April 2014 Archives

2014 Victoria Cross Ballot Coin (image courtesy www.ramint.gov.au)

The Royal Australian Mint is releasing a new $10 coin commemorating our nations bravest, the recipients of the Victoria Cross Medal as part of their Anzac Centenary Coin Program. This particular ten dollar coin is limited to just 5,000 minted so to secure one of these coins you'll have to enter a ballot draw. From now until 5pm aest on May 30th those interested in securing one of these coins will have to enter the draw via a link on the RAM website, calling the RAM contact centre or sending in a Legends member form. Upon validation of your entry and if successful in the ballot you'll be notified and asked to make payment.

The antique copper coin measures 57 millimeters and is issued in a presentation box for $100. All ballot winners will be required to pay the $12 shipping fee as there is no pickup available from the RAM giftshop.

The first coin* in the Mint's Anzac Centenary Coin Program sold out within days, the $5 triangular Lest We Forget silver proof coin and that coin had double the mintage. This VC coin will surely be very very popular.

Victoria Cross Recipients on the Coins Reverse (image courtesy www.ramint.gov.au)

The names of the 100 Victoria Cross medal recipients adorn the reverse of this coin in micro-text around a depiction of the VC Medal with the words " FOR VALOUR" . A superb design commemorating our nations bravest who received the highest military honour.

Australia's 4 living Victoria Cross recipients were on hand at the Mint in Canberra yesterday to oversee the striking of these coins with Corporal Mark Donaldson VC's 7 year old daughter Kaylee pressing the button to mint a coin for her Dad.

The ANZAC Day University of Canberra Brumbies Rugby Match also put aside the coin toss at the start of the game, and as a mark of respect and commemoration instead playing a quick game of two-up with the specially struck coins.

2014 VC $10 Copper Antique Coin (image courtesy www.ramint.gov.au)

*The first coin announced was the circulation ANZAC centenary dollar with 23 million released for circulation. It appears the Royal Australian Mint can't decide if that coin was in fact part of the program having announced conflicting information to date.

The Singapore International Coin Show 2014

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Last month, Singapore played host to one of the hobby's premier events: The Singapore International Coin Show. Sydney gold sovereign dealer Eric Eigner from Drake Sterling Numismatics flew up for the week to attend, and during the long flight home took the opportunity to write up a report about his trip. We've reproduced it below.

Singapore International Coin Fair 2014

It's been a while since I've travelled abroad for a coin show. However, with the cancellation of the Petersham Coin Show this March (the show will be back on once renovations to the venue are completed), I took the opportunity to attend a coin show a little farther afield.

Marina Bay Sands

The Singapore International Coin Fair is held every year at the end of March in one of Singapore's premier hotels, Marina Bay Sands. As one of the biggest coin shows in the Asia-Pacific region, the show attracted a large and diverse range of international and local dealers, as well as many of the world's official mints, accessories suppliers, and the two largest coin grading services, PCGS and NGC.

When I arrived Friday morning, the registration area was crowded and the queues long. It took me almost half an hour to get my collectable visitors booklet and badge. But it was worth the wait. The registration area was in a long hallway, but the show itself was inside the high-roofed, warehouse style hall nearby. The first tables before me had crowds before them three or four people deep. The coins of interest were mainly Chinese, Malaysian, and some bullion.

Inside the Coin Fair

Walking about the room, I noticed a clear Asian focus in terms of the kind of coins that were on offer. This is not surprising. I did not quite expect to find hoards of Australian rarities, but I was hoping to find the odd Aussie coin or two that might pay for the trip. Sadly, Australian coins, even gold sovereigns, which are international coins, were thin on the ground.

31.103 kilos of Gold, face value of ???100,000 Euros

In addition to the traders, there were also exhibits and presentations. On special display was an Austrian Philharmonic gold coin. Containing exactly 1,000 ounces of gold and worth over AU$1.4 million at current prices, the coin was the centrepiece of the Austrian Mint's trade display. Guards, armed with somewhat underwhelmingly small pistols, stood left and right of the display. An extra guard circled the stand from a distance, no doubt keeping an eye for suspicious activity.

