Shop for Australia's finest rare coins and notes


1930-Penny-good-Fine-Rev-43777-November-2021
1930-Penny-good-Fine-Obv-43777-November-2021
COIN
Special Black Friday offer of a 1930 Penny at a crazy never-to-be-repeated price
QUALITY
Obverse: Good Fine with a partial central diamond and six plump pearls. Reverse: Very Fine
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Melbourne
PRICE
$22,000 (Normal R.R.P. $29,500)
COMMENTS
Black Friday is synonymous with crazy discounts. And we think our Black Friday offer of this 1930 Penny for $22,000 is pretty crazy. Collectors acquire a 1930 Penny for lots of reasons. Securing the last coin in their Penny collection. Taking a nostalgic journey back to their youth. Holding the coin as a family heirloom to pass on to future generations. Or to have simply as an investment. Whatever the reason, the opportunity to acquire the nation's favourite copper rarity - at a crazy never-to-be-repeated price of $22,000 - is available now. But, for just one lucky collector. (The technical shots provided below re-affirm that this is a fabulous coin!)
STATUS
Sold Black Friday 2021
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1930-Penny-good-Fine-Obv-43777-November-2021
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1930-Penny-good-Fine-Rev-TECH-43777-November-2021

This 1930 Penny has a Very Fine reverse with a prominent date, solid edges and crisp upper and lower scrolls. The toning is a consistent chestnut. This is a coin you would be proud to show family and friends. 

1930-Penny-good-Fine-Obv-TECH-43777-November-2021

The obverse of this 1930 Penny has a partial central diamond and six plump pearls. Again the edges are solid and the toning even and handsome.

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 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.

Enquire now

1919-Square-Penny-kooka-side-August-2020
1919-Square-Penny-obv-August-2020
COIN
The 1919 Kookaburra Square Penny featuring the unique type 3 design
QUALITY
Choice Uncirculated with impeccable mirror surfaces
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Melbourne
PRICE
$50,000
COMMENTS
This Square Penny was struck in the first year of testing at the Melbourne Mint - 1919 - and features a sleek kookaburra with the value 'ONE PENNY' in a modern style. The design is unique. No other Square Penny has this bird or style of lettering. The coin has an additional feature that collectors enjoy. It is extremely rare for we would be lucky to sight a Type 3 Square Penny on the market every two to three years. So if you are excited by the prospect of owning a 1919 Type 3 Square Penny then you can be even more excited by the prospect of owning this particular example because it has been brilliantly struck and brilliantly preserved. You would be forgiven for thinking that the coin was struck to proof quality for both obverse and reverse fields are mirror-like and highly reflective. Technical shots are shown below.
STATUS
Available now
Enquire Now
1919-Square-Penny-obv-August-2020
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1919-Square-Penny-Type-3-Choice-Unc-TECH-Obv-42532-March-2021

The reverse of this Type 3 Kookaburra Square Penny features a sleek bird on a short branch. The value 'ONE PENNY' is modern in style. The design is unique. No other Square Penny shares the design of the Type 3. The design detail is crisp, the fields are proof-like, the edges are solid.

The popularity of the Type 3 Kookaburra Penny and the proof-like characteristics of this example are two prime reasons why this coin must come into consideration.

So we ask … why so popular?

The 1919 Type 3 Kookaburra Penny is rare, yet affordable. And the coin sports a design that is unique. No other kookaburra penny has the design.

So if you are thinking about acquiring a Kookaburra Penny, the 1919 Kookaburra Type 3 Square Penny is a good choice. 

Now, if you are thinking about completing a date set of kookaburra pennies, 1919, 1920 and 1921, then the 1919 Type 3 Kookaburra Square Penny is an excellent choice.

1919-Square-Penny-Type-3-Choice-Unc-TECH-Obv-42532-September-2021

The obverse shows an uncrowned effigy of George V within a circular legend. The Square Pennies were test pieces and were not struck to exacting standards, this coin the absolute exception to those most commonly found. The surfaces are proof-like and the edges are solid.

A date set of kookaburra pennies involves acquiring a coin from each of the years they were struck, 1919, 1920 and 1921. With respect to the date 1919, date set collectors have four options - each with a different design - and they are referenced the Type 3, Type 4, Type 5 and Type 6.

The latter three options will take many, many years to surface and most collectors will simply give up in exasperation and frustration.

Extreme rarity always comes at a price and the Type 4, Type 5 and Type 6 will command prices in excess of $100,000.

Which is why the first option – the 1919 type 3 Square Penny – is the popular choice.

You will wait … maybe two to three years to sight an example but you won’t have to endure an eternity. And you can pick it up for at least half the price of the high-value ones.


The history of the Kookaburra Square Penny.

Australia entered a modern age post World War I and for many Australians, it was a time for breaking out, 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, Australians embracing great change in their styles of dress.

Australians were identifying with their own culture, keen to lessen the emotional and cultural ties with Great Britain.

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.

The proposal was contentious in that the monarch, King George V, was to be depicted on the obverse without a crown.

Some say it was the rumblings of a Republican movement way ahead of its time.

Tests began at the Melbourne Mint in 1919 and continued for three years with the coins gifted to dignitaries and Government officials to assess their reaction.

Sadly, in 1921, the scheme fell apart. The final decision not to proceed seems to have been based mainly on one consideration – the large number of vending machines then in operation requiring a circular coin.

Today there are approximately 200 kookaburra coins held by private collectors, making it on a par for rarity with the 1813 Holey Dollar, the nation's first silver coin.  And the 1852 Adelaide Pound, the nation's first gold coin.

The best thing for collectors is that the 200 kookaburra pennies do not bear the same design.

The Melbourne Mint tested thirteen different styles introducing enormous interest, personal choice and procurement challenges into the series, for some designs are far rarer than others.

Enquire now

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
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
PRICE
$235,000
COMMENTS
The opportunity to acquire one of the rarest Holey Dollars comes to very few collectors. And this Holey Dollar, created from a Ferdinand VII Silver Dollar, is absolutely one of the rarest. We make two points. The first point is that only one hundred and ninety-three Holey Dollars are held today by private collectors. That's not a lot for sure! The second point is the most relevant. Of those, just TWELVE were created from Ferdinand VII Mexico Mint Silver Dollars. And this coin is one of the twelve. The very reason why we say that while all Holey Dollars are rare, Ferdinand VII Holey Dollars are the rarest of the rare. 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 Holey Dollar.
STATUS
Available now
Enquire Now
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.

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 twelve 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.


1852-Adelaide-Pound-Type-II-gEF-OBV-43323-October-2021
1852-Adelaide-Pound-Type-II-gEF-REV-43323-October-2021
COIN
1852 Adelaide Pound design type II, a textbook example of the nation's first gold coin
QUALITY
Good Extremely Fine with strength in the legend and denticles, well preserved retaining its golden brilliance
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Queensland
PRICE
$40,000
COMMENTS
The collector that owns this Adelaide Pound, also owned the Holey Dollar that we sold this month. Sold in a flash, we might add. We described the Holey Dollar as ‘the coin that had it all’. And we would describe this Adelaide Pound using the exact same phrase. This coin has everything that a collector would want in an Adelaide Pound, including the price. Fabulous eye appeal, lustrous fields, minimal effects from circulation and a strong ‘Government Assay Office’ legend. And importantly, edge denticles that are intact all the way round. The latter two traits - the legend and the denticles - are rarely strong and complete in even the very best of examples. The 1852 Adelaide Pound is the nation's first gold coin. Acquire this example and you will be keen to show it off to your family and friends.
STATUS
Sold November 2021
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1852-Adelaide-Pound-Type-II-gEF-REV-43323-October-2021
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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 lustrous on both obverse and reverse. The edges are complete all the way round. And 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 and denticles. 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 whisper 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 confirms that it is a great coin and passes our three-point assessment with flying colours.

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The history of the nation's first gold coin, the 1852 Adelaide One Pound

The discovery of gold in the 1850s is one of the most extraordinary chapters in Australian history, transforming the economy. And transforming our society for it marked the beginnings of a modern multi-cultural Australia instigated by mass migration, particularly from China.  

Several coins were spawned by the Gold Rush, including our first gold coin, the 1852 Adelaide Pound.

It was struck in Adelaide at the South Australian Government Assay Office without the sanction of the British Government or the approval of Queen Victoria.

To validate their actions in circumventing Royal protocols, the South Australian Legislators found a loophole in the Government’s regulations and passed the Bullion Act, that allowed them to create their own mint and strike gold ingots. And eventually strike gold coins.

The Bullion Act No 1 of 1852 has a record unique in Australian history. A special session of Parliament was convened to consider it. Parliament met at noon on the 28 January 1852.

