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Australia George V

1934 Proof Penny reverse 1934 Proof Penny obverse

1934 Proof Penny

Mint:Melbourne Monarch:George V Reverse Designer:W. H. J. Blakemore Obverse Designer:Sir E. B. MacKennel Size:31mm Weight:9.45g Edge:Plain Composition:97% Copper
2.5% Zinc
0.5% Tin


Sales History


The 1934 proof penny was issued along side the other 1934 denominations at the request of New Zealand dealer H. G. Williams (Verheyen, T, V, 2009) . A total of 50 pieces of each denomination were ordered (Verheyen, T, V, 2009) which is believed to be the entire mintage figure, most of which were sold to American collectors. The coin is best characterized by an intense mirror finish on the reverse and a mirror obverse finish with a bright, glowing relief though this may be lost to toning. Unlike the 1935 proof penny, the 1934 proof penny is rarely found with full original mint brilliance and while some attribute this to the distribution method of the coin, an advertisement by New Zealand dealer H. G. Williams for both the 1934 set and 1935 copper pair list the 1935 pairs as having full golden color while no mention of color was made for the 1934 copper suggesting that they were already slightly toned when initially sold. This can also be explained by the advertisement being made in 1935 making the 1934 sets already a year old when they were first marketed possibly allowing time for some toning.

In addition to the mirror finish, the reverse should be covered in die polishing striations, mostly in up-down and left-right positions though the left-right striations tend to be on a slight angle around the bottom-left of the coin. The obverse fields should be covered in very minute die polishing curls which give it a slightly more matte finish when compared with the reverse. Interestingly, the top of the crown is almost never fully struck up, sometimes exhibiting a poorly struck orb and almost always with a flat set of vertical pearls. The illustration below depicts the crown of a proof 1934 penny showing a flat set of vertical pearls - This is most likely due to the excess die pressure applied to strike up the reverses.

Top of the crown of a 1934 proof penny Top of the crown of a 1934 proof penny

One final characteristic of the proof strike is the evenly intense strike with bold lettering throughout. This is especially pronounced on the reverse with an echo of the inner circle apparent just outside of it as in the illustration below due to the intense striking pressure though it should be noted that this does occur on business strikes at times.

Echo of the inner circle on a 1934 proof penny Echo of the inner circle on a 1934 proof penny

The 1934 penny is the toughest 1934 proof coin to acquire in top condition, despite the equal mintage figure due, to the delicate nature of the bronze alloy, many were destroyed to environmental damage and the large size making it slightly harder to preserve over the half penny..

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