Mintage:2,752,000 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 Australia's demand for new currency. In 1914 and 1915 this problem was resolved by a number
of additional coins being produced under contract by the private mint of Heaton & Sons in Birmingham. In late 1915 it was
decided that production should shift to Australia and on the 1st of November the Melbourne
Mint was instructed to prepare to strike silver coinage. New dies for the Australia Florin, Shilling, Sixpence
and Threepence were produced in London for use at Melbourne Mint
with a small 'M' mint-mark. Arrangements were also made for Australia's bronze coinage to be struck at the Royal Mint in Calcutta.
Melbourne 'M' mint-mark on a 1916-M Florin.
In 1916 the first Australian struck Florins were produced at the Melbourne
Mint. The total
for the year was 2,752,000 - the largest mintage of the series so far and a major technical challenge for Melbourne.
The large Florin's caused substantial problems for the mint's small and weak presses which may
account for some softness in the strike. Within the George V Florin series, the 1916-M marks a substantial turning point
with most years following featuring large mintage's and reduced overall scarcity. The scale of this shift is well illustrated
by PCGS population reports which show that twice as many 1916-M Florins have been graded compared to every preceding year
in the series. This reduced scarcity across all grades makes the year a quite affordable year for interested collectors.
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