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Recent Articles 9-Nov-2022

The Australian One Cent

Walter Eigner The Australian One Cent is a keenly collected series owing to its attractive design and relative affordability. It was first issued in 1966 and continued as a regular issue until 1991. Due to its popularity, the coin was re-issued in 2006, 2010, and 2016 as part of collector sets.

Cleaning Coins

Walter Eigner Cleaning coins is one of the most divisive issues in coin collecting though most of the contention stems from a misunderstanding of the problems with cleaning coins. Dealers typically advise new collectors that cleaning will devalue their coins then they go ahead and happily sell cleaned coins.

Rare Pre-Decimal Coins

Anna Fhaumnuaypol Pre-decimals are coins that everyone, whether you are a collector or just starting out, usually have in their collection which have the potential to truly worth a lot of money. It represents a very interesting look into the past since when it was first introduced in Australia in 1910.

1942 and 1943 Bombay Mint Copper

Anna Fhaumnuaypol During wartime, the demand for pennies and half pennies increased immensely due to pay requirements of Australian and American forces within Australia. However, the availability of metals, especially copper and silver used for coins, was in shortage due to it being used for the war effort for munitions. Moreover, people were continuing to hoard silver and copper coins in money boxes for fear of instability resulting in banks running out of coins to function their day-to-day routine.

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...
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Collecting Old Australian Coins

Half Penny

The lowest denomination issued in Australia was the half penny although farthings (equivalent to a quarter penny) were issued in Great Britain and did circulate in Australia at times. The half penny is equivalent to just under half a cent today in terms of face value though tend to start from around 30c in price for circulated examples of common dates to half a million for the proof 1923 half penny.

The 1923 is the rarest date though in series and although over one million coins were struck in 1923, these were struck at Sydney which did not have 1923 dies on hand so it can be assumed that these were struck with an earlier year die, probably 1922. The 1923 was struck at Melbourne which only started minting half pennies that year. Although the treasury order over 100,000 coins from Melbourne that year, the mint only had two working dies on hand and both cracked limiting this run to an estimated 15,000.

The Rare 1923 Half Penny

The series was struck from 1911 to 1964 and while most dates can be found for a few dollars, the 1923 will set you back at least $1000 for a problem-free example. In mint state most later dates can be found for under $30 while some earlier years start from $100 upwards with the 1915-H, 1918-I, and 1924 commanding $1000 plus price tags in mint state.

These letters after the dates are mintmarks and indicate where the coin was minted, H for the Heaton Mint in Birmingham, I for the Bombay Mint in India. Other years were struck in London, Sydney, Melbourne, and Perth with the former three generally not showing mint marks. Coins struck at Perth typically have a dot after the Y of PENNY or a dot after the A of AUSTRALIA for 1952 and 1953. Additionally coins without a mintmark struck in 1945, 1951, and 1955 were also struck at Perth. The London and Birmingham mints also struck half pennies in 1951 bearing the mintmark PL.

Coins struck from 1911, 1913, and the 1914 without a mintmark were struck at the Royal Mint London, those struck from 1919 to 1922 were at Sydney, while the remaining years which do not bear a mintmark were struck at Melbourne, except for 1926 which saw the Sydney mint aid in production. These cannot reliably be distinguished from the Melbourne mint 1926 issues.

The issue was struck in all years except 1937, 1956, 1957, and 1958.

For more information about Australian half pennies and their values, search for half penny on the NumisTip home page.

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