on an estimate of $8000. (Interestingly a well above average Holey Dollar sold for the same amount in the very same auction)

In 2009, the Museum of Victoria was again tempted to sell off a second example. Again, as you would expect, it fetched a new price record.

It is a fact that Australians love their pennies more than any other coin. Even the zeal for the sovereign (which is very strong) pales into significance when compared to the penny.

Now within the penny series, there are six dates that stand out for their rarity ... 1925, 1930, 1931, 1937, 1945 and 1946.

Of these six dates the 1930, 1937 and 1945 Pennies are regarded as being elite coins.

Elite coins earn their notoriety, partially, through their rarity. A coin does not however achieve an elite (or pinnacle) status on the basis of rarity alone. Those coins that are pinnacles of the industry represent a chapter in Australia's history.

In the case of the 1930 Penny, the era we are talking about is the Great Depression. The 1937 Penny represents the abdication of Edward VIII from the throne. And the 1945 Penny, the cessation of World War II.

Aside from the status of being Australia's rarest penny, this coin, with full brilliant mint red, is simply spectacular.

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51849-1930-Penny-Rev-July-2022
51849-1930-Penny-Obv-July-2022
COIN
1930 Penny with two sides of the central diamond and six plump pearls.
PRICE
$35,000
STATUS
Sold July 2022
QUALITY
About Very Fine / Very Fine
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Melbourne
COMMENTS
The old saying, 'success breeds success' is very true when it comes to the 1930 Penny. Every year, demand for the coin is getting stronger as more collectors seek to acquire the nation's iconic coin rarity. The increased demand means that supplies are slowly drying up. And prices are steadily increasing. It's a trend we don't see abating, particularly with the '1930 - 2030’ Centenary just eight years away. This 1930 Penny was held by a Coinworks client and is very impressive. It is a classy coin. The edges are solid and the important design details such as the upper and lower scrolls, the inner beading that circles the value of ‘ONE PENNY’, the legend and the date ‘1930’ are all prominent. Flip the coin, over and the monarch's crown shows two sides of the central diamond and six plump pearls. Moreover, the toning is a consistent and a handsome chestnut brown, the fields glossy and highly reflective. The technical shots re-affirm the grading and the aesthetics of this quality 1930 Penny.
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51849-1930-Penny-Obv-July-2022
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51849-1930-Penny-Rev-TECH-July-2022


An impressive 1930 Penny with nice edges, well defined upper and lower scrolls and inner beading. And a strong '1930' date. This is a coin that you will be proud to show family & friends.

51849-1930-Penny-Obv-TECH-July-2022


The obverse shows two sides of the central diamond and six pearls. The fields are smooth and reflective. The oval to the left of the central diamond is three-quarters intact.


Examining a 1930 Penny is a three-point process.

Step 1 is to look at the coin in the flesh using just the naked eye.

A truly great coin will always look good to the unaided eye. And this coin is a beauty!

It has strong upper and lower scrolls. The reverse fields are highly reflective and very smooth with even, handsome chocolate brown toning. The inner beading is intact, the legend 'COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA' and date '1930' are powerful.

Moving the obverse through the light you see the complete lower band of the crown. You also observe the strong design details of the monarch's robes and the minimal wear to the king's eyebrow and moustache. We also comment on the highly reflective obverse fields and the handsome chocolate brown toning.

Step 2 is to take up a magnifying glass and examine the coin in detail.

The eye glass re-confirms what we have seen to the naked eye ... and much, much more.

This coin has two sides of the central diamond showing and six very plump pearls. The oval to the left of the central diamond is three-quarters intact.

Step 3 is to re-visit the coin with the naked eye just to make sure that you have taken everything in.

The final assessment of this 1930 Penny confirms that it is a great coin and passes our three-point assessment with flying colours.


Four reasons why collectors love the 1930 Penny. 

Reason 1. One of the prime reasons for the popularity of the 1930 Penny is its financial reliability. It is a solid coin. And in times such as we have experienced in 2020 and even now in 2021 this genuinely counts.

Reason 2. In fact, we would go one step further and say that over the long term the 1930 Penny has probably been one of our most consistent and trustworthy numismatic performers.

Reason 3. Another reason for its popularity is that the coin is as Australian as you can get. Struck during the Great Depression, the 1930 Penny is the nation’s glamour coin and is unrivalled for popularity, enjoying a constant stream of demand unmatched by any other numismatic rarity.

Reason 4. The coin is an industry phenomenon, for in a market that is quality focused it is interesting to note that the 1930 Penny is keenly sought irrespective of its quality ranking. And growth over the mid to long term has been significant across all quality levels.

Well circulated (Fine) 1930 Pennies were selling for £50 in the 1950s. A decade later, by decimal changeover, the coins were fetching £255 ($510). By 1988, Australia's Bicentenary, a Fine 1930 Penny had reached $6000. The turn of the century saw 1930 Penny prices move to a minimum of $13,000. Twenty years later prices have more than doubled.

And with a 100th anniversary less than a decade away, the push to acquire Australia’s favourite Penny is really on.

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1813-NSW-D2-Dump-about-EF-Rev-43774-November-2021
1813-NSW-D2-Dump-about-EF-Obv-43774-November-2021
COIN
1813 Dump struck with the rare D/2 dies
PRICE
$85,000
STATUS
Available now
QUALITY
Nearly Extremely Fine, supreme quality and exceedingly rare in this grade
PROVENANCE
Strathburn Collection
COMMENTS
The owner of this 1813 Dump is a foremost numismatist with more than fifty years of experience in the industry. As the owner of one of the best Holey Dollars he wanted a comparable Dump. The supreme quality of this piece was especially appealing for at Nearly Extremely Fine, the coin rests in the top five per cent of surviving examples. That the coin was struck using the very rare D/2 dies was a further influence on his purchase decision. As an 'old-time' collector he also valued its eye appeal, relishing the fact that he could hold the coin in his hand and see quite clearly its supreme attributes, not requiring an eye-glass. (The sign of a great coin). We close off with the comment that Coinworks has, over the last three years, sold some magnificent 1813 Dumps all of which have come back from clients that have held them for close to two decades. Some even longer. And that stock has been steadily diminishing. It is an ominous sign from a supply perspective. It may also be a sign that prices are set to rise. We have been commenting for a while about the lack of nice material out in the broader market place, and that includes the 1813 Dump. The message is obviously getting through. At last year's November Noble Numismatic Auction, a well circulated Dump that was five grades lower than this coin (at About Very Fine) sold for nearly $42,000.
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1813-NSW-D2-Dump-about-EF-Obv-43774-November-2021
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The 1813 Dump holds a very special place in Australia's history as the nation's first coin. It is a classic Australian numismatic rarity, as is the 1813 Holey Dollar, the 1852 Adelaide Pound, the Square Penny and the 1930 Penny.

