2017 Lest We Forget Coloured 2 Dollar


2017-lest-we-forget-colour-2-dollar

ANZAC Day 2017 and this year the Royal Australian Mint has released another coloured $2 coin “Lest We Forget” to remember the honour, bravery and sacrifice of those who served our country. Over 4 million of these coins have been sent into general circulation with a further 40,000 issued with a C mintmark in a collector card.

While the ANZAC story commemorates those tens of thousands of Australians who fought and died in World War I it’s at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra where a national memorial sits honouring servicemen and women who participated, fought or died in all wars involving the Commonwealth of Australia.

The coin design features the mosaic from inside the dome of the Australian War Memorial’s Hall of Memory where the Tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier lies. A central circle depicts a representation of the ceiling inside the Hall of Remembrance surrounded by yellow, green, blue and indigo coloured stripes followed by a circle of raised beads and then the legends “LEST WE FORGET TWO DOLLARS” inside 4 lunes and an ornamental border of mosaic tiles. This design is by Tony Dean and bears his initials “TD”.

This coin is part of the Mints ANZAC centenary coin program (2014-2018) and was unveiled by Defence Minister Marise Payne and Small Business Minister Michael McCormack last week.

Posted in Coin News, Collecting Coins

How to Spot a Real 2000 $1 / 10c Mule


Let’s play a game. We’ll call it Spot’a’Mule. The aim of the game is to spot real Year 2000 $1 / 10c mule coins. Winners get to not waste their money on coins worth only their face value. Losers get to waste their money on coins worth only their face value and have the extra added bonus of explaining to their loved ones how they wasted their money without doing the most basic research first.

The game is simple, spot a real mule using these basic rules!

1. Is the coin a dollar? If yes, go to 2. If no, then NOT A MULE.
2. Is the coin a year 2000 dollar? If yes, go to 3. If no, then NOT A MULE.
3. Does the coin show a clear double rim around most or all of the heads side of the coin about 0.5mm wide? If yes, go to 4. If no, then NOT A MULE.
4. You’ve got a MULE!

Pretty easy yes? Let’s play a few rounds. The images below are courtesy of eBay and come from the first dozen or so listings with MULE in the title.

Round 1 – Listed on eBay as 2000 australian 1Dollar coin 10c/ mule, error. Highly collectible

Mule Coin or Not?

Mule Coin or Not?

1. Is the coin a dollar?

Who knows, the seller didn’t see fit to provide a picture of the reverse (tails side) of the coin. Let’s play along anyway.

2. Is the coin a year 2000 dollar?

Well it’s certainly year 2000.

3. Does the coin show a clear double rim around some or all of the heads side of the coin about 0.5mm wide?

No, it does not. NOT A MULE.

Are you having fun yet?

Round 2 – Listed on eBay as AUSTRALIAN 2000 20c / 10c MULE ERROR – RARE COLLECTION

Mule Coin or Not?

Mule Coin or Not?

1. Is the coin a dollar? No, it’s a 20c. NOT A MULE.

That was quick.

Round 3 – Listed on eBay as ERROR 2000 Off Centre Mule Style $2 2 dollar circulated Queens Head Coin

Mule Coin or Not?

Mule Coin or Not?

1. Is the coin a dollar? Nope. It’s a $2. NOT A MULE.

Putting aside the fact that this isn’t even a dollar, what on earth is a “mule style” $2? It’s either a mule (struck with dies not meant to be used together) or it’s not. That’s like saying your white fluffy dog is a sheep style dog. No, it’s a dog.

Round 4 – Listed on eBay as AUST Mule???? ERROR COIN FULL DOUBLE RIM BOTH SIDES SCARCE

Mule Coin or Not?

Mule Coin or Not?

1. Is the coin a dollar? No, it’s a 5c. NOT A MULE.

Again putting aside that this isn’t even a dollar the seller is claiming (or at least evasively claiming with the use of many question marks) that it’s a mule because of a double rim. Let’s get something straight. All year 2000 $1/10c mules have double rims. But not all coins with double rims are mules. What’s more other mule errors (like the 1967 Bahamas Mule) don’t necessarily have double rims either.

