Christmas Gift Idea -A Collector Coin is a Great Choice

Stuck for Christmas gift ideas? Eric Eigner from Drake Sterling Numismatics knows what a great gift a coin is for Christmas. He says in this news article published by The Sydney Morning Herald today that younger collectors, older collectors and those in between are increasingly spending their disposable income on coins. This means a coin for Christmas could be the best present idea you’ve had yet. Perhaps it’s a coin from their year of birth, or from a special anniversary, a country they’ve visited or a theme that touches their heart -there’s most likely a coin that would be a great gift this festive season.

Certified coins such as those graded and encapsulated by PCGS are increasingly sought after, an easy buy for those flocking to online shops to buy this Christmas (PCGS Coins on eBay). For the young, a coin for Christmas can spark an interest that will last a lifetime. And who doesn’t like spending money and getting money in return, what a great investment! So if you’re stuck for ideas for Christmas presents this year be sure to buy that special someone a coin for under the tree.

2000 $1/10c mule dollar for sale. (Why is this dollar coin an error and why is it so expensive?)

The highly collectable 2000 $1/10c Mule Dollar for someone born in the year 2000

1964 Halfpenny For Sale

1964 Halfpenny a Great Gift Idea for Someone Born in 1964

Posted in Collecting Coins

Double Curved Clipped Planchet Coin Error

Australia 5c 1981 Double Clipped Planchet Error

As a follow on to the entries about clipped planchet coin errors we’ve decided to put up a post on the double curved clip coin error. You can see an example of this sort of coin error above. This 1981 5 cent exhibits two distinct curved planchet clips at 90 degrees from each other. These errors are a lot more unusual than the single curved clip coin errors and for some denominations from some countries are almost non existent. We’ve seen less than a couple of dozen double clipped Australian coins in the last 10 years. Given their scarcity we feel they are an undervalued error and we’d recommend picking them up where you can.

How Double Curved Clips Are Made

To give you an idea of how these errors occur please take a look at the diagram above. Typically coin blanks are punched from a metal strip in rows. The rows are usually offset from each other (like the courses of bricks on a house) to more fully utilize the metal in the strip. In the example above the first row of blanks has been punched out correctly. However, for due to some material feeding fault or machine error the metal strip has moved from where it should have been punched so that coin blank 3 is punched out of an area that already had coin blanks 1 and 2 punched from it. This results in 2 curved clips on coin blank 3.

There are many variations on this sort of clip. The picture of the 5 cent coin above probably happened because of something like that show above as the curved clips are 90 degrees apart..

Posted in Error Coins

Coin Cud Error and Die Chip Error

1966 1 Cent with Obverse Cud

The so called coin cud or die chip error coin happens when a part of one of the dies that strikes the coin actually breaks off. When this broken die strikes a coin the result is a new raised feature (usually looking like a blob) on the surface of the struck coin. The blob mirrors the incuse feature on the die where the die broke. Coin cuds or die chip errors are reasonably common, and unless the cud is particularly large usually only worth a small premium. A lot of the US Morgan Dollar VAM’s are defined by cuds or die breaks and these can often carry a larger premium over the non variety coins.

Cuds vs Die Chips

The most common form of coin cud error is the rim cud, where part of the die that forms the rim of the coin breaks away and any struck coins have a raised element that extends around part of the rim. You can see this type of cud on the coin in the image shown at the start of this article. In some cases a coin may have 2 or more rim cuds. Rim cud errors are (relatively) common because the rim of the die is easily damaged in storage and transport. Cud errors can also occur in the main part of the coin design, usually these happen in weaker points of the coin design where part of the die breaks away because of excessive use. These cuds can be smaller and harder to spot, but they still form an interesting variety that some collectors are interested in.

One of the best known cud errors of this type is found on the iconic Australian Mob of Roos dollar coin. Known as the Rabbit Ear Dollar you can see an example of this below.