Its status as Australia’s first coin ensures that it will always be sought after and strengthens its investment value.

Its investment value is also enhanced by its rarity for we estimate that perhaps eight hundred examples are available to collectors, less than fifty of which are in the upper quality levels.

Five reasons why this 1813 Dump became part of the Strathburn Collection. 

1. High quality, in the top five per cent

The 1813 Dump circulated widely in the colony, the extreme wear on most Dumps evidence of its extensive use. The average quality Dump is graded at Fine to Good Fine, with this coin six grades higher at Nearly Extremely Fine. We rate it in the top five per cent of surviving examples.

The minimal wear to this coin is shown in the crown, the fleur de lis complete and the pearls on either side of the crown crisp and dainty. Flip the coin over and the words FIFTEEN PENCE are also highly detailed.

The coin has obviously been cherished for it has been brilliantly preserved with beautiful toning and highly reflective fields.

2. Extraordinary strike for a D/2 Dump

Historians suggest that 25 per cent of surviving Dumps were struck using the D/2 dies. (The most readily available being the A/1 Dumps at 70 per cent.)

They also suggest the D/2 dies were quite possibly the first combination used and their usage discontinued because the dies were too large for the silver disc. An examination of the surviving D/2 Dumps supports this contention for most have a partially struck legend 'NEW SOUTH WALES' with the top of the words non-existent. And a partially struck date '1813', with the bottom half of the numbers non-existent. This coin being an exception.

3. Strong denticles that are not always seen

The denticles around the edge of the coin are evident, which again in a D/2 example is not usual.

4. Oblique milling

Notice the oblique milling around the edge. It is fully evident. (The edge milling was used as deterrent against clipping whereby the unscrupulous shaved off slivers of silver, reducing the silver content of the Dump. And making a small profit on the side.)

5. And the pièce de résistance ... evidence of the original Spanish Dollar design, an aspect that really counts.

While the Holey Dollar clearly shows that it is one coin struck from another, in a less obvious way so too can the Dump. The design detail of the original Spanish Dollar from which this Dump was created is evident on the obverse, both above and below the crown. We refer to it as the under-type and it is not always present. Its existence re-affirms the origins of the Dump and is highly prized.

 

1813-NSW-A1-Dump-Extremely-Fine-Rev-43774-December-2021

The obverse has smooth and highly reflective fields with stunning grey / blue toning. The legend 'NEW SOUTH WALES' is contained in the coin as is the date '1813'. On both left and right in the crown, the fleur-de-lis are complete, the pearls crisp. A stop is clearly seen after 'NEW' and 'SOUTH' in the legend. The dies apparently had shallow depressions for these stops which soon filled with debris and can be difficult (or almost impossible) to discern on pieces even in reasonable condition.

1813-NSW-A1-Dump-Extremely-Fine-Obv-43774-December-2021

The reverse also is smooth and has highly reflective fields with stunning grey / blue toning.

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49734-1813-Holey-Dollar-Lima-Obv-MOOD-May-2022
49734-1813-Holey-Dollar-Lima-Rev-MOOD-May-2022
COIN
1813 Holey Dollar created from a Spanish Silver Dollar that was minted in 1800 at the Lima Mint, a Holey Dollar that is unique for the date and mint combination
PRICE
$295,000
STATUS
Sold July 2022
QUALITY
Original coin: A supreme quality Good Very Fine with superb design detail, the surfaces highly reflective enhanced by handsome light grey toning. Counter-stamps: Nearly Extremely Fine
PROVENANCE
Edward Wills Collection, Syd Hagley Collection, Nobles Auction November 2005 lot 1220. Photographed and detailed as Holey Dollar 1800/1 on page 38 of the reference book, "The Holey Dollars of New South Wales. A Pictorial Record.
COMMENTS
This 1813 Holey Dollar was created from a Spanish Silver Dollar that had been minted in 1800 at the Lima Mint, Peru. The coin has a distinctive edge. Most Holey Dollars were created from silver dollars produced at the Mexico Mint. This coin, however, was created from a Spanish Silver Dollar that was struck at the LIMA MINT. And that makes it one of the rarest Holey Dollars. One hundred and ninety-three Holey Dollars are held by private collectors and of those twenty were created from Lima Mint Silver Dollars. And this coin is one of the twenty. The ‘edge’ that this coin possesses extends well beyond a ‘rare mint’. The original silver dollar, a supreme quality Good Very Fine, resisted the force applied by William Henshall in cutting out the hole. The result is a Holey Dollar that has retained a circular, even shape and that displays the design details to the max giving it fabulous eye appeal. The coin also comes with a celebrated former owner. Syd Hagley was famous for his ownership of the Proof 1930 Penny and, history contends, created and drove the Australian rare coin industry. While the Syd Hagley Proof 1930 Penny may be an impossible dream for many collectors, the Hagley Holey Dollar is available now.
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49734-1813-Holey-Dollar-Lima-Rev-MOOD-May-2022
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A Holey Dollar defined by the rare Lima Mint.

Governor Lachlan Macquarie imported 40,000 Spanish Silver Dollars to create the nation's first currency. His order was not date specific. Any year would suffice. Quality was irrelevant. And he didn't care where they were minted, Mexico, Peru, Bolivia or Spain. The reigning monarch at the time was also immaterial, King Charles III, Charles IV, Ferdinand VI or Ferdinand VII.

And it is the interplay of these attributes - date, quality, monarch and mint - that define a Holey Dollar and leads us to say that while all Holey Dollars are rare, some are far rarer than others.

Of the one hundred and ninety privately owned Holey Dollars, about eighty per cent were created from silver dollars issued at the Mexico Mint.

Twenty (or ten per cent) were created from silver dollars minted at the Lima Mint in Peru.

In a career that has reached the half-century mark, this is only the FIFTH Holey Dollar we have offered that has ties to the Lima Mint in Peru.

A Holey Dollar defined by superb quality.

The fabulous eye appeal of this coin relates to two factors. It is a superior quality Holey Dollar, in the top 15 per cent. And it has an even circular shape.

First up the quality.