US Uncut Banknote Sheets

Meanwhile, a banknote dealer had wallpapered the back board of their display with uncut sheets of United States one and two dollar bills. I could not resist the temptation to purchase a sheet myself, and am now the proud owner of an uncut sheet of thirty-two one dollar bills. Near the area where presentations were held, there was a display of original currency vignettes from various small countries. There was also a display of original printing plates from which the vignettes were produced. Perhaps most interesting was a small display of intricately designed company bonds. The most famous company of all was the Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Los Angeles. There was also a specimen bond, accompanied by a printing plate, from the Pepsi-Cola Company.

Pepsi-Cola Bond and Printing Plate

Afterwards, I made a quick visit to the PCGS stand, where the Vice President of International Development Muriel Eymery was engaged in deep conversation with a collector. She had on hand one of PCGS' new sample holders and was demonstrating the use of the holder's new 3D security hologram.

PCGS Stand

Overall, it was a good show. Business appeared to be brisk, sales were strong, and the range of coins and currency available for sale was broad, albeit Asian-centric. Unfortunately, because the Petersham and Singapore Coin Shows are held on the same weekend each year, I will be unable to attend next year's Singapore show; however, given the option, I'd certainly attend again and recommend collectors in the area make the short flight to drop by.

2014 Mob of Roos Dollar in High Relief Silver (image courtesy of the Royal Australian Mint)

The Royal Australian Mint has just released the iconic mob of roos one dollar coin in one ounce silver form. The coin is released to help celebrate the 30th anniversary of the appearance of the Australian dollar coin back in 1984.

While this isn't the first oversized mob of roos dollar we've seen in silver (there was one in the 2004 Masterpieces in Silver set) it is the first time we've seen it as a full one ounce and with a diameter of 32mm. Those of you who know a little about 1 ounce silver coins probably have pricked ears right now because 1 ounce silver coins are usually crown sized, 38mm or more in diameter. Well, the 32 millimeter diameter gives away that the coin is to be struck in high relief on a thick planchet. As far as we are aware this is the first time the RAM has released a product officially classified as high relief (though the Perth Mint has been doing it for a while now). It will certainly be interesting to see this familiar design struck in high relief.

The coin is to be struck in 99.9% silver with a mintage of 10,000 coins and based on images on the RAM website appears to ship in one of their black coin boxes with an information card. The obverse bears the usual Queen Elizabeth II portrait by Ian Rank-Broadley while the reverse shows the 5 kangaroos as first sculpted by Stuart Devlin for the dollar coin in 1984.

