Stay One Step Ahead

Research

Posted on: Jun, 06/01/2019

Being able to accurately attribute the exact obverse die that was used to strike any particular 1887 Sydney Jubilee Head sovereign is, in my opinion, one of the most challenging tasks in Australian numismatics.

Research by the British numismatist David Iverson has shown that the designer’s initials (J.E.B.) were hand-punched onto each of the six different obverse dies used to produce these coins.

It truly is a rabbit hole - one that I’ve been down several times, one that has taken me several hours to re-surface from.

The task is complicated by the fact several different classifications of this coin have been prepared over the years - by Michael Marsh (self-published in “The Gold Sovereign”); by Barrie Winsor (published by Greg McDonald in “The Pocket Guide to Australian Coins and...

read more
Category [ Tags: Australian Gold Coinage ]
Comments: (0)
Posted on: Jun, 06/01/2019

While attending a local coin, stamp and note show in Perth, I spotted a 1966 VIP Uncirculated decimal coin set on the table of another dealer. I’ve handled several of these sets, and regard them as a truly scarce memento of a major event in Australia’s economic history - one that often has a unique social history if the provenance is known.

The vendor advised that he’d acquired the set out of South Africa, and although the provenance sounded exotic, it didn’t seem to be particularly relevant at the time. I bought the set and put it aside with out other new inventory.

When I had time to sit down and examine the set in detail later in the week, I could see it didn’t match the look of the other VIP sets I’d handled. The most startling difference was that the one cent coin had what looked like...

read more
Category [ Tags: Decimal Coins & Banknotes ]
Comments: (0)
Posted on: Mar, 03/28/2019

One of the most popular areas in the “traditional” realm of Australian numismatics is identification and collecting of the different varieties of Australian pennies.

Nearly all of the penny varieties that have been identified and prized to date feature the obverse of King George V, and were struck in the approximate timeframe of 1919 and 1933.

It is fair to say that far less attention has been paid to the penny varieties that were struck after that period - they are less celebrated, despite their collector appeal or numismatic importance.

Detailed research by Dr Paul Holland, published in Volume 12 of the Journal of the Numismatic Association of Australia in 2001 (pages 39 - 44) demonstrated that the coin known as the...

read more
Category [ Tags: Commonwealth Coins ]
Comments: (0)
Posted on: Mar, 03/28/2019

 

For the majority of the time it was in use, the sestertius was the largest base-metal coin used in the Roman Empire.

It was introduced by the emperor Augustus in or about 23 BC at a value of a quarter of a denarius, and remained the largest base metal denomination in the Roman empire until late in the 3rd century AD.

 

Caligula Obverse ...
read more
Category [ Tags: World Numismatics ]
Comments: (0)
Posted on: Feb, 02/01/2019

I decided to start collecting hyper-inflationary banknotes a short while ago - this notion was kicked off when reading articles online about the current economic situation in Venezuela, where prices of everyday goods are currently doubling about twice every month (at the time of this article anyway). I find it interesting to own and handle an item that someone else on the other side of the world regards as both valuable and worthless at the same time.

Although the current economic situation in Venezuela is terrible for...

read more
Category [ Tags: World Numismatics ]
Comments: (0)
Posted on: Dec, 12/14/2018

Across 2015, the Australian numismatic community saw a polymer $50 note that was truly unusual - it was violet and green in colour, and had designs vastly different to those we see in circulation. 

It turned out that the note was actually used by CSIRO across the 1970’s in their testing of different polymer substrates and security devices.

A few more have turned up since then - at first they were so unusual and remarkable that numismatists (myself included) didn’t particularly notice that there were in fact more than one different type available.

As time has passed and more have come onto the market, we’ve had some time to study them and it’s apparent that a listing of the different designs and types is necessary.

The information that follows is an attempt at...

read more
Category [ Tags: Decimal Coins & Banknotes ]
Comments: (0)
Posted on: Dec, 12/10/2018

The Zuytdorp was a Dutch VOC sailing ship that sank off the Western Australian coast near Kalbarri in 1712.

It is the third of the four shipwrecks that sank off the WA coast before the Swan River Colony was established in 1829 that have yielded coins available to collectors.

The horrific circumstances of the Batavia shipwreck are well known, what is less known is that the journey and wreck of the Zuytdorp are arguably just as harrowing....

read more
Category [ Tags: Proclamation and Colonial Coins ]
Comments: (0)
Posted on: Nov, 11/14/2018

The 1937 crown is Australia's third pre-decimal commemorative coin, struck and issued to mark the coronation of King George VI in 1937, an event celebrated right through the British Commonwealth.

It is far more than just another commemorative coin however- the story behind it is uniquely Australian. Australia 1937 Crown

The Commonwealth Government had originally planned to commemorate the coronation of King Edward VIII on (January 20th 1936) with the release of a five shilling coin, however as this denomination had not been issued in Australia before, the Coinage Act of 1909 had to be...

read more
Category [ Tags: Commonwealth Coins ]
Comments: (0)
Posted on: Oct, 10/30/2018

One of the biggest business books of the past decade was surely "The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable”, written by Nassim Taleb and published in 2007. 

Taleb's book focuses on the impact that rare and unpredictable events have, as well as the human tendency to retrospectively find simplistic explanations for these events. (Named by Taleb as "Black Swan Theory”).

As the release of Australia’s NGB $50 note into circulation on October 10th 2018 had been meticulously planned and even publicised it definitely would not be classified by Taleb as a "Black Swan event", however as there are several black swans featured in the designs either side, we may be able to classify the launch as a black swan event on that technicality....

The table below lists the main...

read more
Category [ Tags: Decimal Coins & Banknotes ]
Comments: (0)
Posted on: Oct, 10/25/2018

The 1887 Sydney Two Pound Proof is one of Australia’s rarest gold coins. It is in fact so rare that senior staff at the Royal Mint in London were still not aware that it existed until 1922 - more than 3 decades after it was struck.

It has been a highlight of a number of Australia’s finest...

read more
Category [ Tags: Australian Gold Coinage ]
Comments: (0)

Pages