The Bill was read and promptly passed three readings and was then forwarded to the Lieutenant Governor and immediately received his assent. It was one of the quickest pieces of legislation on record, with the whole proceedings taking less than two hours.

Thirteen days after the passing of the Act, on 10 February 1852, the Government Assay office was opened. Its activities were supported by a state government initiative to provide armed escorts to bring back the gold from the Victorian diggings.

The Assay Office was effectively Australia's first mint, be it unofficial. Its sole purpose was 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.

Nine months later, following agitation from Adelaide’s business community, legislation was passed that authorised the Government Assay Office to strike gold coins. Within a week of opening, 600 gold Adelaide Pounds had been delivered to the South Australian Banking Company, 100 of which were sent to London.

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 Bullion Act had a lifetime of only twelve months.

By the time the legislative amendments were passed to enact the production of gold coins, the Act had less than three months to run. As a consequence, only a small number of Adelaide Pounds were struck and very few actually circulated. The official and recorded mintage of the nation’s first gold coin, the 1852 Adelaide Pound, was 24,648.

When it was discovered that the intrinsic value of the gold contained in each piece exceeded its nominal value, the vast majority were promptly exported to London and melted down.

The 1852 Adelaide Pound was as unofficial as you could get but it saved the colony of South Australia from bankruptcy. A simple case where the end justified the means.

1852-Adelaide-Pound-Type-II-gEF-OBV-TECH-43323-October-2021

A coin has to have edges? The answer is 'not always'. And in the case of the Adelaide Pound struck using the second reverse die most examples show a lot of edge weakness. Because the first die cracked in the striking of the 1852 Adelaide Pound, the decision was made to reduce the pressure on the edges and focus on the crown area. That decision had its consequences. Most Adelaide Pounds struck using the second die have edge weaknesses. As seen above, this is not the case with this coin.

1852-Adelaide-Pound-Type-II-gEF-REV-TECH-43323-October-2021

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


1930-Penny-aVF-rev-42723-October-2021
1930-Penny-aVF-obv-42723-October-2021
COIN
Complete Australian Penny Collection, including the extremely rare and iconic 1930 Penny
QUALITY
1930 Penny About Very Fine
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Melbourne
PRICE
$35,000
COMMENTS
The 1930 Penny that is in this collection is a star in its own right. The coin is very impressive and is graded About Very Fine with at least two sides of the central diamond showing and six plump pearls. The edges are complete. And the legend and the date ‘1930’ are all prominent. Moreover, the toning is a consistent and handsome chestnut brown. Take up a magnifying glass and you notice that the fields on both obverse and reverse show minimal signs of circulation. And while the quality of this 1930 Penny should be enough to gain buyer attention, its inclusion in a complete collection of Australian pennies (1911 to 1964) makes this offer irresistible buying. Technical shots are provided below.
STATUS
Available now.
Enquire Now
1930-Penny-aVF-obv-42723-October-2021
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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!

The reverse fields are highly reflective and very smooth with even, handsome chocolate brown toning. 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 plump pearls, re-affirming the grading level of About Very Fine

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.

yes, i am interested in this collection
1930-Penny-Collection-42723-October-2021

This offer is comprised of a complete collection of Australian pennies 1911 to 1964 housed in a Dansco Coin Album (78 coins).  

1930-Penny-rev-TECH-42723-October-2021

An impressive 1930 Penny with nice edges, strong legend and strong '1930' date.

1930-Penny-obv-TECH-42723-October-2021

The obverse shows two sides of the central diamond and six plump pearls. The coin has minimal marks in the field.

1930-Penny-Collection-open-42723-October-2021

A complete Australian Penny Collection. The holding is comprised of 78 coins, including the extremely rare 1930 Penny and the scarce 1925 and 1946 Pennies. Varieties also included. Quality range of the collection Fine to Uncirculated.


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 that was rarely achieved by mint master, William Henshall.
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. Private Collection (Queensland). Mira/Noble Reference 1804/13 page 49.
PRICE
$185,000
COMMENTS
There are two words that we have used to describe this Holey Dollar and they are the words 'simply fabulous'. 'Fabulous' because the coin has great eye appeal. It is a Holey Dollar that you will show your family and friends with considerable pride and pleasure. We have included the word ‘simply’, because there are no complications with this coin. What you see is what you get … a fabulous example of the nation’s very first coin struck in 1813 under the direction of Governor Lachlan Macquarie. This Holey Dollar first came to our attention in April 2004, when it sold at Noble Numismatics Auction Sydney for $115,000 on a pre-sale estimate of $90,000. Collectors contemplating this coin should be aware that Holey Dollars priced between $100,000 and $200,000 have been noticeably absent from the market place. The last time we offered a Charles IV Holey Dollar in this price range was more than six years ago, in September 2016. The technical shots provided re-affirm our glowing assessment of the coin.
STATUS
Sold November 2021
Enquire Now
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.

A quality Holey Dollar on many levels.

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.

Many Holey Dollars are found today slightly dished because of the force of punching the hole in the silver dollar. This coin is not dished. It is level and displays its design details 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.

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'. The obverse counter-stamps of this Holey Dollar are in vertical alignment with the date of the silver dollar and enhance its rarity and its overall eye appeal.

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.

enquire now

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
QUALITY
Nearly Uncirculated, a brilliant strike, brown / grey toning with underlying proof-like brilliance. Two examples are rated highly at About Uncirculated (with none higher). This piece and that owned by the late Sir Marcus Clark.
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. Nobles Auction 2005, selling for $30,000 on a pre-sale estimate of $25,000
PRICE
$55,000
COMMENTS
Hugh McIntosh and Peter Degraves sailed from England to Hobart Town in 1824 to build a saw-mill. A few years ahead of their departure they financed the striking of Tasmania’s first one shilling emblazoned with a kangaroo and the name 'Tasmania'. 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.
STATUS
Available now
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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.

Only two pieces are rated highly at About Uncirculated, with none higher. This piece, 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 an invoice from Spink & Son London, dated 18 November 1968.

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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Proof-1924-Shilling-Rev-41489-August-2021
Proof-1924-Shilling-Obv-41489-August-2021
COIN
Proof 1924 Shilling struck as a Coin of Record at the Melbourne Mint and one of only three known
QUALITY
FDC, fully brilliant with stunning gold toning on the periphery and sage green toning on the interior of the reverse. Strong striations reflect careful preparation of the dies.
PROVENANCE
Richard Williams Collection, The Madrid Collection of Australian Rare Coins
PRICE
$35,000
COMMENTS
This Proof 1924 Shilling is a showpiece and commands attention, which is exactly what the Deputy Master of the Melbourne Mint, Mr A. M. Le Souef, intended when he authorised its striking. The coin was not struck for collectors as part of any mass-marketing sales campaign. It was struck for the mint's archives and the privileged few. Because it was a specially arranged striking of presentation pieces, only a handful were struck. Only three examples have surfaced over the last half-century. The original silver blanks were hand selected and polished to achieve a dazzling mirror shine. Furthermore, the coin has strong striations in the fields indicating that the dies were heavily brushed and well prepared to achieve a brilliant strike. We note that it was formerly owned by renowned collector, Richard Williams. And was also held in 'The Madrid Collection of Australian Rare Coins' two collections that re-affirm the exceptional quality and rarity of this stunning piece.
STATUS
Available now
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Proof-1924-Shilling-Obv-41489-August-2021
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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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Proof-1952-Penny-Rev-37408-March-2021
Proof-1952-Penny-Obv-37408-March-2021
COIN
Proof 1952 Penny struck as a Coin of Record at the Perth Mint
QUALITY
FDC and a brilliant, full original mint red
PROVENANCE
Nobles Auction April 2013
PRICE
$45,000
COMMENTS
A coin can be rare because so few examples were struck. A coin can also be rare because it has quality traits that make it the absolute exception to the norm, placing it into an elite and very small group of examples. This Proof 1952 Penny is rare on both counts! The original mintage is believed to be fifteen with most of the examples going to public institutions and therefore out of reach of collectors. And the quality is spectacular. The coin first came to our attention in 2013, when it was offered at Noble's Auction, the auction house acknowledging its superb state by classifying it as FDC and setting a sale price estimate of $20,000. Bidders at the auction certainly agreed with Noble's assessment of the coin. Solid bidding took the final price to $34,000, seventy per cent over the anticipated sale price. This coin embodies the principle that proof coins were created as masterpieces of coining. And that proof coins are rare. We might sight a Proof 1952 Penny on the market every three to four years. One as dazzling as this ... once in a decade, if we are lucky.
STATUS
Available now
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Proof-1952-Penny-Obv-37408-March-2021
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The rarity of the Proof 1952 Penny was confirmed in 1995 in an article published in the NAA journal (Volume 8) by John Sharples, the then Curator of Australia’s Numismatic Archives.

