160 Years of Holden Heritage Collection Coins


Holden Heritage Retro-Tin Collection including bonus coin (image courtesy ramint.gov.au)

Holden Heritage Retro-Tin Collection including bonus coin (image courtesy ramint.gov.au)

2016 celebrates 160 years of Holden, the iconic Australian car manufacturer and this milestone is commemorated on twelve collectable 50 cent coins minted by the Royal Australian Mint.

From its beginnings 160 years ago in saddlery Holden has manufactured car upholstery, tram cars, weapons, aircraft and engines.  Holden produced its first all Australian motor vehicle, the FX Holden in 1948. The recognisable shapes of the FX (model number 48-215), FJ, FE, FC, EH, FB, HK Monaro, LJ Torana, HQ Monaro, HX Sandman and Commodore adorn colour printed cupro-nickel 50 cent pieces that look into Holden’s history as creator of the classic Aussie car. The Elizabeth Holden plant in Adelaide will stop manufacturing its last Aussie grown car, the Commodore in late 2017, bringing to a close an era of Australian made motoring history. You can see (and enjoy) these classic cars with a visit to the National Motor Museum in Birdwood, SA or the National Holden Museum in Echuca, Victoria.  If getting out and about isn’t your thing you can sit and gaze at the teeny tiny pictures of those same Holden cars on your new collection of colourised 50c coins.  Honestly we’d rather get to one of the museums and sniff the oil and vinyl upholstery but the coins are pretty neat either way.

Left: FX Coin (image courtesy ramint.gov.au)  Right: FX Sedan (image courtesy wikimedia commons)

Left: FX Coin (image courtesy ramint.gov.au) Right: The FX Sedan officially known as the 48-215 (image courtesy wikimedia commons)

The Royal Australian Mint has issued a collection of fifty cents which include the FX, FJ, FE, FB, EH, HK Monaro, HQ Kingswood, LJ Torana, HX Sandman and VC Commodore. Each coin in a collector card can be purchased separately or in a tinned set which includes a special bonus coin celebrating 160 years of Holden Heritage. There are 11 individual coins depicting each model mentioned plus the bonus coin.  If you’ve owned a particular Holden in the past you might like to just get the coin representing that car, or if you’re a dreamer who can never actually afford to own all of these classic Aussie cars then you can splash out on the whole collection.

The tinned sets were quick to sell out in the Mint’s e-shop but were available at the Mint Condition Car Show in the grounds of the Mint in Canberra on Saturday 20th August, 2016. Limited stocks will also be available at the Bathurst 1000 on 6-9th October 2016. The bonus coin (seen below) is only available in the retro-tin sets so is limited to a mintage of 7,500.

160 Years Holden Heritage 50 Cent (image courtesy ramint.gov.au)

160 Years Holden Heritage 50 Cent (image courtesy ramint.gov.au)

Posted in Collecting Coins

NSSA Coin, Banknote, Stamp & Collectable Expo Adelaide


Our local coin club the Numismatic Society of South Australia is preparing for THE coin event of 2016 -the NSSA Coin, Banknote, Stamp & Collectable Expo to be held on the weekend of December 3rd and 4th 2016. Save the date everyone! This will be the last coin show on the Australian numismatic calendar for 2016 and it’s big news for Adelaide and South Australians. Show organiser Richard Welling, president of the NSSA and owner of Ye Olde Coin Co promises it to be a great show and will help collectors to have a very numismatic Christmas.

Local and interstate dealers will be attending or if you are a collector and want to clean out under the bed then you can have a table too! Perhaps you are in need of a numismatic garage sale to clear out and buy the items you really want! Register for a table by contacting Richard Welling at oldcoins@senet.com.au

The show will be held in the heart of Adelaide at the Torrens Parade Ground Hall where there is free parking. It’s where the Royal Australian Mint had their pop-up shop on the Changeover Tour last ANZAC Day. The show will be open Saturday 3rd December 10 to 5 and Sunday 10 to 4. There will be an auction held Sunday afternoon. Light refreshments will also be available to purchase. There is also plenty of accommodations in close proximity ranging from cheap and cheerful to the extravagant for those needing to stay overnight.

