Australian Indent Coin Errors

2002 Outback Dollar with Indent from 5 Cent Blank

Interestingly termed, an “Indent” error coin occurs when 2 planchets are accidentally fed into the collar at once. Consequently the dies will press the coin blanks together creating a partial blank on one side. This may fully or only partially obscure the design. An indent may occur with the same blank or a totally different shaped or sized blank. This will result in a depression in the lower coin the shape of the upper blank. The coin pictured above is of the rarer type where a blank of a different denomination was fed into the collar. It is an Australian 2002 Outback design one dollar where a 5 cent blank has been fed in simultaneously. The coin below is a penny with a threepence impression. Both spectacular error coins.

Click image to enlarge

If the indent occurs when an already struck coin obscures the striking ie. the last coin didn’t exit the press fast enough then you will see a brockage or part brockage impression in the indented area. There is no blank design because the obscuring coin was struck but the brockage impression will be incuse and a mirror image of what it struck against. You can see this on the coin below, a penny that just caught the previous coin that didn’t escape fast enough.

1958 Penny Indent with Partial Brockage

Posted in Error Coins

Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Team Coloured $2 Week 3 Coin at Woolworths

2018 Coloured $2 Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Team

Today is week 3 in the great Woolworths change race. Splitting up my groceries at the self checkout, feeding my note in and seeing how many shiny new $2 coins I’ll get is getting a bit tedious and I am starting to get strange looks. Today begins week 3 and this weeks coin is the green and gold Commonwealth Games Team coin, even though I’ve come home from my shopping trek today with blue Borobi’s! This weeks coin should be available for the next 2 weeks into the first week of the Games being held in Queensland. So keep an eye out for these coins in your change and if you’re really serious, yes, buy that whole hand of bananas one at a time!!

We are not advocating asking your checkout attendant to give multiple coins or whole bags of coins as there are limits and this is against Woolworths policy.

3 Coloured $2 Coins to Collect

Images courtesy of Woolworths.

Posted in Coin News

1967 Australia 1 Dollar Pattern ‘Crown’ Goose Dollar 90% Silver Copy Coin Counterfeit Fake

The 1967 swan (goose) pattern dollar is being faked. Chinese counterfeit coins are flooding the market so if you are looking to buy one of these coins then read on.

A genuine goose or swan pattern dollar is a true collector piece and these are eagerly sought by coin collectors -even though they are not legal tender. Just 1,500 milled edge uncirculated goose dollars were struck by John Pinches medallists of London. Read more about the history of the 1967 ACR Pattern Swan Dollar (Goose Dollar) by Andor Meszaros. Genuine examples usually sell for $1,000-$4,000 so if you see a bargain goose dollar then the chances are it’s too good to be true.

Let’s discuss how to pick one of these Chinese fakes over the genuine example. Below you can see comparison images, the genuine coin on top and the fake below. This genuine example is in a PCGS slab which is always a great way to identify that a coin or medal is genuine. Looking closely at the design we can easily identify the counterfeit coin. The most obvious mistake is the omission of the designers initials on the swan side of the coin1. The next detail to look at is the feathers on the swan which are too well-defined on the fake in comparison to the genuine coin2. Another point to make is inside the first 0 (of 100) two of the wattle flowers are too prominent on the counterfeit3. Overall though these fakes are quite good and if you don’t know what to look for then you could easily find yourself purchasing a dud. Buyer beware.

Fake Goose Dollar Comparison

Posted in Collecting Coins

Error Coin Spotlight – 1962 Elliptical Clipped Florin

1962 Elliptically Clipped Florin

Above you can see a remarkable and rarely seen error, and elliptically clipped or elliptical planchet Australian florin minted for 1962. The coin weighs just 7.82 grams, almost exactly 3.5 grams under the regulation florin mass of 11.31 grams. Now, we’ve talked about elliptically clipped errors before, but it’s worth examining this coin in some detail to prove it’s authenticity and understand it’s origins.

How are Elliptical Planchet Errors Made?

