Adelaide Coin and Banknote Expo This Weekend

Put down your phone coin enthusiasts, this weekend the biggest coin event in Adelaide is happening! We’ll be at the Torrens Parade Ground Hall in the city this Saturday and Sunday. The Coin Expo hosted by the Numismatic Society of South Australia will have around 20 coin dealers and the Royal Australian Mint in one location.

Got some old coins lying around then why not bring them in with dealers buying coins, banknotes, tokens, gold coins, silver coins, militaria and ephemera of various kinds. Want someone to look at a coin, then the experts with be there to give you advice and values. The Royal Australian Mint is having a coin swap and mobile coin press on location. The NSSA is having a raffle and selling showbags. Visitors and dealers are travelling from far and wide to attend this huge numismatic event.

If you have some old coins that you want to sell then bring them in to the Expo this weekend, or just come along to look around and maybe pickup a coin with the new portrait of the Queen. The Expo is running 10am-5pm Saturday and 10-4 Sunday with free parking at the venue. ENTRY IS FREE! See you there…….

More Info

Posted in Coin News

2020 Mint and Proof Sets with New Queens Portrait

Click image to enlarge

The new Jody Clark effigy of Queen Elizabeth II adorns each coin in the 2020 proof and mint sets released today by the Royal Australian Mint. These herald as the first sets with this new 6th portrait of the Queen signalling its formal introduction into Australia’s coinage. All coins produced by the Mint from here on will use this portrait and no longer the Ian Rank-Broadley effigy we have all come to know as standard. Issue price for the 6 coin mint sets is $27.50 and $110 for the proof version. All coins featured in these sets have the standard reverse designs by Stuart Devlin and Horst Hahne.

Posted in Collecting Coins

2019 Alphabet Dollar Coins Available in Sets

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How many times have you been to the Post Office in the past 4 weeks? The idea has been to get coin enthusiasts in-store, make a purchase and receive random alphabet $1 coins in change. What a hard slog that’s been. I purchased a folder and must have just about talked with every post office employee in the entire north of Adelaide to finally secure all 26 coins from Australia Post (A) to Zooper Dooper (Z). After the exhaustive process customers are now aware they could have more easily purchased the complete set without all the change shenanigans -but Australia Post didn’t want you to know this, it was a closely guarded secret (in the fine print under the in-store sign -crossed out/white-out in most locations).

From Monday 28th, as it appears in the “Spread the Merry” Christmas catalogue we see that we are able to buy a complete set, in a tube of The Great Aussie Coin Hunt coins for $49. These have been on eBay for a few weeks now with some paying a hefty price for a shorter wait for all the coins. Patience here is the key.

There’s also an incentive to purchase the tube of coins at the premium it incurs -you have the chance to uncover a yet unannounced mintage of special ‘A’ coins with a slight difference in the design. These have an added envelope in the fields near the A.

Click image to enlarge

The word on the street (perhaps overheard leaning on the red posting box) is that collectors will be able to purchase this set in aluminium bronze proof and silver proof finish. There’s no mention of this yet through any official announcements.

Posted in Coin News

The Great Aussie Coin Hunt -26 Australian Themed Alphabet Dollar Coins from Esky to Iced Vovo, Cricket to Quokka

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One Aussie theme for every letter of the alphabet with the first six coins available now in your change with a purchase at participating Australia Post outlets. The first releases are A for Australia Post, F for footy, I for Iced Vovo, M for meat pie and X for the only town in Australian town beginning with that letter, Xantippe. These have been sent to Post Shops in mixed bags for this promotion. While you’re there grab a collector folder to display your coins for $9 -and get the first dollar coin for your collection in your change from a ten dollar note!

