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Australia George V

1921  Half Penny reverse 1921  Half Penny obverse

1921 Half Penny

Mint:Sydney Monarch:George V Reverse Designer:W. H. J. Blakemore Obverse Designer:Sir E. B. MacKennel Size:25.5mm Weight:5.67g Edge:Plain Composition:97% Copper
2.5% Zinc
0.5% Tin


Sales History


The 1921 half penny is one of the easiest half pennies of George V which is certainly reflected in its value. This is due to its relatively high initial mintage of just over 5 and a quarter million coins, but in higher grades this is assisted by the surfacing of at least two bank rolls creating some supply of mint state examples. The date is available right up to MS65 and sales at the $500-600 level as of 2010 make this coin an affordable type coin in higher mint state grades. Like the other Sydney mint issues in 1919, 1920 and 1922, the 1921 often suffers from a central strike weakness precluding higher grades.

Strike weakness on N of ONE Strike weakness on N of ONE

Sometimes the strike weakness is offcentreand affects the E of ONE. This is usually paired with a peripheral die crack. This is usually paired with a strike weakness on the opposite position obverse as in the below illustration.

Softly struck obverse of a 1921 half penny Softly struck obverse of a 1921 half penny

This strike weakness, paired with the reverse peripheral die cracking, usually affects the cheek of his majesty King George V, the 2nd set of pearls and his eye brow.

Rim impression about ALF of HALF Rim impression about ALF of HALF

Another commonly seen strike variety is an impression of a rim above ALF of HALF on the reverse. These tend to command a small premium in lower grades. The numerous striking varieties of the 1921 half penny show the failing equipment of the ageing Sydney mint which had been operating for 66 years, and was due for closure in just 5 more years.

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