Elliptical planchet or elliptical clips are a result of a failure in the planchet manufacturing process. This is the process that turns a strip of metal into a round disc that can then be struck by a coin press to form a coin. In the case of this florin, coin blanks were punched out of a thin sheet of 50% silver by dies in a so called “blanking press”. After a blank was punched out the sheet of metal moved along a bit and then another blank was punched out, this happening over and over and obviously at a frighteningly fast pace. But what happens if something goes wrong and the metal didn’t slide along far enough and the second blank punched out overlapped the first? That’s how a clipped planchet occurs. See the image below for a more helpful explanation.


Click image to enlarge

As you can see from this image our 1962 elliptical planchet error is a dead ringer for the centre part of the theoretical error shown above.

How do I know it’s Real?

You can use some of the same techniques to authenticate a curved clipped planchet error to authenticate the coin in question here. We’ll examine this coin for radial metal flow, a symptom of either an undersized planchet or a planchet not constrained radially by a collar die. Radial metal flow shows itself on the rim of a coin and also as so called ‘fish tailing’ of the coin legends. Below is a detailed image of the rim of the coin from the top of the obverse. Note that the raised rim slopes gently inwards until there’s no raised rim. This is because the metal flows in preference to the missing part of the coin blank rather than filling up the die. This gentle slope of the rim near the missing part of a clipped planchet is very distinctive. As a matter of interest you can see how the rim beads have also not been formed correctly, slowly transitioning from nicely formed round beads on the right to just a fraction of their correct size on the left.

Rim Metal Flow Detail

Fishtailing is a descriptive term for the effect that radial metal flow has on the legends of a coin. You can see this effect clearly in the image below. Notice how the top of the letters are thinned and slope up towards the edge of the coin. Notice also how the top of the T of AUSTRALIA is bisected and forms the characteristic fishtail shape. If someone simply cut the edge off of a coin to try to imitate a clipped planchet this fish tailing would obviously not be present and the smart error collector would be rightly dubious of the origins of such a fabrication.

Fishtailing Detail

In conclusion, we see all the correct indicators that this coin was actually struck on an underweight planchet. It has a distinctive shape and shows the type of radial metal flow you’d expect when such an underweight planchet is struck in a coin press. Elliptical clipped planchets like this one are the most unusual type of clipped planchet error, and it’s always fun to see one on a big coin like a florin.

Posted in Error Coins

Counterfeit Fake 1966 Round Silver 50 Cent Coins

If you thought counterfeiters just targeted high value and key date collector coins then you’re wrong. We’ve found fake Australian round 50c coins being sold on eBay for a similar cost to genuine coins at about $8 each. The fake coins are made from (perhaps) copper and have been imported from Chinese counterfeiters to replicate the 80% silver genuine coins usually purchased by coin and bullion collectors for their silver value.

The design appears to be a reasonably good copy but when you look at coins as much as we do then you just have to shake your head about how bad the design actually is. We’ll point out some of the features in closer detail.

The reverse comparison image of the fake coin (left) and a genuine coin (right) points out:
1. The star on the fake coin is different in shape and crude in comparison,
2. The kangaroos left paw that holds the shield is missing on the fake coin,
3. The outer edge of the shield is plain and missing important design elements on the fake coin.

Fake Coin (left), Real Coin (right) Reverse Comparison

The obverse comparison image of the fake coin (left) and a genuine coin (right) points out:
1. Squareset tiara detail on the fake coin,
2. Zombie eyes on the counterfeit Queen,
3. Rounded nose profile on the fake coin,
4. Bulbous cheek giving the lips and mouth a cheeky look on the fake coin.
Here the portrait just looks wrong! The design is just not as refined as it should be.

Fake Coin (left), Real Coin (right) Obverse Comparison

The whole fake coin design, portrait, emu and kangaroo has the rounded and bulbous shape that we’ve seen in these fake 2000 $1/10c mule coins. These fake coins are not stamped “COPY” as replica coins should be, they have been manufactured to deceive.