The Spanish Silver Dollar was the world’s greatest trading coin and most of the coins in Macquarie's shipment of 40,000 coins would have been well worn. A formal study of the surviving Holey Dollars, undertaken in 1988, confirms the fact.

More than fifty per cent of Holey Dollars are found well circulated, in a quality ranging from Fair through to Good Fine. At Good Very Fine, this coin is a high quality Holey Dollar, in the top fifteen per cent. The design details are crisp and clear, the fields relatively unmarked.

The extent of usage of the Holey Dollar after it was released into circulation is evidenced by the wear to the counter-stamps, the over-stamping around the inner circular edge … New South Wales, 1813 and Five Shillings.

The counter-stamps of this Holey Dollar are graded in the premium quality levels of Nearly Extremely Fine.

A Holey Dollar that fared very well through the production process.

Great force had to be exerted on the Spanish Silver Dollar to punch out the central hole. As a consequence, many Holey Dollars are found slightly dished and distorted. And while the dishing does not impact on the value of the Holey Dollar, it can impact on the coin visually.

This is simply a fabulous Holey Dollar, the even shape allowing the design details to be displayed to the max. You will be proud to show it off to family and friends. And they will be in awe!

49734-1813-Holey-Dollar-Lima-Obv-TECH-May-2022

This coin is featured on page 38 of the reference book, "The Holey Dollar of New South Wales. A Pictorial Record" authored by Messrs. Mira and Noble. It is noted that this coin is unique for the date and mint combination. (1800 - Lima)  

49734-1813-Holey-Dollar-Lima-Rev-TECH-May-2022

. REX . LMAE . 8R .
 The distinctive mint mark 'LMAE' of the Lima Mint is featured in the legend on the left hand side of this Holey Dollar.

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50923-1930-Penny-VF-Rev-June-2022
50923-1930-Penny-VF-Obv-June-2022
COIN
1930 Penny, a fabulous coin with a full central diamond, six very plump pearls and traces of the elusive seventh and eighth pearls
PRICE
$60,000
STATUS
Sold July 2022
QUALITY
Good Very Fine
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Queensland
COMMENTS
This Good Very Fine 1930 Penny is an elite coin. One of the very best it rests in the top five per cent. It is a technically sound coin and visually very attractive. The ideal combination for the collector and the investor. To the naked eye, the coin has solid edges, even chestnut toning and strong design detail, including the all important ‘1930’ date. But, it’s under an eye-glass that this coin really shines and upholds its Good Very Fine status. The central diamond is complete and solid. The oval to the left of the diamond also is complete and there are six very plump pearls with traces of the elusive seventh and eighth pearl. And the fields are smooth and show minimal signs of circulation. Now, it is a fact that the most frequently sighted 1930 Penny is a well circulated Fine. This coin, at Good Very Fine, is at least five grades higher. A 1930 Penny at this quality level would be offered on the market, perhaps once every few years. Already have a 1930 Penny? Then consider trading it back as part-payment on this stunning coin. The technical photos of both obverse and reverse are provided below and re-affirm its fabulous state.
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50923-1930-Penny-VF-Obv-June-2022
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50923-1930-Penny-VF-Rev-TECH-Beige-June-2022

Reverse of the 1930 Penny with a strong '1930' date, crisp upper and lower scrolls, well defined inner beading and super-strong edges. Handsome chestnut toning is the icing on the cake.

50923-1930-Penny-VF-Obv-TECH-beige-June-2022

Obverse of the 1930 Penny showing a full and prominent central diamond. Complete oval to the left of the diamond, six very plump pearls and traces of the seventh and eight pearl. Handsome toning and super edges.


Examining a 1930 Penny is a three-point process.

Step 1 is to look at the coin in the flesh using just the naked eye. A truly great coin will always look good to the unaided eye. And this coin is a beauty!

Looking at the reverse, the fields are highly reflective and very smooth with even, handsome chestnut brown toning. The legend 'COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA' and date '1930' are powerful.

Looking at the obverse, and moving the coin through the light you see the complete lower band of the crown. You also observe the strong design details of the monarch's robes and the minimal wear to the king's eyebrow and moustache. We also comment on the highly reflective obverse fields and the handsome chestnut toning.

Step 2 is to take up a magnifying glass and examine the coin in detail. The eye glass re-confirms what we have seen to the naked eye ... and much, much more.

This coin has a complete central diamond that is strong and prominent. There are six very plump pearls and traces of the elusive seventh and eighth pearl. The lower band of the crown is complete and there is minimal wear to the eyebrow and moustache. These details confirm the premium grading level of Good Very Fine.

Step 3 is to re-visit the coin with the naked eye just to make sure that you have taken everything in.

Place the coin in the palm of your hand and make a final assessment. This is a fabulous 1930 Penny and passes our three-point assessment with flying colours.


Four reasons why collectors love the 1930 Penny.  

Reason 1. One of the prime reasons for the popularity of the 1930 Penny is its financial reliability. It is a solid coin. And in times such as we are currently experiencing, this genuinely counts.

Reason 2. In fact, we would go one step further and say that over the long term the 1930 Penny has probably been one of our most consistent and trustworthy numismatic performers.

Reason 3. Another reason for its popularity is that the coin is as Australian as you can get. Struck during the Great Depression, the 1930 Penny is the nation’s glamour coin and is unrivalled for popularity, enjoying a constant stream of demand unmatched by any other numismatic rarity.

Reason 4. The coin is an industry phenomenon, for in a market that is quality focused it is interesting to note that the 1930 Penny is keenly sought irrespective of its quality ranking. And growth over the mid to long term has been significant across all quality levels.

Well circulated (Fine) 1930 Pennies were selling for £50 in the 1950s. A decade later, by decimal changeover, the coins were fetching £255 ($510). By 1988, Australia's Bicentenary, a Fine 1930 Penny had reached $6000. The turn of the century saw 1930 Penny prices move to a minimum of $13,000. Twenty years later prices have more than doubled. And with a 100th anniversary less than a decade away, the push to acquire Australia’s favourite Penny is really on.

enquire now

50962-Proof-1887-Half-Sovereign-Obv-June-2022
50962-Proof-1887-Half-Sovereign-Rev-June-2022
COIN
Proof 1887 Half Sovereign struck at the Melbourne Mint and the only known example
PRICE
$95,000
STATUS
Sold July 2022
QUALITY
Superb FDC, brilliant and flawless
PROVENANCE
John G. Murdoch Collection Lot 625, sold by Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge Auctioneers, 21 July 1903. Spink Australia Auction November 1978 Lot 667. Spink Australia Auction November 1981 Lot 1003. Barrie Winsor sale by private treaty from the late Philip Spalding Collection.
COMMENTS
This Proof 1887 Half Sovereign is the only known example of what is, a very important year in Australia's coining heritage. It is a 'Coin of Record' and was struck at the Melbourne Mint as a presentation piece to record a new design featuring Queen Victoria's Jubilee portrait. The coin's first public appearance was in 1903 when it sold at Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge, London as part of the famous John G. Murdoch Collection. Over the last century, no other examples have been sighted. The coin's extreme rarity is typical of this sector of the market and the very reason why they are so popular with collectors. And investors. Their scarcity simply gives people the reason - and the confidence - to buy.
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50962-Proof-1887-Half-Sovereign-Rev-June-2022
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There is a 'wish-list' of key indicators that collectors look for in numismatic investment, they being rarity, an important date, widespread appeal and supreme proof quality. And this Proof 1887 Half Sovereign has the lot!

