2007 Double Headed Australian 5 Cent Coin

Australian 2007 5 Cent with 2 Heads

For the past 10 years people have been finding in their change the Aussie 5 cent piece with the Queen’s head on both sides -a so-called ‘double header‘. This came about when two head side dies were placed into the coin press and coins were struck. But was this accidental or on purpose?

I’m not sure we’ll ever know if devious behaviour (mint sport) was to blame or it was a mere mistake with huge consequences. Initially only a few were found but in the last few years more and more have surfaced leading to the idea that there could be thousands of these error coins in circulation. As the word trickled through to collectors more and more coin noodlers fossicked bulk lots searching for the coin with 2 heads. Previously thought of as a needle in a haystack find, I’d say today, look through bulk coins and you have a reasonable chance of finding one.

They are very easily overlooked. Glancing at bulk coins it won’t easily stick out like a mule, a collector coin that’s been spent or a mis-strike. You have to search more carefully noting each side as a head. When you do find one don’t jump for joy too hastily, a double header coin is easily faked. Boring or grinding out the tails side of a coin, grinding down the tails side of another and joining the two together is the most common type of fake. The following is what you need to check to help determine the authenticity of your double headed 5c coin.

1. What is the weight? If two coins have been joined it’s not likely the weight will match a genuine coin. An Australian 5 cent piece weighs 2.83 grams. A small tolerance is within specification but if the weight is grossly higher or lower then you might not have a genuine error.

2. Do the dates match? Double headed coins that have been found are all dated 2007 on both sides. Having different dates is an indicator the error is a fake.

3. 180 degree rotation. The opposing side will be struck exactly 180 degrees upset or rotated. This means one side will appear completely upside down. This is a result of how the dies are inserted into the coin press and an indicator of a genuine error.

4. Use magnification. Look closely at the rims on both sides to see if there is indication that 2 separate coins have been joined. If two halves have been glued together then you have an interesting but not valuable magicians coin. This is post mint damage and it is illegal to deface currency.

Turning 5 cents into $500 or more sounds like a great idea but handling lots and lots of very small coins needs patience and good light. These errors have sold for hundreds up to thousands of dollars (for higher grade examples). If you are looking to purchase one of these coins look for PCGS graded examples to ensure authenticity. I would avoid coins in APCGS slabs as the error may not be genuine as outlined above.

The Royal Australian Mint struck 59,036,000* 5 cent pieces dated 2007, it’s quite possible thousands of these double headed coins exist -it’s up to you to find them!

*Royal Australian Mint financial reports 2006-7,2007-8 and 2008-9

Posted in Error Coins

Error Coin Spotlight – 1974 5c Flip Over Off Centre Double Strike

Off Center Double Struck 1974 5 Cent Error

Off Center Double Struck 1974 5 Cent Error

Above you can see a stunning 1974 5 cent that has a second strike about 75% off centre from the first. Keen observers will also note that the second strike on the obverse shows part of the 5 cent reverse design. The second strike on the reverse by contrast, shows some remnants of the first strike but is largely blank. This peculiar appearance is quite distinct from what is a normal off centre double strike such as the 2008 or 2009 double struck $2 coins that first appeared a few years ago. The second strike on those $2 coins is an off-centre duplicate of the first, obverse to obverse and reverse to reverse.

What can we learn from the appearance of the second strike? Firstly, with the second strike showing reverse design elements on the obverse of the first strike we’re looking at what is known as a “flip over double strike”. Which is exactly as it sounds, the coin has flipped over in between the first and second strikes. Secondly, the relative lack of features in the double struck region on the reverse of the coin indicates that there was a coin blank in between the error coin and the reverse die when the second strike occurred. Having been struck the second time with another coin blank in the die press means the second strike was a much higher pressure than a normal strike, and this has completely obliterated all evidence of the initial strike on the obverse (LIZABETH). Compare this with the double struck $2 coins mentioned earlier where evidence of the second strike is usually quite obvious in the double struck regions of the coin due to the lower pressure of the second strike.

