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Posted on: Nov, 11/18/2014

Gough Whitlam

The voice boomed down the phone and caught me a little off guard. It being the middle of an otherwise ordinary afternoon and me being an ordinary coin dealer in suburban Sydney, I wasn’t used to being slammed in the ear by a force of nature while sitting at my desk.

“Andrew Crellin?” the caller demanded.

“Yes, it is” I replied coolly, by now intrigued and unsettled all at once.

Anyone that deals with the general public on a regular basis is used to seeing most colours in the rainbow of humanity over any one day, and I’m reluctant to admit I was steeling myself for a shade further out the spectrum shall we say, when...

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Category [ Tags: Decimal Coins & Banknotes ]
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Posted on: Sep, 09/24/2014

The 1852 Adelaide Ingots are counted among Australia’s most historic numismatic items - they were the very first items produced by the Adelaide Assay Office following the discovery of gold at Mount Alexander (in Victoria) in November 1851. 

These enigmatic slabs of gold are incredibly rare - just 2 exist in private hands anywhere in the world.

According to a noted authority on the Adelaide Assay Office, James Hunt-Deacon, “The introduction of the Bullion Act and the subsequent coinage … was a masterly stroke of legislature, and played no small part in averting economic catastrophe and laying the foundation for a stabilized currency.[1]

Electrotypes Are Widely Regarded As...

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Category [ Tags: Australian Gold Coinage ]
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Posted on: Sep, 09/12/2014

The 1852 Adelaide Pound is Australia’s first gold coin, minted in response to problems caused by the discovery of gold at Mount Alexander (Victoria) in November 1851.

It is one of Australia’s rarest and most coveted coins, and is seldom seen on the collector market. The story surrounding its conception, production and withdrawal has several threads that have been shown to have enduring appeal – the perseverance and foresight of George Tinline; the leadership of Sir Henry Young; the ingenuity of the Assay Office staff and the enterprise of all those that flocked to the goldfields are all stories that strike a chord with Australians in the 21st century.

Imminent and Immediate Peril

A definitive description of the woeful state of the South Australian economy prior to...

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Category [ Tags: Australian Gold Coinage ]
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Posted on: Sep, 09/01/2014

The silver Resolution and Adventure medallion commemorates Captain James Cook’s Second Voyage across the Southern Hemisphere, a pioneering journey that fundamentally changed the way the world was viewed.

It has long been regarded as a key item in Australian numismatics, and unequivocally rates as one of the most desirable items of Captain Cook memorabilia available. Not only does it remain a direct link to one of the greatest explorers the world has ever known, it is also strongly connected to the man regarded by many as being “The Father of Australia”[1], Sir Joseph Banks.

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Category [ Tags: Proclamation and Colonial Coins ]
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Posted on: Aug, 08/07/2014

The Rapid was an early 19th-century American vessel that wrecked on Ningaloo Reef (NW WA coast) in 1811. It was bound for Canton (Guangzhou) in China, and had a cargo of 280,000 Spanish silver dollars when it sank. 

Not only was this an incredible sum of money in those days (the weight of this silver was just shy of 8 tonnes), the survival story of the men on the Rapid is one of hardship and endurance. In addition to that, the discovery of the wreck in 1978 has been described as being one of the most incredible finds in Australian maritime history.

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Category [ Tags: Proclamation and Colonial Coins ]
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Posted on: Aug, 08/07/2014

One-Pound Shinplasters

One-pound shinplasters were printed for the proprietors of a general store in Champion Bay (Geraldton) between 1858 and 1874, recent research has confirmed that while a signed, dated and issued note has not yet 

 

been sighted, they were definitely valued as a store of value and a medium of exchange in West Australia at that time.

A small number of attractive unissued examples of this note still exist - they remain a direct link to one of the Swan River Colony’s most important men.

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Category [ Tags: Pre-Federation Notes ]
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Posted on: Aug, 08/06/2014

The 1926 Sydney sovereign is something of an enigma to many numismatists: published information on it is almost as rare as the coin itself.

Although the official gold sovereign mintage for Sydney in 1926 is 131,050, many senior numismatists believe that 131,000 were shipped to London as payment against debts incurred by the Australian Government in World War I. It is thought that these coins were melted down immediately upon arrival in London, and the incredible rarity of this coin certainly appears to bear that theory out.

The Last Sydney Mint Sovereigns Were Struck on August 11th, 1926

Although the last gold deposits at the Sydney Mint were made on June 30th 1926, the last sovereigns were not actually struck until August 11th.

In a description of events...

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Category [ Tags: Australian Gold Coinage ]
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Posted on: Aug, 08/06/2014

The 1887 Melbourne Shield is the last of the enigmatic rare dates that are among the Australian Shield sovereign series. It is one of the few Australian sovereigns that are rarer than their equivalent half sovereign, and is also one of the rarest coins ever struck by the Melbourne Mint.

It has long had a strong appeal to date collectors of Australian sovereigns, if only for its rarity alone.

It’s not yet clear what the true cause of this coin’s rarity is, however there are a few factors that may have played a role in restricting the number of coins that were struck, and further that restricted the number of coins that remain available to collectors today:

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Category [ Tags: Australian Gold Coinage ]
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Posted on: Aug, 08/06/2014

Scarce 1886 Melbourne Shield Sovereign

Sovereign collectors the world over have long known Queen Victoria Shield reverse sovereigns to be very scarce, the 1886 Melbourne is the rarest Shield of them all.

Dedicated collectors of the Australian gold series who were active back in the 1970’s will readily tell you that the 1886 M Shield was one of the keys to the entire Australian series.

Interestingly, the vast majority of, if not all shield sovereigns struck in Australia were exported to India. The background to this nuance of distribution provides an insight into world trade in the 19th century. The British East India Company was actively involved in the China-India trade during this period, some of the products traded included: British cotton; Indian textiles; opium...

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Category [ Tags: Australian Gold Coinage ]
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Posted on: Aug, 08/06/2014

Before the Melbourne Mint's very first coins were struck during the official opening ceremony by the Governor of Victoria, Sir John Manners-Sutton, on June 12th 1872, the early months of the Melbourne Mint were fraught with difficulty. Prime among the problems the Royal Mint staff faced was the complete loss of a vital batch of dies in a shipwreck off the coast of Ceylon (Sri Lanka) in November, 1871.

While making his initial preparations for the establishment of the Melbourne Mint, the Royal Engineer in charge, Colonel Fred Ward, requested that dies dated 1870 and 1871 be provided. Ward's request for dies dated 1870 was declined, and he was provided only with dies dated 1871....

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Category [ Tags: Australian Gold Coinage ]
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