Reverse of Choice Uncirculated 1921 Type 11 Square Penny.
Obverse of Choice Uncirculated 1921 Type 11 Square Penny.
It is at this point we ask the question … how often do you see the two words ‘Choice Uncirculated’ attached to a Square Penny?
The answer is rarely.
In fact, we checked back through our records and can confirm that we have only ever sold three Choice Uncirculated Type 11s in more than 45-plus years of trading and this coin is one of the three.
It is also noted that this coin is for us fresh to the market. We have never handled it before.
In our view, the Type 11 Square Penny is the perfect starting point for the buyer keen to acquire a Kookaburra Penny. Optimum quality, extreme rarity but at a price that is palatable.
That currency reflects the mood of a nation – and the agenda of a Government - is never more evident than with the Square Penny and Halfpenny series and its mooted introduction in 1919.
The proposed change was pure politics. With some saying it was the rumblings of a republican movement way ahead of its time, the Labor Government wanting to break away from the traditional British designs of Australia’s then copper penny and halfpenny.
A wave of nationalism was sweeping the country post World War I and the Government saw advantage in tapping into the mood of the nation and introducing a uniquely Australian style into our currency by depicting a laughing kookaburra on our coinage.
Tests commenced at the Melbourne Mint in 1919 and continued until 1921 with the test pieces ultimately passed to dignitaries and Government officials to assess their reaction.
The extreme scarcity of choice quality Square Pennies is connected to the fact 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 care. 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.