The Great Depression
The Great Depression ensured the rarity of many coins & banknotes issued at the time - as the graph on this page shows, economic activity was so limited during the Depression that the number of coins minted in 1932 was just 6% of that produced in 1927.
The rarity of the 1932 florin is directly linked to “the worst year of the Depression”.
The crash in the Dow Jones Index impacted on Australia immediately - commodity price falls had an immediate influence major Australian businesses and farmers alike.
As the Depression ground on, English investors were required to recall funds invested in Australian business, causing the economy to contract even further.
The Depression was hardest felt in 1932 – unemployment was 30%, and with very limited income, families cut back spending on all but life’s necessities.
Ask anyone that grew up during the Depression what two shillings could buy in 1932 and you’ll have no shortage of spirited answers.
Despite the hardship many Australians endured, there was still reason to celebrate - Phar Lap and the “Bodyline” Ashes series captured the national imagination, as did the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge.
Phar Lap won 37 races from 51 starts, including on each day of the 1930 Spring Carnival, while the “Bodyline” Ashes series remains regarded as one of the most controversial sporting events in Australian history.
The average Australian battling to get by from day to day during the Great Depression saw much to admire in the courage, resourcefulness and resilience demonstrated by Bradman and Phar Lap. The Harbour Bridge was hailed as one of the greatest engineering marvels of its day. It not only enabled Sydneysiders to traverse their city in a fraction of the time it took previously, but left Australia with one of its greatest national icons.
Any collector of pre decimal coins will attest that the 1932 florin is the most difficult standard pre decimal silver coin to come by (in any condition), and that it’s a real prize in superior grade.
One thing we can definitely learn from the “Depression Generation” is the importance of setting aside money for a rainy day – a 1932 florin is an excellent way of doing just that.