An important date. It is an acknowledged fact that collectors pursue the first year of a series over and above all other years out of an era. The first year is defining. The second is not.

And the year '1887' is the very first year of a new design. The 'Jubilee' portrait of Queen Victoria was introduced in 1887 to mark the monarch's Golden jubilee (1837 - 1887). The design lasted only six years and was replaced with the Veiled Head design, reflecting the monarch's mature years. 

The coin is extremely rare. This coin was first sighted in 1903 in the liquidation of the famous John G Murdoch Collection, Lot 625.

No other example has ever been sighted.

Not only is the coin extremely rare, but this area of the market presents very few options for buyers. While sovereigns were produced at the Melbourne Mint each year and in mammoth numbers, half sovereign production was sporadic, the Mint producing half sovereigns for circulation in only two years, 1887 and 1893. And the mintages were minuscule.

The buyer seeking a proof striking of the Melbourne Mint’s circulating Jubilee Half Sovereigns therefore has only two date options, 1887 or 1893.

Widespread appeal. Proof coins are prestigious. They inspire respect and admiration. Ask collectors why they pursue proof coins over circulating currency and the prestige of owning a proof coin is most likely at the top of their list. It's the euphoria that comes with owning something that very few other people can ever possess.

Proof coins are by definition, extremely rare and their scarcity is a natural draw card. In some respect, proof coin collectors are playing it smart because the inherent rarity of proof coinage provides a level of assurance that the market will never be inundated with examples, protecting their investment.

The rarity of Australia's proof sovereigns and half sovereigns is acknowledged worldwide and has instigated a strong reaction from buyers at several recent overseas auctions.

The Sincona Auction held in Zurich, November 2021, was a watershed moment for collectors of Australian proof gold sovereigns and proof gold half sovereigns. Two veiled head proof sovereigns, 1898 and 1901, sold for an equivalent of $100,000 and $190,000, the latter a rarer Perth Mint striking. While some collectors shook their heads in disbelief, we were elated that the coins are now commanding the respect - and the prices - that they deserve.

The momentum continued at Heritage Auctions in April 2022 where two pairs of Australian proof sovereigns and half sovereigns, the first dated 1855 and the second, 1856, sold for record auction prices.

Supreme proof quality. In 1978 and again in 1981, Spink Auctions described this coin as brilliant and flawless. And so have we. This Proof 1887 Half Sovereign is a masterpiece of coining skills.

 


When it comes to collecting vintage gold coins, collectors have two distinct options.

They can acquire coins that were struck for circulation: coins that were meant to be used. Or they can collect coins that were struck as presentation pieces to PROOF QUALITY.

The coin on offer is one such presentation piece, a Proof 1887 Half Sovereign struck at the Melbourne Mint.

That proof coins were struck in the nineteenth century may surprise some readers. But it has to be said that the striking of proof coins in Australia is not a modern day phenomenon. Nor a product of the decimal era. The nation’s mints were striking proofs of our pre-decimal coinage in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and the intention was then, as it is today, to create limited mintage coins struck to the highest standards of quality.

Each option, circulating coinage or proof coinage, presents the buyer with a vastly different sized pool of specimens from which to choose.

General date (non-key date), average circulating gold sovereigns, are available in the thousands if not the tens of thousands. Once the collector sets parameters on quality and dates, the pool of specimens narrows and it is true that acquiring a key date gold coin that was struck for circulation, particularly one in premium quality, can be a journey in time that involves many months, if not years.

 

The task of acquiring gold proofs of our pre-decimal coinage is far more challenging. The pathway to proof coinage for buyers can involve many years, if not decades.

Rarity is the key word when discussing proof gold.

And it is a statement of fact that proof gold, irrespective of the sector, is extremely rare and buying opportunities will always be thin on the ground.

And the reasons?

  • Proof gold coins were NOT struck every year.
  • And of those dates that were struck as proofs, only one, or perhaps two up to a maximum of three made their way out into the collector market.
  • Natural attrition has taken its toll on coins out of the original mintages with some of them filtering their way into circulation or being mishandled and thus having their quality marred. So suddenly one, two or three proofs becomes even less.
  • Great coins tend to be held. The owner of the Madrid Collection held onto his gold proofs for more than twenty years. The Spalding family and collector Tom Hadley, of Quartermaster fame, held their proof coins for an even longer time-frame.

This Proof 1887 Half Sovereign is a golden opportunity and for just one buyer. No other proof half sovereigns of this date have appeared over the last century.

 

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1927-Proof-Shilling-Reverse-August-2019
1927-Proof-Shilling-Obverse-August-2019
COIN
Proof 1927 Shilling struck as a Coin of Record at the Melbourne Mint and one of two known
PRICE
$30,000
STATUS
Available now
QUALITY
Brilliant FDC, stunning fields and heavy striations confirming careful preparation of the dies
PROVENANCE
Spink Auctions November 1978, Spink Auctions March 1982
COMMENTS
This Proof 1927 Shilling is spectacular. And it is extremely rare. Just two examples of the Proof 1927 Shilling have surfaced since the early 1970s … this piece, last offered at public auction in 1982. And one other coin that, as so often happens with the early proofs, has not been sighted since 1975. Aesthetically this Proof 1927 Shilling is magnificent, the fields as smooth as ice, and highly reflective. Too good to shut away, this coin has been displayed many times over attracting the interest of the collecting public and numismatic dealers alike. Take a look at the obverse. It is stunning.
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1927-Proof-Shilling-Obverse-August-2019
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Australian Pre-decimal Coins that were struck as proofs - but not destined for collectors - are technically referred to as Coins of Record.

