Mintage:500,000 Reverse Designer:W. H. J. BlakemoreObverse Designer:Sir E. B. MacKennelSize:28mmWeight:11.31gEdge:ReededComposition:92.5% Silver 7.5% Copper
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
the 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).
Heaton & Sons 'H' mint-mark on a 1914-H Florin.
One of the major reasons for this high overall
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 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
in 1914 and the need to commission the mint of Heaton & Sons.
of the Heaton & Sons variety of the 1914 florin has made them a semi-key date that is scarce and desirable across all
grades. At the XF40 grade, the 1914-H often achieves prices nearly twice as high as the years immediately surrounding it.
At higher grades, this difference can become even more pronounced as few mint-state examples seem to have survived. It is
possible that these low survival rates are partly due to lower discretionary wealth during the First World War preventing
people from investing in coins for hoarding. PCGS have seen less than ten examples of the 1914-H in mint-state, three of
which are at MS65 and one at MS66. Naturally, these high mint-state pieces demand some of the highest values in the entire
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