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Posted on: Sep, 09/21/2012

Collecting Coins

Just why otherwise normal people spend perfectly good money on collectible coins is a very good question.

If you’re able to understand why people collect coins, you’ll be better work in with your fellow collectors, and better positioned take advantage of the many opportunities that are available.

If you’re looking for a quick answer that will tell you how to make a fortune in this market, you’ll probably want to skip this section. Stick with it though – you’ll give yourself a much better chance of being successful if you get a good understanding of what presses the average collector’s buttons.

The instinct to collect runs deep in many of us – collecting is a compulsion that can’t always be explained clearly, let alone be controlled by rational...

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Posted on: Aug, 08/08/2012

To many collectors, 2013 marks a hundred years since Australia’s first notes were issued. The “Treasury” series of Commonwealth notes have long been regarded by the vast majority of Australian note collectors as the first notes issued by Australia’s Commonwealth government.

Superscribed Bank Notes 1 Pound

Knowledgable collectors are aware that the Treasury notes are not the first - the Type I superscribed notes that were issued from 1910 is the first series of Australian notes issued under the authority of the Commonwealth government.

Our superscribed...

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Category [ Tags: Commonwealth Banknotes ]
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Posted on: Jul, 07/13/2012

Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee - the 50th anniversary of her reign, was celebrated in England on June 20th and 21st in 1887, and also in a series of events throughout Australia on the same dates.

1887 Sydney Jubilee Head Sovereign

Special proof sets of coins were struck at the Royal Mint in London to mark the occasion, however it was explicitly stated by telegram from London that:

“The Royal Mint do not intend to forward to the colonies any of the new coins that have been designed in honour of the Queen’s Jubilee.”

Permission...

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Category [ Tags: Australian Gold Coinage ]
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Posted on: Jun, 06/26/2012

 

It had been known since 1851 that the gold being mined in Australia was of greater purity than that standard in London, and furthermore that the natural alloy in which it was found included a predominance of silver. This was rather different to the copper alloy that the Royal Mint used to harden the gold it used when producing sovereigns.

This fact was borne out by the Royal Mint’s “Trial of the Pyx” in 1856, which showed that the Sydney sovereigns surveyed included on average 0.02% more gold than the London standard required. Although the percentage of silver in the alloy used for sovereigns at the Sydney Mint was higher than that used in London, the cost of the technology employed in extracting it in 1855 did not make it financially viable to do so.

The fact the amounts of extra...

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Category [ Tags: Australian Gold Coinage ]
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Posted on: Jun, 06/09/2012

When doing some research into a few polymer decimal specimen banknotes, I came across an article online that’s thrown me for a bit of a six in relation to how we categorize Australia’s polymer specimen banknotes.

The information is on a website self-described as being “the world’s leading reference for polymer (and hybrid) bank notes.” The gentleman behind the website, Mr Stane Straus, is “one of the world’s leading authorities on polymer bank note collecting; he also owns one of the world’s finest polymer bank note collections…” and is co-author of “World Polymer Banknotes”, the...

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Category [ Tags: Decimal Coins & Banknotes ]
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Posted on: May, 05/23/2012

The recent discovery of a 1988 Bicentennial $10 note with an AB 57 serial prefix, and a serial number beginning with the digits “94”, has brought fresh scrutiny of the characteristics that have long been used to differentiate between the two production runs of Australia’s circulating bicentennial $10 polymer banknotes.

 Front of R310b $10 Note with AB 57 94 serials

 

It is not yet clear whether the newly-identified note is simply a serial numbering oddity, or an important exception to the long-held rule used by numismatists to classify Australia’s first commemorative banknote....

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Category [ Tags: Decimal Coins & Banknotes ]
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Posted on: Jan, 01/18/2012

As someone that has been exposed to a reasonable number of coins on a daily basis for well over a decade now, it isn't often at all that a heavily worn penny registers as being of any import or interest at all.

The 1827 penny is a major exception to this rule however - not only is it one of the rarest British pennies issued in the 19th century, but it is unique among the British "token" (i.e. copper and silver) coinage series in that it is widely believed to have been solely struck for circulation in Australia.

GB1D1827

 

I strongly believe that...

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Category [ Tags: Proclamation and Colonial Coins ]
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Posted on: Dec, 12/23/2011

There are certain auctions that capture the zeitgest or mood of a particular period of activity in the Australian numismatic market, the auction of the Pratley collection of Australian half sovereigns, held in Sydney in March of 1989 by Spink Auctions (Australia), certainly captured the mood of the half sovereign market in Australia of the 1980's.

The Australian Half sovereign series is one that is formidable to many collectors - many dates are rare in any condition, and are nigh impossible to obtain in mint state. This presents an insurmountable problem for most collectors of average means, both financially and in terms of patience!

To complete a set of Australian half sovereigns requires dedication, knowledge and diligence (not to mention a good...

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Category [ Tags: Australian Gold Coinage ]
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Posted on: Dec, 12/21/2011

An increasingly popular numismatic field are the coins struck prior to the Australian "Proclamation" era of 1788 - 1826.

This area of Australian numismatics is generally described as being "pre-settlement coinage", and includes coins related to Australian history before settlement in 1788.

Numerous silver coins have been recovered from several Dutch shipwrecks (dating back to the early 1600s) along the Western Australian coast, these artefacts make for fascinating study.

The wrecks themselves are clear evidence of European contact with the Australian continent well before the arrival of Arthur Phillip in 1788, and the coins (perhaps contentiously) may be regarded as Australia’s first coins. Exploring the background to these coins and the...

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Category [ Tags: Proclamation and Colonial Coins ]
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Posted on: Aug, 08/17/2011

Many dictionaries state that the word “provenance” comes from the French word “provenir” (to come from), and is variously used to describe the origin or the source of something (wine and even fresh meat are two topical examples), or covers to the history of the ownership of an object (as in the case of art or collectibles).

In numismatic terms, a provenance provides a chronology of previous owners, and often the channel through which the item was purchased.

Documented evidence of provenance can help establish that a coin or note is genuine, has not been altered, and that it comes with good title.A provenance can not only establish the background to a coin, but it can confirm the importance that a coin had in the collections it was...

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