Please be aware that these and many other fake coins are out there and sellers are ready to take your money deceptively. Take care, inspect your coins closely, get expert advice if you’re not sure, buy from a reputable seller or coin dealer with a return policy or purchase a coin in a PCGS or NGC slab (not a backyard slab).

Posted in Collecting Coins, Investing in Coins

Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Coloured $2 Week 2 Borobi Mascot Coin at Woolworths

2018 Coloured $2 Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Borobi Mascot

From today you should see the next coin in the 3 coin series of 2018 Commonwealth Games coloured 2 dollar coins in your change at Woolworths and Safeway supermarkets. I visited two Woolies stores today without luck still receiving last weeks coins. Perhaps the Armaguard delivery hadn’t landed in store yet! I imagine the logistics of ensuring stores are stocked up is quite a task but then this is a massive advertising and Games supporting event for Woolworths, all should be running smoothly.

The week 2 coin (that I am yet to receive) is blue and yellow in colour and depicts “Borobi”, a blue koala who is the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games mascot. It is being reported in the media that a total of 8 million coloured $2 coins will be sent into circulation through Woolworths stores.

3 Coloured $2 Coins to Collect

Images courtesy of the Woolworths catalogue.

Posted in Coin News, Collecting Coins

Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Coloured $2 Coins When You Shop at Woolworths

The Royal Australian Mint has struck Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games circulating coloured 2 dollar coins that will be distributed through Woolworths and Safeway supermarkets. There are 3 coins to be released over the coming weeks, the first orange/yellow/red coin may appear in your change when you make a purchase from tomorrow.

3 Coloured $2 Coins to Collect

The Week 1 (first coin) has a multi-coloured ring with the Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games emblem in the centre. It is available from March 14th.

2018 Coloured $2 Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games Logo

Week 2 from March 21st the blue/yellow coin will be available which features the Commonwealth Games mascot Borobi. Week 3 from March 28th (and for 3 weeks) the last coin will be available. This green/yellow coloured coin features the Commonwealth Games Team logo.

The catch is that there is no guarantee you will receive one of these coins in your change. It’s a bit of a lottery with the self service machine or you could ask your checkout operator if they have any in the till to give you. I expect that limits would apply to this as has been the case in the past. Not all staff adhere to this so you could expect a different answer from staff in different stores.

All 3 coins will also be available in a special folder 7 coin collection that also has 4 uncoloured $1 coins for $15 a set.

Gold Coast 2018 7 Coin Set

Images courtesy of the Woolworths catalogue that appeared in my mailbox today!

Posted in Coin News, Collecting Coins

Counterfeit / Fake Year 2000 $1 / 10c Mules on eBay

In the last few weeks some less than reputable eBay sellers have been selling counterfeit Australian coins purporting to be genuine year 2000 $1/10c mules. Putting aside the fact that selling counterfeit Australian currency is a federal offense punishable by jail time it’s also a low life act being done simply to profit from the easily deceived. One eBay seller has sold one of these fakes for over $900 already, a hefty sum for something that is worthless and actually a crime to possess. This short article looks at the counterfeit mules and has some key points to look out for so you can easily spot them.

Counterfeit Mule (Left), Real Mule (Right)

Above you can see a comparison of the obverse of a fake mule on the left and a real mule on the right. Each numbered point is discussed below.

1. Double rim on the counterfeit coin is far too narrow and too perfectly centered.
2. Legend lettering on the fake coin is too close to the edge of the coin.
3. Hair detail on the fake coin is too coarse and ‘spaghetti’ like compared with the fine detail on the real example.
4. Spacing between the lettering and the double rim is inconsistent on the counterfeit mule while the lettering is the same distance from the double rim around the entire perimeter of the real coin.

Counterfeit Mule (Left), Real Mule (Right)

Above you can see a comparison of the reverse of a fake mule on the left and a real mule on the right. Each numbered point is discussed below.