The best news is that entry is free, so you have more…..money…..to spend on…….money.

If you have any coins, banknotes, stamps, collectables or associated ephemera and you’d like to see what they are worth then pop into the coin expo. Dealers will be buying and selling coins, banknotes and stamps as well as offering advice and providing valuations.

In the Meantime Here's a Pic of a Show Held at the Venue in 2013

In the Meantime Here’s a Pic of a Show Held at the Venue in 2013

Posted in Coin News

2016 Coloured Olympic $2 Coin Distribution


2016 Coloured $2 Olympic Coins

2016 Coloured $2 Olympic Coins


We’re coming to the end of the road to Rio and the end of the road for shopping at Woolworths…phew. I’ve spent the last 5 weeks going out of my way to shop at Woolworths to have that “chance” to receive an Olympic coin in my change.

Week one and the blue ring coins were in solid supply with what I could tell was every register containing the new shiny coins and there was no effort in receiving them. Whether you went through a regular checkout or a self checkout I found the coins were readily found. Week two and it was becoming a little harder although I still managed a good supply of black coins that carried over to the following week reducing the red coins obtained. Week three and the red coins didn’t go so well and we were onto Week four and the yellow coins before I had got many. It was becoming increasingly harder to “find” the coins though, no more self checkout joy and even the skillful additions in spending $5.25 and using a $10 note (or multiples of) to force 2 coins in change was not working. The coins were just not there, multiple purchases with no luck and heading to the service desk to ask politely for a coin that should have been in steady supply led to staff checking multiple registers to find just one coin. The availablity of security bags of the coloured coins at a hefty premium on sites such as eBay was also leaving a sour taste in my mouth as I was genuinely spending in Woolworths to feed my family of 6 and was keen to get a collection happening of these coins at face value, as a collector who wouldn’t? Not once had I asked Woolworths staff for an entire bag, perhaps I should have, but the fun of collecting these coins and the interest this type of release brings to collecting made me think these coins should have been gracing the everyday shoppers change much more frequently. The registers should have been full of them, the excitement of the Games and our achievements in your hand as you do your everyday shopping. This last week (five) has been the most promising week with regards to numbers of coins, a lovely staff member had green coins on hand and after I asked for Olympic coins in my change and with a friendly “how many” I responded with “how many can you give me” without wanting to get anyone in trouble I walked away with 5 coins from the one visit (interestingly this was a different Woolies to my local). What a win! So what were the rules for staff and the allocation of these coins? I have to say it seems like a massive free for all. Depending on what staff at what store the rules were different all round. It pays to shop around! As long as it’s just Woolworths!

If you didn’t want to put yourself through this “perhaps you’ll get one in change” or missed the allocation of all 5 Olympic coins in the folder distributed by Woolworths for $15 these are still available at the Mint or your local coin dealer for issue price which is equivalent to just $3 per coin. (edit: in the hour or so since publishing this article the Mint has sold out of this set).

My tally
Week 1. Blue. 8 coins
Week 2. Black. 13 coins
Week 3. Red. 8 coins
Week 4. Yellow. 7 coins
Week 5. Green. 13 coins (ongoing)

Next week should be even more exciting with multi-coloured Paralympic Games coins hitting the tills. Sadly a quick search of eBay shows a $50 face value bag of these coins already for sale with an asking price of $250. Hmm, a zero feedback seller obviously created a new ID for selling so they can’t be tracked down by their employer…..Woolworths. Another seller has already sold 5 bags @ $145 each with images showing they have stock and have shipped.

Sigh…..I’m off to Woolies for my one coin after spending $20 on my family dinner.

5 Coin Olympic Collection

5 Coin Olympic Collection

Posted in Coin News

Australian 2 Dollar Struck on a 5 Cent Planchet

$2 on 5 Cent Planchet Error

$2 on 5 Cent Planchet Error

Do you see what I see? The eagle eyed collector will see parts of the design of the two dollar coin struck on, what, a five cent planchet? That’s correct, this coin is a $2 coin, it’s been through the $2 minting press but it’s a planchet intended for a 5 cent piece, made of cupro-nickel. The extreme weakness of strike is in fact a result of the 5 cent planchet being so small in the press striking $2 coins.

