1927 Proof Canberra Florin
It was the Melbourne Mint’s very first collector coin issue, the coin selling for a sixpence premium over face value. And it was Australia’s very first commemorative coin.
The release of the 1927 Proof Canberra Florin was a well-publicised event that saw the coins sell to members of the public outside traditional numismatic circles.
Coins being mishandled or pieces simply lost into circulation was the fate of many of the proofs out of the original mintage of 400.
So a small mintage of coins becomes even smaller for the buyer seeking a quality Proof Canberra Florin.
In today’s market we might see one premium quality Proof Canberra Florin on the market every year.
This particular 1927 Proof Canberra Florin is a premium quality example and is classified as FDC, with brilliant mirror fields. The coin shows the characteristic striations associated with Proof Canberra Florins which reflects meticulous die preparation. Moreover, it has been sharply struck and brilliantly preserved. Visually it is stunning.
As an exquisite example of the Melbourne Mint's craftsmanship, the coin is a numismatic gem.
1937 Proof Crown
This 1937 Proof Crown was sold in 1995 to the owner of the Madrid Collection of Australian Rare Coins: the collection so named after his most prized piece, the world famous 1813 ‘Madrid’ Holey Dollar.
The collection was formed over twenty nine years and comprised the very best and the rarest Australian coins. Aside from the Madrid Holey Dollar it also included the Proof 1930 Penny, Sterling Silver 1919 Square Penny, 1899 Perth Mint Proof Half Sovereign and … this 1937 Proof Crown.
The owner was as fanatical about quality as he was about history, this Proof Crown fulfilling both those ambitions.
We found in the 1990s as we find today that it is not as easy as you might think to acquire a top quality 1937 Proof Crown.
The original mintage of the Proof Crown was a meagre 100 pieces. Their release was a well-publicised event that saw coins move into non-collector hands introducing the possibility of being poorly handled. Or being accidentally used as a five shillings circulation coin.
Of those that we sight or are offered today, four out of every five would be rejected as having gouges or unsightly toning. That a provenance does make a clear statement on quality is evidenced in this coin.
When Edward VIII decided to abdicate the British throne in 1936, currency issues throughout the world were thrown into disarray.
In Australia, the government was about to launch new coin designs to coincide with Edward’s coronation that that would have introduced a strong Australian design element into the penny, florin, shilling and threepence.
The plans had to be scuttled due to Edwards’ abdication from the British throne to marry American Wallis Simpson.
To distract from the chaos, the Australian Government issued its first five-shilling piece, the 1937 Crown, depicting the portrait of the new king, George VI (Edward’s brother).
The notion of a Crown sized coin was pushed by the Treasurer of the day, R G Casey who later became Governor General of Australia. The coin was - and still is - referred to as ‘Casey’s Cartwheel’.
The 1937 Crown is Australia’s only commemorative crown. And it was the only currency issue released in 1937 making it an extremely popular collectable. Its appeal is timeless.