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Australia George V

1914  Florin reverse 1914  Florin obverse

1914 Florin

Mintage:2,300,000
Reverse Designer:W. H. J. Blakemore Obverse Designer:Sir E. B. MacKennel Size:28mm Weight:11.31g Edge:Reeded Composition:92.5% Silver
7.5% Copper

Values

Sales History

After the outbreak of World War I in 1914 the Royal Mint in London became heavily involved in manufacturing military materials. This wartime necessity reduced the Mint's ability to fulfil growing Australian demand for currency. To resolve this problem the private mint of Heaton & Sons in Birmingham was contracted to produce 500,000 George V Florins, in addition to the 2,300,000 pieces produced by the Royal Mint in London. The Florins produced at the Heaton & Sons mint were struck with a small 'H' mint-mark which can be found below the date on the reverse (see the image below) while those struck in London remained plain.

Heaton & Sons 'H' mint-mark on a 1914-H Florin. Heaton & Sons 'H' mint-mark on a 1914-H Florin.

No mint-mark on a 1914 Florin struck at the Royal Mint in London. No mint-mark on a 1914 Florin struck at the Royal Mint in London.

One of the major reasons for this high mintage was a deal made between the Australian and British Imperial Government. It was decided that with the introduction of Australian pounds in 1910 the Australian Government would return �100,000 of Imperial silver coinage to Great Britain annually. However, an unprecedented need for high denomination silver coinage in Australia meant that by 1914 less than �100,000 of the imperial coinage in total had been returned. The large demand for new Australian silver coins coupled with a need to return and discontinue British silver coins helps to explain the large mintage in 1914 and the need to commission the mint of Heaton & Sons.

Although the Royal Mint struggled to meet Australia's demand for Florins they still produced the largest mintage since the introduction of the series. As a result of this high mintage, the plain 1914 Florin is one of the most affordable types in the early Florin series. The number of surviving higher grade examples is also relatively substantial with PCGS having seen more than twenty pieces in mint-state. A collector seeking an attractive early George V Florin for less than a fortune would do well to investigate this 1914 type.

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