Several articles in the Australian Financial Review last Saturday referred to the current economic phase we are about to head into as being "the worst financial crisis since the Great Depression". Australian coin collectors will be well aware that the Great Depression produced a number of rarities that are lusted after by collectors to this day - the 1930 penny; the 1932 florin and the 1933 shilling for the coins, as well as the Riddle Sheehan gold-bearing banknotes to name just a few.
If this recession does eventuate, or even eventuate more than many of us realize, just what will it mean for the current crop of circulating coinage, currency notes and NCLT (non-circulating legal tender, ie the products of the Perth and Royal Australian Mints) being produced? Take a look at the graphs below to get an idea of just how much of an impact a drop in the broader economy can have on the production of circulating coinage:
Without going into the minutiae of these statistics, we can see that the total number of coins struck during 1915 was far lower what during 1920 as an example, and that the number of coins struck during 1927 absolutely dwarfed the number of coins struck during 1930. It'd be interesting to look at typical mintages of the circulating decimal coins to see which denominations are regularly the lowest, ditto with the polymer notes. A few bags stashed away here and there could be an excellent investment for the future - that's if you can afford to do so after you've bought your bread and dripping sandwiches!
Since demand for NCLT is heavily underpinned by the disposable income of the general public, we might find that sets produced in the coming years will be the most sought after items in years to come. Post a comment with your thoughts, it is an interesting thought!