Round 5 – Listed on eBay as Australia 2000 $1 Mule / 10c Error Coin – Well Centred & One of the Very Best!!!

Mule Coin or Not?

Mule Coin or Not?

1. Is the coin a dollar? Yes, there’s a decent picture of both sides of the coin.
2. Is the coin a year 2000 dollar? Yes!
3. Does the coin show a clear double rim around most or all of the heads side of the coin about 0.5mm wide? Absolutely, it’s clear for about 3/4 of the coin from 12 o’clock to 9 o’clock.
4. You’ve got a MULE!

Hey a real mule! Surely not, but yes it’s a real one. The price it’s listed at is very, very, very (did I say very) high but it’s a real mule. Not one we’d advocate purchasing if you ever wanted to make money on your investment in the next several decades but a mule none the less.

Round 6 – Listed on eBay as one dollar error mule coin

Mule Coin or Not?

Mule Coin or Not?

1. Is the coin a dollar? Yes!
2. Is the coin a year 2000 dollar? Nope, it’s a 2005. NOT A MULE.

Round 7 – Listed on eBay as *ERROR* 2003 Off center mule $2 coin

Mule Coin or Not?

Mule Coin or Not?

1. Is the coin a dollar? Nope. It’s a $2. NOT A MULE.

An off center coin (which this coin isn’t by the way) is not a mule. A mule is a coin struck with obverse, reverse, or collar dies that were never intended to be used together. An off center coin, is a coin that is struck (funnily enough) off center so that some of the design is missing.

Round 8 – Listed on eBay as AUSTRALIA 2000 $1/10 Cent MULE Error excellant way above average circulated coin

Mule Coin or Not?

Mule Coin or Not?

1. Is the coin a dollar? Yes, there’s a decent picture of both sides of the coin.
2. Is the coin a year 2000 dollar? Yes!
3. Does the coin show a clear double rim around most or all of the heads side of the coin about 0.5mm wide? Absolutely, it’s clear for about 3/4 of the coin from 12 o’clock to 9 o’clock.
4. You’ve got a MULE!

Hey another real mule! Unfortunately the price is even higher than the last real mule we found in Round 5. So take what I’ve said there and add several very’s to the size of the price and another 10 or 20 decades to the time you’d likely see a return on your investment.

Round 9 – Listed on eBay as AUSTRALIA 2000 $1/10 Cent MULE Error excellant above average circulated coin

Mule Coin or Not?

Mule Coin or Not?

1. Is the coin a dollar? Yes, there’s a decent picture of both sides of the coin.
2. Is the coin a year 2000 dollar? Yes!
3. Does the coin show a clear double rim around most or all of the heads side of the coin about 0.5mm wide? Absolutely, it’s clear for about 3/4 of the coin from 12 o’clock to 9 o’clock.
4. You’ve got a MULE!

See the mule in Round 5 for comments regarding the price of this mule.

Round 10 – Listed on eBay as ERROR 2006 Off Centre Mule Style $2 2 dollar circulated Queens Head Coin

Mule Coin or Not?

Mule Coin or Not?

1. Is the coin a dollar? Nope. It’s a $2. NOT A MULE.

I love the title of this one, it’s an off-center mule style error. Let me re-iterate. An off-center coin (which again this coin is not) is not a mule. And there’s no such thing as a “mule style” coin.

Round 11 – Listed on eBay as 2000 Australian $1 one dollar MULE error coin RARE!

Mule Coin or Not?

Mule Coin or Not?

1. Is the coin a dollar? Actually I am not sure. There’s no picture of the reverse (tails side) of the coin.
2. Is the coin a year 2000 dollar? Well it’s certainly a year 2000 coin.
3. Does the coin show a clear double rim around most or all of the heads side of the coin about 0.5mm wide? Actually it does.
4. Well you might have a mule.

