Variety Threepence Spotlight -1925 3d Filled 5, Die Cracks and Clashed Dies


1925 Threepence Variety

The 1925 Australian threepence showcased in this article is much more than your everyday pre-decimal small silver threepenny bit. To variety and error collectors this coin is an interesting study piece so let’s look more closely at its’ features. Evident on this coin is significant die cracking and heavy die clash. Let’s first look at the cracks and broken die. Click on any image to enlarge.

Reverse Die Break and Cracks
As more coins are struck, often through overuse the dies will often crack. This leads them to either shatter or be retired. Evidence of the cracking is always apparent on the struck coin and if a piece of die breaks away then it will leave a cud formed on the coin. In this case the crack has extended from the rim beads through the date and up to the scroll. It has lead to a piece of the die breaking away in the middle of the 5 leaving a cud. We’ll call this (just as in the filled 8 1948 threepence) the filled 5 variety.

1925 Threepence Filled 5 Die Crack

This coin also exhibits a large die crack from the rim to the kangaroo. There is also minor cracking through the legends.

1925 Threepence Die Crack Kangaroo to Rim

Die Clash
This occurs when the obverse and reverse dies hit together at force without a planchet in between them. This leaves the impression of the other die on the surface most of the time visible in the open fields of the coin. We’ve circled and numbered each part of the coin to explain the incuse markings. Our obverse image below shows each point circled (left) and an inverted overlayed reverse (right) showing the details of the clash so you can understand it a little easier.

1925 Threepence Obverse. Right with overlayed inverted reverse to explain die clash

Obverse
1. Looks like George V is smoking! It is in fact the emu’s front leg that’s up holding the shield.
2. The kangaroos front leg, paw, and the edge of the shield can be seen behind KG’s head.
3. The bottom of the scroll can be seen below the back of the King’s coat.
4. The letters of the date 2 and 5 can be seen inverted, these are easily made out in the fields below the portrait.

Reverse
5. The incuse curve on the reverse between the date and the scroll is the bottom edge of the King’s portrait.

1925 Threepence Variety -Circled Die Clash

Posted in Error Coins

30th Anniversary of the 2 Dollar Coin


The Original Plaster Cast for the $2 Coin (Steve Keough Photography)

June 20th 2018 is the 30th anniversary of the $2 coin. Australia withdrew the $2 banknote and replaced it with a small size 2 dollar coin on this day in 1988, this change and the introduction of the new coin happened exactly 30 years ago today. The standard design of the Australian $2 coin is an Aboriginal portrait with the Southern Cross and a grass tree. In recent years many commemorative $2 coins have been minted most with added colour printing. Details and mintages can be found on our circulation $2 coins page.

Master Tools for the $2 Coin (Royal Australian Mint Collection)

Posted in Coin News

Remarkable eBay Errors of the Week


There are four pretty remarkable errors up on eBay at the moment. The scarcity of the errors would make them unusual to see in room auctions, let alone the 24 hour mostly-junk-garage-sale that is eBay. Let’s have a look at them

2016 Dollar Coin Struck on 10c Planchet

One of the more unusual wrong planchet errors we’ve seen in the Australian series. A 10c planchet somehow got into the 2016 dollar coin blanks when that year’s mob of roos dollars were being made and was struck with the one dollar design. We’ve seen these type of wrong planchet errors dated 1984, but to see one with such a recent date is very unusual.

View on eBay – 2016 Dollar Coin Struck on 10c Planchet

Double Struck 2014 20c

This is a particularly nice double struck 20 cent. We’ve discussed double struck coins in the past and it’s always nice to see one on a modern decimal coin like this. The second strike appears about 85% offset from the first and almost directly vertically above the first strike. The grade looks excellent too.

View on eBay – 2014 Double Struck 20 Cent

Double Struck 50c 1999-2017

Here’s a double struck denomination you don’t see too often, the 50c. This one is struck the second time about 30% offset from the first strike with the image of the coin showing remnants of the first strike under the second strike. Unfortunately the second strike has obliterated the date but on such an unusual error that doesn’t detract too much. The grade looks good and this would be a key piece of any decimal error collection.

View on eBay – Double Struck 50 Cent (Unknown Date)

Unknown Date 10 Cent struck on a 5 Cent Planchet

The 10 cent on a 5 cent planchet is actually one of the more common wrong planchet decimal errors, but saying that it’s still extremely unusual to see one. This one is more modern than most of the others we’ve seen with the images of the coin showing a date most likely this century as there is just the barest remnant of a 2 visible. The grade looks decent and you’d do worse than to own an error as fine as this one.

View on eBay – 10 Cent on 5 Cent Planchet

Posted in Error Coins

2017 Dollar Master Mintage List

We’ve just finished compiling the master of one dollar coins minted for 2017. The list includes issue prices and accurate mintage information taken from the financial reports of the Royal Australian Mint as well as the expected or capped mintage first advised upon release. Note where there is a zero in the table the number is unlimited or has not been reported yet. The great thing about the list is it is easily searchable, you can type in keywords to narrow down the search for what you might be looking for. The table includes all standard circulation composition Australian 1 dollar coins -25 millimetre, 9 grams in weight and struck in aluminium bronze. Collectors of dollar coins will find this list useful, maybe there’s a coin that’s missing from your collection?

See the 2017 $1 Coins Master Mintage List, it is also found in “The Australian Dollar Coin” drop down header above.

  • 2017 Battle of Beersheba Dollar (image courtesy ramint.gov.au)
Posted in Collecting Coins

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

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