It is worth considering what the other coin this error was struck against might look like. It will have a crescent shaped indentation on the reverse, and within that indentation there might be a partial brockage impression of the obverse of this coin. Actually it might look something like the coin below:

1966 Indent 5 Cent Error

1966 Indent 5 Cent Error

Of course the year is wrong and it’s not the actual coin that mates with our 1974 flip over double struck error above, but that’s pretty much what the other coin would look like, it is of course an indent error. Indent errors and off center double struck errors like the coin we’re talking about here fit together to form what is known as a “saddle strike”. Decimal indent errors are rare, off center double struck coins rarer again, and having a matched pair as a saddle strike is almost unheard off. We’ve heard of less than 5 matched saddle strike pairs in the last 15 years and never actually seen one in hand to be able to take an image of one. That’s how rare they are. The best we can offer is the image below, of a 10 cent saddle strike pair that appeared on eBay 4 years ago. These are the seller’s images and credit must go to that person for them.

10 Cent Error Saddle Strike Pair

10 Cent Error Saddle Strike Pair

There you have it, an off center flip over double struck 5 cent from 1974. Extremely desirable and a fine addition to any error collection. And one half of a pair of errors that would be the magnificent centre piece of error types.

Posted in Error Coins

2017 25th Anniversary of International Day of People With Disability 20 Cent

2017 International Day of People with Disability 20 Cent (image courtesy ramint.gov.au)

To mark the 25th anniversary of International Day of People with Disability on December 3rd 2017 the Royal Australian Mint (RAM) released this specially designed commemorative 20 cent coin for the collector market (NCLT-not for circulation). Issued on a collector card and in an Australia Post PNC the coin features an artistic extension of the International Day of People with Disability logo on the reverse. Total mintage of the coin is declared at 10,000 coins and these were quickly snapped up with an early sellout at the Mint, their value more than doubling over the issue price of $10 in a matter of days for the coin in the RAM card. This pretty little coin striking a chord with many of the 4.3 million Australian’s living with some form or disability, the release empowering their voice for inclusion and empowerment in this fast paced world. This International Day is observed by the United Nations to promote awareness, the commemorative coin doing just that. The packaging features Paralympian Mr Dylan Alcott OAM patron of the 2017 International Day of People with Disability.

The coin is issued in the two packaging types seen below, the coin in the blue card from the Royal Australian Mint and in an Australia Post PNC (postal numismatic cover). The RAM packaging is believed to be limited to 3,000 and the PNC 7,000 giving the total 10,000 coins released. The blue cards were issued at $10 and the PNC $17.95.

25th anniversary of International Day of People with Disability 20c Coin in Card (image courtesy ramint.gov.au)

25th anniversary of International Day of People with Disability 20c PNC (image courtesy Australia Post)

Posted in Collecting Coins

Error Coin Spotlight – 2001 20 Cent Struck on Bi-Metal Planchet

2001 20 Cent on Bi-Metal Planchet

Above you can see a truly spectacular error, a 2001 Australian 20 cent struck on a bi-metal planchet. Wrong or foreign planchet errors are at the apex of desirability for Australian error collectors, and errors like this coin that are so obviously wrong are the most wanted of the bunch. Struck on a 10.66g planchet with a nickel or copper-nickel core surrounded by a brass or aluminium bronze ring, this 2001 20c is not the first error of this type sighted. That honour belongs to an example that appeared in 2007 Downies Auction where it sold for about $3500. The example you can see above surfaced this year and was the subject of an article of an article in the September 2017 Edition (page 10) of the Australasian Coin and Banknote Magazine.

It then appeared in Downies Auction 325 (lot 1785) where it was incorrectly described as the discovery coin from 2007. The coin sold for $8000 plus commission of 20% in that auction. The coin has been wiped (cleaned) sometime in the past, with the very first images of the coin posted online in early 2017 by the original owner clearly showing the cleaning applied by some mis-guided individual trying to ‘improve the coin’.

How does this type of error occur? So called ‘blank contamination’, where coin blanks of one type inadvertently contaminate the supply of another type. This could happen at the source of the blanks, which in this case was likely to be a company in South Korea. That company makes hundreds of different types of coin blanks and it’s not to difficult to imagine that every now and again a blank of one type could end up contaminating the supply of another type. For example, in the the Australian $1 coin on a bi-metal planchet was a result of that sort of contamination. Alternatively it could happen at the mint of origin when blanks of one type of coin minted contaminate the blank supply of another. For example, this 1944s florin on a shilling planchet, struck in San Francisco when the US mint was manufacturing both Australian florins and shillings (and threepences for that matter).

One of the two major Australian coin catalogues mentions the discovery piece for this error where it’s vaguely described as being struck “on a blank for a foreign customer”. We’ve got a more firm opinion having conducted a survey of all bi-metal coins from the 2000 and 2001 periods. The only coin which matches the specifications of the blanks these errors were struck on is KM#1262 , the Iranian 250 Rials. That coin weighs 10.7g, with a brass ring and a copper nickel core. It’s more than likely that blanks for the 250 rial coins of the period are the source of the blank that these amazing bi-metal errors were struck on.