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

He found evidence that fifteen proof pennies were struck at the Perth Mint in 1952.

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

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

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

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

We might sight a Proof 1952 Penny on the market every three to four years. And one as spectacular as this ... perhaps once in a decade, if we are lucky.

History of the Perth Mint

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. 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. The Royal Mint London, the British Museum, Royal Mint Melbourne, Japan Mint, National Gallery SA, Art Gallery WA and the Australian War Memorial were just some of the institutions to receive Perth proofs.

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-1952-Penny-REV-TECH-37408-November-2021
Proof-1952-Penny-OBV-TECH-37408-November-2021
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1813-Dump-A1-gVF-aEF-Rev-October-2020
1813-Dump-A1-gVF-aEF-Obv-October-2020
COIN
1813 Dump, a textbook example of the nation's very first coin
QUALITY
Good Very Fine / About Extremely Fine beautifully toned with highly reflective surfaces
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Melbourne
PRICE
$50,000
COMMENTS
When you look at the photo of this Dump, it almost leaps off the page. And that’s a sign of a high-quality Dump. Then, when you look at the coin in your hand, the design details are crisp and clearly visible to the naked eye. The fields are smooth and reflective and have toned to a beautiful charcoal grey. This is a supreme quality example of the nation’s first coin, ranked in the top EIGHT per cent. Over and above its quality ranking this coin has attributes that are highly prized and the reason why we refer to it as a 'textbook' Dump. They are traits that you simply don't see in every Dump. For a start there is the 'H’ for Henshall on the reverse, the mark left by the nation’s first mint master guaranteeing his fame. There also is evidence of the original Spanish Dollar design from which it was created. Intact edge milling, the minting authority's ploy to prevent clipping of slivers of silver from the edges. And edge denticles that act as a picture-frame to the design. There is additional information below that expands on our introductory comments as well as technical shots that re-affirm the superior state of this 1813 Dump.
STATUS
Sold October 2021
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1813-Dump-A1-gVF-aEF-Obv-October-2020
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1813-Dump-gVF-aEF-rev-TECH-32880-October-2021

This is a classic Type A/1 Dump with the design beautifully centred. At Good Very Fine, the design features of the fleur de lis and pearls in the crown are crisp and have not melded into the coin. The legend and date '1813' are strongly three-dimensional .

1813-Dump-gVF-aEF-obv-TECH-32880-October-2021

Two extremely important elements are shown on the reverse of this Dump, elements that are not always present in every example. The 'H' for Henshall between the words 'FIFTEEN' and 'PENCE'. And the design detail from the original Spanish Dollar from which it was created, shown below the word 'PENCE'. 


This is a text-book example of the 1813 Dump.

1. High quality, in the top eight 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 four to five grades higher at Good Very Fine / About Extremely Fine. We rate it in the top eight per cent of surviving examples. The coin has obviously been cherished for it has been brilliantly preserved with beautiful toning and highly reflective fields.

2. A coin to enjoy and show around
Struck with the A/1 dies, the crown is classically well-centred. The design details are chunky, strongly three-dimensional ... and by this we are referring to the crown with its fleur-de-lis and pearls, the legend New South Wales, the date 1813 and on the reverse, the value Fifteen Pence.

3. Henshall's claim to fame - the elusive 'H'
William Henshall declared his involvement in the creation of the Dump by inserting an 'H' into some (but not all) of the dies used during its striking. Its presence is highly prized whenever it is appears. This Dump clearly shows the ‘H’ for Henshall between the 'FIFTEEN' and the 'PENCE' on the reverse, just one of the reasons why we say this is a 'textbook' coin.

4. Strong denticles that are rarely seen
The denticles around the edge of the coin are almost complete, a feature that is seldom seen in even the very best examples. A piece of art without a picture frame is a blank canvas ... and the denticles act like a picture frame to the coin and give it substance.

5. 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.)

6, 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 reverse below the word 'PENCE'.

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-Dump-poor-example-TECH-32880-October-2021

Shown here, an average well circulated 1813 Dump. A comparison to the coin on offer highlights the superior qualities of an 1813 Dump at Good Very Fine / About Extremely Fine. 


Governor Lachlan Macquarie enlisted the services of emancipated convict, William Henshall, to cut a hole in 40,000 Spanish Silver Dollars, creating two coins out of one.

The Dump, the small disc that fell out of the centre of the holed silver dollar, was then over stamped with the date 1813, a crown, New South Wales and the value of fifteen pence.

The buyer that pursues a top-quality Dump will find the task extremely challenging. It can be years before a premium quality example comes onto the market.

The Dump circulated widely in the colony, the extreme wear on most Dumps evidence that they saw considerable use. So, while the Dump may seem the diminutive partner of the Holey Dollar, the reality is "top quality" Dumps have authority.

So let's define the words "top quality" and establish the levels that are rarely seen.

Every circulated coin has a grading level at which serious rarity kicks in. That is the point at which the balance between acquiring a coin as a collectible - and as an investment - shifts more towards the latter. For the 1813 Colonial Dump that point is Good Very Fine. (This coin.)

The chart below clearly shows that securing a Colonial Dump in a quality level of Good Very Fine or better is a difficult task. We would sight a Good Very Fine Dump on the open market perhaps once or twice every year.

30837-1280
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1918-Perth-Mint-Half-Sovereign-Rev-42963-October-2021
1918-Perth-Mint-Half-Sovereign-Obv-42963-October-2021
COIN
1918 Perth Mint Half Sovereign
QUALITY
Uncirculated and rare as such
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Perth
PRICE
$15,000
COMMENTS
The Perth Mint has struck many of Australia's greatest pre-decimal coin rarities, including the 1918 Half Sovereign. It is an important coin on many fronts. Australia struck its last half sovereign in 1918, this coin marking the end of an era. Enhancing its popularity further, it is extremely rare. Respected numismatic author, Greg McDonald, contends that only 200 to 300 pieces are available to collectors. In summary ... this coin is important. High quality at Uncirculated. A world-class rarity. A product of the Perth Mint. And available at $15,000. Excellent buying. The technical shots shown below re-affirm the quality of this stunning coin.
STATUS
Available now
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1918-Perth-Mint-Half-Sovereign-Obv-42963-October-2021
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The 1918 Perth Mint Half Sovereign is an enigma. It is the coin that according to Perth Mint records was never struck.

Now, that’s a story we have heard before.

The 1930 Penny is yet another Australian coin rarity that according to its mint of origin, the Melbourne Mint, was also never struck.

In both cases the mystery surrounding their striking has added to their appeal, underpinning collector demand.

The first appearance of a 1918 Perth Mint Half Sovereign occurred in 1967 and was noted in the then industry magazine, 'The Australian Coin Review'.

Inspired by the coin's first sighting, collectors commenced searching. And over the ensuing years, a few more 1918 Perth Mint Half Sovereigns trickled their way out into the market place.

The extreme rarity of the 1918 Perth Mint Half Sovereign challenged historians and numismatists to come up with a plausible reason for the minuscule mintage.

Extensive research was undertaken on die usage at the Perth Mint in 1918 and in the years thereafter. The conclusion was that a mintage of half sovereigns was struck in 1919 and again in 1920 - using the dies dated 1918 - all of which was exported overseas with the majority assumed melted down.

The 1918 Perth Mint Half Sovereign is a stand-alone rarity. Its a key coin - the rarest date - in the George V Half Sovereign Series.

But it also is an important date in our entire Half Sovereign series (1855 to 1918) for Australia struck its last half sovereign in 1918.

The first Australian half sovereign to depict the portrait of George V was dated 1911. The last half sovereign to depict his portrait was dated 1918.

A complete collection of George V Half Sovereigns involves nine coins.

      1911 Sydney Mint Half Sovereign
      1911 Perth Mint Half Sovereign
      1912 Sydney Mint Half Sovereign
      1914 Sydney Mint Half Sovereign
      1915 Sydney Mint Half Sovereign
      1915 Melbourne Mint Half Sovereign
      1915 Perth Mint Half Sovereign
      1916 Sydney Mint Half Sovereign
      1918 Perth Mint Half Sovereign

It is a relatively easy collection to put together. Except for one coin. That being the very last coin in the series and the most elusive, the 1918 Perth Mint Half Sovereign. This coin.

 

1918-Perth-Mint-Half-Sovereign-Rev-TECH-42963-October-2021

The 'P' mintmark above the date clearly denotes this coin as a Perth Mint striking.

1918-Perth-Mint-Half-Sovereign-Obv-TECH-42963-October-2021

The 1918 Half Sovereign was the very last Australian Half Sovereign, marking the end of an era. A world class rarity, the coin features the portrait of King George V.