Look, I’m pretty certain this actually is a mule based on the single picture given. BUT, it’s best to never ever ever (ever) purchase a coin having only seen a picture of one side. This is especially so when the coin in question is worth exactly $1 when it’s not actually a mule. That’s $2999 less than this particular coin is listed for. Are you willing to risk $2,999 just because you can’t be bothered asking the seller for the picture of the other side of a coin? Well I’m not. But if you are, hey I’ve got this bridge, you want to buy it?

Round 12 – Listed on eBay as 2003 $1 dollar coin mule offset strike error

Mule Coin or Not?

Mule Coin or Not?

1. Is the coin a dollar? Yes!
2. Is the coin a year 2000 dollar? No, it’s a 2003 dollar. NOT A MULE.

Round 13 – Listed on eBay as $1 AUD Coins The Resulting “mule” Error can be double rim..

Mule Coin or Not?

Mule Coin or Not?

1. Is the coin a dollar? Yes!
2. Is the coin a year 2000 dollar? Nope, it’s 2001. NOT A MULE.

The title on this one clearly illustrates that the seller isn’t quite sure what a mule error is. Remember a mule is a coin struck with obverse, reverse, or collar dies that were never intended to be used together. Just because a coin has double rims (like this one sort of has) does not a mule maketh.

GAME OVER

That’s it folks, game over. I hope you had fun with our little game and the four simple rules you need to know to play. It’s not hard to spot a real 2000 $1 / 10c mule and learning the four rules will prevent you from spending money on something you shouldn’t have.

Posted in Collecting Coins, Error Coins

Valuable Australian Coins in Your Change!


A Numismatic Association of Australia publishes an annual numismatic journal and the latest volume has just been released. We were asked to contribute an article to this journal which we were happy to do. The process of creating the article was considerably longer than expected with the whole thing taking about 18 months (!) from start to finish. However, we’re happy with the end result, an article all about the fine art of coin noodling! The article is entitled Valuable Coins in Change (click the link to read the PDF version of the article).

Posted in Collecting Coins, Error Coins

A Partial Engagement –the story of partial collar errors

This article was published in the Australasian Coin and Banknote Magazine, March 2017 issue and was written by the Australian Coin Collecting Blog.Subscribe here to CAB magazine.

What is a Partial Collar Error?
The Partial Collar Error is an interesting type of coin error that gets its name as the coin only partially engages with the collar die when it is struck giving the rim a stepped appearance around some or all of the circumference of the coin.

The error occurs as the coin blank is fed into the press by the feeder fingers and doesn’t neatly locate in the collar die. As the coin is struck some of the planchet is driven into the collar die. The collar die constrains flow of the metal radially, resulting in the rim of the coin having a smaller diameter where it is held by the collar die and a larger diameter where it is not. Examining the edge of the struck coin to see how the collar held the coin allows the error to be classified by the collector into one of two types of partial collar error, straight or tilted.

Figure 1 shows a straight partial collar error, while Figure 2 shows a tilted partial collar error. Figure 3 shows a partial collar error on a non-reeded edge coin.
From the images below it should be clear that in the case of a straight partial collar the coin engages with the collar such that the double edge is parallel to the faces of the coin. The step in the edge around the full circumference of the coin gives the coin more than a passing resemblance to the wheel of a train carriage or locomotive, leading to the colloquial name “railroad rim error” for the straight partial collar. In the case of the tilted partial collar the double edge is not parallel to the faces of the coin giving rise to a tilted appearance.

Figure 1 (left) - Straight Partial Collar Edge – Great Britain 1966 Sixpence Figure 2 (middle) - Tilted Partial Collar Edge – Australia 2005 Dollar Figure 3 (right)- Straight Partial Collar Edge – Australia 1974 2c

Figure 1 (left) – Straight Partial Collar Edge – Great Britain 1966 Sixpence
Figure 2 (middle) – Tilted Partial Collar Edge – Australia 2005 Dollar
Figure 3 (right)- Straight Partial Collar Edge – Australia 1974 2c

Partial collar errors don’t usually look too spectacular when viewing the obverse or reverse face of the coin. Typically it’s when taking a closer look at the edge that it becomes obvious where the problem has occurred. In the case of a straight partial collar error the side of the coin that correctly engages with the collar die should look for all intents and purposes, like a correctly struck coin. However, with the opposing side effectively struck out of collar the diameter should be greater than standard. It’s on this side of the coin that you may see metal flow and fishtailing due to unconstrained radial metal flow. See Figure 4.