Large Rabbit Ear Cud

Very Large Cuds

Sometimes when the cud is very large you can actually see the effect of the metal flowing to fill the cud as weakness on the opposite side of the coin. The 1943Y penny shown in the image below is a particularly fine example of this. The impressively large reverse cud has resulted in clearly visible strike weakness on the obverse with almost all of the letter F missing at about 3 o’clock in the legends.

1943Y Penny Large Reverse Cud / Obverse Weakness

Posted in Error Coins

Five Rare Australian Coins that are Worth Money

Today we’re looking at 5 rare Australian coins that are worth money, enough money that you’d better be looking at your pocket change or you could actually be letting hundreds of dollars slip through your fingers. Of course these aren’t the ONLY coins you can find in your change that are worth real money, but they are those that you’ve got some chance of actually finding. So how much money are we talking about here? Well, anywhere from 30 times face value to 40,000 times face value. Surely that’s more than enough incentive for anyone to take a look at the coins that pass through their hands!

The 2007 Double Obverse (Head) 5 Cent

2007 Double Obverse (Head) 5 Cent Coin

Number 1 on our list of Australian Coins that are worth real money is the Double Header 2007 5 Cent. They are the product of a mint worker deliberately pairing two 2007 heads (obverse) dies and then running the press to mint several hundred or possibly even several thousand coins. Worth $1500+ it’s worth anyone’s time to look at all 2007 dated 5 cent coins and spin them between your fingers and see if they’ve got two heads showing and if those Queen’s heads are rotated 180 degrees. If so, get yourself off to a good coin dealer and get that bad boy authenticated! Read this article to learn more about the 2007 double header 5 cent.

The Year 2000 $1/10c Mule

A Valuable Mule Dollar Found in Change

The Year 2000 $1/10c Mule is the number 2 on our list of Australian Coins that are worth money. The result of an accidental pairing of a 10 cent heads (obverse) die and the normal mob of roos reverse die it’s thought that between 5000-10000 of these coins were minted. Worth from $300-$500 even after circulating for 20 years it’s time well spent looking out for them!

The 1966 Wavy Baseline 20 Cent

Wavy Baseline (Left), Regular Coin (Right)

The Wavy Baseline 20 cent dated 1966 is quite obvious from the wavy baseline on the number 2 on the tails side of the coin. Of course not all 1966 20 cent coins exhibit this feature but the very small fraction that do are worth $250 or more even. That’s even if they have spent more than 50 years circulating since decimal currency was released in 1966! To determine if your 1966 20 cent is a valuable wavy baseline example take a look at our feature article on the coin.

The Year 2010 Upset 50 Cent

Australia 2010 Upset 50c

Some time during the production run of 2010 50 cent coins a coin press operator installed the obverse or reverse die incorrectly. As a result the obverse (heads) side of some coins is rotated 30 degrees from the reverse (tails) side of the coin. It’s thought that perhaps 200,000 of these coins were manufactured and each is worth $50 or more. Read our article featuring the upset 50 cent coin for more information about this interesting and valuable Australian coins.

The Year 2000 Incuse Flag 50 Cent

Year 2000 Incuse Milennium 50 Cent

The year 2000 Millennium 50 cent was released with a fairly difficult to spot die variety. Our article on the variety describes in some detail how to spot the die variety which is called the “Incuse Flag Millenium 50 cent”. Basically the Cross of St. Andrew (the cross with a horizontal and vertical bar) on the Union Jack is incuse or sunk into the coin rather than in relief (sticking out of the surface of the coin) for the normal version of the coin. Worth $50 even circulated the incuse flag 50 cent of the year 2000 is the last of our Australian coins that are worth money.

Other Resources on Valuable Australian Coins

If you’re looking for more information about valuable Australian coins take a look at our article on the top 10 rare Australian Decimal Coins!