The term, COIN OF RECORD, is to a large extent self-explanatory. It is a coin that has been minted to put on record a date. Or to record a design.

What is not self-explanatory is that Coins of Record were always struck to proof quality as presentation pieces. And were struck in the most minute numbers satisfying the requirements of the mint rather than the wants of collectors. Forget the notion of striking ten thousand proofs, as collectors are accustomed to today. Let's talk about striking a total of ten coins ... or maybe less!

For today’s collectors the Coins of Record offer a wonderful link to the past and are extremely rare, two reasons that make them so popular.

There was no commercial angle in the production of Coins of Record. The mints were not out to make money from the exercise. Quite the reverse, striking a proof coin in our pre-decimal era was a very labour intensive (and hence costly) exercise that would have dented the mints annual budget quite considerably. The prime reason why so few coins were struck.

So, what happened to these Coins of Record? Where did they go? And if they were struck by the mints for their own use, how did they get into collector's hands?

In the main, Coins of Record ended up in the mint’s own archives, preserving its history for future generations. Any coins that were surplus to requirements may also have been sent to a museum or public institution.

Coins of Record were also put on display at public Exhibitions. The two known examples of the Proof 1866 Sovereign and Proof 1866 Half Sovereign were especially struck to exhibit as ‘products of New South Wales’ as part of the Colonial Mints display at the International Colonial Exhibition of 1866 and the International Exposition in Paris, 1867. They were discovered in London in the early 1970s.

It is noted that many of the overseas mints have over time sold off Coins of Record that they considered excess to their requirements allowing them to come into collector's hands. The Royal Mint South Africa sold off several Australian gold proofs in the 1990s.

 

Respected author, Greg McDonald, provides us with an insight as to why Coins of Record are so limited in numbers when he shared with us a definition put out by the Royal Mint London of a proof coin.

“Struck on a slow-moving coining press using carefully polished dies which are frequently cleaned during use. The materials from which the coins are made are specially processed and the coin blanks are carefully selected and polished before use. Blanks and minted coins are individually handled to prevent accidental damage.

The essential characteristics of proof coins are highly polished fields, fully reproduced designs free from any flaw, and square edges. Milling where present should be regular and free from any defect.

Because of the very high standard set in manufacture, such coins are slow to make and relatively expensive to produce.”

Coinworks interpretation of a proof coin is as follows.

"When a mint struck a proof coin, its intention was to create a single masterpiece. Coining perfection. Perfection in the design, highly detailed, expertly crafted. Perfection in the fields, achieved by hand selecting unblemished blanks, polished to create a mirror shine. Perfection in the edges to encase the design … exactly what a picture frame does to a canvas."

 

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1823-Macintosh-&-Degraves-Shilling-near-Unc-Rev-42925-October-2021
1823-Macintosh-&-Degraves-Shilling-near-Unc-Obv-42925-October-2021
COIN
1823 Macintosh and Degraves Tasmania Silver Shilling and one of two known at this quality level
PRICE
$30,000
STATUS
Sold June 2022
QUALITY
Nearly Uncirculated, a brilliant strike, brown / grey toning with underlying proof-like brilliance and one of the finest known.
PROVENANCE
Spink & Son London sold to Guy Newton-Brown by private treaty 1968. Nobles Auction July 1998 in the liquidation of Newton-Brown's Collection, selling for $12,100 on a pre-sale estimate of $12,000. Sold with historical papers from Spink London dated November 1968.
COMMENTS
This 1823 Tasmania Shilling is Australia’s first private coin issue. It is extremely rare with perhaps thirty pieces known, this being one of the finest. The issue was financed by British entrepreneurs, Hugh McIntosh and Peter Degraves, the design featuring a kangaroo and the name 'Tasmania', both of which are noteworthy. It was the earliest depiction of a kangaroo on an item of decorative art available for private ownership. And the first item of decorative art to feature the name Tasmania, rather than Van Diemen's Land. According to Australian author Greg Jeffreys these two gentlemen ultimately changed the course of Australia's history for by 1834 they had built two mills, founded the Cascade Brewery that today is Australia's oldest continually operating brewery. Spearheaded the establishment of Australia's oldest theatre, the Theatre Royal in central Hobart. And facilitated the writing of Australia's first novel by convicted forger and author, Henry Savery. This Macintosh & Degraves Shilling brings history to life with a direct link to two men who were "movers and shakers" in Tasmania’s colonial economy.
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1823-Macintosh-&-Degraves-Shilling-near-Unc-Obv-42925-October-2021
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The industry acknowledges that there are perhaps thirty known examples of the Macintosh & Degraves Shilling.

A minuscule number in anyone's language.

Of those, only two pieces are rated highly at About Uncirculated, with none higher. The two pieces are this shilling, formerly owned by barrister Guy Newton-Brown and that of the late Sir Marcus Clark.

An early written reference to the Macintosh & Degraves Shilling occurred in the 1864 Numismatic Chronicle by the President of the Royal Numismatic Society, William Sandys Wright Vaux.

He commented that the London National Collection had acquired a Macintosh and Degraves Shilling in 1848.

 

1823 Macintosh & Degraves documents

Formerly owned by Melbourne barrister Guy Newton-Brown this Macintosh & Degraves Shilling is sold with historical papers including:

  • Invoice from Spink & Son London, dated 18 November 1968 for £170.
  • Correspondence from Spink & Son London dated 19 November 1968.
  • Original package addressed and sent by Registered Air Mail to Guy Newton Brown from Spink London. 

Major Hugh Macintosh
An ex-officer of the British East India Company, a veteran and a hero of some of India's bloodiest battles. After India, Macintosh went to Persia as a military advisor to the Shah and became a close friend and advisor to the Persian Crown Prince. He was a highly cultured man, a painter and violinist and fluent in five languages.

Macintosh emigrated from England in 1824 on his ship 'Hope'. After purchase of the ship, plants and material required to start a new life, it was documented that Macintosh still had disposable capital of £5000. (The more cash, the more land grant entitlements private citizens could expect.)

Hugh Macintosh was also in a relationship with Mary Reibey, an emancipated convict who by 1820 had become Australia's richest businesswoman. The plan for a private issuing of a silver shilling was said to have hatched from discussions with Reibey when she returned to England in 1821.  

Peter Degraves
Degraves emigrated from England with his brother-in-law Hugh Macintosh. He was a brilliant engineer, inventor, architect and an innovative businessman. He was also a thief, a bully, a conman and a prolific liar and by 1850 one of Australia's richest, yet most ruthless men.

