Rascals & Ratbags Roadshow -The Mint Tours the Country

2018 Australia’s Convict Era Rascals & Ratbags “Australia” counterstamp dollar (image courtesy ramint.gov.au)

The Royal Australian Mint are on the road again with a travelling roadshow. Visiting Melbourne and sites in Tasmania in May the roadshow will then continue through New South Wales in June. The first leg of the journey visits Melbourne CBD, the Port Arthur historical site, Hobart, Launceston and Devonport. The second leg visits Wagga Wagga, Dubbo, Parramatta, Sydney CBD and Wollongong. For more detailed information see The Australian Numismatic Calendar.

Visitors to these locations will have the opportunity to strike the “Australia” counterstamp onto the 2018 Ratbags and Rascals dollar coin -the coin that acknowledges the contributions of convicts to Australia’s history, heritage and folklore. The Mint will be setting up pop-up shops in each location with the mobile coin press especially for striking the counterstamp onto this coin design by Tony Dean. The theme of ratbags and rascals tells special stories of Australia’s convicts, some that were rascals and some that were ratbags but each contributing to our history. This roadshow is the only way to obtain the commemorative coin with this “Australia” counterstamp.

2018 Australia’s Convict Era Rascals & Ratbags “Australia” counterstamp dollar (image courtesy ramint.gov.au)

At each location the Mint will also be offering coin swaps of the 2018 100 years of ANZAC dollar (10 pack for $10), the Eternal Flame coloured $2 coin (5 pack for $10) and standard circulating designs in sachets by denomination (50c $10, 20c $4, 10c $4, 5c $2). The 50c and 20c, 10c, 5c bags available only in $10 lots -the 20c, 10c and 5c not available individually. There are also limits of 3 purchases per line up.

Latest non-circulating legal tender (NCLT) Mint products will also be available to purchase at the roadshows. Expect to see this national tour travel to Queensland and Western Australia later in the year.

Lest We Forget Eternal Flame Coloured $2 Coin (image courtesy ramint.gov.au)

2018 100 Years of ANZAC Circulating Dollar (image courtesy ramint.gov.au)

Posted in Coin News

Wrong Paint Coloured 2 Dollar Coin Error

2017 Lest We Forget Mosaic $2 With Remembrance Rosemary Colour Error

What’s so special about this coin you say? If you know your coloured $2 coins you’ll see straight away, now pick your bottom lip up off the floor. The coin is a 2017 Lest We Forget coloured $2 which should have multicoloured mosaic painted reverse. Instead, the colour applied to this coin is for the coin released later in the year for Remembrance, the coin featuring green and purple Rosemary flowers. The wrong paint has been applied to the different reverse design coin. See the comparison image below and imagine the paint on the right hand coin has accidentally been applied to the coin on the left -WOW. I struggle to see how this error could be fabricated post-minting and believe this to be a genuine error coin. This is the first coin that has been found with this type of error, are there more out there?

2017 Coloured $2 Coins Left: Lest We Forget Mosaic Right: Remembrance Rosemary (images courtesy ramint.gov.au)

Posted in Error Coins

Paint on the Wrong Side “Bullseye” Coloured 2 Dollar Coin Errors

2015 Lest We Forget Coloured $2 Enamel on Wrong Side Error PCGS MS66 (image courtesy PCGS.com)

Error coins are eagerly hunted by collectors and now with more and more coloured coins being minted for circulation by the Royal Australian Mint we’re seeing new types of error coins that never before existed. This is the more easily spotted and most eye-catching error where the paint has been applied to the wrong side of the coin. Optical processes at time of paint application are supposed to recognise the reverse of the coin then apply the paint but occasionally an error occurs and the enamel is applied to the wrong side of the coin. This has been seen on few occasions of the various coloured coins and collectors have named it a “bullseye” error. The coin seen above is one of these errors, the paint wrongly applied to the portrait (or obverse) side of the coin. Below we see the same coin in the PCGS slab graded PCGS MS66, a very high grade for such a coin and obviously pulled from a Mint roll or bag.

2015 Lest We Forget Coloured $2 Enamel on Wrong Side Error PCGS MS66 (image courtesy PCGS.com)

A different example but a coin of the same type below can also be seen in its security bag!