A $2 coin weighs 6.6 grams, has a diameter of 20.5 millimeters and a thickness of 2.8 millimeters. This planchet however, was intended to be a 5c which weighs 2.83 grams, has a diameter of 19.41 millimeters and a thickness of just 1.3 millimeters. It’s the thickness of the 5 cent blank, less than half a $2 blank should be that has resulted in such a weak strike. The diameter is also just a little smaller so this wrong planchet had no trouble dropping into the production press.

It’s probable that a stray blank just ended up in the wrong barrel of blanks when the Royal Australian Mint was striking $2 somewhere between 1999 and 2015. The coin shows the Ian Rank-Broadley portrait of the Queen used from 1999 and this coin was found in 2015.

If you’re not seeing it yet watch the GIF’s below and it becomes much clearer and we can see how such a coin could easily be sold as a blank planchet. Do you have a blank coin in your collection that has been struck? If it has the value of that coin might just have increased by 1,000%!

Posted in Error Coins

Collecting Error Coins

Australian coin errors are among the most desirable in the world and prices realised show how popular these mis-strikes are to collectors. For modern errors especially, you can only wonder if the Royal Australian Mint are so strict with their quality control that few of these pieces escape the Mint. As an error collector it’s important to have a handle on how each error occurred so you can be sure the coin you are buying is a genuine coin. It’s both interesting and important to know how the presses work and have an idea of how different types of error coins are made and how they left the Mint without being spotted.

Some types of errors are so rare among Australian coins that the natural (and much more affordable) way to satisfy collecting urges and complete a collection is to find a desired error type on a world coin. For Australian error collectors pre-decimal Commonwealth coins are a natural choice because the obverse of other Commonwealth coins often bear the same portraits of the Kings and Queen that we are already used to. Countries such as Great Britain, New Zealand, Fiji, Ghana and Zambia fall into this category.   If a Commonwealth country can’t supply the error you want then it can be worth looking at countries such as India or Pakistan whose coin manufacturing quality control is poor, resulting in a large number of error coins of different types being available.  Also, the USA at certain times in their history had poor quality control, especially in the Lincoln cent denomination and interesting types errors are usually always able to be bought.  The smart collector who looks outside of Australia at such countries can easily find spectacular errors such as broadstrikes, large off-centers, and double strikes for well under $50, while the same error on an Australian coin would be worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars.

Below is an error rarely seen on an Australian coin. It’s a type of split planchet error where the planchet split in two pieces before the coin was struck. So the coin was struck on only a half thickness planchet and the result is a weak strike with visible striations on one side where the planchet split. It’s extremely rare to see this on an Australian coin and if found would fetch hundreds of dollars. The examples shown, a Fiji 5 cent was picked up for just $20 on eBay and the British 5 pence came from a coin dealers cabinet for $40.  Interestingly both error coins shown here were minted at the Royal Mint.

Great Britain 1970 5 Pence Error

Great Britain 1970 5 Pence Error

Fiji 1969 5 Cent Error

Fiji 1969 5 Cent Error

The coin below is a double struck error coin, the second strike 90% off centre. It’s from Nigeria and is graded by PCGS as MS64BN or choice uncirculated. A stunning high grade error coin that if Australian would fetch many hundreds of dollars. It was in fact purchased in the slab for less than what it would cost to put the coin in that slab! For a keen error collector it’s a no-brainer to pick up these errors when they are seen to satisfy the collecting urges. Interestingly again this coin is from another British colony and was struck at the Royal Mint.