The Macintosh and Degraves partnership
The Cascade estate was originally a saw milling operation run by a partnership called Macintosh and Degraves Sawmills. The mills began operating in 1825 and the brewery was founded in 1832 by Hugh Macintosh while Peter Degraves was in Hobart prison serving a five year sentence for non-payment of debts accrued in England.

After his release in 1832, Degraves took over running and expanding the brewery. After the death of Macintosh in 1834, Degraves began falsifying the history of the Cascade Brewery, fabricating it for his own prosperity making sure that Macintosh was viewed as having played a minor role.

Research by Australian historian Greg Jeffreys showed that the major partner in the Cascade Mills and Brewery had actually been Macintosh.

The Macintosh and Degraves Shilling is one part of history that could not be altered with Macintosh's name before Degraves, acknowledging him as the main shareholder. This Shilling represents an historical truth that without Hugh Macintosh, the existence and success of the Cascade Saw Mill and Brewery would never have materialised.

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49559-1916-Specimen-Set-REV-Mood-May-2022
COIN
1916 Presentation Set in original case of issue.
PRICE
$95,000
STATUS
Available now
QUALITY
Specimen quality, the coins perfectly matched with stunning cobalt-blue, steel-grey, purple and gold colours
PROVENANCE
Monetarium Auction Singapore Number 1, 18 April 2008 Lot 54
COMMENTS
This is a 1916 Presentation Set in its original case of issue. And it was snapped up at Monetarium Singapore's very first auction in April 2008. Monetarium - Singapore's leading coin dealer - was determined to succeed when they launched their very first auction in 2008 and sought consignments of top rarities from across the globe to cater for their international clientele. This 1916 Presentation Set graced the front cover of their Catalogue. The company was aware that a 1916 Presentation Set, in an original case of issue, would always command buyer attention. And they certainly got it! It is a classic piece of Australiana, as distinctive as it is rare. Especially created at the Melbourne Mint in 1916 to commemorate the mint’s inaugural striking of Australia’s Commonwealth coins, the set is comprised of the florin, shilling, sixpence and threepence struck to superb specimen quality. Only seven cased presentation sets have been observed at auction over the last half-century including this set. Described by Monetarium as "absolutely spectacular with stunning cobalt-blue, steel grey, purple and gold toning", the technical shots affirm the glorious state of the coins. The importance of the original case cannot be overstated. Please note, the Monetarium Singapore Catalogue, attesting to its provenance, will be provided.
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Early in November 1915 the Melbourne Mint was formally instructed to commence preparations for the striking of the Commonwealth's silver coinage. The silver was sourced locally from the Broken Hill mines. (Prior to 1915, the nation's silver coinage had been minted overseas at the Royal Mint London and the Heaton Mint in Birmingham.)

Towards the end of November 1915, dies for the set of four denominations were sent from London.

Six weeks after the dies were shipped, the Governor of Victoria Sir Arthur Stanley K.C.M.G, struck the first circulating 1916 shilling. It was logical that the Melbourne Mint would begin striking silver coinage with the shilling denomination given its similar physical size to their familiar sovereign.

The florin was struck almost immediately after, sixpences by the middle of 1916 with the threepences finally in December. More than 11.5 million silver coins were released into circulation that year.

The Melbourne Mint's inaugural striking of Australia's Commonwealth coins was a momentous occasion in minting circles. The Deputy Master of the Melbourne Mint, Albert Le Souef, therefore decided to create a Presentation Set. (A Presentation Set records an important moment or event in a nation's history by way of its coinage.)

Each presentation set was comprised of the four silver coins of florin, shilling, sixpence and threepence struck to specimen quality and featured the Melbourne mint mark ‘M’ below the date 1916.

The four coins were housed in a handsome, velvet-lined royal blue case that had been locally sourced.

The availability of the four-coin specimen presentation set was confirmed in November 1916 when Le Souëf recorded an entry of sixty specimen sets in the Mint Museums’ cash accounts with a face value of £11 5/-.

While records show that 60 sets were produced, sixteen were sold, collectors charged 6/- for a cased set. A further 25 sets out of the original mintage were presented to dignitaries and politicians with the precise fate of the remaining sets unknown.

What we do know is that many of the cases have been lost and many of the sets have been broken up and sold as individual coins. We also know that others were accidentally used as circulating coins, their value irreparably reduced through wear.

Over the past 50 years we have sighted only seven sets housed in their original case of issue. The case is a stamp of authority indicating that the coins are presented today as they were originally intended more than a century ago.

49559-1916-Specimen-Set-REV-TECHS-May-2022


Beautifully matched specimen set of florin, shilling, sixpence and threepence, the toning absolutely spectacular with stunning cobalt-blue, steel grey, purple and gold colours.

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49559-1916-Florin-Specimen-Rev-TECH-May-2022

1916 Specimen Florin Reverse
Beautifully struck, with superb detail in all design elements. Smooth surfaces and highly reflective with stunning colours on both obverse and reverse.

49559-1916-Florin-Specimen-Obv-TECH-May-2022

1916 Specimen Florin Obverse
Beautifully struck, with superb detail in all design elements, the coin exhibits the classic striations associated with this controlled specimen striking.

49559-1916-Shilling-Specimen-Rev-TECH-May-2022

1916 Specimen Shilling Reverse
Highly reflective, superbly struck and beautifully toned. The reverse reveals multiple striations (raised parallel lines) across the fields; with those between the scroll and date and behind the emu strongly evident.

49559-1916-Shilling-Specimen-Obv-TECH-May-2022

1916 Specimen Shilling Obverse
Highly reflective, superbly struck and beautiful antique toning. Precise edge denticles and high rim.

49559-1916-Sixpence-Specimen-Rev-TECH-May-2022

1916 Specimen Sixpence Reverse
The Specimen Sixpence is proof-like with beautifully mirrored fields. Very well struck, the denticles on the reverse rim are unusually strong.

49559-1916-Sixpence-Specimen-Obv-TECH-May-2022

1916 Specimen Sixpence Obverse
Beautifully mirrored fields also on the obverse with microscopic striations confirming careful preparation of the dies.

49559-1916-Threepence-Specimen-Rev-TECH-May-2022

1916 Specimen Threepence Reverse
A full brilliant mirror finish with handsome blue and pink toning. The coin is extremely well struck, noticeable in the strength of strike in the star, shield and scroll.