Posted in Error Coins

2017 20c Struck on Cook Islands 2 Dollar Planchet

Australian 2017 20 Cent Struck on Cook Islands $2 Planchet

Above you can see one of the most spectacular errors to come out of the Royal Australian Mint since the Australian 20c and dollar coins struck on bi-metal planchets. Or perhaps an error by the Royal Mint accidentally striking Australian 20c on Hong Kong scalloped planchets back in 1981. This coin above is truly a one in a million, or perhaps one in 50 million or even a billion. Falling from a mint roll this coin is absurdly wrong for an Aussie 20 cent piece. Firstly it’s the wrong shape, our coins are round right? Yes, this coin is triangular! Next it’s the wrong colour, appearing aluminium bronze like our one and 2 dollar coins and not as a cupro-nickel 20 cent should. Not like any of the other coins in the roll.

That’s because the Royal Australian Mint in Canberra has made a terrible mistake…….

A planchet intended to become a Cook Islands 2 dollar coin has accidently got mixed up in the barrel of blanks intended to strike Australian 20c cents. This error is not improbable as the Mint struck $2 coins for the Cook Islands dated 2015 over the past few years. What an incredible error coin though to find for just 20 cents! Technically though it is an Australian 20c, but worth a lot more to coin collectors. This coin error is known as a wrong planchet error, foreign planchet error and off-metal planchet error, what a stunning coin.

Update 14 December 2017

This coin appeared in the Universal Coin Company December live auction where it sold for AUD$9600 plus AUD$1440 buyers premium.

Posted in Error Coins

Collecting the Australian 2 Dollar Coin

2017 Remembrance C mintmark -the latest release from the Mint (image courtesy ramint.gov.au)

2017 Remembrance C Mintmark -the latest release from the Mint (image courtesy ramint.gov.au)

Collecting the Australian $2 coin continues to be a very popular pastime with more and more commemorative coins released in the last few years. The Royal Australian Mint has just released its’ annual report for the 2016-2017 fiscal year which adds to the official mintages of many issues. I’ve spent some time updating a fairly recent article page on the Coin Blog that lists each circulation $2 coin and mintage. Stay tuned for more special coloured 2 dollar coin announcements in the coming weeks. Soon to be released is a Remembrance themed coloured $2 coin featuring rosemary and rosemary flowers. New coins will be making their way into your pockets soon.

The “Circulating Australian Two Dollar Coins” article page can be found in the header above by clicking the dropdown “The Australian Dollar Coin” or click this link.

Posted in Collecting Coins

Royal Australian Mint Visits Adelaide


Click image to enlarge

The Trans-Australia tour rolled into Adelaide today and setup in Rundle Mall this morning. Nestled amongst our own bronze pigs in the city mall the Royal Australian Mint stood out with passers by very interested on what the queue was for. Some left puzzled at our desire to obtain new coins for face value. Others jumped in the queue to join the fun. New shiny coins -WOW! The line-up was certainly not for the latest iPhone.

The Mint is open in the Mall today from 9am-4pm with limits on face value coin purchases changing throughout the day. New coins included the 2017 coloured $2 mosaic Lest We Forget coin, the 2017 dated 100 Years of ANZAC dollar, 50c Pride and Passion Mabo 50c and 2016 Decimal Changeover 5 cent bags. As well as the face value coinage tent visitors could purchase an Australia counterstamp Trans-Australian Railway dollar (for $10) with the mobile press in attendance (not doing a roaring trade I’m afraid). It was the circulating coins that were more eagerly sought. Other RAM product such as the Ford coins and Possum Magic sets were also available.

All in all it was great to see the Mint make an effort and come to town. It was also great to see the president of the Numismatic Society of South Australia handing out flyers for the upcoming coin show in Adelaide November 18-19. Coin collecting in Adelaide is the thing to do!


Click image to enlarge

Posted in Coin News

2015 Netball World Cup 20 Cent Counterstamp and Mintage Information

2015 Netball World Cup 20c with S counterstamp

2015 Netball World Cup 20c with S counterstamp

As one of the writers here on the Aussie Coin Blog I often sometimes almost by accident discover information that isn’t in plain sight to the everyday coin collector. Open up a coin catalogue, see a number, either a mintage number or a value and take that at “face value”. But should you? I was researching an obscure Royal Australian Mint (RAM) release, a non-circulating coin celebrating the Netball World Cup held in Sydney in 2015. This coin is selling for under issue price which I felt was underrated and this coin was perhaps a “sleeper” and it appears I was right. Taking the time to look at the details here is what it is and what mintage information I found digging through that provided by the RAM in their annual reports.

