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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: Jan, 01/06/2009

The discovery of gold in Australia in 1851 gave birth to a number of initiatives (two official, one unoffical) that were intended to address the need for a circulating coinage throughout the Australian colonies.

At present I am researching the role that WJ Taylor, and his Kangaroo Office at Port Phillip played in the history of Australia's coinage.

When I have researched the evolution of the Adelaide Assay Office and the Sydney Mint previously, I've found it very useful to chart significant events on a timeline - this has helped greatly to understand the path from the realization of a pressing need for coinage to an established and effective system of coinage. What follows below is a timeline of key events related to the Adelaide Assay Office, the Sydney Mint and the Kangaroo Office.

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Category [ Tags: Australian Gold Coinage ]
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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, 10/23/2008

For many centuries, the Dutch dominated the lucrative spice and opium trade of South East Asia, and the British East India Company (EIC) first attempted to enter it by establishing a pepper-trading center and garrison at Bencoolen (Bengkulu) on the South-West coast of Sumatra in 1685.

For a time, Bencoolen was a Presidency in its own right, and controlled the administration of other British factories along the West coast of Sumatra. As it was far away from the primary regional trade routes however, Bencoolen functioned mainly as a penal colony - it could not successfully produce pepper as planned and it became a financial loss to the EIC. Despite this chequered history, Bencoolen was in fact the last territory in Indonesia to be held by the British.

British expansion throughout South East...

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Category [ Tags: World Numismatics ]
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Posted on: Oct, 10/22/2008

Economists state that money has three basic functions: as a medium of exchange; a measure of value and as a store of value. To quote the famed economist Adam Smith: “Money is a commodity or token that everyone will accept in exchange for the things they have to sell.”

A technical discussion of the history of coinage and paper money in Australia then could focus on the various coins; tokens and slips of paper that have been exchanged in trade since settlement; the range of items seen by Australians as being a solid store of value and the various items that have been used to measure value in Australian business over the years.

A broader exploration of these issues allows us to explore Australian social & cultural history in a truly unique way.

Settlement to 1825:...

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Category [ Tags: Proclamation and Colonial 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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Category [ Tags: Commonwealth Coins ]
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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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Category [ Tags: Commonwealth Coins ]
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Posted on: Oct, 10/20/2008

The definition of what constitutes a “proclamation coin” has been the subject of conjecture in Australian numismatics for many years.  Given the not insignificant body of work that covers this section of our numismatic heritage, one would have thought that the term had been more than adequately defined several times over already.

As one that deals with collectors active in this field on a very regular basis, I can confirm that just what defines a proclamation coin remains a question of some concern for many collectors as they become familiar with the field of Australian colonial coinage.

A narrow understanding of what constitutes a proclamation coin is only a concern if collectors draw incorrect conclusions about the flows of capital and the character of trade in colonial Australia as a...

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Category [ Tags: Proclamation and Colonial Coins ]
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Posted on: Oct, 10/10/2008

While I was at the Sydney ANDA show recently, I was fortunate enough to be offered a few coins for sale. Among them was one of the more interesting coins I've ever come across.

At first blush, it looks just like any other silver and round Australian 50¢ coin struck in 1966 - trouble is, it came with two other coins that were far rarer, so I took a second look at it to see if I could tell if it was rare or otherwise interesting.

Possible pattern of the 1966 50¢

Under a glass, the first thing I could see was that there were two very clear double bars behind the emu's head on the reverse - and I sure haven't...

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Category [ Tags: Decimal Coins & Banknotes ]
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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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