2015 Lest We Forget $2 Bullseye Error in Security Bag

Posted in Error Coins

New Portrait of the Queen to be Used on Australian Coins from 2019

New Effigy Unveiled (image courtesy ramint.gov.au)

The announcement that Australia would have a different portrait of the Queen struck on new coins coincided with the 92nd birthday of our reigning monarch. On the 21st April 2018 (the Queen’s actual birthday not the holiday we celebrate it on) the Australian Government announced that in 2019 all Australian coins would feature a new effigy of Queen Elizabeth II, a modified version of the Jody Clark design depicted on British coins since 2015. The new image of the Queen by Royal Mint designer Jody Clark will replace that in use since 1998 by designer Ian Rank-Broadley. All coins currently in circulation will remain legal tender.

The Two Jody Clark Designs. Left UK Coins, Right New Australian Coins (image courtesy Royal Mint and ramint.gov.au)

Australia’s new coin obverse will be the sixth portrait of Queen Elizabeth II used on Australian coins. It features the Queen facing right wearing the Royal Diamond Diadem. She wore this crown at the coronation and also in the Raphael Maklouf portrait used on Australian coins from 1985-1998.The design is different to that on UK coins as it shows the Queen’s shoulders, sees her wearing pearls and there are design differences in the hair curls. We’ll see this design on all new coins minted for 2019 including collector coins and circulating coins.

The evolving effigy of Queen Elizabeth II on Australian Coins from left Gillick, Machin, Maklouf, Gottwald, Rank-Broadley and the new Clark design.

Posted in Coin News

Vale Stuart Devlin Your Iconic Coin Designs Forever in My Pocket

We are saddened to hear of the peaceful passing of the beloved designer Stuart Devlin whose designs adorn coins of many countries including many of those you have in your pocket or wallet right now. He’s the designer of the platypus 20 cent, the iconic mob of roos dollar, the teeny echidna 5 cent, in fact he designed all of Australia’s standard decimal coin reverses that have been in circulation since 1966 (except the $2 coin issued later). Not only has Mr Devlin designed coins but also silver art pieces, gold jewellery, sculptures, furniture and he’s even designed houses. A book “Stuart Devlin Designer, Goldsmith, Silversmith” written by his wife Carole Devlin and her sister Victoria Kate Simkin was recently published detailing his lifes work and includes a biography which is a tribute to his achievements in life.

Stuart Devlin AO born in 1931 was 86 and passed away April 12th 2018.

Click image to enlarge

Posted in Coin News

Error Coin Spotlight – 80% Off Centre George VI Australian Penny

80% Off Centre Australia Penny

Grossly off-centre coins like the one shown above are particularly sought after by collectors This coin is about 80% off centre and shows design elements that identify it as a penny of George VI. Often these sorts of radically off centre errors show no signs of the collar die being present at all. For those new to the error game, the collar die (when making round coins) is a ring shaped die that fits around the coin blank when it is struck. It serves two main purposes, the first is to constrain the flow of the coin blank radially and ensure that the coins struck are the correct size. Secondly, it applies some finish to the edge of the coin, this can be a plain smooth finish (like a 1c or 2c), a reeded finish (like a 20c or a 10c), or even an interrupted reeded edge (like a dollar or two dollar coin). In the case of our off centre error the collar die was certainly present but obviously did not encircle the coin blank when it was struck. So how do we know the collar die was present when this error was formed? See the image below

Off Centre Penny Details

Referring the image above, the arrows labelled 1 point to a flat shelf like feature on either side of the struck portion of the coin. This is evidence that the coin was struck against the collar die, removing the raised rim that is present around the rest of the coin. It’s important to realise that the raised rim was applied to the coin blank BEFORE it was struck, and was removed WHEN It was struck. Obviously the raised rim was flattened by something, and in this case it was the collar die.

The arrows labelled 2 on the above image show an interesting feature that shows that the collar die, while present, was not performing one of it’s key tasks. The small crenellated features you can see are the denticles you’d expect to see around the edge of a George VI penny. Given that one of the roles of the collar die is to restrict radial metal flow of the coin and in the case of our error was not in place properly, clearly radial metal flow is NOT restricted. So, what should be nicely formed rim denticles are actual smeared sloping ramp like features, formed when the metal flowed outwards rather than filling the denticle features on the obverse die.

For the new or experienced error collector it can be tough obtaining an Australian error like this off-centre penny, their scarcity and desirability makes them one of the more expensive errors you can find. For the collector on a budget who wants an error of this type then an off-centre US penny can be an affordable way of adding one to a collection. For the collector who has to have an Australian example of the type, head over to the Purple Penny website where one is in stock right now.