Nigeria 1959 Penny Error

Nigeria 1959 Penny Error

Posted in Error Coins

1966 Upset 10 Cent Coin

Figure 1. 1966 10 cent Upset Variety

Figure 1. 1966 10 cent Upset Variety 145 degrees approx. 5 o’clock

Figure 2. 1966 10 cent Upset Variety 285 degrees approx. 9:30 (o'clock)

Figure 2. 1966 10 cent Upset Variety 285 degrees approx. 9:30 (o’clock)

The hunt for special error coins and varieties continues as we add new items and check them off our bucket list. One of those elusive varieties was found recently, the upset 10 cent piece of 1966. Minted in London for the changeover to decimal currency the first year of issue this Australian 10c variety shows itself off on various degrees of rotation.

Whilst 10,940,000 1966 10c were Minted in Canberra at the Royal Australian Mint, another 30 million were minted at the Royal Mint in London. It was here that just one die was incorrectly seated in the press whilst striking the 10c pieces and that die rotated during the production run causing all manner of rotated or upset coins. In saying this though, these coins are quite hard to find.

Pick up an Australian coin and hold the reverse (or tails side) straight upright between your thumb and forefinger. Spin the coin around and you should see an upright Queen (or King). If the portrait is rotated then you have an upset.

These 2 examples (shown above) of uncirculated upset 1966 10c give us insight into what likely happened. They are clearly from the same set of dies exhibiting the same die polish lines but the rotations are differing degrees. This can be referred to as time on the clock – figure 1 5 o’clock and figure 2 9:30 (o’clock). One would expect there to in fact be the entire rotating clock face of coins to find.

Examining the 2 coins imaged we have determined which die was rotating by comparing how the edge milling matches with elements in the design. Because the edge milling lines up differently on the obverse of both coins we can deduce that this was the die that was rotating.

Other examples have been found with a stunning coin graded PCGS MS64 rotated 180 degrees or 6 o’clock that was recently sold by a leading coin dealer. Noodlers interested in varieties have found circulated coins rotated 70 degrees, 80 degrees, 310 degrees and 345 degrees.

So here’s to all the coin noodlers out there, something to add to your list of cool things to look out for!

Posted in Error Coins

Coloured 2 Dollar Olympic Coins To Be Released

2016 Coloured $2 Olympic Coins

2016 Coloured $2 Olympic Coins

More coloured $2 coins are on their way with an announcement today that Woolworths in conjunction with the Royal Australian Mint will be the distributor of six coloured 2 dollar commemorative coins for the Rio Olympics. These will be available nationally through the tills from the supermarket chain from July 19th in the leadup to and throughout the 2016 Games. The Paralympic multi-coloured coin from August 22nd. They will also be available in collector packaging from the Mint and you local coin dealer.

Five coins feature the different colours of the Olympic coloured rings, blue, yellow, black, green and red. In the centre is a representation of the Olympic team logo which is the kangaroo facing right, the emu facing left and the Star of Federation and the Olympic rings surrounded by the coloured band. Outside that coloured band are stylised representations of 32 various sports different for each coin. The legends read 2016 AUSTRALIAN OLYMPIC TEAM TWO DOLLARS.

A sixth coin for the Paralympic Games that follow the Olympic Games in Rio will be the first 2 dollar coin produced by the Royal Australian Mint with multiple coloured circles, red, blue, green and yellow. The design depicts a representation of a person racing in a wheelchair with the Australian Paralympic Committee logo and the legends 2016 AUSTRALIAN PARALYMPIC TEAM TWO DOLLARS.

The first five coins were shown on Channel Sevens The Morning Show today, the 21st June, the announcement made by RAM coin programme ambassadors Patty Mills (basketball) and Kate Doughty (paratriathlete). A total of 12 million of these six new coloured coins are expected to be produced.

Posted in Coin News

Rare Mint Error Coins No Colour – Red, Purple, Green and Orange Missing Colour 2 Dollar

2013-coronation-purple-colour-removed

Regular Coin (left) Post Mint Damage (right)


Error coin collectors are being sucked in by offers of coins for sale with missing paint errors. Coloured 2 dollar coins are dis-honestly being sold as rare error coins from the Mint with descriptions like missing stripes no colour error, scarce mistake or whatever catchy phrase the seller thinks will entice unwary buyers into a bidding war. Don’t be fooled, these coins are not Mint mistakes and are very easy to make, with sellers taking advantage of how easy it is to deface these coins.

