New CEO for the Royal Australian Mint, Farewell Ross MacDiarmid

Outgoing RAM CEO Mr Ross MacDiarmid

We must be close to the announcement of a new Chief Executive Officer at our circulating coin production facility the Royal Australian Mint. Current CEO Ross MacDiarmid steps down at the end of this week after 10 years at the helm. We met Ross on a number of occasions in the past 10 years at various coin launches, collecting events and most recently at the Numismatic Society of South Australia’s (NSSA) coin expo dinner in 2019. His commitment to coins, collectors, the Mint and having a genuine old chin wag was nothing but impressive.

The Blog team (Kathryn and Mark) wishes Ross all the best in his future endeavours and hope Friday brings lots of cake. Here’s one you prepared earlier!

Massive Dollar Coin Cake

Posted in Coin News

2021 50th Anniversary of the Aboriginal Flag Coloured $2

2021 Coloured Aboriginal Flag $2

2021 is the 50th Anniversary of the Australian Aboriginal flag and is depicted on this coloured $2 coin struck by the Royal Australian Mint. The striking representation of the flag on the coin shows a circular band of black and red with the central yellow sun left unpainted as the golden aluminium bronze alloy shines through. The bands are meticulously lined up in the printing process to feature the horizon. Underneath the coloured paint is always a textured surface allowing for adhesion of the paint and for this coin that raised surface features miniature flags.

The coin is set to circulate in 2021 but prior to this is available in collector sets. In uncirculated quality this is the 2021 mint set and in special proof version in the 2021 proof set. Each set has unlimited mintage. The mint set is available at issue price of $30 and the proof set is issued at $120.

2021 Aboriginal Flag Proof Set

2021 Aboriginal Flag Uncirculated Mint Set

Posted in Collecting Coins

2020 BRAVE Firefighters Coloured $2

BRAVE Firefighter $2 Circulating Coin

The brave firefighters protecting us from danger have been honoured in a special orange flame coloured $2 coin struck at the Royal Australian Mint. Two million of these coins have hit circulation to be found in change. A central coloured fireball sits afront two stylised firefighter figures, the left a female and male on the right standing back to back. The coin you might find in change is seen above.

The reverse is designed by Mint designer Aleksandra Stokic and features her AS initials. The obverse of the coin depicts the newest portrait of the Queen by Jody Clark with his initials JC.

The circulating coin has also been released in collector packaging by the Mint. The coin (in uncirculated condition) is housed in a capsule that presses into a small credit card sized presentation card. RRP of the coin in this pack is $10 and there is no limits on this packaging type.

BRAVE Firefighter $2 no mintmark circulating coin in card

As well as the circulating coin this commemorative firefighter reverse design has also been issued in collector packaging with a ‘C’ mintmark. This is a small C seen above the hose of the female firie. See below.

BRAVE Firefighter $2 ‘C’ Mintmark Card

The BRAVE firefighters ‘C’ mintmark coin is housed in the same collector packaging as the non-mintmarked coin but the card is much much larger in size. The ‘C’ mintmark has a limited mintage of 40,000 coins struck by the Mint. RRP for this issue is $15. General Manager at the Royal Australian Mint Mark Cartwright announced that $125,000 from the proceeds of the sale of the collector coins will go to fire and emergency service organisations across the country.

BRAVE Firefighter $2 ‘C’ Mintmark Card

Posted in Collecting Coins

Googled the Value of My Coin and it’s Worth Thousands -Where Do I Get The Money?

Is your coin really as valuable as Google tells you? Is something that someone said on the internet really true? Such a high number it says, now you’re interest is piqued -do you read on?

“Hey I’ve got a 1983 United States of America liberty coin I’ve looked it up and it’s going for 15K”

says a user of the Google search engine. So we Googled too. Where do I go to get the money?

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But did you watch the video? Oh wait no? This particular coin touted as worth $15,000 in the headline isn’t quite as it appears. It’s a baited title to get you to watch the video, click on the advertising and they rake in the money from those clicks. As you watch the video you learn that one time, way back (6 years ago now) a near perfect third party graded and encapsulated coin sold for this pricey sum. Since then the market has shifted, populations have changed and run-of-the-mill circulated examples for the same coin fetch just a few dollars. Sorry for the spoiler, did you already book the holiday?

