Stay One Step Ahead


Posted on: Apr, 04/30/2013

Proclamation Coins

The results of a recent auction of a world-class collection of Brazilian gold coins has confirmed to me the simple truth that Australians approach the proclamation coin series by “type”, and don’t fully appreciate the true breadth and scope of the series of coins that was framed by Governor King’s proclamation on November 17th, 1800.

We obviously think nothing of the situation where collectors pay tens of thousands of dollars for an Australian penny dated 1930, yet just a few cents for an Australian penny dated 1936 in the same condition.

I’m not convinced yet that Australian collectors think the same way when it comes to proclamation coins however.


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Category [ Tags: Proclamation and Colonial Coins ]
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Posted on: Apr, 04/23/2013

We recently picked up a rather large library of numismatic books from a deceased estate here in Perth - no less than 20 crates of books that had been in storage for around 30 years.

It turns out they belonged to a dealer that was active in Perth from the late 1970’s to the early 1980’s, one that it could be argued left town “prematurely”.

When I was initially faced with the prospect of sorting out this library, it wasn’t evident that there any books at all in it that had a lot of great information in them. I was feeling more dread at the work ahead of me, rather than excitement at the prospect of unearthing a productive gem within it!

Dead silverfish, dust, ratty old cardboard boxes falling apart - the smell alone put me off! It didn’t help...

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Category [ Tags: Commonwealth Coins ]
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Posted on: Jan, 01/21/2013

The Provincial and Suburban Bank opened for business on November 26th, 1872 at 165 Smith Street in Collingwood (Melbourne, Victoria). Three years of poor results right from the outset meant that a portion of the bank's capital had to be written off not long after it was established.

Provincial & Suburban Bank £10 Specimen Note

Management then changed to a Mr Richard Willis, a gentleman who until that stage in his career had apparently been a cordial manufacturer. With a background such as that, it is perhaps unsurprising that it was proven later that Willis was "...

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Category [ Tags: Commonwealth Banknotes ]
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Posted on: Nov, 11/29/2012

The Western Australian Bank was a proud local business institution that was formed in 1841, and became part of the Bank of New South Wales in 1927. It was one of the very few Australian banks to survive the banking crisis of 1893, and for 86 years it was a trusted member of the West Australian business community.1844 Western Australian Bank Unissued One Pound

The banknotes issued by the Western Australian Bank were readily accepted right up until the Commonwealth Government took over the note issue in 1910.

Established in 1841 on the Corner of St Georges Terrace...

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Category [ Tags: Commonwealth Banknotes ]
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Posted on: Nov, 11/16/2012

Printing banknotes is just like any other mass manufacturing process – the machines work perfectly 99.99% of the time, but mistakes sometimes happen.

Misprinted banknotes were always destroyed immediately (or at least they should have been), which would leave a standard bundle of 100 notes one or two short.

In Australia between 1948 and 1972, replacement notes were used to ensure complete bundles could be issued.

These replacement notes all have one feature in common – the last digit in the serial number was always replaced with an asterisk “*” (referred to by collectors as a star). This is why they are called "star replacement note", “starnote" or just “star".)

Decimal star notes printed between 1966 and 1972 all have serial numbers that start with the letter “Z”....

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Category [ Tags: Decimal Coins & Banknotes ]
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Posted on: Sep, 09/22/2012

There are a number of reasons that the majority of collectors don’t gravitate towards coins that are damaged or notes that are heavily torn.

The first is that items like this just look plain awful!

We all often associate damage with accidents or injury, or even worse, with intentional vandalism.

Damaged 1923 Halfpenny

Collectors really aren’t interested in owning much less admiring a coin or note that might’ve been damaged through rotten luck or outright malevolence, so they pass damaged items by until they see a coin or note that catches their eye.

Often, when collectors do end up owning a...

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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.”


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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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