The Mintmark 1 Dollar for 2014, A voyage to Terra Australis
The dollar is hugely popular to collectors and the numbers issued by our circulating coin producer the Royal Australian Mint can be hard to keep track of. To help you, this article lists all the circulation and non-circulating (nclt) aluminium bronze dollar coins released. We usually only include the 9 gram, 25 millimetre coins the same type as issued into circulation and found in your change. But this year is special being the 30th anniversary of the iconic mob of roos design by Stuart Devlin. This year we see this design struck in colour, with gold plating, on a copper nickel planchet and especially magnificent on a thick 32mm 1 ounce silver planchet, all worthy of adding in this list.
Description Type Mint Mark Composition Notes Issue Price Mintage
Mob of Roos Circulation None AlBr Circulation $1 1,000,000
Anzac Centenary Circulation None AlBr Circulation $1 23,000,000
Anzac Centenary Uncirculated None AlBr PNC $15.95 14,500
Mob of Roos Uncirculated S Counterstamp AlBr mobile coin press, RAM Pop-Up Store, Sydney 8/5/14 $10 5,000
A Voyage to Terra Australis Uncirculated C mintmark AlBr RAM Gallery Presses $3 *
A Voyage to Terra Australis Uncirculated C mintmark AlBr 4 coin unc set $22.50 *
A Voyage to Terra Australis Uncirculated S privymark AlBr 4 coin unc set $22.50 *
A Voyage to Terra Australis Uncirculated B privymark AlBr 4 coin unc set $22.50 *
A Voyage to Terra Australis Uncirculated M privymark AlBr 4 coin unc set $22.50 *
A Voyage to Terra Australis Uncirculated P Counterstamp AlBr mobile coin press, Perth ANDA Show $10 5,000
A Voyage to Terra Australis Uncirculated S Counterstamp AlBr mobile coin press, Sydney Royal Easter Show $5 10,000
A Voyage to Terra Australis Uncirculated B Counterstamp AlBr mobile coin press, Brisbane ANDA Show $10 7,500
G for George Uncirculated None AlBr Coin in Card $13.50 max 30,000
Blow Fly Frosted Unc None AlBr Coloured Bright Bugs Series $15 max 30,000
Ulysses Butterfly Frosted Unc None AlBr Coloured Bright Bugs Series $15 max 30,000
Stag Beetle Frosted Unc None AlBr Coloured Bright Bugs Series $15 max 30,000
Cuckoo Wasp Frosted Unc None AlBr Coloured Bright Bugs Series $15 max 30,000
Year of the Horse Lunar Series Uncirculated None AlBr Coin in Card $13.50 *
Mob of Roos Proof None AlBr Berlin Money Fair $39.95 2014
Ethel C Pedley Uncirculated None AlBr Dot and the Kangaroo Baby Mint Set $45 *
Coloured Mob of Roos Uncirculated None AlBr Mint Set $32.50 *
Mob of Roos Proof None AlBr Dot and the Kangaroo Baby Proof Set $125 *
Mob of Roos Proof None AlBr Wedding Set $145 *
2014 Fine Silver 25mm 11.66g
Description Type Mint Mark Composition Notes Issue Price Mintage
Mob of Roos Proof None .999 Silver Fine Silver Year Set $325 max 1,000
Mob of Roos Proof None .999 Silver Boxed Coin $60 max 1,000
Voyage to Terra Australis Proof C mintmark .999 Silver Boxed Coin $55 max 12,500
Year of the Horse Lunar Series Proof None .999 Silver Boxed Coin $55 *10,000
Australian Decimal Effigies -Elizabeth II Proof None .999 Silver Legends Subscriber Exclusive $99 made to order, max 5,000
Australian Decimal Effigies -Elizabeth II Gem Uncirculated None .999 Silver Legends Subscriber Exclusive $75 made to order, max 5,000
2014 Fine Gold 25mm 21.52g
Description Type Mint Mark Composition Notes Issue Price Mintage
Mob of Roos Proof None .999 Gold Fine Gold Year Set $9,500 100
Mob of Roos Proof None .999 Gold Boxed Coin $1,795 100
2014 Cupro Nickel 25mm 10.03g
Description Type Mint Mark Composition Notes Issue Price Mintage
Selectively Gold Plated Mob of Roos Proof None Cupro Nickel Proof Set $130 *
Coloured Mob of Roos Frosted Unc None Cupro Nickel Coin in Card $17 max 30,000
2014 1oz Fine Silver High Relief 32mm Mob of Roos 30th Anniversary Special Release
Description Type Mint Mark Composition Notes Issue Price Mintage
High Relief Mob of Roos Proof None .999 silver Boxed Coin $100 max 10,000
Footnotes: * - These issues are currently in production or there is the possibility of the Mint making more. It is therefore not possible to accurately provide a mintage. Capped or maximum mintages are stated.

The Numismatic Association of Australia NAA

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The Numismatic Association of Australia or NAA is an organisation promoting numismatics around Australia. It is the collective voice for all Australian numismatic clubs and societies, and also has representation from New Zealand. The national body was founded in the early 1980s by the late Ray Jewell to be the unified voice of collectors, dealers, numismatists and academics within numismatics in all aspects of the hobby.

The NAA holds a 2-3 day conference every second year with guest speakers and a conference dinner, which is a wonderful opportunity to meet and discuss the hobby. Conference registrants can catch up with friends and get right into their special interests for a couple of days.

The Association publishes an annual journal packed with informative and well researched articles. Being a member of the NAA entitles you to a free copy of this journal. Membership, for which there is an annual subscription fee, is open to individuals and organisations both here in Australia and overseas. The NAA is sponsored by leading dealers around the country and also one in the United States.