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1808-Lima-Mint-Holey-Dollar-gEF-OBV-September-2020
1808-Lima-Mint-Holey-Dollar-gEF-September-2020
COIN
1813 Holey Dollar created from a Spanish Silver Dollar that had been struck at the Lima Mint, Peru, in 1808.
QUALITY
Good Extremely Fine with handsome toning and glossy fields, making it the finest known Lima Mint Holey Dollar.
PROVENANCE
Exhibited at the "Holey Dollar - A Symbol of Innovation", Macquarie Bank 1 Martin Place Sydney 2 October to 18 October 2013. Also at the "All That Is Holey" Exhibition, Royal Australian Mint Canberra 16 August to 3 November 2019.
PRICE
$495,000
COMMENTS
This Holey Dollar was created from a Spanish Silver Dollar that was minted in 1808 at the Lima Mint in Peru. The two words ‘LIMA MINT’ are particularly important when it comes to Holey Dollars. Of the two hundred Holey Dollars held by private collectors, perhaps twenty have ties to the Lima Mint which is why we say that while all Holey Dollars are rare, some types are far rarer than others. We note that in a career that is approaching the half-century mark, this is only the FIFTH Holey Dollar we have offered that has ties to the Lima Mint. At Good Extremely Fine, this coin is the very finest Lima Mint Holey Dollar available to collectors. Its superior quality and aesthetic appeal was the very reason why it was included in two major Holey Dollar Exhibitions. At the Macquarie Bank, 1 Martin Place Sydney in 2013. And at the Royal Australian Mint, Denison Street Canberra in 2019.
STATUS
Sold October 2021
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1808-Lima-Mint-Holey-Dollar-gEF-September-2020
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Governor Lachlan Macquarie etched his name into numismatic history forever when in 1812 he imported 40,000 Spanish Silver Dollars to alleviate a currency crisis in the penal colony of New South Wales. Macquarie's order for silver dollars did not specify dates. Any date would do. He wasn't concerned about the various mints at which they were struck ... Mexico, Lima, Potosi or Madrid. Nor was he fussy about the quality of the coins.

Concluding that the shipment of 40,000 Spanish Silver Dollars would not suffice, Macquarie enlisted the services of emancipated convict William Henshall to cut a hole in the centre of each dollar, thereby creating two coins out of one, a ring dollar and a disc. The donut shaped silver piece, with the hole in the middle, was over stamped around the edge of the hole with the date 1813 and New South Wales to create the 1813 Holey Dollar. Its monetary value was five shillings.

When William Henshall created this Holey Dollar he picked up a Spanish Silver Dollar that had been struck in 1808, the critical point here was that the silver dollar had been struck at the Lima Mint in Peru.

Had Henshall been a numismatist, or had the time and the inclination, he may have noticed that the majority of Spanish Silver Dollars that he was handling had been struck in Mexico. That silver dollars from the Lima Mint were extremely scarce.

But, committed to the task of creating holey dollars from silver dollars, he proceeded to cut a hole in the silver dollar and 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. In so doing, he created this 1813 Holey Dollar.


A Holey Dollar defined by superb quality & the rare Lima Mint.

Superb quality 

As the Spanish Silver Dollar was the world’s greatest trading coin, 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. And also confirms that this Holey Dollar is indeed the exception.

Two hundred Holey Dollars are held by private collectors the silver dollars coming from Mexico, Peru, Bolivia and Spain. And this particular Holey Dollar, with a technical grading of Good Extremely Fine, is ranked number four out of the two hundred.

Which means that only three coins are ranked higher in quality. And one hundred and ninety six are ranked further down the quality scale.

Now if we refine our search and look at only those Holey Dollars that were created from Spanish Silver Dollars minted in Peru, this coin is the absolute finest. It is number one and the very reason why it has been called upon and put on show, at the Macquarie Bank in Sydney and the Royal Australian Mint in Canberra.

The rare Lima Mint

Of the two hundred privately owned Holey Dollars, about twenty-two of them (or eleven per cent) were created from silver dollars minted at the Lima Mint in Peru. By comparison, at least eighty percent of the privately owned Holey Dollars were created from silver dollars issued at the Mexico Mint.

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

The very reason why we say that while all Holey Dollars are rare, some are far rarer than others.

Well positioned counter stamps

The counter stamps New South Wales, 1813 and Five Shillings are graded About Uncirculated indicating minimal use after the silver dollar was converted to a Holey Dollar.

Over and above the outstanding quality of the counter stamps, they are well positioned with 'New South Wales' and '1813' in the same vertical vista as the date '1808'. This is rarely seen and is the optimum position of the counter stamps.

A study of the surviving Holey Dollars reveals that Henshall's application of the counter stamps was wildly random and haphazard. Uniformity of the counter stamps, such as we see in this coin, is rarely evident.

 

1808-Lima-Mint-Holey-Dollar-gEF-Obv-TECH-31683-September-2021

This Holey Dollar is one of the very few struck with the counter stamps 'New South Wales' and '1813' in the same vertical vista as the date '1808'. Aesthetically, this is the optimum position of the counter stamps. 

1808-Lima-Mint-Holey-Dollar-gEF-Rev-TECH-31683-September-2021

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

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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
QUALITY
FDC, a spectacular proof strike, fully brilliant with a golden obverse and reddish brown reverse
PROVENANCE
The Museum of Victoria Collection
PRICE
$150,000
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.
STATUS
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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1852-Adelaide-Pound-cracked-die-Rev-aUNC-41431-August-2021
1852-Adelaide-Pound-cracked-die-Obv-aUNC-41431-August-2021
COIN
The extremely rare 1852 Adelaide Pound Type I (Cracked Die) struck with the beaded inner-circle reverse die
QUALITY
About Uncirculated and highly lustrous
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Melbourne
PRICE
$325,000
COMMENTS
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 a reverse with the beaded inner circle and the tell-tale crack in the DWT area of the legend, perhaps forty examples are known. Technical shots are shown below.
STATUS
Available now
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1852-Adelaide-Pound-cracked-die-Obv-aUNC-41431-August-2021
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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.

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.

The reality is that out of the pool of Cracked Dies available to collectors, maybe five are in the premium quality levels of About Uncirculated to Uncirculated, this coin being one of the five.

The history of the 1852 Adelaide Pound

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.

How this coin survived the production process, and more than a century and a half later is still in an almost original state with lustre on both obverse and reverse, is almost impossible to fathom.

1852-Adelaide-Pound-T1-TECH-41431-September-2021

The 1852 Adelaide Pound reverse with the simple, elegant beaded inner circle. A high quality and very lustrous example of the famous Cracked Die Adelaide Pound.

1852-Adelaide-Pound-T1-Obv-TECH-41431-September-2021

A lustrous example of the famous 1852 Adelaide Pound Cracked Die. Strength in the legend and strength in the edges.

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1930-Penny-VF-Rev-40352-July-2021
1930-Penny-VF-Obv-40352-July-2021
COIN
A 'Diamond' 1930 Penny with a complete central diamond and six plump pearls
QUALITY
Very Fine on both obverse and reverse
PROVENANCE
The Patterson Collection, Private Collection Sydney
PRICE
$50,000
COMMENTS
One of the most gratifying aspects of owning a top-quality 1930 Penny is that its design attributes are clearly visible to the naked eye. You do not have to rely on an eye glass to take in its positives. And that's the case with this 1930 Penny. The coin has a complete central diamond and six pearls, strong upper and lower scrolls and well defined inner beading. The surfaces are smooth and highly reflective on both obverse and reverse. That classifies this coin as one of the best, putting it in the top ten per cent. This coin will appeal to the buyer that has always wanted a 1930 Penny and has been looking for a top-grade example. It will also appeal to the investor for high quality 1930 Pennies, such as this coin, are extremely rare. We estimate that we would handle one, or at the very tops two, Very Fine 1930 Pennies annually. Technical shots are provided.
STATUS
Available now
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1930-Penny-VF-Obv-40352-July-2021
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1930-Penny-gvF-Rev-TECH-40352-August-2021

A 1930 Penny that presents well and that you would be proud to show your family and friends with a strong date, crisp upper and lower scrolls, uniform inner beading and handsome chestnut toning.

Examining a 1930 Penny 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 has strong upper and lower scrolls. The obverse and reverse fields are reflective and very smooth with even, handsome brown toning. Moving the obverse through the light you can clearly see the central diamond and a complete lower band of the crown. You also observe the strong design details of the monarch's robes.

2. Take up the magnifying glass.

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

This coin has a complete central diamond that leaps out and knocks you in the eye. The oval to the left of the central diamond is intact. With most 1930 Pennies the oval is only partially evident.

