December 2012 Archives

1984 Australian $1 Struck on 10c Wrong Planchet

Father Christmas must have thought I'd been very very good this year with a surprise present that is truly spectacular. Adding to my personal collection of one dollar coins and errors this 1984 one dollar is struck on an Australian 10c planchet.

1984 was the first year of issue of the one dollar coin after the $1 note was removed and a plentiful 185,985,000 were issued into circulation. This one dollar coin is struck on a cupro-nickel planchet intended for a 10c piece, underweight at 5.6g for a dollar hence the slight weakness near the rims on the coin. A regular dollar coin weighs 9 grams.

A survey of public auction results over the last 5 years indicates 7 known coins of this type and date in collector hands realising from $700 to $4,000 each. It's also a major error noted in Ian Hartshorns book "Australian Pocket Change Varieties & Errors Common, Scarce & Rare". This coin we believe is the first to be graded by PCGS as mint state MS64 or choice uncirculated. It is easily recognisable because of the cud representing a tear on the Queen's cheek which the other examples appear not to have.

It's probable that a handful or more of copper-nickel wrong planchets got mixed in with the aluminium bronze blanks striking one dollar coins and the resulting coins were fed through the system without being detected as has happened on other occasions with denominations such as 10c on 5c planchets or 20c on 10c planchets. This coin however a little more spectacular a one dollar on an off-metal planchet thus giving a silvery appearance!

2013 Kangaroo At Sunset Gold Proof $25 Ballot Coin

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2013 Kangaroo at Sunset Gold Proof

The 2013 Kangaroo at Sunset ballot has been and gone and we don't know of any participant missing out on winning a coin in this ballot although it was fully subscribed.

The Wojciech Pietranik design is one of the flagship pieces by the Royal Australian Mint. It depicts a lone kangaroo crossing the red soil desert plains against a setting sun capturing the beauty of the Aussie outback. This gold proof coin has proved very popular over the years so much so that the Royal Australian Mint now conducts a ballot for it's distribution. Collectors on the RAM mailing list are sent a ballot form to fill out and return to go into the draw for the opportunity to buy one of these coins. Ballots needed to be returned to the Mint by November 27th with the draw taking place on November 30th 2012.

With a mintage of 1,000 coins, 998 were available for collectors and 2 placed in the National Coin Collection. The Kangaroo at Sunset design has been minted since 2007 in 99.9% fine gold and can also be found in 1oz silver. Each $25 legal tender gold coin weighs 6.22g or one fifth of an ounce. It's a mere 21.69mm in diameter with edge reeding and is struck with the Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Queen Elizabeth II. The proof coin protected in a capsule is housed in a quality Jarrah presentation box. It's released with a certificate of authenticity for issue price of $650.

We've written entries for the previous Roo at Sunset gold coins 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012.

2013 Kangaroo at Sunset Gold Proof

2013 Australian Mining 20 cent (20c)

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2013 Australian Mining 20 Cent

The 2013 Australian Mining 20 cent released by the Royal Australian Mint is found only in the Australian Mining 2 coin sets. It's paired with the Discovery of Gold one dollar both by coin designer Aleksandra Stokic. Serbian born Aleksandra is constantly surprising us with her talents, her skill shines through in this design.

Struck in 11.3g cupro-nickel the 2013 Australian Mining 20c is 28.52mm in diameter and is a legal tender coin that wont be released into circulation. It's limited to a maximum mintage of 40,000 coins in the 2 coin uncirculated sets. The reverse design features a bucket wheel excavator commonly used in large open-cut mines. These machines are known as the largest land vehicles in the Guiness Book of World Records and the wheel can measure up to 20 meters in diameter and have as many as 20 buckets.

Mining is the backbone of Australian industry and this fitting design marries perfectly with the Discovery of Gold one dollar. Minted with the Ian Rank-Broadley obverse of Queen Elizabeth II.

1966 1c and 2c Green Card Mint Set

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1966 1c and 2c Green card Mint Set

The 1966 green card mint set houses an example of each of the new 1c and 2c coins released at the changeover to decimal currency on February 14th 1966.

These were some of the very first new decimal coins struck by the Royal Australian Mint and were packaged for visitors to the Mint at that time. Intended for children, the green and white poly-card pack was sold for 5c each.

The Mint had wanted to charge 20c for each set as the cost of the packaging alone was 12 cents, but Treasury insisted that they were for children and the cost should be kept to a minimum. 43,100 were manufactured although it's not known how many of these sets have survived today. After bus-loads of school children visited the Canberra Mint, each spending their 5c, the RAM staff had the arduous task of cleaning up all the discarded empty packaging as the children had ripped open their packs of shiny new coins.

Today these sets sell for around $100 each (Dec 2012).

1966 1c and 2c Green card Mint Set

Mick Vort-Ronald, "Uncirculated Decimal Coin Sets" (September 2000) Australian Coin Review

2013 Discovery of Gold, Australian Mining Dollar

The Discovery of Gold one dollar can only be found in the Australian Mining 2 coin sets issued by the Royal Australian Mint. It's reverse is designed by the new talents of Aleksandra Stokic, her initials AS can be found in the design near the prospectors mining pick. The coin design features a prospector panning for gold. The companion 20c is also in the theme of Australia's mining industry.

Today the mining industry employs more than 750,000 workers and supports communities and the Australian economy. The discovery of gold in the 1850's and the gold rush that followed brought immigrants and settlements and grew Australia's fledgling colony and it's riches helping make Australia what it is today.

This unique uncirculated one dollar is limited to a mintage of no more than 40,000 produced. The specifications are the same as the standard 25mm 9 gram aluminium bronze one dollars found in your change but this coin is released for collectors and not issued into circulation. It features the standard Ian Rank-Broadley obverse of Queen Elizabeth II.

New Zealand Split Planchet 50c Coin Errors

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Split Planchet Coin Error

As a collector of error coins in particular errors of Australian coins there's one type of error that constantly eludes me. This article features 2 different, but very similar New Zealand 50c coins of this error type.

This coin error is called a split planchet error and there are a few types of this particular error. Split planchet means the coin blank has split, in this case in two separate pieces. The coin planchet splits (often) due to a metal impurity and this split can occur before the coin is struck or after. It can present itself as a complete split or an incomplete split known as a clamshell. You could have a struck coin which then splits into two pieces or (in the case of these 2 different New Zealand 50c pieces) the planchet split and the coin was then struck post-split on an underweight planchet.

You'll see in the images, the reverse of the top coin is struck over the split surface still showing those tell-tale metal striations. The bottom coin shows the split surface as the obverse. The design is weakly struck equally on both sides of the coin with weakness more obvious nearer the legends and rim, a tell-tale sign of a coin struck on a planchet severely underweight.

The most interesting thing about these 2 coins is that they are eerily close to being the same coin planchet, fallen in half and then struck as two individual coins. They are both of the same country, denomination, design and effigy. Sadly though once weighed, they are heavier than a complete 50c so they are from two different split planchets.

I'm very pleased to have these two coins in my collection as it's Australian cousin is very hard to come by indeed, We've only seen two examples in the past 10 years of an Australian coin struck post-split.

Split Planchet Coin Error