The NAA has recently undergone a website upgrade, as part of which it also changed its domain name, from www.naa-online.com to www.numismatics.org.au. Here you can browse articles from the journal, check events around the country and see information about its three numismatic awards given for contributions to numismatics and excellence in journal articles - the Ray Jewell Award, both Silver and Bronze, and the Paul Simon Memorial Award.

The Paul Simon Memorial Award designed by Michael Meszaros

Australian Pennies

You've found a bunch of old brown coins hidden away or in a drawer and you're wondering if they're worth anything?

Do any of these old coins have any value?

The tails side says Commonwealth of Australia One Penny and the year and others bear a kangaroo with Australia Penny and also the date. On the head side we see the Kings George V, VI or Queen Elizabeth II. The Australian Penny was issued with the dates 1911 to 1964. The diameter of the penny should be 30.8 millimeters and each should weigh 9.45 grams, although a worn coin that's been in many pockets may weigh less.

In your pile of pennies there are a few dates to look out for

1930 penny -number minted 1,200 coins. Value $10,000+

The 1930 penny is not only the best known Australian penny, it's almost certainly the best known Australian rare coin. It also happens to be one of the most valuable Australian pennies. It's very unlikely that you'd find one of these and if you do find a penny dated 1930 and your coin doesn't say Commonwealth of Australia but features a lady sitting on a rock facing to the right of the coin and holding a trident then it's a British 1930 penny. These are often used to fill a hole in a set of pennies. By the way, that lady on the rock? That's Britannia, the female representation of Great Britain.

1925 penny -number minted 117,000 coins. Value $100 +
1946 penny -number minted 363,000 coins. Value $50 +

The other two "keydate" Australian pennies that you might find are the 1925 and 1946 penny. The 1925 has the Commonwealth of Australia design on the tails side, while the 1946 penny has a kangaroo on the tails side. Both are well worth looking for.

1933/2 overdate penny. Value $20+

If you've picked out all the 1933 pennies, you'll need to look very closely at the last 3 in the date and you'll probably need some sort of magnifying glass or loupe. If, beneath the 3 it looks to have a curve at the top that might have once been a 2, then you could have found an overdate.

Beware of Fakes

There are many fake or counterfeit coins bearing these dates so if you do find a valuable penny then you'll need to have it evaluated by an expert. A good coin dealer can determine if it's genuine and grade your coin. Sometimes they'll do this for free, other times they may charge a small fee to do so.

Look for Penny Varieties

There are also some varieties to look out for and if you're keen to know more you should pick up an Aussie coin catalogue or head to your local library and borrow a coin book to read up on what to look out for.

Grading and Storing your Pennies

To more accurately determine the value of your Australian penny you should be aware it's ALL about condition. A bright orange/red coin with full design details present that looks as good as the day it left the Mint will be worth considerably more than an old brown worn penny. Pennies are made from bronze and left the Mint looking a bight orange/red. They've turned brown over the years with exposure to the environment which is called toning.

But don't be tempted to clean your pile of pennies, this will significantly reduce their value.

Giving them a brighten up with a soak in Coca Cola or a polish up with Brasso is a huge no-no. Coin collectors and dealers can tell immediately if a coin has been cleaned and this will dramatically reduce the value of your penny.

You can look out for pennies with green spots, this is called verdigris and is a kind of copper cancer which will spread. Any coins you find with this green verdigris present should immediately be removed to a quarantine bag so it doesn't spread to the other coins.

If you're not a coin collector and don't have the proper coin storage accessories then a polypropylene bag such as a food grade zip lock bag will be adequate to store your coin horde in.

Keep in mind the more the coins jostle about together the more worn they become so any better looking coins might best be stored in their own bag.

So what's the value of this pile of pennies?

Now that you've removed the key date coins and any that need further investigating or quarantining, what's left? A pile of bronze. If you take those to a coin dealer then you'll probably be offered a price per kilo or perhaps a small price per coin for your pennies..