When a coin enters circulation, the first signs of wear occur to the high points of the design. In the case of the 1930 Penny, those points are the seventh and eighth pearls in the crown and the central diamond.

With this 1930 Penny there is a full central diamond and traces of the seventh and eighth pearls. The presence of the elusive seventh and eighth pearls places this 1930 Penny in the ‘extremely rare’ category.

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

1930-Penny-gvF-Obv-TECH-40352-August-2021

This 1930 Penny has a complete central diamond and six plump pearls. The lower band of the crown also is complete. To the naked eye, and under a glass, the coin has reflective fields with minimal marks in the fields.

The reasons why collectors love the 1930 Penny.

One of the prime reasons for the popularity of the 1930 Penny is its financial reliability. It is a solid coin. 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.

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.

It 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.

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

The chart below clearly shows the scarcity of 1930 Pennies graded Very Fine. We refer you to the grey area.

1930-Penny-relative-quantities-chart-May-2020
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Proof-1935-Halfpenny-Rev-41133-August-2021
Proof-1935-Halfpenny-Obv-41133-August-2021
COIN
Proof 1935 Halfpenny sold in 2002 with the Proof 1935 Penny as a matched pair
QUALITY
An exceptional coin, a stunning FDC with full copper brilliance. And one of the finest we have handled.
PROVENANCE
Sold by private treaty to a Shepparton Collector, 2002
PRICE
$18,500
COMMENTS
If you think the Proof 1935 Penny (shown in our SHOP section) looks good, then wait until you see this Proof 1935 Halfpenny. The coin is magnificent and the perfect partner to the Proof 1935 Penny. This coin has glass-like surfaces and original copper brilliance on both reverse and obverse. Heavy striations reflect zealous preparation of the dies resulting in a superb strike. This coin was sold to the vendor in 2002. It is Melbourne Mint proof coining at its best and offers quality that is seldom seen. A collector will wait decades to acquire proofs of this calibre.
STATUS
Available now
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Proof-1935-Halfpenny-Obv-41133-August-2021
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The pride and satisfaction associated with owning a special coin is markedly enhanced with knowledge of both the people associated with its production and previous owners through whose hands it has passed.

New Zealand numismatist, Henry George Williams played a key role in persuading the Melbourne Mint to issue proof coins on a commercial basis in 1935.

Williams was captivated by the golden-eye appeal achieved by the Melbourne Mint with their proof coppers and ordered 126 pennies and 126 halfpennies.

Williams sold the majority of pairs into the advanced collector markets in the U.K. and the U.S, the very reason why the coins are so scarce in the Australian market.

That Williams did not request the minting of any proof silver coins in 1935 reflected his personal preference and his insight into the market, that demand for the bronze coins far outweighed that for the silver.

As the photos reveal, the strike detail and the finish of the coins is unsurpassed by any other proofs out of the George V era.

Historical letters confirm that the proofs of 1935 were struck from especially hardened blanks, and were struck twice with fresh dies in the presses. The lack of bag marks is consistent with the coins being made effectively by hand.

Proof-1935-Halfpenny-and-Penny-Pair-41110-41133-August-2021

Brilliant Proof 1935 Penny and equally brilliant and matching, Proof 1935 Halfpenny. Available individually or as a pair.

Natural attrition has taken its toll on the original mintage with many of the pairs broken up and individual coins sold-off.

We would expect to sight a Proof 1935 Halfpenny (or 1935 Penny) on the open market, perhaps once every year.

Coins of this calibre can be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a keen collector.


With on-line ordering and toll-free phone numbers, buying your favourite collector coin from the Royal Australian Mint has never been easier. Collectors in the nineteenth and twentieth century however were not afforded the same consideration from the operating mints.

The Sydney Mint opened in 1855 as a branch of the Royal Mint London and closed in 1926. Throughout its entire history, the mint did not strike proofs for collectors on a commercial basis. The Melbourne Mint, Australia’s second coining facility, opened in 1872. During its first forty-four years of operation, the mint did not strike coins for collectors on a commercial basis.

The Melbourne Mint’s first commercial foray for collectors occurred in 1916 when the mint especially created a presentation set to commemorate its inaugural striking of the Commonwealth’s silver coins.

Sadly, for collectors, the 1916 Presentation Set did not set a precedent for further coin issues. Government policy dictated that minting resources be applied to the striking of circulating coins for Treasury, rather than pandering to the whims of collectors through the regular issuing of proofs.

Over the next thirty-eight years, from 1916 to 1953, the Melbourne Mint played ‘cat and mouse’ with collectors by releasing only another seven proof and/or specimen issues. The issues were ad hoc. The mintages inconsistent.

The years in which the collector issues occurred were 1916, 1927, 1934, 1935, 1937, 1938, 1939 and 1953.
We refer to these eight issues as ‘The Collector Coins of the Melbourne Mint, 1916 to 1953’.

They were pivotal in changing Australia's coin collecting landscape in the twentieth century, the pre-cursor to the series taken up by the Royal Australian Mint in 1966.

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Proof-1924-Florin-Rev-MOOD-41822-September-2021
Proof-1924-Florin-Obv-MOOD-41822-September-2021
COIN
Proof 1924 Florin struck as a Coin of Record at the Melbourne Mint and one of five known
QUALITY
FDC with a brilliant reverse enhanced by stunning golden / blue toning
PROVENANCE
Noble Auction August 2001, The Madrid Collection of Australian Rare Coins
PRICE
$35,000
COMMENTS
This Proof 1924 Florin was struck as a Coin of Record at the Melbourne Mint. It is a brilliant coin. Very impressive. Furthermore, it is extremely rare. The coin first came to our attention in August 2001, when it was offered at Noble's Auction, Melbourne. The auction house acknowledged its superb state by classifying it as FDC and setting a sale price estimate of $15,000, considered a strong price at the time. Bidders at the auction obviously agreed with Noble's assessment of the coin. Solid bidding took the final price to $18,640, twenty-four per cent over the anticipated sale price. Two points of interest about this coin. First up, Mr A. M. Le Souef was Deputy Master of the Melbourne Mint when this Proof 1924 Florin was struck. The coin was not struck for collectors as part of any mass-marketing sales campaign. It was struck for the mint's archives and the privileged few and Le Souef, himself a passionate collector, would have been the impetus behind the strike. Second point of interest is that it was formerly held in ‘The Madrid Collection of Australian Rare Coins’, a collection made famous by the coins that it held and in particular, its proof coinage.
STATUS
Available now
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Proof-1924-Florin-Obv-MOOD-41822-September-2021
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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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1927-Canberra-Florin-B-Reverse-August-2019
1927-Canberra-Florin-B-Obverse-August-2019
COIN
Record-breaking Proof 1927 Canberra Florin.
QUALITY
Superb FDC and one of very best. A brilliant proof with ice-smooth fields, a razor-sharp design and rich golden toning.
PROVENANCE
International Auction Galleries, Private Collection Melbourne
PRICE
$35,000
COMMENTS
This Proof 1927 Canberra Florin set a new price record at auction in 2005, achieving a recognition and distinction that will stay with it forever. The coin smashed the $20,000 price barrier, the first time a Proof Canberra Florin had exceeded that level at auction. What drove the record price? The popularity of Proof Canberra Florins. But overwhelmingly the coin's sensational quality. This Proof 1927 Canberra Florin is a Brilliant FDC with ice-smooth fields, a razor-sharp design and rich golden toning. The photographs have done justice to this coin. It is simply magnificent.
STATUS
Available now
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1927-Canberra-Florin-B-Obverse-August-2019
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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 at auction. By the 1990s, the coin had doubled in price. The turn of the century saw the Proof Canberra Florin move to $6000. Five years into the 21st century, the Proof Canberra Florin was exceeding $20,000. More than a decade later, top quality Proof Canberra Florins are commanding in excess of $30,000.

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.
     
  • We always look at the tell-tale steps of Parliament House on the Proof Canberra Florins ... one, two or three. And this coin has the three solid uninterupted Parliamentary steps. It's the sign of a great coin.
     