Each of the themed (non-coloured) $1 coins are listed below:

A for Australia Post
B for Boomerang
C for Cricket
D for Didgeridoo
E for Esky
F for Footy
G for G’day
H for Hills Hoist
I for Iced VoVo
J for Jillaroo and Jackaroo
K for Kangaroo
L for Lamington
M for Meat Pie
N for Neighbours
O for Outback
P for Platypus
Q for Quokka
R for Royal Flying Doctor Service
S for Surf Life Saving
T for Thongs
U for Ute
V for Vegemite
W for Weet-Bix™
X for Xantippe (a town in remote WA)
Y for Yowie (a creature described in Australian folklore)
Z for Zooper Dooper

Posted in Coin News

Is the Royal Australian Mint Releasing Old Coins into Circulation?

On various Facebook coin groups over the last 10 months or so once every couple of weeks I see someone post up a picture of a shiny 1984 (or sometimes 1985) dollar coin asking how it could possibly look so good. Perhaps a coin like this one:

1984 Dollar Coin – So Shiny

Now my immediate answer to how a coin could look so good after so long is simple. Someone, back in 1984 when Australia was excited about the newly released coin kept one (or even more than one) of the shiny coins aside thinking it was interesting and might be worth something some day. That same coin has spent more than thirty five years in a money box, a plastic bag, or even in a drawer, before being found and spent. Less likely is that someone has broken open a roll of dollar coins (like the one below) and spent those. Now why do I think this is likely? Because in years as collectors and coin dealers we have seen hundreds, nay thousands of shiny uncirculated 1984 dollar coins shown to us by the people who put them aside back in 1984. Also, we’ve handled (and broken open) many, many, many, 1984 and 1985 dollar coin rolls, sold a few coins from those rolls but mostly spent them.

1984 Dollar Coin Roll

That, I thought was the end of the ‘why is the 1984 dollar coin so shiny’ question. However, it wasn’t. Before my eyes over a few months a theory sprang up on social media that the Royal Australian Mint was releasing old stock of 1984 dollar coins into circulation. As the months progressed the theory became more elaborate to encompass 1985 dollar coins, 1986 Year of Peace dollars, early 1980’s 20c coins, and even old stock of 10 cent coins. Not only did it become more elaborate it became more detailed with Facebook posts suggesting it happened in “October 2018” or “late 2018”. To my incredulous eyes the ‘theory’ stopped being a theory and had become ‘fact’ and was being peddled by numerous posters n Facebook. Don’t believe me? Here’s the proof:

Facebook Posts Suggesting the RAM is Releasing Old Stock

In the image above I draw your attention to the post at the bottom left, the person in question is asked if there are records of the Mint releasing old stock. His answer? “No records of it Gary. I just know.” Proof? He doesn’t need any damn proof. While it must be nice to be so certain of things without any actual proof I am not nearly so confident of myself. So I thought, let’s email the Royal Australian Mint and ask them. Here’s what I asked:

I wonder if you can confirm or deny that you released old stock of 1984 and 1985 $1 coins into circulation in the last year or two? There’s a lot of people telling us that this is the case and we just wanted to confirm.

Two weeks later the customer service team at the Mint got back to me with the following:

Thank you for contacting the Royal Australian Mint.

Apologies for the delayed response, I have liaised with the appropriate departments to ensure the correct information is provided to you.

The below is not in fact correct.

“The below” is referring to my quoted email. In just seven words the RAM have provided a definitive answer to the question, is the Royal Australian Mint releasing old stock of 1984 dollar coins into circulation?



Posted in Coin News, Collecting Coins

2019 Police Remembrance Coloured $2 Coin

Image Courtesy Royal Australian Mint

The immediately recognisable blue and white check pattern adorns the latest coloured $2 release from the Royal Australian Mint (RAM). This new coin commemorates the 30th anniversary of Police Remembrance Day on September 29th 2019. This special day praises, honours, thanks and remembers those who, in the line of duty have lost life to make our country a safer place.

