When we find an unusual coin in our change we always want to think it’s a rare Australian coin. The truth of the matter is that very few coins you’ll find in your change are either rare or valuable. In this article I’ll look at some of the rarer coins you might find in your change and then list off a few of the truly rare decimal coins that you’d be staggeringly lucky to ever find.
Rare Australian Coins
If you look closely at each and every coin you get in your change then you might be lucky, within a year, to find a coin that wasn’t meant to be released into circulation or that is an unusual variety. The most common find in circulation are NCLT (non-circulating legal tender) coins that were never meant for general release. Most frequently these are so-called mintmark dollars, which were released to collectors and for whatever reason someone decided to spend them.
It’s much rarer to find these unusual varieties such as the 2000 Incuse 50c, the 1966 Wavy 20c, and the 2000 $1/10c mule. We’ve covered the rare Australian coins you can find in your change previously but these 3 varieties are the most popular to look for. Other varieties that pop up from time to time and are worth looking out for include the upset 2001 Centenary of Federation $1 and the upset 2010 50c.
One other type of rare Australian coin to look out for in your change are errors. Most commonly you might find a coin with a cud. For some reason $1 and $2 coins seem to occur most frequently with cuds. Less often you might be lucky enough to find a mis-struck coin such as an out-of-collar 5c or 10c or a coin with a minor clip. We’re aware of some fortunate people who have found more grossly mis-struck coins in their change such as a double struck $2. Very rarely someone finds a truly rare Australian coin in their change. For example, the bi-metal Australian $1 coin we wrote about several years ago was given in change at a supermarket. We’re also aware of people who have received coins struck on the wrong planchet in their change, such as a 10c on a 5c planchet.
Keep on Looking
Just glancing at your change to check it for varieties takes no effort and can really pay dividends. The authors of this blog, just by checking their change, have in the last few years have found two incuse millennium 50c coins, two upset 2001 Centenary of Federation dollars, and several mint-mark dollars. Dedicated coin hunters will withdraw quantities of coins from banks to noodle through and with time and effort the 2000 $1/10c mule and the 1966 wavy 20c can still be found. The authors found 3 mules in a period of two years of on-and-off hunting. The wavy 20c still eludes them though!