  • The fields are unblemished. 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-1936-Halfpenny-Rev-MOOD-41870-September-2021
Proof-1936-Halfpenny-Obv-MOOD-41870-September-2021
COIN
Proof 1936 Halfpenny struck as a Coin of Record at the Melbourne Mint and one of five known
QUALITY
FDC with highly reflective glass-like fields radiating superb colours
PROVENANCE
Noble's Auction August 2001
PRICE
$15,000
COMMENTS
This Proof 1936 Halfpenny was struck as a Coin of Record at the Melbourne Mint. It is dramatic. And it is impressive. Furthermore it is extremely rare. The coin first came to our attention in August 2001, when it was offered at Noble's Auction, Melbourne. The auction house acknowledged its superb state by classifying it as FDC and setting a sale price estimate of $6000, considered a strong price at the time. Bidders at the auction were in agreement with Noble's assessment of the coin. Solid bidding took the final price to $7015, seventeen per cent over the anticipated sale price. This coin in the flesh reflects the light like a piece of glass and radiates stunning colours. The edges are well polished. Whoever brushed the dies to prepare them for the strike did so with gusto, for there are strong striations on both sides of the coin indicating that the dies were carefully prepared to ensure a crisp and strongly three-dimensional design. One of only five known, this stunning, yet affordable Melbourne Mint proof striking is available now.
STATUS
Sold September 2021
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Proof-1936-Halfpenny-Obv-MOOD-41870-September-2021
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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.

Proof-1936-Halfpenny-Rev-TECH-41870-September-2021

Proof 1936 Halfpenny struck at the Melbourne Mint and one of five known. A superb FDC with highly reflective glass-like surfaces radiating magnificent blue colours.

Proof-1936-Halfpenny-Obv-TECH-41870-September-2021

Proof 1936 Halfpenny obverse with fields that are like glass. Heavy striations, on both obverse and reverse, reflect careful preparation of the dies.

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Proof-1956-Penny-rev-39180-May-2021
Proof-1956-Penny-obv-39180-May-2021
COIN
Proof 1956 Penny struck at the Perth Mint.
QUALITY
A magnificent FDC, an intense blazing orange
PROVENANCE
Dr Vincent Verheyen
PRICE
$19,500
COMMENTS
This is a magnificent Proof 1956 Penny struck at the Perth Mint and the quality is what we have come to expect from Dr. Vince Verheyen. The colour is vivid and intense, the surfaces impactful. The designs of the flying kangaroo and Queen Elizabeth II are beautifully etched. Furthermore, the coin shows the classic high squared-off rims that the Perth Mint was, at the time, renowned for. The Proof 1956 Penny is one of the greatest rarities to come out of the Perth Mint, struck in a very tight mintage of 417 coins. That makes it extremely rare. Dr. Vince Verheyen is one of the most revered Australian proof coin collectors and an authority on proof coinage. This is unequivocally, one of the best Perth Mint Proof 1956 Pennies around.
STATUS
Sold September 2021
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Proof-1956-Penny-obv-39180-May-2021
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Four reasons why the Perth Mint Proof Coins (1955 to 1963) are worth owning.

REASON 1.
Brilliantly preserved proof coins of the Perth Mint are unrivalled for quality. The coins not only display superb levels of detail in their design but an intensity of colour that is unmatched by the Melbourne Mint copper proofs from the same era.

When you look at the Proof 1956 Penny shown above, you can only but agree.

REASON 2.
Perth Mint Proof Pennies and Halfpennies are exclusive and were struck in extremely limited numbers. The mintage of the Perth Mint's first proof collector issue (1955) was 301. That of the Perth Mint's second year, (1956) only 417. Mintages in the ensuing seven years averaged around the 1000 mark.

We compare these mintages to the current output of the Royal Australian Mint and Perth Mint where 10,000 is the norm.

In the case of the Proof 1956 Penny, we would be lucky to sight one high quality coin at auction annually. And a coin as magnificent as this must be considered a once-in-a-decade opportunity.

REASON 3.
The series of Collector Proof Coins (1955 to 1963) is an important series in our numismatic history: a catalyst for the introduction of the proof coining program introduced by the Royal Australian Mint, Canberra in 1966.

It also is an affordable one, making it one of the most popular collecting series in the Australian coin market.

REASON 4.
The Perth Mint is still operating. That the Perth Mint is a leading coin producer makes its pre-decimal proofs historical. But also, vibrantly current.

So the ‘Perth Mint’ message remains strong, underpinning future interest.

 

The era 1955 to 1963 is an important one for Australian coin collectors.

In 1955, the Australian Government gave approval for the Melbourne Mint and Perth Mint to start producing proof coins in commercial quantities and sell to collectors in what was to be an annual occurrence. (Similar to what the Royal Australian Mint does today.)

Prior to 1955, proofs were only struck as Coins of Record in minuscule numbers for the mints to place in archives. Mintages tended to be less than twenty, so it goes without saying that collectors were, in the main, denied access to them.

The proof coining program of the Melbourne and Perth Mint came to an end in 1963 just prior to Australia's decimal changeover.

The proofs struck between 1955 and 1963 are a perfect entry point into the Australian rare coin market. Limited edition collector coins at affordable prices. It comes at the top of our list of recommendations for clients looking to tuck something special away for their children or grandchildren.

The coins were specially struck and sold to collectors under provision of the Commonwealth Treasury, the sale price a premium of two shillings above face value. The face value was paid to Treasury and the premium went to the mint. The Government placed only one restriction on the mints. Only those coins they were striking for circulation could be struck to proof quality and sold to collectors.

As the Perth Mint was striking copper circulating coins for Treasury, it could strike only copper proof coins for collectors. (Penny and Halfpenny.) The Melbourne Mint struck their proofs in both silver and copper.

Historical records indicate that the arrangements for striking the collector proofs originated at the Melbourne Mint and were later approved for the Perth Mint largely due to the involvement of famous collector Syd Hagley.

The mintage for the 1955 Proof Set struck at the Melbourne Mint was 1200. At the Perth Mint 301. The mintage in 1956 for the Melbourne Mint Proof Set was 1500. The mintage of the Perth Mint issue (the Proof 1956 Penny) just 417. The much lower mintages are attributed to the late approval from the Commonwealth Treasury to the Perth Mint, coupled with a lack of awareness among collectors on the availability of proofs from the Perth Mint.

The much lower mintages of the Perth Mint 1955 and 1956 issues have proved a bonanza for collectors.

 

Enquire now

Proof-1917-Sixpence-Rev-MOOD-41817-September-2021
Proof-1917-Sixpence-Obv-MOOD-41817-September-2021
COIN
Proof 1917 Sixpence struck as a Coin of Record at the Melbourne Mint and one of two known
QUALITY
FDC
PROVENANCE
The Madrid Collection of Australian Rare Coins, Private Collection Melbourne
PRICE
$25,000
COMMENTS
This Proof 1917 Sixpence is a heritage piece. It is a clue to our past and is an acknowledgment of the evolution of the Australian numismatic industry. In 1916, the Melbourne Mint commenced striking Australia's silver coinage. Consumed with striking coins for circulation, the Melbourne Mint did not strike any proofs. The Mint continued its obligations to Treasury in striking circulating currency in 1917 but took up the mantle of striking proofs. Which means that this stunningly rare Proof 1917 Sixpence is the Melbourne Mint's very first proof striking of the nation’s silver coinage. It is a Coin of Record in the truest sense and is one of two known in private hands. Testimony to its importance, an example is held for posterity in the archives of the Museum of Victoria. You can tell by looking at this coin that it was minted as a presentation piece. The original silver blanks have been polished to achieve a dazzling mirror shine. And there is strong striations in the fields indicating that the dies were heavily brushed and well prepared to achieve a brilliant strike. We note that it was once held in 'The Madrid Collection of Australian Rare Coins'.
STATUS
Sold September 2021
Enquire Now
Proof-1917-Sixpence-Obv-MOOD-41817-September-2021
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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."

 

Enquire now

Proof-1948-Penny-2-Rev-41106-August-2021
Proof-1948-Penny-2-Obv-41106-August-2021
COIN
Proof 1948 Penny struck as a Coin of Record at the Perth Mint
QUALITY
FDC with stunning copper brilliance on both obverse and reverse
PROVENANCE
Strand Coins, sale by private treaty to Coinworks, 2007
PRICE
$40,000
COMMENTS
A coin can be rare because so few examples were struck. A coin can also be rare because it has quality traits that make it the absolute exception to the norm, placing it into an elite and very small group of examples. This Proof 1948 Penny is rare on both counts! The original mintage is believed to be sixteen with most of the examples going to public institutions and therefore out of reach of collectors. And the quality is stunning. So that you can appreciate the rarity of a coin at this quality level, we make the comment that we have sold only one other Proof 1948 Penny that we would describe as stunning. And that was acquired by us in 1998 and sold more recently in 2017. We make a further comment. When we wrote our article on the Perth Mint Proof Record pieces we came to realise just how few truly fabulous Perth proofs are around. It is an ominous sign from a supply perspective. It may also be a sign that prices are set to rise. (Technical shots are provided)
STATUS
Sold 6 September 2021
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Proof-1948-Penny-2-Obv-41106-August-2021
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The rarity of the Proof 1948 Penny was confirmed in 1995 in an article published in the NAA journal (Volume 8) by John Sharples, the then Curator of Australia’s Numismatic Archives.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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-1948-Penny-Rev-TECH-41106-August-2021

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

Proof-1948-Penny-Obv-TECH-41106-August-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.

