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Posted on: May, 05/18/2018

From the safety and security of the 21st century, it is incredibly difficult for us to appreciate just how challenging daily life was for Australians living in Melbourne in 1942. The Japanese armed forces were slowly making their way throughout South East Asia towards Australia, while living conditions reflected the grim sacrifices being made by Australia’s service personnel in the Middle East and against the Japanese.1942 Melbourne Threepence

Although the Melbourne Mint struck around 31 million coins throughout 1942, the mintage of the 1942 Melbourne threepence is amongst the lowest of any...

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Category [ Tags: Commonwealth Coins ]
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Posted on: May, 05/10/2018

Convict love tokens are one of the few numismatic items in Australia that appear in mainstream media more than numismatic media. Collectors love nothing more than to sink their teeth into a series - to allocate an item to a category and type, to understand how it fits into the scheme of things.

The research that has been conducted to tradesman’s tokens is a great example of that numismatic interest - tradesman’s tokens have been categorised according to denomination, issuer, date, region of issue, and even die type.

Although tradesman’s tokens are nowhere near as popular as silver or copper predecimal...

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Category [ Tags: Proclamation and Colonial Coins ]
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Posted on: May, 05/10/2018

In 1964, coin collectors in Australia and the United States were informed that Australian proof coins were being sold by the Bombay Mint.

The most alarming aspect of this report was that the Australian proof coins available were dated 1942 and 1943 - under normal conventions, production of them had stopped more than two decades earlier.

There was a credible explanation for this incredible revelation however, and the coins are regarded as prized rarities to this day.

SANJ Article - Proof Coins from Bombay

Coins from India for Soldiers from America to Spend in Australia...

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Category [ Tags: Commonwealth Coins ]
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Posted on: Mar, 03/31/2018

To the uninitiated, Australia’s paper decimal banknotes remained largely the same between 1966 and 1996. Sure, the serial numbers may have changed over time, but the designs remained the same for pretty much 30 years.

The collectors that have studied this series know that a number of improvements were made to the printing process between 1966 and 1996, and further that a number of other changes were made which resulted in distinct varieties of each denomination.

Here are a list of the major eras in our paper currency notes:

1966 - Coombs and WilsonCoombs / Wilson

H.C. “Nugget” Coombs was the Governor of the...

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Category [ Tags: Decimal Coins & Banknotes ]
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Posted on: Mar, 03/28/2018

Herbert Cole “Nugget” Coombs is best known to numismatists as the first Governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia, and by extension as a signatory on Australia’s banknotes for several decades. In the broader community however, Coombs is highly regarded for a much wider range of significant civic contributions across several diverse areas. 

Many numismatists will be surprised to learn that Coombs’ working life both before and after he was a signatory on our banknotes spanned no less than five different decades. Coombs had been in full-time employment for 22 years before becoming Governor of the Commonwealth Bank, and remained active for 27 years after he retired from the Reserve Bank of Australia....

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Category [ Tags: Commonwealth Banknotes ]
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Posted on: Feb, 02/06/2018

The 2017 Annual Year Book for the Australasian Coin & Banknote Magazine contained a great deal of interesting information for Australian numismatists, however the one article that really caught my eye was that written by Fred Lever on the 1930 penny.

It contained a range of fresh research, built on the shoulders of the work done by Bill Mullett several decades earlier.

Bill Mullett was a former employee of the Melbourne and Royal Australian Mints, after he retired he spent some years researching and writing about the history of the Melbourne Mint, as well as a number of the coins it produced. His three publications are titled:

...

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Category [ Tags: Commonwealth Coins ]
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Posted on: Dec, 12/15/2017

Australia's NGB $10 banknote was released into general circulation on 20 September 2017, with nowhere near the same vacuous fury that we saw on social media 12 months earlier when the NGB $5 note was released.

It is interesting to speculate whether the paler appearance of the wattle either side of the clear vertical window on the NGB $10 relative to the NGB $5 was intentionally adjusted after the hue and cry of September 2016, however the official version from the RBA is that "The wattle flowers on the new $10 banknote are paler than those on the new $5 banknote – just like the two wattles in real life."

The...

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Category [ Tags: Decimal Coins & Banknotes ]
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Posted on: Nov, 11/10/2017

Whenever Australia’s first coins are discussed, most of the focus is placed on the Holey Dollar rather than the Dump. This is hardly surprising, as the larger coin had four times the purchasing power of the smaller coin.

What is often overlooked in that assessment is the fact that the way the Dump was cut and struck determined whether both coins remained in circulation.

If Macquarie’s counter-stamping plan was to prevent coins from being taken outside NSW, the weight of both the Holey Dollar and the Dump needed to fall within a tightly defined range. If either coin weighed outside their intended range, its silver value could vary widely from its face value, which could be an incentive to take the coin away from NSW and pass it off at its intrinsic value, defeating the purpose of the whole...

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Category [ Tags: Proclamation and Colonial Coins ]
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Posted on: Oct, 10/28/2017

To the uninitiated, polymer “Charity Sheet" notes appear to be a new type of specimen note - as with the polymer specimen notes issued between 1988 and 1996, each charity sheet note features “000000” after the serial prefix, so the initial confusion is understandable.

Charity Sheet notes are not specimen notes however - they served a different purpose, were distributed in a different manner, and are rated differently by collectors.

Even though Charity Sheet notes are not specimens, they are quite scarce and are very collectable in their own right....

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Category [ Tags: Decimal Coins & Banknotes ]
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Posted on: Oct, 10/25/2017

It is difficult to hold a banknote from the Western Australian Bank and not be taken back to the era it was issued in.

These large notes, with their intricate designs, calligraphed signatures and firm but undoubtedly fragile paper quality are objects of wealth unique to this part of the world, and evoke a long-distant era of formality and discipline. The Western Australian Bank merged with the Bank of New South Wales in 1927, and at it’s peak it was widely regarded as the most important commercial enterprise in Western Australia, one that “…had done more to assist in the development of mining in this state than nearly the whole of the other financial institutions combined.[1]

The quality of a very small number...

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Category [ Tags: Pre-Federation Notes ]
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