The coloured $2 coins have become extremely popular with collectors and there have been quite a few released now by the Royal Australian Mint. First was a red poppy coin in 2012, next a purple coronation coin in 2013, a green Remembrance Day commemorative in 2014 and two military themed coins in 2015, a red for 100 years of ANZAC and an orange coin “In Flanders Fields”.

Royal Australian Mint CEO Mr Ross MacDiarmid spoke about the 2013 Coronation coloured $2 at the time of its release:

“There is no colour that can actually sort of continuously survive on any metal so we’ve come up with a technology and a capability enables us to ensure the colour stays on this particular coin as long as possible.”

It’s well known that the colour added to these coins will not stay on forever in circulation. Flecks of paint are usually seen in Mint bags from paint that has not adhered to the coin surface or have chipped away both with wear and being banged together with other coins. The paint can also be removed accidentally by exposure to certain chemicals or solvents or on purpose by being exposed to humble nail polish remover or acetone. This is what I believe has been done to the coins being falsely sold as error coins on eBay in the last few months. The paint has simply been removed with a bath in acetone.

This is nothing new. Dodgy sellers have been doing it since the first coloured coins came from the Mint and we tested this process on a 2006 coloured ocean series dollar coin to see what was under the paint -it was very easy to do. Collectors are also warned in the pocket guide to Australian Coin and Banknotes (22nd page 156) that a year 2000 Millennium commemorative proof coin with the paint removed was once offered as an error coin and sold for over $500. The pocket guide by Greg McDonald even warns those browsing eBay to do your homework about what you are buying before you part with your hard-earned cash.

There have been only just a couple of occasions where I believed a genuine mint error has occurred where the paint has been added to the obverse instead of the reverse by the painting process at the Mint. In just a fraction of a second an optical device checks which side of the coin is up for painting and accepts or rejects each coin, this is where a mistake by the machine would have occurred. Even then I have not seen these coins in hand so I cannot confirm their authenticity. One would assume if it were found (and stayed) in a sealed Royal Australian Mint bag then it could well be a true error.

Below are just a few examples of eBay listings (click the image to enlarge).

eBay listing with bidding up to $107.50 with just under a day to go for this 2012 red poppy with the red poppy paint removed.

eBay listing with bidding up to $107.50 with just under a day to go for this 2012 red poppy with the red poppy paint removed.

2015 In Flanders Fields 2 dollar with the Orange colour removed sold for $40.

2015 In Flanders Fields 2 dollar with the Orange colour removed sold for $40.

2013 Coronation $2 with purple paint removed 3 bids sold at $37.

2013 Coronation $2 with purple paint removed 3 bids sold at $37.

Posted in Coin News, Error Coins

Exchanging Old Coins For Silver Value

We are often asked what’s the value of my coin and whilst we cannot provide individual coin value advice we do provide the tools you can use to work that out for yourself. Most commonly our readers have old silver coins and they want to know the value and where they can go to sell those coins. Once you have determined that the coin has no numismatic value* and is simply worth silver bullion value then you can use our handy silver coin value calculators to work out what that coin is worth. Some people are very surprised to see how much the old threepence, sixpence, shillings, florins and crowns, which all contain silver are worth. It’s surprising to see the value of the old coins add up way beyond their equivalent face vale. For example face value for a 1928 shilling is 10 cents but todays value (8 June 2016) is $3.70.

Using the Australian silver coin value calculator you can determine the amount of silver in ounces that you have and today’s value of the silver they contain in a variety of currencies. Remember that the silver value does fluctuate daily as silver prices change. Once you have filled in the numbers of coins you have the calculator works its magic and adds it up for you and you can print or save that information -see below.