49559-1916-Threepence-Specimen-Obv-TECH-May-2022

1916 Specimen Threepence Obverse
A brilliant strike with blue and pink toning. Strong striations confirm careful preparation of the dies at the Melbourne Mint.


1852-Adelaide-Pound-Cracked-Die-moodier-obv-medium-1-size-November-2020
1852-Adelaide-Pound-Cracked-Die-moodier-rev-medium-size-1-November-2020
COIN
The extremely rare 1852 Cracked Die Adelaide Pound (Type I)
PRICE
$135,000
STATUS
Available now
QUALITY
Extremely Fine with strong detail in the central area of the design
PROVENANCE
The Dan Collection
COMMENTS
This coin is priced to bring ownership of the famous 1852 Cracked Die Adelaide Pound into reach of a wide collector audience. But the story of this coin is not just about the price. This coin succeeds where other Cracked Dies do not. The edges and the crown are simultaneously strong, so too the ‘N’ in the value ONE on the reverse. It is simply a Cracked Die that delivers value for your investment dollars. Die-sinker Joshua Payne faced a genuine dilemma when he began production of the 1852 Adelaide Pound. Increase the pressure on the edge of the dies and you get the perfect edge but a weak crown. Reduce the pressure on the edge and you get weak edges and a strong crown. And that is why the strike on this coin is so remarkable, strong edges and strong crown. The Cracked Die is a grand rarity, with a wonderful narrative. It is the nation’s first gold coin struck in the very first production run. It also is extremely rare with less than forty examples known today. The technical shots shown below re-affirm the quality of the strike and the state of the fields.
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1852-Adelaide-Pound-Cracked-Die-moodier-rev-medium-size-1-November-2020
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The decision that created an iconic rarity.

How would today's collectors react if Governor Lachlan Macquarie had produced the first forty Holey Dollars with a style that made them undeniably connected to the very first production run of Australia's first coins. Ecstatic, I would have thought.

Unwittingly that is exactly what die sinker and engraver Joshua Payne did when he set up the dies and commenced production of the nation's first gold coin at the Government Assay Office, Adelaide.

The reverse die, with its simple, elegant beaded inner circle cracked, the mishap discovered after forty-plus coins were produced. And then, when he swapped over the reverse die, he replaced it with one that had a completely different design.

Joshua Payne's actions unknowingly created a rarity of the highest order, the Adelaide Pound Type I, struck during the very first production run of the nation's first gold coin.

Defined by the reverse with the beaded inner circle and the tell-tale crack in the DWT area of the legend, perhaps forty examples are known.

 


1852-Adelaide-Pound-cracked-die-EF-TECH-obv-November-2020

Strength in the edges. But also strength in the 'VALUE ONE POUND' detail. Most Type I Adelaide Pounds show weakness in the inner design area, this coin the exception. 

Minted in the very first production run of coins

We know that this Adelaide Pound was minted during the very first production run, if not the first day then at the very least the first week.

So how can we be so sure?

Adelaide Pounds from the first production run were struck using a reverse die that had a simple, elegant beaded inner circle.

The coins also reflect the disaster that occurred during those very first few hours of production, when the reverse die cracked in the DWT section of the legend. When the mishap was discovered, minting was temporarily halted.

The cracked reverse die was replaced. The critical point being that the new reverse die had a different design. More intricate, it featured a scalloped inner border abutting a beaded inner circle. (The reverse design mirrored the crown obverse design.)

Extremely rare and highly prestigious

Less than forty Adelaide Pounds out of the first production run survive today making it one of the least available of Australia's classic coin rarities.

There was an upside to the disaster that occurred during the first production run of Adelaide Pounds. While the pressure exerted on the edges cracked the reverse die, that same pressure resulted in the coin having almost perfect edges, beautiful strong denticles framing the central crown design.

There is another upside to the cracking disaster. Because the coin was considered 'imperfect' very few examples were put aside as souvenirs, making high quality Type I Adelaide Pounds extremely scarce.

Most Type I Adelaide Pounds have circulated with the biggest proportion, more than fifty per cent, well circulated and in a quality level of poor to Good Very Fine. And far below the quality level offered here.

1852-Adelaide-Pound-cracked-die-EF-TECH-rev-November-2020

Strength in the edges. But also strength in the detail of the crown. Most Type I Adelaide Pounds show weakness in the crown area, this coin the absolute exception. 

A special place in Australia's history

The 1852 Adelaide Pound holds a very special place in Australia's history as the nation's first gold coin. It was minted in November 1852 at the Government Assay Office, Adelaide using gold that had been brought from the Victorian gold fields.

Minted by authority of the Bullion Act of 1852, coin production commenced in November of that year and finished in February 1853 when the Act expired. South Australia produced just over 24,000 coins in that short three-month time-frame.

The Assay office had opened months earlier on 10 February 1852, its sole purpose to assay gold nuggets brought from the Victorian goldfields and to re-shape them into ingots. No minting expertise was required in the casting of the ingots. While they conformed to a shape and style, they were crude and rough and ready and each had its own unique shape and size depending on the weight of gold assayed.

Nine months later, following agitation from Adelaide’s business community, legislation was passed that authorised the Government Assay Office to strike gold coins.

Suddenly precision was required. The design was intricate, created by colonial die-sinker and engraver, Joshua Payne. So, it was always going to be a tough ask for a factory to start churning out currency to a defined weight and design.

The intention was that the Adelaide Pound would circulate. And be used in every day commercial transactions, as part of a grand plan by South Australia's Governor, Sir Henry Young, to stimulate his state's ailing economy. The coin was never given kid gloves treatment during the production process.

It was struck in what can only be described as a factory, hammered out and hurled down an assembly line, more than likely into a barrel or bucket.

This coin survived the production process, underwent minimal circulation and has lustre on both obverse and reverse. It is a remarkable piece of colonial Australia.

