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Australia George V

1914-H  Florin reverse 1914-H  Florin obverse

1914-H Florin

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


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

One of the major reasons for this high overall 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 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.

The low mintage 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 Florin series.

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