Posted in Collecting Coins, Investing in Coins

Our Top Four Coin Storage Tips

If you’re a long time reader of this blog you probably know we’re passionate about storing your coin collection safely. It would be devastating to put a valuable coin collection away for long term storage only to have it damaged and de-valued by the very packaging it is stored in. While that might sound fanciful, it’s not, we know of more than one collection worth thousands of dollars that has been reduced to a small fraction of it’s value by poor storage.

So, we’ve got 4 things you can do RIGHT NOW that will improve way you’re storing your coins and ensure they remain pristine for as long as possible.

Tip 1 – Kick PVC Out of your Coin Collection

This is our NUMBER ONE tip, get ALL the PVC out of your coin collection. The two most obvious sources of this are PVC coin album pages and PVC coin albums. Use an archival safe coin page made from polypropylene and make sure it’s in an archival safe folder. There’s no point putting your coins in polypropylene pages in a PVC Album!

The other HIDDEN source of PVC in your collection is PVC packaging that coins, NCLT coin sets, and PNCs sometimes come in. ALWAYS make sure that the packaging is NOT PVC, and if it is get it away from your coins. In our case we put PVC packaging in food-grade polyethylene ziploc bags along with a note of what item they belong to. And we store them AWAY from our coins.

Cardboatd 2×2 Coin Holder -staple type

Tip 2 – Use SAFLIPs NOT Cardboard 2×2’s

Cardboard 2×2’s are still the most common choice for coin storage. The trouble with them is:

  1. They often contain cardboard dust which can get on the surface of your coin and might cause it to tone
  2. The windows in 2×2’s are sometimes permeable to gasses and can lead to toning.
  3. Staple 2×2’s use (obviously) staples to hold them closed, do you really want pointy scratchy metal things around your coins when you are holdering them or removing them from their holders? No, we don’t either.
  4. Self-adhesive 2×2’s don’t remain adhesive forever and you’re almost certainly going to end up with coins stuck to holders and residue on your coins.

SAFLIPs don’t suffer from any of these issues. They are not perfect but they are certainly a much better solution than cardboard 2×2’s.

Tip 3 – Remember Moisture Absorption

If you live in a humid environment then moisture can be a real problem especially with copper or bronze coins. Excess humidity can cause your bright red bronze penny to tone to a dark colour and depreciate the value of the coin accordingly. Always make sure to use silica moisture absorbers where you store your coins. You can buy these from eBay, find them in shoe boxes, or even just use disposable nappies (unused of course). Make sure to change whatever it is that you use regularly.

PCGS Slabs en masse!

Tip 4 – Get Valuable Items Graded

Even if you store your coins in albums and SAFLIPs they are still somewhat vulnerable to mechanical damage or even liquid spillages. If you’ve got valuable items you want to protect as well as possible then get those coins graded by a reputable third party grading company like PCGS or NGC. They’ll holder your coin in a hard plastic container that will provide excellent protection from drops and knocks. It’ll also protect the coin from small spills and splashes. However, it’s not going to turn your favourite item into the coin equivalent of Iron Man, the holders may not be air tight and will still break if you hit them with hammer and burn if you set fire to them.


These four tips can be acted on quickly and will help you maintain your coin collection for a long time in the same condition that you bought it in! We encourage you to re-read what we’ve written and ACT on the tips we’ve given you.

Posted in Collecting Coins, Storing Your Coin Collection

2018 Adelaide Coin and Banknote Expo Show Report

It’s been a week since the 2018 Adelaide Coin and Banknote Expo and we think we’ve recovered enough to actually write a report on the Expo. Firstly, we’ve got to say wow! Secondly, we’ve got to say WOW! The first 4 hours on Saturday of the Expo at the Torrens Parade Grounds in Adelaide was simply the busiest time at an Australian coin show we’ve ever attended as either a dealer or collector. We had people trying to get in well before the opening time of 10am and when the doors opened at 10 there was an avalanche of collectors, those with an interest in history, and people wanting to get their collections valued. We had three tables at the show and it’s with little exaggeration that we say the time from 10am to closing at 5pm on Saturday passed in a flash. It’s the first time as dealers we simply did not have time to look around other dealer’s tables looking for interesting items or bargains.

