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Commonwealth Coins

Posted on: May, 05/10/2014

Australian Copper Coins at Calcutta Mint

The production of Australian copper coins at the Calcutta Mint between 1916 and 1918 came about for several reasons - prime among them was an apparent British thirst for beer, the invention of the “electric” tram, as well as the deadliness of the German U-Boat.

Specimen examples of this coin are incredibly rare - our research indicates that just 3 unique examples have been sighted at auction in Australia. They serve as a link to an important era in Australia’s numismatic history - the gradual decentralisation of the production of our Commonwealth coinage. Without question, they are among the very first coins struck from master dies that have played an important role in Australian numismatics.

 

Full Capacity -...

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Posted on: Apr, 04/23/2013

We recently picked up a rather large library of numismatic books from a deceased estate here in Perth - no less than 20 crates of books that had been in storage for around 30 years.

It turns out they belonged to a dealer that was active in Perth from the late 1970’s to the early 1980’s, one that it could be argued left town “prematurely”.

When I was initially faced with the prospect of sorting out this library, it wasn’t evident that there any books at all in it that had a lot of great information in them. I was feeling more dread at the work ahead of me, rather than excitement at the prospect of unearthing a productive gem within it!

Dead silverfish, dust, ratty old cardboard boxes falling apart - the smell alone put me off! It didn’t help...

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Posted on: Aug, 08/09/2011

The Commonwealth coin market is always active with collectors, no matter how well the economy is doing – you don't need to have great licks of money to enjoy this series, and it costs nothing at all to study it.

The advent of eBay brought in a large number of new collectors into the market for Commonwealth coins, and as always the florin and the penny are the most popular denominations with new collectors. Values of the key date coins in the florin and penny series have risen strongly on the back of this demand, as these collectors continue on with their hobby, this demand is filtering across into other dates and denominations.

The Melbourne Centenary florin has also increased in popularity in a big way – despite the fact it has a mintage that's pretty small relative to other dates in the...

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Posted on: Aug, 08/02/2011

The Background to Melbourne's The Star Newspaper

The Star” was a daily evening newspaper that was first published in Melbourne on October 28th...

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Posted on: Jul, 07/15/2011

Much of the following information first appeared as an article in the Australasian Coin & Banknote Magazine, written by Mr Ian Todd. Ian's numismatic interested have varied over time, however the common thread between each area that he has been active in has been rich history and collector appeal. Although there has been a good degree of research published on the paper notes printed by the internees at Camp Seven in Hay (NSW) during World War II, far less has been published on the background to and technical characteristics of the copper and brass tokens used by inmates across the internment camps of Australasia at the same time.

I hope...

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Posted on: Oct, 10/19/2010

The 1922/1 overdate 3d is the rarest silver pre-decimal coin issued for use in circulation. To say that there isn't universal agreement about it's background within the Australian numismatic fraternity (past and present) is a mild understatement. In fact, it's been the source of heated debate over the past 40 years or so. Whatever the cause of the anomaly on the date of this coin, it remains one of the most highly prized coins in the entire Australian pre-decimal series.

While the 1930 penny and other rare pre-decimal coins are relatively well known by the general public, the 1922/1 overdate 3d is more of a numismatist's rare coin – understood and appreciated only by those that have been involved in numismatics for some time. Although the first published reference to it dates...

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Posted on: Oct, 10/19/2010

The 1930 penny is without doubt the one rare coin that most Australians know about -  it started off as being the last coin to go into the Dansco press-in albums that were hugely popular in those days (in fact they're so rare hardly anyone ended up with a complete penny set), and it now rates as an heirloom and an investment.

Unlike paper notes or even the larger silver coins, pennies could be accumulated fairly easily without placing too big a dent in the family budget. It wasn’t a trifling or incidental coin - back in the 1960’s a penny could actually buy something, and a collection of 95 coins represented a reasonable spending sacrifice. As they were used every day of the week, most people had the opportunity day to day to check their change and...

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Posted on: Jul, 07/16/2010

 

The 1923 half-penny is one of Australia’s rarest pre-decimal coins, produced in an era of economic growth and industrial turmoil. It has been highly sought after by collectors for many years, and has a somewhat mysterious background - the real story behind its rarity remained untold for decades. Numismatic investors recognise that it is extremely difficult to find in superior quality.

1923 Royal (Branch) Mint records indicate that 1,113,600 halfpennies were struck in Sydney, while none were struck in Melbourne at all. The story does not end here however; as later research by John Sharples, (Numismatic Curator of the Museum of Victoria) has proven that the coins struck in Sydney in 1923 were actually dated 1922. The elusive 1923 halfpenny was actually struck in Melbourne sometime between...

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Posted on: Jan, 01/25/2010

The Melbourne Centenary Florin is one of the most interesting coins in the entire Commonwealth coin series. It is rare in any condition, features an enigmatic reverse and an obverse unique on Australian coins, relates to a significant event in Australia’s post-Federation history and is linked with Victoria’s first department store.

One of my favourite articles on any numismatic items relates to this coin, it was published in the Australian Coin Review in July 1971. It covers much of the numismatic background to the Melbourne Centenary florin in good detail, and is well worth reading if you can get a copy.

The Victorian and Melbourne Centenary Celebrations commemorated a hundred years of European settlement at Victoria’s first two permanent outposts...

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Posted on: Sep, 09/08/2009

World War II began with the German invasion of Poland on September 3rd, 1939, and ended with the the Japanese surrender on August 15, 1945.

Australian Coinage During WWII

Almost a million Australians served in the Second World War - they fought in campaigns against Germany and Italy in Europe; the Mediterranean and North Africa, as well as against Japan in south-east Asia and other parts of the Pacific.

General Eisenhower decided that the US campaign in the Pacific was to be directed from Australia, and so close to a million US military personnel were based at various locations throughout Eastern...

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