This coin was issued in a yellow collector card and a PNC, then also in a collector card with an S counterstamp. This was the first time a counterstamp was applied to a 20 cent coin in Australia. Collectors could purchase the non-counterstamped coin in the collector card for just $12 from dealers or the Mint. The PNC also contained the non-counterstamped coin and was issued by Australia Post for $19.95 with a mintage noted on the back of the envelope “limited to 9,000” but the RAM report lists 10,002 coins. The S counterstamp was applied to the coin by the mobile press in Sydney during the Netball World Cup from August 7th-16th 2015. Available for $15 you either had to be at FanFEST, Allphones Arena Olympic Park Sydney or be a RAM “Legends” member which meant you could order 5 coins over the phone. This counterstamped coin (in the same yellow card packaging with added silver sticker) would appear to be an extremely low mintage, much less than the maximum 30,000 the Mint expected to sell and what is printed on the coin packaging.

2015 Netball World Cup 20c in yellow card
Expected mintage 30,000. Actual mintage 7,000 (2015-16 RAM annual report)

2015 Netball World Cup 20c in yellow card S counterstamp
Expected mintage 30,000. Actual mintage 2,892 (2015-16 RAM annual report)

2015 Netball World Cup 20c PNC
Expected mintage 9,000. Australia Post limited mintage 9,000. Mint report production 10,002. (2014-15 RAM annual report)


Click image to enlarge

Posted in Collecting Coins

eBay Error Coins of the Week

It’s time to have a look at some of the most interesting error coins available to Australian buyers via eBay auctions or BIN listings.

1976 Broadstrike Error 5 Cent

The broadstrike coin error is the most commonly available error on the decimal 5 cent coin. However, in almost all examples the coins date to this century and it’s unusual to see one dating back to 1976. But in the case of this eBay auction we’ve got exactly that, a broadstruck 1976 5 cent in a decent (and perhaps uncirculated) grade. This coin appears from the images to be a nice example of an earlier date copper nickel Australian decimal coin with this type of error. Realising $228.40 plus postage, the auction now complete achieved a high price.

View the 1976 Broadstrike 5 Cent on eBay

1946 Shilling Broadstrike Error

Another broadstrike coin error, this one on a shilling dating 3 decades prior to the last coin we talked about. While not technically an off-centre error (because none of the design is missing) it wouldn’t surprise us to see it called thus with an impressive bulging lip around about half of the coin. Shilling errors of this type are not unusual but examples from 1946 are a bit harder to find. As is typical with this type of error the protected side of the coin (reverse) is an excellent grade (perhaps UNC) while the obverse shows some signs of wear. Despite this the coin looks to be a nicely broadstruck shilling from more than 60 years ago.

1946 Shilling Broadstrike Error

1962 Penny Rotated Die or Upset Die Error Set

Australian coins are typically struck in medal alignment and in most cases any other angles result in the upset or rotated die coin error. Similar to the better known 2001 Centenary of Federation upset error 1962 upset pennies can be found with any degree of upset. This eBay seller has put together a so-called ‘clock face’ of 1962 upset errors with 12 coins at each hour of the clock face. It’s an interesting set and the first of the type we’ve seen. In fact, we very rarely see a single 1962 upset penny, let alone a set of 12!

1962 Penny Rotated Die or Upset Die Error Set

Information provided in this article is our opinion only on the coin depicted in the images shown in the eBay listing. It is not an endorsement of any seller and any purchase our readers make through eBay is at their own risk and adheres to eBay’s terms and conditions.

Posted in Error Coins

New Next Generation Australian $10 Banknote Release

Expect to see the next generation new $10 banknotes in your change from tomorrow as the Reserve Bank of Australia releases the new note into circulation. This is the next step in the upgrade of our banknotes to be continued through the next few years. As with the next generation $5 note introduced a year ago the new tenner will be quite similar in appearance as the old note but with enhanced security features, anti-counterfeiting improvements and additional tactile features for the vision impaired. The colours remain the same and the new notes still feature AB ‘Banjo’ Paterson and Dame Mary Gilmore.

Posted in Banknotes

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