The Door of the Torrens Parade Grounds

We thought perhaps we were imagining how busy it was but dinner on Saturday night with other dealers had them telling us the same thing! There were a lot of smiles and enthusiasm from them and delight at how well attended the Expo was. All we can say is kudos must go to Richard Welling of Ye Olde Coin Co. for doing such a fabulous job promoting and organising the Expo. Thanks must also go to the hard working members of Numismatic Society of South Australia who helped setup the tables prior to the Expo, staffed the welcome table, and then helped pack the whole lot up when it was done.

The Calm Before the Storm

Sunday was not as busy as Saturday, but again the time between 10am and closing at 4pm flew by and before we knew it we were packing up our table and heading home. Highlight of the Expo for us was the lovely people we got to meet during each day. It’s always amazing to be able to talk to our fellow collectors about common interests, to see amazing errors, and to get to look through collections for the first time. The author’s favourite find of the show was this tiny little Nelson Centenary Medallet.

Click image to enlarge

Thanks must go to all the people who attended the Expo. Also we must commend the dealers who travelled distances long and short to have tables. Dealers of note included Sterling & Currency, S&T Collectables, John Watson, At the Toss of a Coin, Ye Olde Coin Co., The Purple Penny, Edlins, Comm Coinage, and Downies. For a full list of dealers who attended (and a picture of their tables) take a look at the Adelaide Coin Expo Facebook page. Like and follow the page to keep up with all the news for the 2019 Expo, surely bigger and better!

That’s all we’ve got for this year. Bring on 2019!

Posted in Coin News

2018 Adelaide Coin Show Weekend 17th and 18th November Buying and Selling Free Entry

When is the Adelaide Coin Show this year you ask with excitement? Well make sure you’re free on November 17th and 18th because free is the word. Free entry to the coin expo, free parking at the Torrens Parade Ground, free advice on collecting from members of the Numismatic Society of South Australia and dedicated dealers some of whom have travelled interstate. Free appraisals of your coin collections, accumulations or just those few old coins you found lying in the bottom drawer. What’s better than free? We’ll give you cash for your old coins, medals, tokens, banknotes, stamps collectables, gold and silver. Or you could swap your money……..for different money! Yes, sellers will have dollars, doubles (pronounced do-bull) and denarii (just to name a few) for sale. Stop in at the show from 10am-5pm Saturday or Sunday 10am-4pm to pick up a bargain and browse the many collectable items for sale.

The Torrens Parade Ground (Hall) is located at the corner of Victoria Drive and King William Rd Adelaide City opposite Adelaide Oval. There is plenty of on-site free parking and entry is free. There is easy level access which is wheelchair friendly and assistance dogs welcome. Refreshments will be available. The expo will have show bags, a raffle and prizes. There will also be numismatic displays.

Buying and Selling Coins, Medals, Medallions, Tokens, Banknotes, Currency, Old Money, Gold, Silver, Stamps, Militaria and Collectables -it’s all here!

Posted in Coin News

2019 Dollar Coins Marked With 35 A, U or S Check Your Change and Register at Dollar Coin Discovery

Image Courtesy the Royal Australian Mint and

The collecting world has been excited to find new one dollar coins in circulation with special marks.

What is this all about?

Dated 2019 some new $1 coins have been found in change that bear a tiny number 35 and marks (collectors call these privymarks) “A”, “U” or “S” in between the kangaroos on the standard 5 kangaroo design dollar coin. The Royal Australian Mint (RAM) who strike our circulating coinage have announced that these special coins have been marked to celebrate 35 years of the dollar coin and the iconic 5 kangaroo “mob of roos” design by the late Stuart Devlin.

