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

That Dollar Coin In Your Pocket Might Be Worth $1000

A Valuable Mule Dollar Found in Change

A Valuable Mule Dollar Found in Change

Do you know which dollar coin you might find in your change, pocket or piggy bank could be worth $1,000 or even more? Check the date, it needs to be a year 2000 dated $1 coin. Then you need to look closely at the circular rim of the coin -is it thicker than usual on the Queen side appearing doubled? If you think that’s the case then you might have a coin worth $1000 or more -the value of your rare coin will now depend on the condition after spending 17 years in circulation some coins are more valuable than others.

If your 2000 dated coin does have the double rim on the Queen’s head side then what you have is a $1/10c mule, a variety of the Australian dollar coin that’s worth well over face value. It’s quite a valuable coin to find in change! The mule was made when a technician at the Mint in Canberra accidentally paired the Mob of ‘roos dollar reverse with the Queen’s head obverse normally used for the 10 cent piece. It’s slightly smaller size results in the thicker double rim.

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

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

Today’s value for a $1 mule coin -What’s a mule coin worth?

We’ve had a look at recent sold prices around the place and disregarded asking prices because, let’s face it, sometimes these can be quite over the top. A coins value is ultimately determined by the price a buyer will pay and the price that a seller will accept.

PCGS and NGC (both US third party grading services) graded coins are always going to command a premium over raw coins and sellers will pay this to be reassured of a genuine mint error mule coin.

SOLD!
$1507.50 Auction 2 March 2017 PCGS AU58 eBay
$425 Auction 22 February 2017 eBay
$550 Offer Accepted 14 Feb 2017 eBay
$2,450 Offer Accepted 8 February 2017 eBay
$1,050 Offer Accepted 6 February 2017 eBay
$650 Auction 21 January 2017 eBay
$600 Buy It Now 2 January 2017 eBay
$536.57 Auction 28 December 2017 eBay
$954 (incl. BP) 22 November 2016 Noble Numismatics Sale 113 EF
$715.50 (incl. BP) 22 November 2016 Noble Numismatics Sale 113 gVF
$1073.25 (incl. BP) April 2016 Noble Numismatics Sale 111 VF
$2742.75 (incl. BP) April 2016 Noble Numismatics Sale 111 EF

Australian 2000 $1 / 10 cent Mule

Australian 2000 $1 / 10 cent Mule

Posted in Collecting Coins

Collectable Commemorative Australian $2 Coins

  • 2016 Coloured $2 Olympic Coins

Coloured coins galore! Over the past few years the Royal Australian Mint has been churning out collector 2 dollars coins with coloured reverses in the millions. The new coin colourisation technology has resulted in a mass of releases that has brought new collectors to numismatics. It’s also opened a new theme for existing coin collectors -the Australian $2 coin which was previously only seen with the Aboriginal design reverse.

The $2 collecting frenzy began in 2012 with the Royal Australian Mint in Canberra bringing in new equipment with the capability of producing coloured coins that could be put into circulation. In 2013 the Mint has this to say of the first coloured $2 coin, the 2012 coloured red poppy issued for Remembrance Day:

“The production of this coin was made possible through the trials and new developments procured by the Mint’s Engineering Team, who developed an innovative new process allowing long lasting colour to appear on a circulating coin design. Microtext was also a new feature, providing an added level of security against forgery.”
Royal Australian Mint Annual Report 2012-2013

Since that first issue the Mint has churned out these coloured commemorative collector coins at a rapid pace. We’ve put together the table below so you can see at a glance the details of each coin minted. Each Australian $2 coin is minted in aluminium bronze, weighs 6.6 grams and has a diameter of 20.5mm.

Australian Commemorative $2 Coins



Posted in Collecting Coins

World War 1 Australian Identity Disc for Edmund Stanley

Handmade Identity Disc for Edmund Stanley

Handmade Identity Disc for Edmund Stanley

Above is crude World War 1 identity disk made from an old head (1895 to 1901) Queen Victoria Penny. It was purchased from a seller in the United Kingdom in late 2016. The disk is holed for suspension and the reverse has been skimmed and engraved using the ‘wiggle work’ technique. The disc reverse reads:

2973
E.J. Stanley
7th 57th
AIF
R.C.

Edmund John (or Joe) Stanley (service number 2973) was born circa 1894 in either Victoria or New South Wales. He enlisted in the AIF in 1916 and shipped to France on the HMAT Africa. His trip was an eventful one and he was charged with offenses no less than four times, his crimes included “using insolent language”, “destroying government property”, “insolence to an NCA”, and “being absent from duty”. When he arrived in France the man was taken on strength of the 7th Reinforcements of the 57th Battalion. During his time in France he went AWL (Absent without Leave) several times and was subject to courts martial at least twice because of it. He received a 9 month prison sentence that was commuted after just four months. At the end of the war he went AWL again for two months before being found and imprisoned again. Stanley was finally shipped back to Australia in 1919 and true to character when the ship made landfall in Adelaide he went AWL again. According to his service records he was not pursued and was discharged from service.