Figure 4- Australia 1974 2c Partial Collar – Obverse Fishtailing Detail

Figure 4- Australia 1974 2c Partial Collar – Obverse Fishtailing Detail


Why Do Partial Collar Errors Occur?
There are two commonly accepted reasons for partial collar errors. The first has to do with the manufacture of the coin blanks themselves, the second a failure in the operation of the coin press machinery.

Improperly Manufactured Coin Blanks
What is one reason that a coin blank wouldn’t sit neatly in the collar for striking? The answer is quite obvious and is answered in Figure 5, a letter from the Royal Mint in London dated 1968. This letter is a response to Mr. C. McMillan who had mailed a straight partial collar 1966 sixpence error (Figure 1) to the Royal Mint asking for an explanation as to the origins of the coin. J.C. Hill, an employee of the Royal Mint, in reply to Mr. McMillan says:

“Your coin escaped this process and was therefore too large to fit properly into the collar which cuts the milled edge when the coin is struck.”

How can a coin blank possibly be too large? Simply because it has mistakenly missed the edge rimming process which raises the edge of the blank to reduce wear on the coin, reduces required striking pressure and according to J.C. Hill, allows coins to be stacked. An obvious side effect of the edge rimming process is that it reduces the diameter of the coin blank. The forfeiture of the edge rimming process leaves the coin blank too wide to fall neatly into the collar and only the part of the blank that is held by the collar receives the edge milling.

Machinery Failure
Herbert (2002) suggests a second reason for the partial collar error. Failure in some aspect of the coin press itself. He says:

“The collar may not rise and fall properly with the striking process, the support springs may break, or the collar may jam.”

It’s easy to see how in any of these cases that the collar die would only be raised partially around the rim of the coin even for a perfectly manufactured coin blank. In Mr. Herbert’s case of broken collar die support springs it is not inconceivable that just one spring could break resulting in a tilted collar die which could easily explain tilted partial collar errors.

How Common is this Type of Coin Error?
Partial collar errors are among the more common errors available to collectors. They are certainly the most common type of error coin that arise from planchet location problems during striking. Ramstrikes, broadstrikes and off-center strikes are other errors that result from planchet location issues but each is far scarcer than the partial collar.
Most of these more grossly deformed types of errors usually get picked up either by the Mint or by security companies when they are rejected at the coin rolling machines. Sometimes smaller less deformed partial collar errors find their way into circulation. Partial collar errors are more commonly found on the smaller denominations and they are easily overlooked and sometimes circulate for a while before being put aside by a collector.

Figure 5 -Royal Mint Letter

Figure 5 -Royal Mint Letter


A Recent Find
An Australasian Coin and Banknote reader was over the moon when he recently opened a Royal Australian Mint roll of freshly minted 2016 50th Anniversary of Decimal Currency Changeover 20 cent coins and found a partial collar error staring back at him. Glaringly obvious as can be seen in the photos (Figure 6) part of this coin didn’t engage at all with the collar die and there is a significant area with no milling around the edge. Our reader was quick to don his white gloves and carefully photograph the coin before putting it away in a coin holder. This is the first 2016 partial collar error the authors have seen and having come directly from a mint roll is retained in desirable uncirculated condition.
Figure 6 -2016 20c Partial Collar in RAM Roll (image supplied by Tyron Pigors)

Figure 6 -2016 20c Partial Collar in RAM Roll (image supplied by Tyron Pigors)


