In the middle of 2015, a 1966 silver Australian uniface obverse pattern dollar coin was offered for sale via public auction. This coin had not been seen on the open market since March 1988, so it was an exciting offering. Excitement was building in the collector market as the 50th anniversary of decimal currency approached, however despite the topicality that the coin has, it was passed in without being sold.
Although coins are passed in at auction all the time, I was a little surprised by the result...read more
The 1927 Canberra florin is Australia’s first commemorative coin - enough of them remain available today to confirm that no Australian was to miss out on their own memento from the opening of the building that was Australia’s democratic heart. It remains everyman’s coin, a poignant link to an era when Australians were aware of their nation’s move to political independence.
Old Parliament House – the Political Heart of a New Nation
Well, September 1st 2016 has passed, and the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has issued Australia’s Next Generation Banknote (NGB) $5 into circulation.
Although keyboard warriors across the nation frothed at the mouth when the designs were first shown just a few short months ago, I heard hardly a peep in the media last Thursday (mainstream or social). Crickets could be heard chirping in the silence, and tumbleweeds rolled down the street!
So it seems that although us collectors will examine the new note with some interest, once the general...read more
The 1856 Sydney half sovereign with the Type 2 reverse (HST256R2) was for several years unique within the Australian gold coin series - no other circulating Australian half sovereign was known with this exact reverse design.
That all changed in April 2012 however, when an eagle-eyed numismatist spotted an 1861 Sydney half sovereign that had the same reverse design.
The 1856 Sydney half sovereign with the Type 2 reverse is extremely rare in any condition - research as at July 2016 indicates that possibly around 12 unique...read more
Following the publication of our first article on the alignment of the dies used to strike the Holey Dollars, I got a phone call from George Snelgrove - currently a councillor with the Queensland branch of the Australian Numismatic Society (ANS). George mentioned that although he didn't get our email himself, he'd been told about it by John Cook - the Secretary of the Queensland branch of the ANS.
What followed was quite an animated conversation about a number of aspects of the article, and the Holey Dollar and Dump generally. George stated that this was the first information he'd seen on the alignment of the Holey Dollar dies,...read more
A number of times over the past four decades, several Holey Dollars have been described by a range of dealers and auctioneers as having been “specially” struck - that is, for archival or presentation purposes.
One characteristic shared by each of these coins were counterstamps that were struck in alignment with the design on the host coin.
Very few Holey Dollars have this characteristic, where if the top of the king’s head or the top of the pillars on the obverse and the peak of the crown on the reverse are positioned to sit at 12 o’clock, then the words “FIVE SHILLINGS” and “NEW SOUTH WALES” in the counterstamps run evenly across the top of the inner circle from approximately 9 o’clock to 3 o’clock.
The release of the designs to be used on a new $5 banknote to be introduced into circulation in Australia in September 2016 took social media by storm - there was no shortage of keyboard warriors foaming at the mouth about whether the Queen should still be on an Australian banknote, and just how (apparently) unattractive the designs were!
... read more
West Australians are often rightly characterised as generally being a parochial bunch, this provincialism mean that in the days before the Commonwealth Government assumed control over the issue of Australia’s circulating currency notes in 1910, most West Australians preferred to bank with either the Bank of Western Australia or the Western Australian Bank.
Banks that had been founded outside the colony of WA found it difficult to establish a presence here, the Bank of Australasia prime among them.
Strong Local Support
The history of the Bank of Australasia in West Australia has two chapters - the first runs between 1841 and 1846, when a branch was established in Perth. Mick Vort Ronald's research indicated that there was "strong local support" for the Western...read more
Although this incredibly important Australian coin has appeared at auction twice in the past 18 months, in my opinion collectors don’t yet fully appreciate just how historically important and rare it is.
This coin is in fact an archival-standard strike of Australia’s very first penny - it is one of only 2 known in private hands, and was struck for the express purpose of officially recording the start of the production of Australia’s first Commonwealth pennies.
It is important for a number of reasons - not only is it one the very first Australian pennies ever struck, it also showed for the first time the most acclaimed work of one of Australia’s most celebrated sculptors, at a time when...read more
The deployment of the world’s first polymer banknotes in 1988 was so successful that it appeared to many to be an overnight success. One day we were using paper banknotes, the next we were handling notes made from plastic. The notes were so finished, with complete designs, nation-wide distribution and even a publicity campaign, that there was little thought given to the process that led to that point.
Truly innovative technology doesn’t just come into existence overnight of course, the evolution of the technology used to print Australia's polymer banknotes can be traced back to a series of counterfeit paper $...read more