Just recently a news story told of the Australian 1972 5c fetching $200. Oh wow, start the car! Let’s talk about this specific example. 8.3 million coins were minted for circulation which is a low number in circulating coin production statistics so if you find one in change it’s a harder to find year. The Mint manufactured uncirculated coin sets in 1972 and one can be easily picked up for $100. BINGO, a nicer quality coin and all it’s friends too! A single 1972 5c in uncirculated (not scuffed, scratched or toned) can be purchased for around $50. Then in the high end collector market you have the best of the best coins sent to PCGS or NGC to be independently graded, certified and encapsulated and these can fetch $100+, this value is then dependent on how many have been graded that high and how many collectors there are seeking that perfect of perfect coins. So to imply that the coin you’ll find in change that has been circulating for 48 years is going to be worth $200 is again misleading titles and clickbait.

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If you think you might have a valuable coin then it’s worth doing your own due diligence which is more than reading the title on a search result. Read thoroughly or watch the video to ensure you are getting truth. The don’t just check asking prices, see what your coin is actually selling for in the marketplace right now (check sold results on eBay). First check that the information is about your coin. Does it have the same mintmark, is it an error or variety -check the details on how to identify accurately, is it the correct year, the correct country, denomination, is it the finest known example of that coin, was it produced in low numbers for that year or only in sets -there are so many small details that can affect the value of a coin.

Posted in Collecting Coins

Australian 2010 Upset 50 cent (50c)

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In 2012 a new Australian 50 cent coin variety was discovered by coin noodlers*. This variety is an Upset Coin Error which means that the obverse and reverse dies were not aligned correctly when the coins were struck. Normally Australian coins are minted in medallic alignment, which means that the obverse and reverse sides of the coins are the same way up. Determining the degree of upset of these types of errors can be difficult. However, in the case of the 2010 upset 50 cent coin the degree of upset is easily determined because of the unusual dodecagonal (12 sided) shape of the coin. Any upset Australian 50c must be some multiple of 30 degrees unlike the 2001 Centenary of Federation one dollar upset error which is found in pretty much every degree of rotation.

It’s clear from the image above that the 2010 upset 50c error is 30 degrees upset. 30 degrees is equivalent to one of the sides of the Australian 50c coin. One can only speculate as to the reasons for the manufacture of this error. We would imagine that the coining dies are keyed to prevent them being installed out of alignment, so perhaps in this case the die was not keyed and it was installed incorrectly. Alternatively perhaps it was keyed but when the production die was hubbed perhaps it was out of alignment then.

Whatever the cause of this error it’s an interesting one and the mintage is likely to be only one production die run or less. This could mean that just 200,000 or less of this variety exist. At the time of writing examples of this variety have been selling on eBay for $50-$100. There might be some good potential growth in the value of this variety, especially if you can find an uncirculated example (or examples) to put away for a few years.

*Coin noodlers are collectors who withdraw thousands of coins from their bank and look through them looking for known errors and varieties. They then take the searched coins back to another bank and then repeat the process. Sometimes, such as in this case, they discover new varieties.

Posted in Error Coins

New Coloured $1 Coin -Green Donation Dollar Sent to Circulation

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“DONATION DOLLAR Give To Help Others” are the words struck onto a new coloured one dollar coin hitting circulation. A call to action to be involved with a daily reminder in your change to give to charity, a worthy cause, struggling business or someone in need.

Bushfires, a pandemic, recession, we’ve been hit hard but as Aussies we’ll get up and go again. These coins are hitting banks, supermarkets and coffee shops so look out and you can do your own little bit of giving.

The Royal Australian Mint will be sending out a coin for every Australian (25 million) over the coming years and have already minted 4.5 million of these green coloured coins with 3 million already in distribution channels. Each coin features a green centre which will wear revealing gold ripples. The intention is for these coins to continue to revolve through circulation channels which brings a dilemma to the inner collector in ourselves. The Mint are not releasing this coin in any collector packaging.

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Posted in Coin News

Royal Australian Mint Rolls -Genuine or Reject?

