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22-Nov-2019

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.
1-Nov-2019

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.
5-Oct-2019

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.
28-Sep-2019

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.
10-Sep-2019

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...
Next Page: Threepence

Pre-Decimal Silver Coins of Edward VII (1910)

Introduction

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.

Originally the coins were intended to feature the map of Australia on the reverse but this was eventually changed to the Coat of Arms design. The map obverse attracted substantial media for its novelty with many arguing both in favour of the innovation and against it. In parliament Sir John Forrest and Prime Minster Andrew Fisher argued extensively about the designs - the newspaper 'The World's News' stated that "...bickering about the design of the proposed Australian silver coinage shows that the artistic susceptibilities of such connoisseurs as Sir John Forrest and Mr. Fisher are almost as divergent as their political views." (The World's News, 1909) The article sides against the map design stating "It would surely be an advantage for Australian coins to conform to the general principles of of coinage in all countries, and to stamp a map of Australia on the reverse... is a departure from all precedent." Such criticisms were clearly headed as in 1910 the new Australian silver coins featured a simple Coat of Arms design on the reverse.

In the early 1970s a number of double sided re-strikes of the 1909 uniface florin were unofficially produced by the notorious forger David Gee. He had used an obverse die created from an Edward VII two pound coin stolen from the NSW State Library and a die produced from 1909 Florin electrotypes stolen from the Royal Australian Mint. They feature the uncrowned bust of King Edward VII on the obverse and the Australian map reverse design.

2067Specimen
Next Page: Threepence