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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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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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Category [ Tags: Commonwealth Coins ]
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Posted on: Aug, 08/28/2008

William Joseph Taylor was a British entrepreneur active in the numismatic manufacturing industry in London in the late 19th century.

An Entrepreneur In Every Sense Of The Word

Perhaps his largest project was the Kangaroo Office at Port Phillip between 1853 and 1857 – a venture intended to take advantage of the explosive economic growth in Australia following the discovery of gold in 1851. The pattern tokens struck by Taylor for this venture are among the most keenly sought of all Australian numismatic items. Taylor is variously described as having been an engraver; a die-sinker and a medallist.[1] He was an entrepreneur in every sense of the word – a man with an ability to dream big, he...

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Category [ Tags: Australian Gold Coinage ]
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Posted on: Jul, 07/06/2008

The 1946 penny is Australia's 3rd rarest penny – one of the last gaps to be plugged in most penny albums, and a real prize in top condition. The mintage was among the lowest in the entire penny series because 145 million pennies had been struck in the seven years leading up to 1946, and few extra coins were required once Australian and US armed forces began to demobilize in September 1945.

Depending on exactly which events and dates are taken into account, World War II began in September 1939 and ended in September 1945. During this six year period, almost a million Australians, both men and women, 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...

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Category [ Tags: Commonwealth Coins ]
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Posted on: Feb, 02/29/2008

As Australia's 3rd rarest copper Commonwealth coin, the 1925 penny is one of the most keenly sought coins in the entire Commonwealth series. Royal Mint records seem to indicate that it was struck quite late in 1925 to ensure there was no chance that Australian shop tills ran short of pennies over the 1925 Christmas break.Australia 1925 Penny

The desire to own a truly rare Australian coin can be an idle curiosity, a passing whimsy or an inexplicable drive. Most Commonwealth coin collectors first satisfy their compulsion by getting themselves a 1925 penny. Although it isn't anywhere...

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Category [ Tags: Commonwealth Coins ]
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