Australia 1916 ‘Specimen’ Shilling, PCGS MS65

Smalls Auctions 2nd September 2017 Australia 1916 Shilling PCGS MS65

Sometimes when you send across a coin to a third-party service to be graded you can be disappointed with the result. Not because you disagree vehemently with the grade it has been assigned, although we do think our coin could have gone one point higher, but because the service fails to recognise characteristics that you have pointed out to them.

It is believed that at least some but probably all the ‘proof’ threepences and sixpences contained in the 1916 Proof sets were struck at the London Mint. It is also strongly believed that the Melbourne Mint was responsible for adding the shillings & florins to the sets which are certainly not as sharply struck, and are better described as ‘specimens’.

The ‘Benchmark’ Australia 1922 ‘English’ obverse Penny with ‘curved’ reverse lettering, PCGS MS65RB

Smalls Auctions 2nd September 2017 Australia 1922 Penny English Obverse PCGS MS65RB

Although the Melbourne Mint had received a fresh stock of Birmingham reverse hubs from the London Mint in January 1922, it still favoured working-dies derived from its emergency 1919 //. Birmingham master-die that it had back-engineered from a working-die it had previously received from London. This die is identifiable by its slightly modified legend and it accounts for about 95% of ‘English’ obverse 1922 pennies that were struck by Melbourne. Only approximately 5% of 1922 pennies with the ‘English’ obverse were struck on the new unaltered Birmingham reverse with ‘flat-based’ letters.

The ‘Benchmark’ Australia 1922 ‘Indian’ obverse Penny with ‘flat-based’ reverse lettering, PCGS MS64BN

Smalls Auctions 2nd September 2017 Australia 1922 Penny PCGS MS64BN

It has been determined that the  entire mintage of 1922 ‘Indian’ obverse’ pennies were struck by the Perth Mint, but what has not been widely acknowledged is that there are two distinct varieties of this type.

The ‘Indian’ obverse dies that were used had been sent directly to the Perth Mint from Sydney and these were coupled with reverse dies sent from the Melbourne Mint.

The ‘Benchmark’ 1927 Australia Florin, PCGS MS65

Smalls Auctions 2nd September 2017 Australia 1927 Florin PCGS MS65

The Melbourne Mint was recognised as the senior mint in Australia during the striking of our pre-decimal coinage and received its orders for coins directly from the Australian Treasury. It in turn directed the Sydney and Perth Mints to strike coins to complete orders usually supplying them with the requisite dies.

The ‘Benchmark’ 1912 Shilling, PCGS MS65

Smalls Auctions 2nd September 2017 Australia 1912 Shilling PCGS MS65

The PCGS Census can provide good guidance as to what is an easily achievable goal for certain coins and denominations. Usually there appears a natural barrier for a coin to broach in order to achieve a sought-after grade and you will get a disproportionate number of coins stuck at this tier. A larger number of coins that are available at a particular grade will obviously affect the price, and so collectors are quite often able to secure a relatively high grade coin at an affordable level. It is only beyond this grade that prices will escalate, and that is why some dealers will send the same coin back for review over and over again in the hope that it will eventually get looked at with more favourable eyes and get bumped up a grade.

The ‘Benchmark’ 1911 Australia Florin, PCGS MS65

Smalls Auctions 2nd September 2017 Australia 1911 Florin PCGS MS65

The introduction of a new design on a coin did not go unnoticed and many coins were souvenired and put away by the general public in larger numbers than usual. This was especially true of one-off commemorative issues struck with a new reverse to celebrate a significant event, but also when there was a design change to the obverse to herald the arrival of a new King or Queen.

Australia ‘Johnston – Fraser’ SPECIMEN Fifty Dollar, PCGS 64 OPQ

Smalls Auctions 2nd September 2017 Australia Johnston Fraser SPECIMEN Fifty Dollar PCGS 64 OPG

In 1988 Australia celebrated its Bi-Centennial with the issue of its first polymer banknote in the form of a ten dollar featuring on one side an ‘Aborigine’ representing the original inhabitants, and on the other side the scene of the’ Arrival of the First Fleet’ of white settlers.

The ‘Draper Hoard’ 1935 Australia Florin, PCGS MS65

Smalls Auctions 2nd September 2017 Australia 1935 Florin PCGS MS65

A well-known collector of Australian coins of the recent past had a standing order with coin dealers to purchase for him any 1935 Florin considered to be Choice Uncirculated or better. His Florin collection was at the time without peer but he maintained that he had yet to come across a 1935 Florin which satisfied his standards. How was such a relatively common coin so difficult to acquire in high grade he continually asked as he added another 1935 Florin to his pile of cast-offs.

The ‘Gates’ 1917 Australia Florin, PCGS MS65

Smalls Auctions 2nd September 2017 The Gates 1917 Florin PCGS MS65

Since the first coins in the series were struck 1910, pre-decimal sterling coins have been the major collectable in Australian numismatics. Although there were relatively few serious collectors early on, through the decades the general population would still put away any coins that piqued their interest, especially commemorative issues, so that there is still the odd treasure being discovered today hidden away in the bottom of draws.

‘La Perouse’ Boomerang circa 1932 featuring the ‘Sydney Harbour Bridge’

The opening of Sydney’s Harbour Bridge in 1932 was a game-changer for Australia’s premier city, linking for the first time the northern and southern shores of its grand harbour. To mark this iconic event, mass-produced souvenirs of all descriptions were marketed including medals, ribbons, plates, glass replicas and photographs.