These coins have been trickling into change via our security companies over the last month but are now readily available to collectors. The ever popular C mintmark coin housed in a collector card is released today with an issue price of $15 and a capped mintage of 40,000. The circulating coin (without a mintmark) is being released through dealers in rolls wrapped by the Royal Australian Mint guaranteeing the coins inside are in fact all these commemorative coins. These rolls are available from today through selected dealers at rrp. $99.95. An Australia Post PNC (circulating coin and stamp cover) is also available with 7,000 of these produced retailing at $19.95. Upcoming coin swap events will see collectors being able to obtain the circulating coins at face value by swapping them at the various locations in Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne on September 12th. The coin swaps will swap cash for sachets of 5 coins each ($10 FV).

2019 Police Remembrance ‘C’ mintmark in Card (image courtesy Royal Australian Mint)

Posted in Coin News

Police Remembrance $2 Coin Swaps Around the Country

The latest coloured $2 is beginning to turn up in change around the country and the Royal Australian Mint is eager to distribute these coins prior to the 30th Anniversary of Police Remembrance Day on September 29th 2019. The Mint is holding coin swap events in some capital cities on Thursday September 12th from 8am until 2pm. Swap cash for 5 coin bags of the new circulating blue and white coin. Limits will apply depending on queues. The swaps will be held in Canberra, Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne (see the upcoming events in the on this website —->

Police Remembrance Commemorative $2

Posted in Coin News

5,000 Anglo-Saxon Coins Unearthed by Detectorist

Anglo-Saxon Penny of Cnut (image courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

In December 2014, Paul Coleman discovered a large hoard of 5,248 Anglo-Saxon coins. They were minted during the reign of two kings: Ethelred the Unready (reign.978-1016) and Canute (reign.1016-1035). They were preserved in very good shape because they were placed inside a lead container that was fragmented during excavation.

The coins were sent to the British Museum to be cleaned and examined. The experts said that this is the largest hoard ever discovered since the treasure act was passed by the parliament in 1996. A hoard this size is exceptional. When one of the experts at the local museum received an email telling him that a hoard of more than 5000 coins was discovered, he didn’t believe his eyes. He thought it is a typo. Maybe they meant 50 or 500. Even 500 is questionable because Anglo Saxon coins are not as common as Roman coins.

In November 2015, this hoard was declared a trove, which means, according to the treasure act, that museums can acquire these coins after buying them from the finder and the landowner where the discovery was made.

The treasure act started in 1996. It obliges anyone who finds a hoard to report it to the authorities within 14 days. After being excavated and examined, they will decide whether the hoard is a trove or not. If they declare it a treasure. The finder has to sell it to a local museum. The price will be estimated by an independent committee of experts. The finder and the landowner will share the money.

Coins must be at least 300 years old to be declared as a trove. There are other requirements as well. If they contain more than 10% gold or silver, the minimum number is two. If not, the hoard must contain at least 10 coins in order to qualify.

Anyone with an entry-level detector can make such finds. Since the beginning of the act, thousands of finds were reported, 1008 discoveries were reported in 2014 alone. In addition to the tools, you need to do some research about the history of the area you want to visit. Paul Coleman is a member of the Weekend Wanderers metal detecting club.

The club spent some time examining aerial photos of a field that had some odd shapes before scanning it with their metal detectors. There is also one important factor that is usually overlooked, which is luck. Since many people were gathered in the same area using detectors (which emit electromagnetic waves), there was interference. Paul’s machine couldn’t perform the way it should be and it was emitting false signals. So he decided to scan an area close to the field designated by the club. And, there, he made his life-changing find!

About the Author:
Article by guest author Alex Lemaire, he is passionate about unearthing history and collecting coins and relics. He thinks that metal detectors are time machines that help us know more about our ancestors’ lifestyle. You can follow him on his blog

Posted in Metal Detecting

2019 Blue and White Police Remembrance Coloured Two Dollar Coin Found!

Yesterday on social media someone posted up a new blue and white coloured two dollar coin. The obverse (heads) side of the coin showed the usual Ian Rank-Broadley portrait of Queen Elizabeth. There reverse was very different. It showed a blue and white checkered coloured ring around the British crown all within an Australian Police badge star. Above was the denomination (TWO DOLLARS) and below the words POLICE REMEMBRANCE. You can see an image of the 2019 blue and white Police Remembrance two dollar coin below.

