A fascination with the Square Kookaburra coins took one of our clients on a journey that lasted for decades. As a country Victorian he was particularly engaged by the kookaburra design.
Given the rarity of the coins involved, he enjoyed the challenge that the series presented. He also knew that he could space his purchases over a considerable number of years.
A builder by profession, an eye for exactness was required in his trade. That skill was put to good use in the selection of his coins for all of the pieces on offer are superb for quality, with pieces such as this Type 11 one of the finest we have seen or handled.
It is a fact that the Kookaburra coins are particularly difficult to find in premium quality. The reason is simply that the coins were test pieces and were not struck to the exacting standards of proof coining.
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 the utmost care.
Some of the coins must have been tucked into a fob pocket for they have circulated. Others could have rattled around a top drawer. Or been passed around to colleagues ... introducing a multitude of chances for mishandling.
The Square Penny and the Square Halfpenny was brought to the attention of the Australian collector market in 1954 when Sir Marcus Clark O.B.E. sold his extensive 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 Holey Dollar is now a $450,000-plus item.)
The popularity of the kookaburras continued throughout the 1960s with extensive reporting of their appearances occurring in the then industry magazine, The Australian Coin Review.
Strong collector and investor interest in the Square Kookaburras continues to this day.