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Header-Coppers-1920s-1930s-41446-August-2021
COIN
Copper rarities struck in the 1920s and '30s
QUALITY
Six coins detailed individually below
PRICE
Six coins detailed individually below
COMMENTS
Australians just love their coppers ... the Penny and the Halfpenny. They are the coins that were within financial reach of the 'man in the street'. Whereas the sovereign was the domain of the privileged few, a copper coin could be enjoyed by everyone. And in top quality or struck to glorious proof quality, the coin became a numismatic treasure. We have put together a treasure trove of six coins for you to enjoy, four stunning proof coins struck at the Melbourne Mint. And two elite coins that were struck as circulating currency, also at the Melbourne Mint. By virtue of their quality and rarity, each coin is at the pinnacle of its type.
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Square-Coppers-1930-gEF-41446-41089-August-2021

Commonwealth of Australia 1930 Penny, Good Extremely Fine and ranked number 3 for quality. 

NOW SOLD

COIN
A 'Diamond & Pearl' 1930 Penny, ranked number three for quality.

QUALITY
Good Extremely Fine with a full central diamond and eight clear pearls.

PRICE
$195,000

COMMENTS
One of the very finest examples of Australia's classic copper rarity housed in a leather lined presentation case constructed from Australian Huon Pine and Blackwood, hand made by craftsman Anton Gerner.


Square-Coppers-Proof-1935-Rev-41446-41110-August-2021

Brilliant Proof 1935 Penny. Also available its partner, the Proof 1935 Halfpenny, perfectly matched to the penny. (See below)

NOW SOLD

COIN
Proof 1935 Penny struck at the Melbourne Mint

QUALITY
Brilliant FDC

PRICE
$25,000

COMMENTS
This Proof 1935 Penny is a numismatic super-star. The coin has glass-like surfaces and original copper brilliance on both reverse and obverse. Heavy striations reflect zealous preparation of the dies resulting in a superb strike. It is Melbourne Mint proof coining at its best and offers quality that is rarely ever seen.


Square-Proof-1935-Halfpenny-Rev-41446-41133-August-2021

Brilliant Proof 1935 Halfpenny. Available individually. Or as a perfectly matched pair with the Proof 1935 Penny shown above.

COIN
Proof 1935 Halfpenny struck at the Melbourne Mint

QUALITY
A stunning FDC with full copper brilliance

PRICE
$18,500

COMMENTS
If you think the Proof 1935 Penny shown above looks good, then wait until you see this Proof 1935 Halfpenny. The coin is magnificent and the perfect partner to the Proof 1935 Penny. This coin also has glass-like surfaces and original copper brilliance on both reverse and obverse and has a superb strike. A collector will wait decades to acquire proofs of this calibre.


Square-Coppers-Proof-1923-41446-39176-August-2021

The fields of this Proof 1923 Penny are as smooth and as reflective as glass. Under magnification, striations are noted on both obverse and reverse. There is underlying copper brilliance on the reverse and also on the obverse and the edges are highly polished. 

NOW SOLD

COIN
Proof 1923 Penny struck as a Coin of Record at the Melbourne Mint

QUALITY
FDC

PRICE
$45,000

COMMENTS
This stunning Proof 1923 Penny is an acknowledged ‘great’ Australian coin rarity. It is unique. The coin appeared at auction in July 1998 selling for $9900, more than triple its pre-auction estimate. While the quality was enough to gain bidder attention, it was the rarity that drove the price for up until July 1998, a Proof 1923 Penny had never been sighted. And to this day it is the only Proof 1923 Penny known in private hands.


Square-Coppers-1923-chUNC-41446-36525-August-2021

A stunning example of Australia's rarest halfpenny, the 1923 Halfpenny, with highly reflective surfaces that exude beautiful colours.

COIN
A 'Diamond & Pearl' 1923 Halfpenny

QUALITY
Choice Uncirculated with a full diamond and eight crisp pearls

PRICE
$95,000

COMMENTS
This Choice Uncirculated 1923 Halfpenny was originally part of the famous "Madrid Collection of Australian Rare Coins". The design has been brilliantly executed, the surfaces are highly reflective and exude beautiful colours. And while these comments are generally reserved for 'proof' coins, this halfpenny was struck to be used in what can only be described as a coining-factory. Today, almost one hundred years later, it is in a miracle untouched state.


Square-Coppers-Proof-1936-41446-40404-August-2021

Proof 1936 Penny, Melbourne Mint proof coining at its best.

NOW SOLD

COIN
Proof 1936 Penny struck as a Coin of Record at the Melbourne Mint

QUALITY
Brilliant FDC

PRICE
$40,000

COMMENTS
This Proof 1936 Penny was struck as a Coin of Record at the Melbourne Mint. The coin has retained its copper brilliance on both reverse and obverse, the fields are like copper-glass, the edges are well polished. Whoever brushed the dies to prepare them for the strike did so with gusto, for there are strong striations on both sides of the coin indicating that the dies were carefully prepared to ensure a crisp and strongly three-dimensional design.


Proof-1935-Penny-Rev-41110-August-2021
Proof-1935-Penny-Obv-41110-August-2021
COIN
Proof 1935 Penny struck at the Melbourne Mint
QUALITY
A stunning FDC with full copper brilliance and one of the finest we have handled
PROVENANCE
Sold by private treaty to a Shepparton Collector, 2002
PRICE
$25,000
COMMENTS
A Trans-Tasman connection was alive and kicking when New Zealander, Henry George Williams, financed the striking of a small number of Proof Pennies in 1935 at the Melbourne Mint. In so doing, Williams unwittingly created an Australian 'numismatic star'. The term 'numismatic star' falls well short in describing this particular Proof 1935 Penny. It is a NUMISMATIC SUPER-STAR for the coin has glass-like surfaces and original copper brilliance on both reverse and obverse. Heavy striations reflect zealous preparation of the dies resulting in a superb strike. This coin was sold to the vendor in 2002. It is Melbourne Mint proof coining at its best and offers quality that is seldom seen. A collector will wait decades to acquire proofs of this calibre.
STATUS
Sold September 2021
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Proof-1935-Penny-Obv-41110-August-2021
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The pride and satisfaction associated with owning a special coin is markedly enhanced with knowledge of both the people associated with its production and previous owners through whose hands it has passed.

New Zealand numismatist, Henry George Williams played a key role in persuading the Melbourne Mint to issue proof coins on a commercial basis in 1935.

Williams was captivated by the golden-eye appeal achieved by the Melbourne Mint with their proof coppers and ordered 126 pennies and 126 halfpennies. Williams sold the majority of pairs into the advanced collector markets in the U.K. and the U.S, the very reason why the coins are so scarce in the Australian market.

That Williams did not request the minting of any proof silver coins in 1935 reflected his personal preference and his insight into the market, that demand for the bronze coins far outweighed that for the silver. As the photos reveal, the strike detail and the finish of the coins is unsurpassed by any other proofs out of the George V era.

Historical letters confirm that the proofs of 1935 were struck from especially hardened blanks, and were struck twice with fresh dies in the presses. The lack of bag marks is consistent with the coins being made effectively by hand.

Proof-1935-Halfpenny-and-Penny-Pair-41110-41133-August-2021

Brilliant Proof 1935 Penny and equally brilliant and matching, Proof 1935 Halfpenny. Available individually or as a pair.

Natural attrition has taken its toll on the original mintage with many of the pairs broken up and individual coins sold-off.

We would expect to sight a Proof 1935 Penny (or 1935 Halfpenny) on the open market, perhaps once every year.

Coins of this calibre can be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for a keen collector.


With on-line ordering and toll-free phone numbers, buying your favourite collector coin from the Royal Australian Mint has never been easier. Collectors in the nineteenth and twentieth century however were not afforded the same consideration from the operating mints.

The Sydney Mint opened in 1855 as a branch of the Royal Mint London and closed in 1926. Throughout its entire history, the mint did not strike proofs for collectors on a commercial basis. The Melbourne Mint, Australia’s second coining facility, opened in 1872. During its first forty-four years of operation, the mint did not strike coins for collectors on a commercial basis.

The Melbourne Mint’s first commercial foray for collectors occurred in 1916 when the mint especially created a presentation set to commemorate its inaugural striking of the Commonwealth’s silver coins.

Sadly, for collectors, the 1916 Presentation Set did not set a precedent for further coin issues. Government policy dictated that minting resources be applied to the striking of circulating coins for Treasury, rather than pandering to the whims of collectors through the regular issuing of proofs.

