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Australia George V

1915  Florin reverse 1915  Florin obverse

1915 Florin

Mintage:500,000
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

In 1915 the Australian Commonwealth Florin was produced at both the Royal Mint in London and the private mint of Heaton & Sons in Birmingham. It was necessary to employ Heaton & Sons as the Royal Mint had been temporarily refocused to assist in the war effort. The Royal Mint produced only 500,000 Florins with a further 750,000 being produced by Heaton & Sons. The Florins produced at the latter 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 1915-H Proof Florin. Heaton & Sons 'H' mint-mark on a 1915-H Proof Florin.

No mint-mark on a 1915 Florin struck at the Royal Mint in London. No mint-mark on a 1915 Florin struck at the Royal Mint in London.

The relatively low mintage of both 1915 varieties makes them quite valuable and scarce. The Royal Mint variety, with its slightly lower mintage, is noticeably scarcer in mint-state than the 1915-H. Population reports illustrate this scarcity with PCGS having graded less than a dozen examples of the plain 1915 in mint-state compared to over twenty examples of the 1915-H. This increased scarcity is also clear in prices with mint-state examples of the plain 1915 often tripling the value of the 1915-H, making them among the highest valued Florin varieties in the George V series.

In late 1915 it was decided that production of much of Australia's currency should shift from London to Australia. On the 1st of November the Melbourne Mint was instructed to prepare to strike silver coinage - including the Commonwealth Florin. This development meant that the 1915 Florin was also historical significant as it became the final Australian Florin to be produced at the Royal Mint in London.

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