A million of each $1 coin have been released into circulation and the Mint are calling out to collectors and treasure hunters to check their change for these specially marked coins. The Australian Dollar Discovery has its own website where you can go and register your special coin find to go into a draw to win prizes. The major prize (8 winners, one per state or territory) is a 1 kilogram pure silver coin, a trip to Canberra to strike your 1kg coin and a VIP tour of the Royal Australian Mint. Included are flights and 2 nights accommodation for 2 adults and 2 children staying at Jamala Wildlife Lodge. Second prize is one of 250 $150 Royal Australian Mint gift vouchers or third prize one of 5,000 special money boxes.

What a fantastic idea to promote the coin collecting hobby and get collectors, enthusiasts and the general public looking at their change. Happy Coin Hunting Peoples!

Posted in Collecting Coins

2018 Centenary of Armistice Circulation $2 Coin

2018 Centenary of Armistice Coloured Red Poppy $2 (image courtesy

100 years of Remembrance will be commemorated at 11am on the 11th day of the 11th month in 2018. A century to the day since the guns fell silent Australians will see a new coloured $2 coin in circulation as a tangible reminder and legacy of the fight for our nations freedom, then end of WWI and the price that we paid as a nation.

The new $2 coin features a red poppy centre with a large 100 and the date 11.11.11 designed by Tony Dean representing Armistice, the end WWI and the end to The ANZAC Centenary commemorations. Approximately 2 million coins will be released into circulation. Collector coins with a C mintmark are available for $15 in a collector card. The C mintmark mintage is 40,000.

The Royal Australian Mint are holding coin swap events for those not wanting to wait to receive a red poppy coloured coin in change. Here you can swap cash for the new coins. These are being held on November 1st at these locations:

Brisbane – Queen Street Mall, Wintergarden Area – 8 am to 2 pm
Canberra – Royal Australian Mint – 8.30 am to 2 pm
Melbourne – Southern Cross Station – 11.30 am to 7 pm
Sydney – Parramatta Centenary Square – 8 am to 2 pm

2018 Centenary of Armistice C mintmark Coloured Red Poppy $2 (image courtesy

Posted in Coin News, Collecting Coins

2018 ANZAC Spirit 15 Coin Collection Newspaper Issue

The official 2018 ANZAC Spirit coin collection consists of 15 commemorative 20 and 50 cent coins which are available with the purchase of a News Corp newspaper* -the first coin and a collector folder is free. Subsequent coins cost $3 with a newspaper purchase (all states except WA*). This is the fourth and final newspaper coin collector set coins struck by the Royal Australian Mint and distributed by News Corp.

The “ANZAC Spirit -values that defined our nation” is the theme for this years final set in commemorating the ANZAC Centenary 2014-2018. The first coin issued either Saturday or Sunday October 27-28th (depending on where you live) is titled “United”. The final coin issued on November 11th symbolises what we remember on that day. Each coin represents a value held by Australians and those that have served in war, something we as Australians should be proud of and what we should strive to be. These values are drawn from a series of stained glass windows above the Tomb of the Unknown Australian Soldier at the Australian War memorial in Canberra.

The 15 coin designs are:
1.United (50 cent)-Many different nationalities, colours and creeds were united in uniform and united in cause. This design celebrates the comradeship of war.
2.Resourceful (50 cent) -Celebrates battlefield inventions such as the periscope rifle, the coin design similar to this image at the AWM.

3.Confident (20 cent) -Cool, calm and confident this image is of a WWI sniper
4.Knowledgeable (20 cent) -One outstanding Commander Sir John Monash and his study of tactics, knowledge being the key to success in the battlefield. He coordinated and planned with the hope of solving deadlock on the Western Front. This coin depicting aircraft drops of ammunition which was vital to resupply the troops.
5.Honest (20 cent) -In depicting war it was up to the correspondents and photographers to show the honest truth of war even when it was uncomfortable. This coin design depicts a camera on a tripod with official war photographer Frank Hurley.
6.Disciplined (20 cent) -In battle discipline was crucial and this coin design depicts training with Lewis machine guns in France, see the AWM image.
7.Patriotic (20 cent) -Being proud of this country and loyalty to Britain and the Commonwealth saw willing volunteers march to recruitment offices. This reverse depicts and image of the Cooee march where 263 men marched from Gilgandra NSW to Sydney in 1915. In total there were 9 recruitment marches known as the snowball marches as more men joined the march each day.