References
1. Richard Giedroyc, 2006. The Everything Coin Collecting Book: All You Need to Start Your Collection And Trade for Profit (Everything®). Adams Media.
2. Alan Herbert, 2002. The Official Price Guide to Mint Errors, 6th Edition. House of Collectibles.
3. Hill, J.C. (Royal Mint, London) to Mr.C. McMillan 5 February 1968 from collection of K. Harris.
4. Ian McConnelly, 2015. Renniks Australian Pre-Decimal & Decimal Coin Errors, 1st Edition. Renniks.
5. Australian Off Centre Strikes and Off Centre Dies. 2016. Australian Off Centre Strikes and Off Centre Dies. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.thesandpit.net/index.php?option=offcentre_strike. [Accessed 29 December 2016].

Posted in Error Coins

85th Anniversary of the Sydney Harbour Bridge

Sydney Harbour Bridge Medal 1932 Silver

Sydney Harbour Bridge Medal 1932 Silver


Eighty five years ago today the Sydney Harbour Bridge was opened with much fanfare. Declared a public holiday, March 19th 1932 was a rush of celebrations, the bridge opened with the cutting of a ribbon. The ornate scissors used were designed by Vambola Veinberg who went on to later become the Royal Australian Mint’s first Chief Engraver.

The celebrations continued becoming a week long event with commemorative medals, medalettes, medallions, pins, badges and ephemera produced. Above you can see a silver medal (that is edge inscribed) awarded for Basketball to an amateur girls sports team called the Kookaburras during the celebrations.

Below is a steel medal made from a slice of surplus bridge rivet, a very rare and unusual medal.

Sydney Harbour Bridge Rivet Medal

Sydney Harbour Bridge Rivet Medal

Finally, a medal with a suspension loop that once contained a pin for crowds gathered at the opening event. This would have been attached to the lapel and worn during the celebrations on March 19th 1932.

Sydney Harbour Bridge Pageant Medal

Sydney Harbour Bridge Pageant Medal

Posted in Coin News

Legends of the ANZAC: Medals of Honour Colection to Hit the Newsstands Soon

2017 Legends of the Anzacs: Medals of Honour  14 coin collection (image courtesy heraldsun.com.au)

2017 Legends of the Anzacs: Medals of Honour 14 coin collection (image courtesy heraldsun.com.au)

Beginning April 8th and being sold via newspaper outlets for 2 weeks is another series of collector coins. In partnership with the Royal Australian Mint, News Corp Australia, Legacy and Westpac four 25 cent coins will be made in copper-plated steel and a further ten 20c pieces will be issued in cupro-nickel the same as our standard 20 cent coin. Each of the 14 coins feature a war service medal.

25 Cent Coins Copper Plated Steel
Victoria Cross April 8th
George Cross April 9th
Distinguished Flying Cross April 15th
Medal for Gallantry April 16th

20 Cent Coins Cupro-Nickel
Star of Gallantry April 10th
Distinguished Service Cross April 11th
Nursing Service Cross April 12th
Military Cross April 13th
Distinguished Service Medal April 17th
Victory Medal April 18th
1939-1945 Star Military Award April 19th
Australian Active Service Medal April 20th
OSM Australian Operational Service Medal -Greater Middle East Operation Military Award April 21st
Australian Defence Medal April 22nd

The very first coin, the 25c Victoria Cross 25 cent struck in brilliant lustrous copper will be free with a newspaper purchase April 8th. This coin is plated on an inner steel core which is magnetic. Each coin thereafter will cost $3 each with a newspaper purchase. You should have your collection complete in time for ANZAC Day 2017!

Posted in Coin News

Sydney Harbour Bridge 50th Anniversary The Australian Numismatic Society Medal

Jubilee Medal Sydney Harbour Bridge 50th Anniversary

Jubilee Medal Sydney Harbour Bridge 50th Anniversary

This 34 millimeter medal was struck in 1982 for the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. Struck by Amor Sanders Pty Ltd the medal was issued by the Australian Numismatic Society. It was struck in bronze and silver, with just 1,285 bronze and 605 silver medals issued. The bronze medal was originally sold for just $5 each. The sterling silver medals for $30 each with individual edge numbering.