Over the next thirty-eight years, from 1916 to 1953, the Melbourne Mint played ‘cat and mouse’ with collectors by releasing only another seven proof and/or specimen issues. The issues were ad hoc. The mintages inconsistent.

The years in which the collector issues occurred were 1916, 1927, 1934, 1935, 1937, 1938, 1939 and 1953. We refer to these eight issues as ‘The Collector Coins of the Melbourne Mint, 1916 to 1953’.

They were pivotal in changing Australia's coin collecting landscape in the twentieth century, the pre-cursor to the series taken up by the Royal Australian Mint in 1966.

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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
QUALITY
Gem FDC, stunning fields and heavy striations indicating carefully prepared dies
PROVENANCE
Spink Auctions 1978, Spink Auctions 1982
PRICE
$40,000
COMMENTS
This Proof 1927 Shilling is today regarded as one of Australia’s grand coin rarities. Only two examples have ever surfaced. Originally it was struck as a presentation piece at the Melbourne Mint. A Coin of Record created in 1927 to define the operations of the mint as it worked for Treasury striking the nation's circulating currency. Exhibiting the very best Australian rare coins has, over the years, defined Coinworks for who we are. And what we do best. And when it came to putting together a display of Australian proof coins for the general public, this spectacular Proof 1927 Shilling was always a centrepiece. It is Melbourne Mint proof coining at its very best, the quality stunning and the coin excruciatingly rare. And this grand historical gem is available now.
STATUS
Available now
Enquire Now
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."

 

Enquire now

1923-Halfpenny-chUNC-rev-36525-May-2021
1923-Halfpenny-chUNC-obv-36525-February-2021
COIN
A 'Diamond and Pearl' 1923 Halfpenny with a fully defined central diamond in the crown and eight pristine pearls
QUALITY
Choice Uncirculated and one of only three known at this quality level
PROVENANCE
Madrid Collection of Australian Rare Coins, The Dan Collection
PRICE
$95,000
COMMENTS
This Choice Uncirculated 1923 Halfpenny was acquired in 2008 by the owner of the "Madrid Collection of Australian Rare Coins". At its zenith, the "Madrid Collection" held the largest inventory of Australian proof coins. So why does a collector with a passion for Australian proof coins, decide to include in his holding a coin that was not struck to proof quality but was originally intended to circulate? He was aware that the 1923 Halfpenny was an important coin held in high regard by collectors. He marvelled at its quality, the design detail and proof-like surfaces. And he acknowledged the magnitude of owning a coin that was struck in factory-like conditions with the intention that it would circulate. And yet be found almost one hundred years later in a miracle untouched state. Technical shots are provided below.
STATUS
Available now
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1923-Halfpenny-chUNC-obv-36525-February-2021
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Australian collectors just love their copper coins.

While not everyone could hold onto (or even gain access to) a gold coin, the nation’s coppers were accessible to the man in the street.

And while there is no doubt that Australia’s 1923 Halfpenny has benefited from the emotional feelings stirred up by its side-kick, the 1930 Penny, the ’23 stands on its own merits as Australia’s rarest halfpenny.

And an Aussie icon.

This coin is one of the finest known examples of the nation’s scarcest halfpenny. It is proof-like in its appearance and is one of three known at this quality level.

It is in a remarkable state of preservation with highly reflective, smooth surfaces.

As a company we appreciate top quality. But more than top quality we love to see the words ‘exceptional quality’ ascribed to a piece.

This coin is exceptional for quality.

A rarity that defied the mintage figures

That the Sydney Mint in its Annual Report recorded the striking of 1,113,600 halfpennies in 1923 would tend to suggest that it was a common date coin.

For decades collectors challenged the point, drawing on their experience that the 1923 Halfpenny was the least available coin in the halfpenny series.

John Sharples, at the time Curator of Australia’s National Coin Archives set the record straight when he undertook an analysis of die production and die usage at both the Sydney and Melbourne Mints.

His research confirmed that the 1,113,600 halfpennies struck at the Sydney Mint were in fact dated 1922.

The 1923 Halfpenny was in fact struck at the Melbourne Mint in a mintage of approximately 15,000, confirming its status as Australia’s rarest circulating halfpenny.

1923-Halfpenny-chUNC-rev-36525-July-2021

A stunning reverse, highly reflective surfaces that exude beautiful colours.

1923-Halfpenny-chUNC-obv-36525-July-2021

An amazing obverse. The diamond is sharp and complete. The pearls, eight of them, plump and untouched. Smooth, highly reflective fields exude beautiful colours.

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1921-Square-Penny-TYPE-12-CHUNC-Rev-MOOD-Nov-2020-January-2021
1921-Square-Penny-TYPE-12-CHUNC-Obv-MOOD-Nov-2020-January-2021
COIN
The finest known 1921 Square Penny.
QUALITY
Choice Uncirculated
PROVENANCE
Barrie Winsor 1995, Private Collection Victoria
PRICE
$37,500
COMMENTS
Could this 1921, design type 12, Square Penny have been struck at the Royal Mint London? The quality of this piece suggests that it is indeed a possibility. We know that the Royal Mint prepared the dies and sent them to Melbourne in February 1921. And we also know they struck coins testing the dies. The quality of the surfaces and the depth of the strike of this Square Penny are so vastly different from those that we regularly see around that this explanation has to come into play. We do know the background of its recent owners. It was acquired from respected dealer Barrie Winsor in 1995 and held in a Sydney collection until 2016. An early retirement now sees the current vendor parting with this Square Penny gem.
STATUS
Available now
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1921-Square-Penny-TYPE-12-CHUNC-Obv-MOOD-Nov-2020-January-2021
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The rarity of the 1921 Square Penny

The 1921, design type 12, Square Penny (in any quality) is exceedingly rare for there are less than fifty (50) coins of this design available to collectors.

A comparison to our industry standard, the 1930 Penny, with fifteen hundred (1500) available affirms the Square Penny's relative rarity.

Now let's factor quality into the buying exercise because most Type 12 Square Pennies have flat and lifeless surfaces. And they tone badly with many of them having unsightly black marks in the fields, or streaky toning, making them aesthetically quite challenging.

Careless handling from the outset has limited the availability of superior examples in today's market

It has to be remembered that the Square Pennies were test pieces struck to gauge public opinion. Given to dignitaries to assess their reaction, there was no packaging and we know that not every dignitary was a collector and would have handled them with care and worn gloves. Some of the coins must have been tucked into a fob pocket for they have circulated. Others could have rattled around a top desk drawer. Or passed around to colleagues ... introducing multi possibilities of mishandling.

This coin is the absolute exception. A Square Penny with the type 12 design is seen on the market perhaps once or twice annually.

But this is not 'just any Square Penny'. It is the finest of its type and an exceptional opportunity for the buyer looking for an outstanding example of a 1921 Square Penny.

The rising value of the Square Penny

The Square Kookaburra coins were thrown into the spotlight in 1954 when Sir Marcus Clark K.B.E. sold his extensive and famous collection of Australian coin rarities. It is on record that his 1921 Square Penny and 1921 Square Halfpenny sold for £36. Even more interesting is that in the same auction an Extremely Fine Ferdinand VII Holey Dollar sold for just over twice that amount at £72 10/-.

The popularity of the kookaburras continued throughout the 1960s and 1970s with extensive reporting of their appearances occurring in the then industry magazine, 'The Australian Coin Review'.

Strong collector interest in the Square Kookaburra coins continues to this very day. That demand for the Square Kookaburra coins spans more than half a century is comforting for new buyers entering the market.

The history of the Square Penny

The Melbourne Mint commenced striking Australia's Commonwealth copper pennies in 1919.

No sooner had the mint started issuing the coins, than it was directed by Treasury to commence testing an entirely new penny concept, a square coin made from cupro-nickel.

The introduction of the Kookaburra Square Penny underpinned an attempt by the then Labor Government to stir up national sentiment post World War I. To evoke the great 'Aussie' spirit.

If you think about it. Putting the nation’s native bird - the kookaburra - onto a coin was a no-brainer to achieving that goal.

A drastically changed shape, a square. And a new metal, cupronickel was part of the total package to maximise impact on the population.

The proposal was contentious in that the monarch, King George V, was to be depicted on the obverse without a crown. Some say it was the rumblings of a Republican movement way ahead of its time.

Tests commenced at the Melbourne Mint in 1919 with the test pieces ultimately passed to dignitaries and Government officials to assess their reaction.

Sadly, in 1921 and after three years of testing, the scheme fell apart.

The response to Australia’s square coinage was poor with widespread public resistance to change and people generally rejecting the small size of the coins.

However, the final decision not to proceed seems to have been based mainly on another consideration – the large number of vending machines then in operation requiring a circular coin.

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PO Box 1060 Hawksburn Victoria Australia 3142

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