 

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1813-Holey-Dollar-created-from-1809-Ferdinand-VII-aEF-OBV-43318-October-2021
1813-Holey-Dollar-created-from-1809-Ferdinand-VII-aEF-REV-43318-October-2021
COIN
1813 Holey Dollar created from an 1809 Ferdinand VII Spanish Silver Dollar
PRICE
$195,000
STATUS
Available now
QUALITY
About Extremely Fine with Extremely Fine counter-stamps. Highly reflective, glossy surfaces and handsome toning.
PROVENANCE
Dr Mark Long, a foremost collector and numismatic author of the nineteenth century
COMMENTS
This 1813 Holey Dollar has a distinctive edge. While most Holey Dollars were created from Charles IV Spanish Silver Dollars, this coin was minted from a Ferdinand VII Silver Dollar. And that makes it one of the rarest Holey Dollars. As evidenced by the photos, it also is supreme for quality. One hundred and ninety-three Holey Dollars are held today by private collectors. But, of those just THIRTEEN were created from Ferdinand VII Mexico Mint Silver Dollars. This coin is one of the thirteen and the very reason why we say it has a distinctive edge. This Holey Dollar is photographed on page 65 of the Mira Noble book, 'The Holey Dollars of News South Wales', a copy of which will be gifted to the new owner. Technical shots re-affirm the quality of this extremely rare Holey Dollar.
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1813-Holey-Dollar-created-from-1809-Ferdinand-VII-aEF-REV-43318-October-2021
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The fundamentals of this Holey Dollar.

When William Henshall created this Holey Dollar, he grabbed a Spanish Silver Dollar that had been struck in 1809 at the Mexico Mint and that depicted the legend and portrait of King Ferdinand VII of Spain.

Had Henshall been an avid historian he might have realised that Joseph Bonaparte was King of Spain in 1809. Ferdinand was definitely NOT the reigning monarch. So, the dollar he was about to deface, had an extreme historical peculiarity and rarity that might have made it worth holding onto.

But Henshall was our first mint master and was committed to the task of creating the nation's first coins. Using crude equipment, he cut a hole in the dollar.

The Ferdinand VII silver dollar that Henshall was handling was one of 40,000 coins that he would eventually deface in his quest to create the nation's first coin.

Henshall then continued the minting process by over-stamping the inner circular edge of the hole with the words New South Wales, the date '1813' and the value of five shillings.

And it is at this point - the over-stamping involving the application of the date, value and issuing authority - that the holed silver dollar became the 1813 New South Wales Five Shillings. Better known as the 1813 Holey Dollar.

A Holey Dollar that is defined by the monarch Ferdinand VII.

Lachlan Macquarie's shipment of 40,000 Spanish Silver dollars was not specific, so any date would do. And any monarch would suffice, Charles III, Charles IV, Ferdinand VI or Ferdinand VII.

And herein lies the key! For some monarchs appear more frequently than others.

Holey Dollars featuring the portrait of Charles IV are the most readily available, followed by Charles III, and Ferdinand VII. A Ferdinand VI Holey Dollar does exist but it is unique and is definitely not for sale.

So the rarest monarch from a collector's perspective is Ferdinand VII with only thirteen Holey Dollars available to private collectors.

A Holey Dollar that has quality, both in the original dollar and the counter-stamps.

The original 1809 Spanish Silver Dollar from which this Holey Dollar was created is graded in the premium quality levels of About Extremely Fine indicating that it underwent slight circulation before the hole was cut into it in 1813.

The surfaces are glossy and highly reflective. Remarkable when you consider that Spanish Silver Dollar was at the time the world’s greatest trading coin.

Whoever was mint master during the Ferdinand VII period certainly had his eye off the ball, for many of the Ferdinand Holey Dollars show a weakness in the striking of the original Spanish Dollar. And the weaknesses are noted in even the best examples. It is important to note that a weakness in the strike is different from wear and tear. It just reflects the skills of the minting staff!

The extent of usage of the Holey Dollar after it was released into circulation is evidenced by the wear to the counter-stamps, the over-stamping around the inner circular edge … New South Wales, 1813 and Five Shillings.

The counter-stamps of this Holey Dollar are also graded in the premium quality levels of Extremely Fine, which indicates that as a Holey Dollar, the coin underwent minimal usage.

In summary, this Holey Dollar was created in 1813 by mint-master William Henshall. Officially demonetised in 1829 when most of the coins were sent to the melting pot. So by some fluke, this Holey Dollar avoided the melting pot and was barely used in the interim.

And doesn't it show? We rate this coin as being in the top five of the thirteen surviving privately owned Ferdinand VII Holey Dollars.

The chart below clearly shows the spread of Holey Dollars based on quality. And the relative ready availability of low-quality examples. The chart also confirms the extreme rarity of high-quality specimens.

yes, i am interested in this 1813 holey dollar
Holey-dollar-chart-March-2020
1813-Holey-Dollar-EF-Ferdinand-VII-1809-Mexico-Mint-Silver-Dollar-Rev-TECH-42724-October-2021

The original Spanish Silver Dollar features the legend and portrait of King Ferdinand VII of Spain. The counter-stamps are comprised of 'FIVE SHILLINGS', a double twig of leaves with an 'H' for Henshall at the junction and a fleur de lis. They are all crisp and clear and are graded Extremely Fine.  

1813-Holey-Dollar-EF-Ferdinand-VII-1809-Mexico-Mint-Silver-Dollar-Obv-TECH-42724-October-2021

The 'M' with a circle above it in the legend identifies the dollar as being issued from the Mexico Mint. The counter-stamps New South Wales, 1813 and Five Shillings are graded Extremely Fine.

A Holey Dollar with a Bonaparte connection.

Napoleon Bonaparte emerged as the strongman of Europe in 1799 leading his armies across Europe deposing monarchs and dominating the entire continent. At the time Spain was ruled by King Charles IV and Spain was an ally of France.

In 1807, Bonaparte’s armies marched through Spain and invaded Portugal.

The alliance between France under Bonaparte and Spain under Charles IV disintegrated the following year when on February 16, 1808, under the pretext of sending reinforcements to the French army occupying Portugal, the French invaded northern Spain.

King Charles IV was pressured into abdicating the Spanish throne in March 1808 to his son Ferdinand VII. The son reigned for less than two months.

Both Charles IV and Ferdinand VII were duped by Napoleon Bonaparte into ceding the Spanish throne to Bonaparte’s older brother Joseph who assumed rule of the Spanish kingdom on 6 June 1808.

And while the upper echelons of the Spanish Government accepted Ferdinand's abdication and Napoleon's choice of Joseph as King of Spain, the Spanish people did not. Uprisings broke out throughout the country.

The Mexico Mint refused to acknowledge Bonaparte as the Spanish King and protested by continuing to strike their silver dollars with the legend and portrait of the exiled Ferdinand VII. It’s politics 101. Played out in the nineteenth century.

By 1813 the French position in Spain became untenable and Napoleon withdrew his troops and released Ferdinand VII from Valencay, France, where he had been imprisoned. Ferdinand VII returned triumphantly to Madrid and re-claimed the Spanish crown early in 1814.


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