8.Devoted (50 cent) -Australian Army nurses were devoted angels to the war wounded. In a white apron and veil a nurse bandages a wounded soldier in this coin design.
9.Daring (50 cent) -The beginning of the end of the war in the middle east, the Battle of Megiddo where daring mounted light horsemen wielded bayonets as they charged in cavalry style. This coin reverse depicts the dash and daring of this mounted offensive.

10.Brave (20 cent) -The ultimate recognition for bravery in War is being awarded the Victoria Cross medal. One such recipient Corporal “Snowy” Howell is depicted in this coin design shaking hands with King George V.
11.Curious (20 cent) -Australians enlisting in the war were curious and thirsty for adventure. The design seen on this coin is the “Kulgoa” laden with new volunteers eager to see what the military could show them of the world.
12.Enduring (20 cent) -The endurance of those that landed on the shores of Gallipoli on April 25th 1915 is commemorated in this coin. Eight agonising months before their evacuation these troops had to endure the searing heat of summer, bitter cold of winter, outbreaks of disease and a monotonous diet. Following this was a further three years enduring the squalid trenches of the Western Front.
13.Loyal (20 cent) -Loyal volunteers on the home front raised money, packed food and clothing parcels, home comforts and gifts that were sent abroad to bring relief and a sense of home to soldiers.
14.Independent (20 cent) -This coin depicts an Australian Flying Corps (AFC) pilot in front of his single seater aircraft. These AFC squadrons were the first to serve independently from Britain and Australian airmen became skilled at working self-sufficiently.
15.Decisive (20 cent) -Tough hard decisions leading through the chaos of war saw the Armistice signed at 11am on November 11 1918 (11.11.11). The elation can be seen in the coin design in this decisive moment, the end of the war.

* See the ANZAC Coin Collection website for more details. Each coin is available to collect from October 27 – November 10, 2018 (VIC, SA, NT, TAS) and from October 28 – November 11, 2018 (NSW and QLD) for only $3.00 each with original hardcopy token (not digital) from The Daily Telegraph/The Sunday Telegraph (NSW), Herald Sun/Sunday Herald Sun (VIC), The Courier-Mail/The Sunday Mail (QLD), The Advertiser/Sunday Mail (SA), NT News/Sunday Territorian (NT), Mercury/ Sunday Tasmanian (TAS), The Cairns Post (QLD), Townsville Bulletin (QLD), Gold Coast Bulletin (QLD), Geelong Advertiser (VIC), The Toowoomba Chronicle (QLD), Sunshine Coast Daily (QLD), The Morning Bulletin (Rockhampton, QLD), The Northern Star (Lismore, NSW), NewsMail (Bundaberg, QLD), The Daily Mercury (Mackay, QLD), The Queensland Times (Ipswich, QLD), Fraser Coast Chronicle (QLD), The Observer (Gladstone, QLD), The Daily Examiner (Grafton/Clarence Valley, NSW ), The Gympie Times (QLD), Warwick Daily News (QLD). Strictly while stocks last.

Posted in Collecting Coins

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Australian Numismatic Calendar

Current Coin Values, Bullion Prices and Exchange Rates

AUD $6.98
Australian 1966 Round 50c
AUD $408.73
Gold Sovereign
AUD $511.68
Australian $200 Gold Coin
AUD $20.42
Silver Price (per Oz)
AUD $1,736.17
Gold Price (per Oz)
USD $0.7200
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: 23:04 18 Dec 2018

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