1. The bodies of the kangaroos on the fake coin are unnaturally rounded and bulbous compared with the much more natural looking contours on the real coin.
2. The faces of the kangaroos are rounded and smooth with deepset eyes on the counterfeit, while the real coin shows much more fine and realistic detail. We thought the kangaroos looked positively ‘zombie like’ on the fake.
3. The second largest kangaroo’s top left ear disappears into the leg of the kangaroo above it on the counterfeit. On the real coin is the ear is above the leg.
4. The end of the left paw of the largest kangaroo is missing from the counterfeit.

The counterfeit examples also appear to have reeding around the entire edge of the coin and not interrupted edge reeding like a standard Australian dollar coin should have. See below.

Counterfeit 2000 $1/10c Mule Error Edge Reeding Detail

Buyer Beware

The particular seller of these coins is ONLY selling counterfeit coins. None of them are convincing and yet people have still bid them up to 100’s of dollars. If you want to buy a real year 2000 $1/10c coin buy from a reputable dealer or buy one that is graded and encapsulated in a PCGS holder. Remember it is a federal offense to buy and sell counterfeit Australian currency.

Images of the counterfeit Australian dollar coin courtesy of the fine people at eBay Australia!

Posted in Coin News, Error Coins

Error Coin Spotlight -2014 50c Struck on a Brass Planchet

Click image to enlarge

Above we can see an Australian 50 cent that has been struck on a wrong coin planchet. This error 50c is the wrong weight, wrong colour and the wrong shape. A regular 2014 50 cent should weigh 15.55 grams, be silvery in colour (copper-nickel to be exact) and have a 12 sided (dodecagonal) shape. This coin weighs 6.55 grams, is made of brass and is round.

This error coin is uncirculated so was likely pulled from a coin roll before it entered circulation and was so strikingly out of place that it was put aside. We’ve had this coin XRF (X-ray fluorescence) tested and it came out 95.07% copper and 4.93% zinc which is the composition of brass. It was a possibility that if the composition was aluminium bronze (92% copper, 6% aluminium and 2% nickel) that it could have been struck on a (6.6g) $2 planchet, but this didn’t turn out to be the case.

We looked into what other coins or medals the Royal Australian Mint was striking at the time this coin was made and no other planchets match this coin.

We’ve concluded that it’s most likely that foreign blank contamination occurred at the factory where the coin blanks used by the Royal Australian Mint are sourced, Poongsan in South Korea. This company is the world’s largest coin blank manufacturer producing coin and medal blanks in all kinds of alloys including brass and copper-nickel. A foreign blank contaminated the barrel of blanks at the supplier and went on to be struck as an Australian 50 cent creating this very special, super rare error coin.

Click image to enlarge

Posted in Error Coins

Double Struck A Pair of Halfpenny Errors

Click image to enlarge

We recently had the opportunity to look through the coin collection of a friend and some special coins caught our attention. I looked closer at one of the error coins and was surprised at the similarities to one of our own coins, so we took a photo to make some comparisons. We retrieved our own coin from storage to look at and compared both coins together. This type of error is quite rare and not often seen -a rotated double struck coin error. In this case a halfpenny was struck, rotated in the press, failed to eject and was struck again. The coin rotating enough to leave parts of both strikes visible that are quite entertaining.

The rotation of the second strike for each example is so very close too, only out by around 10 degrees. The bottom coin you can still read the original HALF around the kangaroos tail. The top coin only ALF remains in the field. The obverse we can easily see the rotation of HM’s profile. For the first strike she’s looking upwards, the base of her hair and ribbon seen at the back of her shoulder. These really are a special pair of error halfpennies.

19xx Halfpenny Rotated Double Strike Error

19xx Halfpenny Rotated Double Strike Error

Rotated Double Strike  Error - 1964Y  Half Penny

Rotated Double Strike Error – 1964Y Half Penny

Posted in Error Coins

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Current Coin Values, Bullion Prices and Exchange Rates

AUD $7.54
Australian 1966 Round 50c
AUD $401.26
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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.
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