Posted in Error Coins

2018 Coloured $2 Coin Lest We Forget Eternal Flame

Lest We Forget Eternal Flame Coloured $2 Coin (image courtesy ramint.gov.au)

As ANZAC Day approaches we’ll soon see a new coloured 2 dollar coin in our change depicting the eternal flame surrounded by a pool of reflection. This orange yellow flame centre is surrounded by blue tones of water. The legends read “LEST WE FORGET ETERNAL FLAME TWO DOLLAR”.

The design is inspired by the Eternal Flame memorial at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra. There, a perpetual flame burns as a symbol of eternal life and remembrance of those who gave their life in war. It sits in the Pool of Reflection in the commemorative courtyard.

The Royal Australian Mint has released these coins into circulation, issued them in rolls and struck a C mintmarked coin available in a collector card.

Posted in Coin News, Collecting Coins

Australian Indent Coin Errors

2002 Outback Dollar with Indent from 5 Cent Blank

Interestingly termed, an “Indent” error coin occurs when 2 planchets are accidentally fed into the collar at once. Consequently the dies will press the coin blanks together creating a partial blank on one side. This may fully or only partially obscure the design. An indent may occur with the same blank or a totally different shaped or sized blank. This will result in a depression in the lower coin the shape of the upper blank. The coin pictured above is of the rarer type where a blank of a different denomination was fed into the collar. It is an Australian 2002 Outback design one dollar where a 5 cent blank has been fed in simultaneously. The coin below is a penny with a threepence impression. Both spectacular error coins.

Click image to enlarge

If the indent occurs when an already struck coin obscures the striking ie. the last coin didn’t exit the press fast enough then you will see a brockage or part brockage impression in the indented area. There is no blank design because the obscuring coin was struck but the brockage impression will be incuse and a mirror image of what it struck against. You can see this on the coin below, a penny that just caught the previous coin that didn’t escape fast enough.

1958 Penny Indent with Partial Brockage

Posted in Error Coins

Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Team Coloured $2 Week 3 Coin at Woolworths

2018 Coloured $2 Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Team

Today is week 3 in the great Woolworths change race. Splitting up my groceries at the self checkout, feeding my note in and seeing how many shiny new $2 coins I’ll get is getting a bit tedious and I am starting to get strange looks. Today begins week 3 and this weeks coin is the green and gold Commonwealth Games Team coin, even though I’ve come home from my shopping trek today with blue Borobi’s! This weeks coin should be available for the next 2 weeks into the first week of the Games being held in Queensland. So keep an eye out for these coins in your change and if you’re really serious, yes, buy that whole hand of bananas one at a time!!

We are not advocating asking your checkout attendant to give multiple coins or whole bags of coins as there are limits and this is against Woolworths policy.

3 Coloured $2 Coins to Collect

Images courtesy of Woolworths.

Posted in Coin News

1967 Australia 1 Dollar Pattern ‘Crown’ Goose Dollar 90% Silver Copy Coin Counterfeit Fake

The 1967 swan (goose) pattern dollar is being faked. Chinese counterfeit coins are flooding the market so if you are looking to buy one of these coins then read on.

A genuine goose or swan pattern dollar is a true collector piece and these are eagerly sought by coin collectors -even though they are not legal tender. Just 1,500 milled edge uncirculated goose dollars were struck by John Pinches medallists of London. Read more about the history of the 1967 ACR Pattern Swan Dollar (Goose Dollar) by Andor Meszaros. Genuine examples usually sell for $1,000-$4,000 so if you see a bargain goose dollar then the chances are it’s too good to be true.

Let’s discuss how to pick one of these Chinese fakes over the genuine example. Below you can see comparison images, the genuine coin on top and the fake below. This genuine example is in a PCGS slab which is always a great way to identify that a coin or medal is genuine. Looking closely at the design we can easily identify the counterfeit coin. The most obvious mistake is the omission of the designers initials on the swan side of the coin1. The next detail to look at is the feathers on the swan which are too well-defined on the fake in comparison to the genuine coin2. Another point to make is inside the first 0 (of 100) two of the wattle flowers are too prominent on the counterfeit3. Overall though these fakes are quite good and if you don’t know what to look for then you could easily find yourself purchasing a dud. Buyer beware.

Fake Goose Dollar Comparison

Posted in Collecting Coins

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Current Coin Values, Bullion Prices and Exchange Rates

AUD $7.42
Australian 1966 Round 50c
AUD $400.16
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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: 18:04 22 May 2018

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