Australian Silver Coin Value Calculator -example of use

Australian Silver Coin Value Calculator -example of use

Remembering the calculation is just a guide and coins wear and may not weigh exactly as they did as they left the mint. Nonetheless the calculator will give you a good idea of what your silver coins are worth. Got some world coins from other countries then we’re sure to have a calculator for those too -check down the right hand side of this page for links to calculate values for United States silver coins, Mexican silver coins and many other countries. On your mobile phone or mobile device? Don’t worry we have that covered too.

Where to now?

You could keep the coins and ride the silver bullion market wave or you could sell those old silver coins that you have just had laying around in the drawer. Options for selling are many and it depends on what you are comfortable doing and your location. If you are near a coin dealer that’s a great place to take your coins to sell them. If you want to sell them yourself you could choose an online option such as eBay. Alternatively there are many gold and silver bullion buyers out there that offer to buy broken and unwanted jewellery and they will buy your old coins for their silver content. There are many places to exchange your old coins for cash so keep an eye out when you are next out shopping and the jeweller you walk past on the way to the supermarket or the pub might just be in the silver trading business. Remember when selling to a coin dealer or a scrap bullion buyer that they’ll almost always offer you UNDER the actual bullion value because they need to be able to re-sell at a profit. This makes it seem that the best course of action is to sell the coins yourself via eBay, but remember they charge fees too, typically 10%-15% of the final sale value. So weigh your options carefully.

*numismatic value is what a coin is worth as a collector coin which is sometimes much more than a coins silver content. Take a look around the Australian Coin Collecting Blog for further information, pick up a coin catalogue or check sold results on eBay to see if your coin has numismatic value beyond it’s silver content. Remember though that numismatic value is based largely on condition and that means often it must look like the day it left the mint and a worn, circulated or “used” coin will be worth much less.

Silver Bullion Bars -where you old coin or broken silver jewellery might end up

Silver Bullion Bars -where you old coin or broken silver jewellery might end up

Posted in Investing in Coins

Australian World War 1 Forget-Me-Not Pennies

South Australian World War 1 Forget-Me-Not Penny

South Australian World War 1 Forget-Me-Not Penny

Last week we were showing the above item to our parents who had no idea as to it’s origins. Our 9 year old daughter asked to take a look at it, examined it briefly, and announced with certainty in her high pitched voice,

“Oh, that’s a Love Token!”

And of course she’s quite correct, it is a Love Token. But a special type of Love Token peculiar to South Australia and dating from World War 1. But before we get into that let’s see what Robyn Einhorn of the Smithsonian calls a Love Token:

Love tokens are coins that were engraved after the minting process was complete. Generally, an artisan removed the words and images from the reverse, or sometimes from both the obverse and the reverse of a coin. Artisans ranging in skills from a high-quality craftsperson to a “do-it-yourselfer” then engraved or punched pictures, initials, and messages on the cleared area.

If we examine the token above and compare it with Einhorn’s definition does it qualify as a Love Token, as so confidently proclaimed by our 9 year old daughter?

  1. Engraved after the minting process was complete? – Check! It’s clear that the reverse of this British Queen Victoria “Bun Head” penny was defaced AFTER it was minted.
  2. Removed the words and images from the reverse? – Check! The entire reverse of the coin, which usually has an image of a seated Britannia has been removed, perhaps with a file judging by the parallel striations.
  3. Artisans ranging in skill to a “do-it-yourselfer” – Check! The workmanship is crude in the extreme, with the reverse roughly smoothed and then letters punched in to form a message. The letters are not lined up particularly well and the “O” of FORGET was mistakenly entered as an R and then over-punched with an O when the error was noticed.
  4. Punched pictures, initials, messages on the cleared area – Check! Well this is obvious, “FORGET ME NOT FROM JOE TO ELIZA WITH LOVE” has been stamped out as a message from a departing man to his sweetheart. Perhaps a wife, or a girlfriend, right now we don’t know.