Blue and White Police Two Dollar (Image courtesy Facebook)

Blue and White Police Two Dollar (Image courtesy Facebook)

This coin comes as a surprise to the collecting community but as we were writing this article official notification has come from the mint:

“the Royal Australian Mint’s 30th Anniversary Police Remembrance Day circulating coin! Similar to the Mint’s Dollar Discovery program, these new coloured $2 coins have been released to banks in advance of the 30th Anniversary Police Remembrance Day, in order to allow them to appear in circulation in time for the commemorations. “

Examination of the Australian Government’s ‘Currency Determinations’ allows us to find in Currency (Royal Australian Mint) Determination (No. 2) 2019 which includes the following:

A design consisting of:

(a) in the background, a representation of a laurel wreath; and

(b) superimposed on that wreath, a 7-pointed star; and

(c) in the foreground, a representation of a ribbon containing the word “POLICE”; and

(d) a central circle enclosing a representation of St Edward’s Crown; and

(e) surrounding that central circle, an ornamental border containing a white and blue coloured check pattern; and

(f) the following:

(i) “TWO DOLLARS”; and

(ii) “REMEMBRANCE”; and

(iii) “AWB”

So there you have it. This newly discovered blue and white Police Two Dollar coin is an official release of the Royal Australian Mint. One wonders if releasing it into circulation was a deliberate ploy or an accident. Regardles, the cat is out of the proverbial bag now and we all have a new coloured two dollar coin to look out for!

Posted in Coin News, Collecting Coins

New Coin Shop in Adelaide

Adelaide’s Newest Coin Shop

We did it. One thing. A huge thing. We, as writers of this Blog and owners of The Purple Penny opened a coin shop. It’s that thing you discuss that’s a dream and “we’d like to do that one day”. Well we did -it was now or never, a bucket list thing. A real physical shop with glass cabinets, an EFTPOS machine named Albert and trading hours that must be adhered to. The relaxed northern suburb of Adelaide, named after Sir Douglas Mawson, ‘Mawson Lakes’ is the new home of The Purple Penny.

Facebook followers of The Purple Penny took the build journey with us from cramped psychologist offices to an open showroom and designated areas for the business to grow. A meeting room, office, storage room, packing room and a teeny kitchen make up The PP’s new digs. Sorry we’ve been so quiet lately but you can see now what we’ve been up to.

Located at shop 2, 2-4 Hurtle Parade Mawson Lakes the coin shop opened with much fanfare including a live cross on Facebook’s “The Gravy Train” coin collecting group. Purple balloons helped customers and visitors locate the new coin store and were welcomed by guide dog pup in training Tully in a fitting purple (RSB) coat. The new coin shop is open Wednesdays to Fridays 10am to 4pm and Saturdays 9am to 1pm. If you are in Adelaide and are interested in coin collecting or have anything to sell -coins, stamps, gold coins, silver, old coins, medals, tokens, military items then we’d love to see you. We are just a short walk (500m) from Mawson Lakes (bus and train) interchange so we’re easily accessible from all areas of the city and surrounds. Mawson Lakes is also a great place to sit by the lakes with a fish and chip lunch or a packed cheese sandwich and thermos.

Let’s take a pictoral trip through the exhausting journey we’ve taken in the last few months.

New Beginnings for The Purple Penny.

A lot was coming down and a new door was going in.

The blank canvas.

Neat and tidy, ready for shopfittings!

Glass cabinets, shelves and a shop counter on the inside…

…..signs on the outside

Cabinets filled with coins!

Opening day bustle

We did it! New shop open for business.

Posted in Collecting Coins

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Current Coin Values, Bullion Prices and Exchange Rates

AUD $11.58
Australian 1966 Round 50c
AUD $621.24
Gold Sovereign
AUD $777.70
Australian $200 Gold Coin
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Silver Price (per Oz)
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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: 08:04 23 Sep 2020

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