The obverse bears a design depicting the Sydney Harbour Bridge inside a wreath with a ribbon inscribed “LABORE ET HONORE”. The legends read “SYDNEY HARBOUR BRIDGE NEW SOUTH WALES 1932 1982″, This view of the bridge was taken from the logo of the official bridge opening ceremony invitation in 1932.

The reverse is a design used on many Australian Numismatic Society medals and is derived from the 1858 threepence token by Hogarth and Erichsen.

The Carlisle reference for this medal is 1982/11.

Posted in Medals

You Can Lead a Mule To Water But You Can’t Make It Think

Mule Obverse with Double Rim (Left), Normal Obverse (Right)

LEFT: Mule, RIGHT: Not-a-Mule

The media and the public embraced our article from last week about the dollar coin you can find in your pocket that could be worth $1,000! This has sent people into a frenzy checking jars of coins, money boxes, spare change in the top drawer and coins in their pockets. Sellers have rushed to eBay listing up the 2000 dated dollar coins without having really grasped the crux of the story. I guess they heard “valuable coin…….la la la……2000 dollar….la la la” because eBay is awash with year 2000 Mob of ‘roos dollars being sold as mules that are regular standard dollar coins worth face value of a dollar. Be careful buyers if you are headed to eBay to add this mule to your collection that the coin you are purchasing is really a true mule coin.

The nationwide awareness has empowered people to find these wrongly minted mule coins in their wallets and pockets which has brought many questions to the Australian Coin Collecting Blog over the past few days. It’s sent us to radio and had our Blog shared to thousands of new visitors via news.com.au, The Daily Mail,Huffington Post and nine.com.au just to name a few. Many newly found valuable dollars have found their way onto eBay with people reaping the valuable profits from the dollar in their pockets straight away! One collector found a mule just a few days ago and here it is:

……just read this article about mules, got all exited and noodled away till I found this, is it a mule……it was pretty exciting, ive collected coins since I was 9 so over 20 years, it was just as exiting as my first coin, a penny in an old wrecked holden….

australia-2000-dollar-mule-2

2000 $1/10c Mule

Checking eBay today and it’s clear that, as a buyer, you need to be able to identify the mule coin if you intend to purchase one. If you’re a seller of a “found coin” then it’s clear that some of you didn’t read the fine print either. Of the 8 top listed coins found when I searched for “2000 mule” in the coin category and viewed them in lowest price first, 3 coins are not mules and 5 are genuine mule error coins. We even have a year 2000 10c coin described as “(MULE ???)” that’s been bid up to $51 for a coin worth 10 cents! Another (what we call not-a-mule) 2000 dollar that’s clearly a standard coin has also been bid up to $117.50. If you’re going to eBay to buy a mule be sure that you look out for the distinctive double rim and don’t be fooled just because the seller tells you it’s a mule.

eBay search for "2000 mule" for sale 15/3/2017

eBay search for “2000 mule” for sale 15/3/2017

Posted in Coin News

Is your Dollar Coin Worth $1000? – Radio Interview with ABC Radio in Perth

One of the blog authors was interviewed about the dollar coin in your pocket that could be worth $1000 by ABC Local Radio in Perth on the 13th of March 2017. You can listen to the interview here:

Mule Obverse with Double Rim (Left), Normal Obverse (Right)

Mule Obverse with Double Rim (Left), Normal Obverse (Right)

Posted in Coin News

Is your Dollar Coin Worth $1000? – Radio Interview with 6PR in Perth

One of the blog authors was interviewed about the dollar coin in your pocket that could be worth $1000 by Radio 6PR in Perth on the 13th of March 2017. You can listen to the interview here:

Mule Obverse with Double Rim (Left), Normal Obverse (Right)

Mule Obverse with Double Rim (Left), Normal Obverse (Right)

Posted in Coin News

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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.
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