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Commonwealth Coins

Posted on: Sep, 09/07/2009

The pattern Kookaburra pennies & halfpennies were produced between 1919 and 1921 as part of a move towards a smaller and thus more cost effective national coinage. The kookaburra pennies were far smaller than the coins seen in circulation, and were made of a variety of metals - primarily various alloys of nickel, copper/nickel, tin & copper.

This move to an improved circulating coinage obviously did not succeed, and as a result the "Kookaburra" pennies & halfpenny patterns that remain in existence are highly prized by collectors & historians.

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Category [ Tags: Commonwealth Coins ]
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Posted on: Apr, 04/28/2009

On February 3rd 1954, the newly crowned Queen became the first reigning monarch to step ashore on Australian soil when the royal barge tied up at Farm Cove in Sydney.

The Queen's Royal Visit to Australia was part of a wider tour of the Commonwealth following her coronation in 1953.

The Royal Visit was eagerly anticipated - the young Queen was dressed in the latest fashions from Europe, and promised new hope for Britain and the Commonwealth.

1954 Royal Visit Florin

Television was not yet available in Australia, so people travelled, sometimes over hundreds of miles, to catch a fleeting glimpse of Her Royal Highness....

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Posted on: Feb, 02/05/2009

The 1916 mule halfpenny is the rarest Commonwealth coin issued for circulation in Australia, and is certainly among the rarest of all Australian coins.

When it first began to gain publicity in the numismatic press in the middle of 1965, it was described as “the biggest find in coin history, and one of the most valuable”.  That this overwhelming international recognition came at the time when collectors were first becoming aware of the coin's existence and importance has set an atmosphere of intrigue, wonder and awe each time an example of this truly rare coin has become available to the collectors market.

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Posted on: Feb, 02/03/2009

Proof, pattern & specimen coins have long been the most exclusive areas of numismatics anywhere in the world.

Such coins were generally struck only in very small numbers, and when they are made available to the open market, fierce competition is assured among bidders.Australia 1951 PL Proof Penny and Halfpenny

The fact that a range of highly important Australian coins are only available in proof, pattern or specimen form means that they are essential for any truly complete collection.

Lastly their beauty is beyond reproach - the detail they capture is...

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Category [ Tags: Commonwealth Coins ]
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Posted on: Jan, 01/13/2009

 I was doing some research into a coin I'd acquired some time ago, and to get a better understanding how how it came to exist I wanted to get a really clear understanding of the exact production process that coins go through. This knowledge is particularly important, especially if you're a collector of pattern or proof coins.

I've put together the following notes based on what I could find on the internet - I took bits and pieces from a few different sources. If you can clarify or correct any of the information included, do let me know.

Coinage Hub Being Prepared for Chinese Panda

The process leading up to...

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Category [ Tags: Commonwealth Coins ]
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Posted on: Nov, 11/19/2008

Australia's 1951 Federation Jubilee Florin

Official records state that “the Jubilee of Federation was celebrated in 1951 in a spirit of expansive, nationalist optimism”, however my research hasn't yet yielded any sentimental outpourings related to the event, such as those that can be seen related to Federation itself, the Queen's Royal Visit in 1954 or the even the Bicentennial.

In Sydney, celebrations included a ceremony in...

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Category [ Tags: Commonwealth Coins ]
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Posted on: Oct, 10/22/2008

One of the unique rewards of numismatics is to hold a coin or note in one’s hand and to contemplate current world events in light of those when the item was produced. The 1951 PL coinage struck by the Royal Mint for Australia is a case in point.

Dedicated Commonwealth coin collectors will attest that the Australian coins struck by the Royal Mint in London in 1951 are reasonably readily available in choice grade - this is actually a reflection of the strong need for circulating coinage in the Australia’s burgeoning economy that year.

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Posted on: Oct, 10/22/2008

As the only archival-quality copper coin struck by the Perth Mint in the 1920's, the specimen 1922 penny with the Indian obverse stands alone as an exclusive, tangible record of the strategy that the Commonwealth Treasury followed to ensure that Australian commerce was able to grow unimpeded following the return of the ANZAC's to our home shores.

A Nation Rebuilds After the War to End All Wars

Shortly after the First World War began between Britain and Germany in August 1914, Australia's government under Prime Minister Andrew Fisher pledged full support for Great Britain. The outbreak of war was greeted in Australia, as in many other places, with great enthusiasm. This war was Australia's...

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Posted on: Sep, 09/30/2008

When our national silver coinage was introduced in Australia in 1910, the new Commonwealth Government attempted to produce enough coins to satisfy the national economy for several years. For this reason, the mintage figures for the years immediately following 1910 were comparatively  low.

The outset of World War I had a further impact on the production figures of Australian coinage, and also on the way in which they were produced.

The Royal Mint in London had already been swamped with work in striking coins for all of the colonies in the British Empire, and had been delegating some of the work in striking colonial "token" coinage to the Heaton Mint at Birmingham.

In addition to this work, the Heaton Mint was also producing significant quantities of copper strip and tubing for the...

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Category [ Tags: Commonwealth Coins ]
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Posted on: Sep, 09/09/2008

The 1921 penny struck with the “London” obverse die is unanimously rated as amongst the rarest of all penny varieties – it's rare even in heavily worn condition, and is truly rare in mint state.

Here's a brief explanation of the reason for the rarity of this keenly sought Commonwealth coin:

Australia 1921 London Penny

When pence were first minted in Australia, the master dies were supplied from the Royal Mint at London, and also by the Calcutta Mint in India. All pence minted in Australia in 1919 were struck from the London die, however in...

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