His service records indicate that Stanley’s medals were not issued “on account of this man’s unsatisfactory service in the A.I.F.”. His record includes letters from him to the authorities asking for his medals on 5 separate occasions and being denied each time. He also asks for his certificate of discharge several times as he either has lost his copy or, on two occasions, lost them in a fire. In his letters his middle name sometimes is Joe and others times John and his date of birth varies from 1885 to 1894. Searching newspapers of the period indicates he was most likely an abusive alcoholic with reports of his crimes of theft, being publicly drunk, and beating his wife in public. All of these reports are in and around the NSW Riverina and around Echuca in Victoria. The newspaper articles also show a variation in his date of birth and middle name.

One can only imagine that his middle name, place of birth, and age were not certain to him perhaps due to his alcoholism or other illness or due to a poor up-bringing. A hint of his troubled up-bringing is found in an article on Trove from the Bendigo Advertiser in 1911. It refers to a “youth named Edmund Stanley” who was charged with stealing a watch in Moama (next to Echuca in Victoria). The very last record we can find of Stanley is his death record from 1962 noting that he his grave can be found in Echuca. We are unable to find record of any children and it appears that his wife pre-deceased him by some years. This ID disk is a sad memento of what was clearly a troubled man.

References

1.National Archives of Australia, (Date Unknown) Record B2455 for Stanley, Edmond John, Available: E.J. Stanley Service record, [Accessed 16 February 2017]
2.Narandera Argus and Riverina Advertiser. Mon 17 Nov 1952. Court of Petty Sessions. [ONLINE] Available at: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article101622972. [Accessed 3 February 2017]
3.Narandera Argus and Riverina Advertiser. Fri 2 Apr 1943. POLICE COURT. [ONLINE] Available at: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article101539314. [Accessed 3 February 2017]
4.Narandera Argus and Riverina Advertiser. Fri 6 Aug 1943. Alleged Insulting Words. [ONLINE] Available at: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article101550648. [Accessed 3 February 2017]
5.Narandera Argus and Riverina Advertiser. Tue 2 Mar 1920. POLICE COURT. [ONLINE] Available at: http://nla.gov.au/nla.news-article100086527. [Accessed 3 February 2017]
6.Bendigo Advertiser. Wed 3 May 1911. Alleged Larceny. [ONLINE] Available at: http://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/article/89844035. [Accessed 3 February 2017].
7.Births Deaths Marriages Victoria. 2017. Family History Search. [ONLINE] Available at: https://online.justice.vic.gov.au/bdm/indexsearch.doj?viewSequence=200&language=en&trxId=IDX&commandAction_displayDetailsAction%3DF7040B81B100994AE8D51D3250EF8070. [Accessed 3 February 2017]

Posted in Collectables and Ephemera

Australian 1966 Blue Card Mint Set

Front of 1966 Carded Mint Set

Front of 1966 Carded Mint Set

Back of 1966 Carded Mint Set

Back of 1966 Carded Mint Set

February 14th 1966 saw the introduction of decimal coins into circulation in Australia and for the first time the Royal Australian Mint made uncirculated grade coins in sets available to collectors and visitors to the mint. The very first of these sets were coins sealed in plastic and then sealed in a blue and white cardboard holder which was initially available only to visitors to the new Royal Australian Mint facility in Canberra. The sets included an example of each of the new decimal coins, the 80% silver round 50c coin, the cupro nickel 20c, 10c, and 5c and finally the bronze 2 and 1 cent coins. With a total face value of 88c these carded mint sets were available for just $1 (just a 14% markup), a far cry from the margins achieved with mint product sold these days (the 2010 mint set has a massive 679% markup)!

Advertisement for the set, Australian Coin Review October 1966

Advertisement for the set, Australian Coin Review October 1966


The new decimal coins all had a common obverse portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by Arnold Machin, while the reverses depicting typically Australian wildlife were all designed by Stuart Devlin.

77,250 of the sets were issued during 1966 and 1967, but shortages of Australian minted 20, 10, and 5 cent coins meant that 67,250 of the sets contained London (which had been minting Australian decimal coins since 1965) minted cupro nickel coins. The remaining 10,000 sets contained 20, 10, and 5 cent coins that were minted in Canberra and continued to be available right though until early 1967.

As is normal for most numismatic collectables, condition is everything with regards to the value of these sets. Prices for these sets currently range from $40 or so for a poor set that is damaged or written on, up to $80+ for a pristine set with un-toned copper coins. It is quite common for these sets to be found stapled across the top and we’re not sure if this was done by the RAM at time of issue or later by collectors to stop the paper separating. Either way the stapling does have some effect on the value with the staples often rusting and staining the cardboard. Just recently we saw a lovely 1966 carded mint set sell at an auction in Canberra with the original RAM packing slip, this went for $140. This was the first time we’ve seen one come up for sale with the packing slip. You can see an image of a packing slip below (we’ve been lucky enough to secure a number of these sets with slips just in the last few days).

1966 Blue Card Mint Set with RAM Packing Slip

1966 Blue Card Mint Set with RAM Packing Slip

To have the original slip, an unstapled set with pristine coins in undamaged or non dog-eared cardboard is certainly a superior set to look out for, if you can find one!

Posted in Australian Decimal Changeover

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Current Coin Values, Bullion Prices and Exchange Rates

AUD $7.52
Australian 1966 Round 50c
AUD $389.54
Gold Sovereign
AUD $487.65
Australian $200 Gold Coin
AUD $22.03
Silver Price (per Oz)
AUD $1,654.65
Gold Price (per Oz)
USD $0.7592
Australian Dollar

 
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: 15:04 25 Jun 2017