The Yarralumla PNC

March 27, 2010

A PNC is (short for Postal Numismatic Cover) is usually a First Day Cover issued by a nation's postal service (for example Australia Post in Australia) with a coin inserted.

There are many private issue PNC's which don't hold any particular significance and are products developed by eBay sellers but there are a select few private PNC's that hold a place in Australian history.

One such of these is the Yarralumla PNC. This was originally named NU-27 by it's creating company, Nuphll Associates Ltd of Christchurch New Zealand. This PNC was the 27th cover produced by the company. It is more commonly known as " The Yarra or Yarralumla" because of the postmark it carried. Nuphil Associates Ltd were a team of two partners Varian Wilson and Ray Dobson.

Australia 1969 Yarralumla PNC

When Australia turned to decimal coins in 1966 the 50c was round and contained 80% silver. Soon after it's release the silver value of the new 50c outweighed it's face value so the governing bodies changed their strategy. They would change the new Australian 50c from round to dodecagonal shape and it would be made of cupro-nickel the same as the 20c, 10c and 5c. This was announced in December 1968 by the Federal Treasurer William McMahon. It was hoped the change of shape would help remove confusion between the 20c and 50c coins. The round 50c was issued only in 1966, there were no 50c issued in 1967 or 1968 so 1969 was the first year of the dodecagonal release. The Currency Act of 1965 was amended in September 1969 to allow for the change of shape and the new release was made in October 1969.

Nuphil heard of this new release and applied to the Royal Australian Mint for advanced copies of the coin to be included in a special PNC. Money changed hands and it was determined that the RAM didn't have the 2,000 coins readily available to supply to Nuphil. The Mint hurriedly struck the 1969 50c pieces on unpolished blanks to fill the order. The PNC's were then assembled at the Mint because, being before the release date the coins were not allowed leave the premises. The covers were assembled by Varian Wilson of Nuphil with the assistance of Ray Whelan (coin dealer) of Healesville, Victoria. The covers were postmarked at the nearest post office available which was Yarralumla in Canberra on 1 September 1969 and were backstamped at Canberra City on the same date.

The exceptional thing to note about this release is that these coins struck on "unpolished blanks" are of specimen quality. This is the only way to obtain a specimen 50c of 1969. Actually, no, that is untrue. It is said that 2,000 of these were struck by the Mint and only 1,330 covers produced and the remainder of the coins distributed as change from the Mint Shop in the RAM itself. The chances of these coins being in top condition is therefore extremely unlikely.

Each of the Yarralumla covers are individually numbered and were issued for USD$7.50 each (which equated to AUD $7.00 at the time). They now realise anything upwards of $800 +.

Posted by harrisk at March 27, 2010 10:35 AM
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