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Posted on: Sep, 09/03/2016

Australia’s Next Generation Banknote $5

Well, September 1st 2016 has passed, and the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has issued Australia’s Next Generation Banknote (NGB) $5 into circulation.

Although keyboard warriors across the nation frothed at the mouth when the designs were first shown just a few short months ago, I heard hardly a peep in the media last Thursday (mainstream or social). Crickets could be heard chirping in the silence, and tumbleweeds rolled down the street!

So it seems that although us...

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Category [ Tags: Decimal Coins & Banknotes ]
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Posted on: Aug, 08/03/2016

The 1856 Sydney half sovereign with the Type 2 reverse (HST256R2) was for several years unique within the Australian gold coin series - no other circulating Australian half sovereign was known with this exact reverse design.

The 1861 Sydney Mint Half Sovereign With the Type 2 Reverse

That all changed in April 2012 however, when an eagle-eyed numismatist spotted an 1861 Sydney half sovereign that had the same reverse design.

The 1856 Sydney half sovereign with the Type 2 reverse is extremely rare in any condition - research as at July 2016 indicates that possibly around 12 unique examples are...

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Category [ Tags: Australian Gold Coinage ]
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Posted on: Jun, 06/29/2016

Following the publication of our first article on the alignment of the dies used to strike the Holey Dollars, I got a phone call from George Snelgrove - currently a councillor with the Queensland branch of the Australian Numismatic Society (ANS). George mentioned that although he didn't get our email himself, he'd been told about it by John Cook - the Secretary of the Queensland branch of the ANS.

What followed was quite an animated conversation about a...

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Category [ Tags: Proclamation and Colonial Coins ]
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Posted on: Jun, 06/13/2016

A number of times over the past four decades, several Holey Dollars have been described by a range of dealers and auctioneers as having been “specially” struck - that is, for archival or presentation purposes.

One characteristic shared by each of these coins were counterstamps that were struck in alignment with the design on the host coin.

Very few Holey Dollars have this characteristic, where if the top of the king’s head or the top of the pillars on the obverse and the peak of the crown on the reverse are positioned to sit at 12 o’clock, then the words “FIVE SHILLINGS” and “NEW SOUTH WALES” in the counterstamps run evenly across the top of the inner circle from approximately 9 o’clock to 3 o’clock.

...

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Category [ Tags: Proclamation and Colonial Coins ]
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Posted on: Apr, 04/28/2016

New $5 Banknote

The release of the designs to be used on a new $5 banknote to be introduced into circulation in Australia in September 2016 took social media by storm - there was no shortage of keyboard warriors foaming at the mouth about whether the Queen should still be on an Australian banknote, and just how (apparently) unattractive the designs were!


...

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Category [ Tags: Decimal Coins & Banknotes ]
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Posted on: Jan, 01/06/2016

Banks of Western Australia

West Australians are often rightly characterised as generally being a parochial bunch, this provincialism mean that in the days before the Commonwealth Government assumed control over the issue of Australia’s circulating currency notes in 1910, most West Australians preferred to bank with either the Bank of Western Australia or the Western Australian Bank.

Banks that had been founded outside the colony of WA found it difficult to establish a presence here, the Bank of Australasia prime among them.

Strong Local Support

The history of the Bank of Australasia in West Australia has two chapters - the first runs between 1841 and 1846, when a branch was established in Perth. Mick Vort Ronald's research indicated that there...

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Category [ Tags: Pre-Federation Notes ]
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Posted on: Dec, 12/21/2015

 The 1911 Specimen Penny

Although this incredibly important Australian coin has appeared at auction twice in the past 18 months, in my opinion collectors don’t yet fully appreciate just how historically important and rare it is.

This coin is in fact an archival-standard strike of Australia’s very first penny - it is one of only 2 known in private hands, and was struck for the express purpose of officially recording the start of the production of Australia’s first Commonwealth pennies.

It is important for a number of reasons - not only is it one the very first Australian pennies ever struck, it also showed for the first...

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Category [ Tags: Commonwealth Coins ]
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Posted on: Dec, 12/10/2015

The deployment of the world’s first polymer banknotes in 1988 was so successful that it appeared to many to be an overnight success. One day we were using paper banknotes, the next we were handling notes made from plastic. The notes were so finished, with complete designs, nation-wide distribution and even a publicity campaign, that there was little thought given to the process that led to that point.

1977 CSIRO Polymer Test Note

Truly innovative technology doesn’t just come into existence overnight of course, the evolution of the technology used to print...

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Category [ Tags: Decimal Coins & Banknotes ]
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Posted on: Dec, 12/04/2015

The Great Depression

The Great Depression ensured the rarity of many coins & banknotes issued at the time - as the graph on this page shows, economic activity was so limited during the Depression that the number of coins minted in 1932 was just 6% of that produced in 1927.

The rarity of the 1932 florin is directly linked to “the worst year of the Depression”.

The crash in the...

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Category [ Tags: Commonwealth Coins ]
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Posted on: Oct, 10/13/2015

The document I’m referring to isn’t specifically about “Australian” sovereigns, but was written on the British sovereigns featuring Joseph Edgar Boehm’s  “Jubilee” portrait of Queen Victoria, stuck by the Royal Mint between 1887 and 1893. The brochure is called “The Jubilee Head Gold Sovereign”, and has been written by David Iverson and Stephen Hill. (Click that link to read it online.)

As the mints located in Australia at that time (Sydney and Melbourne) were branches of the Royal Mint (and were not “Australian” mints per se), they are also covered by this document. If you haven’t already guessed it, the document was...

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Category [ Tags: Australian Gold Coinage ]
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