Even though we should have just trusted the wise words of our daughter, this extra confirmation helps us to say with certainty, that this is indeed a Love Token. However, to anyone with any experience of such things it’s quite a bit different to those typically seen. In Australia, at least, most Love Tokens seen are elaborately engraved silver coins from Great Britain or the USA and dating from the mid to late 19th Century. Why nothing from the 20th Century? According to the US based, “Love Token Society” Love Tokens had fallen out of fashion by the 1890’s because the discovery of large silver deposits around the world resulted in a glut of cheap silver jewellery being available. It had become easier to give a wife, or fiance, or sweetheart a piece of jewelelry than to have a coin smooth and engraved with a personalised message. Probably not the first, and certainly not the last time that mass production has resulted in the loss of some romance in the world.

But we digress. Our token is definitely not silver, and while the coin dates from the late 1800’s could it, in fact, be from a later period than this? At the time we purchased it from a local coin dealer in Adelaide, South Australia, we weren’t sure and the true origins of the coin were unknown to us. However, a few months later in the very same shop we purchased this:

australia-1d-bugler-louie-love-token

Click image to enlarge

Another Love Token. With a similar crudely filed and smoothed reverse and a heartfelt message punched out roughly saying “TO MURIEL FROM BUGLER LOUIE”. This token has been made from an Australian George V penny, which dates it from 1911 onwards. Clearly this new token, by it’s very method of manufacture and the fact that they were both acquired locally by us is somehow related to the above token which Joe had made for Eliza when he was departing to some unknown lands. Which lands were Joe and Louie heading for? And why did they have these tokens made for their sweethearts? The answer, is of course, they were heading off to war. World War 1 in particular, and they were bound for the battlefields of Europe or those in and around the Mediterranean Sea, Palestine, Syria, or even perhaps, Gallipoli.

How do we know? The answer was in our very own local numismatic society where fellow member and well known South Australian numismatist Peter Lane had written an excellent article in 2014 for the Journal of the Numismatic Association of Australia. Entitled “South Australian WWI soldiers ‘forget-me-not’ Pennies” (View PDF Online) it discusses:

….a uniquely South Australian form of love token made during the First World War. The tokens were made outside army camps from pennies in circulation and were given by recently enlisted soldiers to their mothers or loved ones shortly before embarking from Adelaide

Peter says these humble mementos were given out by soldiers prior to departure to the other side of the world to fight in the Great War. They were probably made in workshops outside of various barracks situated around Adelaide and being made from base metal pennies were affordable for a humble private in the Australian Imperial Force who was paid just 5 shillings a day. His article discusses 12 of these WW1 forget-me-not pennies in his possession, and in this article we are happy to show you two more. Even more interestingly we suspect that our “FROM JOE TO ELIZA” forget-me-not was made in the very same workshop as one of the tokens in Peter’s article. Item 7 in the article, “FORGET ME NOT FROM LLEW TO MOTHER 2 DECEMBER 1915″ shows a peculiar oval impression around the upstroke of the T in FORGET. Our “JOE TO ELIZA” specimen shows exactly the same characteristic. We look forward to the opportunity to examine Mr. Lane’s specimen to confirm this relationship.

There you have it, two uniquely South Australian World War 1 Love Tokens manufactured locally and given by departing soldiers to a loved one. Small crudely made items that still contain an amount of romance and regret for months and years spent apart that far outweigh their humble origins. So much so, that even a 9 year old almost exactly 100 years later can recognise them for what they are, tokens of love from a time that is lost to us.

References
Lane, Peter 2014: South Australian WWI soldiers ‘forget-me-not’ Pennies, JNAA Volume 25, pp 1-15 View PDF Online
Bastable, Carol (Date Unknown) The Decline Of The Love Token, Online, Available: The Decline Of The Love Token Retrieved 22 May 2016
Einhorn, Robyn, February 11, 2014 : Love tokens: Where cold, hard cash and romance meet, Available: Love tokens: Where cold, hard cash and romance meet Retrieved 22 May 2016
WikiPedia (Date Unknown) Trench art, Online, Available: Trench Art Retrieved 22 May 2016

Posted in Collectables and Ephemera

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These values are updated hourly using New York market prices. Coin values are purely the value of the gold or silver they contain and do not account for any numismatic value.
Prices Last Updated: 23:04 26 Aug 2016