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Australia George VI

1946  Penny reverse 1946  Penny obverse

1946 Penny

Reverse Designer:George Kruger Gray Obverse Designer:Thomas H. Paget Size:30.8mm Weight:9.45g Edge:Plain Composition:97% Copper
2.5% Zinc
0.5% Tin


Sales History


The 1946 penny is the key date of the George VI penny series in circulated condition and the third scarcest in top grades, after the 1940-KG penny and the 1948-Y Penny.The year's scarcity originates from its low mintage of 363,000 pieces, less than 1/50th of the average mintage during the wartime years. From 1942 to 1945, Australia saw a great number of American troops stationed in Australia resulting in the addition need for circulating currency. To meet this need, Australia sought help from the San Francisco and Denver mints to strike silver coins and the Bombay mint to strike its copper. Towards the conclusion of World War II, with the American forces leaving Australia, Australia found itself with an oversupply of circulating currency and consequently had no significant need for more circulating coins. This was especially true for pennies, with well over 100 million pennies being struck in preceding wartime years. This resulted in the year's low mintage.

With Australian forces occupying Japan, a large percentage of 1946 pennies were sent to Australian troops stationed in Japan further increasing their rarity (Crellin, 2008) making the 1946 penny one of the last gaps to fill in any penny collector's set. The date is usually found circulated around the XF level and gets quite scarce into the mid AU grades. In mint state it is almost always found a dull brown with examples that show any original mint brilliance being very scarce.

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