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Collecting Old Australian Coins

Walter Eigner Collecting old Australian coins provides a fascinating glimpse into Australia's history through its circulating coinage. While there is a general impression that old coins are too expensive for new collectors to collect that couldn't be further from the truth. For just a few dollars you could obtain a later year mint-state pre-decimal coin, and for less than the cost of a modern proof set you can purchase a George V (1911-1936) pre-decimal coin.

The case for certified coins

Walter Eigner The debate on certified coins vs uncertified coins has been going on in Australia since PCGS first reached the mainstream Australian market back in 2008. While today most Australian coin collectors favour PCGS graded coins, a recent incident has reaffirmed the importance of and buying certified coins and valuing them first, especially when buying on-line.

Valuing Old Coins

Walter Eigner By far the most common question we get asked is "what is my coin worth?" Perhaps you found a few old coins which is why you're here reading this article. Maybe you're a seasoned collector already looking to get more precise values for your coins than the printed catalogues can offer. Perhaps you're an investor looking to value your coin portfolio. This guide will cover all of that.

The Silver of Edward VII

Walter Eigner Although Australia had been a nation since 1901, it wasn't until 1910 that her first official coins were produced. While the Melbourne mint was producing sovereigns and half sovereigns at the time, these were technically Imperial British coins. The first coins issued specifically for Australia were struck in silver and of the denominations threepence, sixpence, shilling, and florin. These featured the Australian Coat of Arms on the reverse and the crowed bust of King Edward VII on the obverse.

Sydney Mint Half Sovereigns

Walter Eigner The discovery of gold in the colony New South Wales in 1851 prompted a surge of immigration among prospectors seeking wealth in the new colony. This lead to the production of half sovereigns in Sydney as of 1855. Only 3.3 million half sovereigns were produced from 1855 to 1869 resulting in individual years being very scarce and valuable. To add to this, the high bullion content of Sydney mint half sovereigns, which were alloyed with silver, compared with their British counterparts, which were alloyed with copper...

About NumisTip

Walter Eigner 27-Sep-2019


NumisTip evolved out of the Blue Sheet in 2018 expanding the Australian, Malaysian, Hong Kong, and Thai sites into a global catalogue of world coins. The Blue Sheet has been the standard valuation reference for certified Australian coins since 2008 when it evolved from the On-line Retail Price Guide which started in 2004. It has come a long way since then, starting out as a community-entered valuation site then turning into manually updated prices based on past sales and finally to its current form, automatically generated prices based on sales of certified coins.

Membership and Pricing

NumisTip provides free articles on the coins it covers along with free retail pricing. Wholesale pricing is available with a subscription and access to the past sales records can be had with a standard or professional subscription. The professional subscription also gives access to marketing features.

The Pricing System

Prices are based on the weighted average of past sales of PCGS and NGC graded coins with retail prices being increased based on the liquidity and trend of the coin in the specific grade and the wholesale being decreased. The more liquid a coin, the lower the margin between buy and sell is. Upward trends decrease this margin and downward trends increase it. The liquidity is calculated based on the frequency of recent sales and the consistency of the sale prices.

Where there is sufficient data available, e.g. for most Australian pre-decimal, general decimal issues and later gold issues, this pricing system produces incredibly accurate representations of real retail and wholesale pricing.

As such, pricing is for PCGS and NGC graded coins only. Depending on the popularity of either service in any particular market, prices may be skewed towards one service's grades over another.

A Note on Accuracy

While NumisTip is extremely accurate where sufficient sales data is present, when data is absent which can be the case for extremely rare coins, NumisTip prices can fall out of date. The accuracy of pricing can be checked through recent sales history which is available with a standard or professional subscription.

Past Sales Records

Past sales can be used to verify our sources if you have a standard-level subscription or above.

Recent sales history for the 1921 sixpence

These can also be used to see how different auction houses perform for different coins.