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Collectors of mint rolls generally, and in particular collectors of commemorative coloured $2 coin rolls need to take note of recent events that could impact on their collecting habits. The Royal Australian Mint in Canberra have recently attempted to clarify issues around the release of RAM wrappered mint rolls. At the heart of the issue is whether or not the production figures of collector coin rolls that many of us purchased in good faith really are what we were led to believe.

Firstly, let’s clarify what we mean by ‘collector mint rolls’. Over the last several years the Mint has produced coin rolls in Royal Australian Mint paper as a RAM dealer exclusive product, with set numbers of each roll produced. These are sold by authorised RAM dealers for around double face value. Collectors had been willing to pay a premium as these rolls were guaranteed to contain the coin depicted on the end of the roll. This is different to coin rolls wrapped by a security company, where there is always uncertainty about the types and the grade of the coins in the roll. As such, a genuine RAM wrappered roll has been a much more desirable way of collecting premium uncirculated examples of a coin type.

In recent weeks bank customers withdrawing coin rolls from dispensing machines have been surprised to receive rolls of new coins wrapped in official RAM paper. Types of coins found in rolls have included 2017 Lest We Forget Mosaic $2 coins, 2019 100 Years of Repatriation $2 coins, 2020 75th Anniversary of the End of WWII coloured $2 coins, and 2019 Jody Clark effigy $2 coins. This has lead to a run on roll dispensing machines and a glut of seemingly genuine RAM wrappered rolls hitting the collector market. While we’ve all been eagerly awaiting new coloured $2 coins to be found in circulation this flood of $2 rolls and coloured coins seems to have had a dampening effect on collector enthusiasm. It’s easy to understand why some collectors are dismayed, how would you feel about spending double face value or even more on an ‘exclusive’ collectable product only to see others obtain the same item for face value?

The Royal Australian Mint in Canberra have this week addressed concerns in a media statement, some of which you can see below:

There are some essential elements to Official Rolls that warrant identification. Firstly, they appear in Royal Australian Mint official rolling paper. We are aware of other companies rolling circulating coins and whilst this may be of appeal to the market, these should not be considered Royal Australian Mint Official Rolls.

Also, Official Rolls feature coins that at one end have a visible obverse (heads) and at the other end a visible reverse (tails). Many years ago we established a standard for this format, with the heads and tails combination essential so that for every Official Roll the reverse design is evident, as is the year date of striking.

So in summary, Official Rolls are purposely designed, manufactured and released by the Mint for the purpose of collection. They are mintaged (capped at a publicised maximum volume), they are wrapped in our official paper and they feature a heads and tails combination.

What you may not be aware of is the fact that we cannot program our coin rolling machinery to solely produce heads and tails combinations that are utilised for Official Rolls. Therefore when we produce and package to a full mintage of 5,000 there is another 5,000 (approximately) rolls that do not meet the head/tails requirement – they are either heads/heads or tails/tails.

These coins go back into the circulating coin inventory to be utilised in orders being shipped to banks at a future time. These are not considered error coins, but rather are reject products as they do not meet the product specification required for Official Rolls. Rather than destroy them, or go to the extra time and cost of having to unpack them, they may be sent to banks in this format. At times these shipments may also contain any Official Rolls that have not been purchased to mintage.

For future, to make it easier for collectors we are looking at ways to further differentiate our Official Rolls from the Rejected Rolls. This may include an extra identifying mark on the packaging, but this is yet to be determined.

Read the full statement here

The guts of this is that at some unknown point in the past it was decided by the RAM that an ‘official’ roll was a Head / Tails roll. We’re not clear WHEN this was made policy but in the secondary market we’re now seeing coin rolls that appear to be official product that, by what is essentially semantics on the part of the RAM, are not. This is obviously leading to confusion amongst collectors as it’s not easy to distinguish an ‘official’ product from a roll simply assigned for circulation release. As with anything though, knowledge is the key and if you’re aware that uncertainties such as this case exist then you can allow for this in your purchasing budget. Or perhaps you’ll change your collecting habits to avoid these rolls altogether.

Posted in Collecting Coins

2012 Red Poppy Remembrance Day Two Dollar Coin Value

2012 Remembrance Red Poppy $2 Coin

The 2012 Remembrance Day red poppy two dollar coin is almost certainly the most popular $2 coin among Australian coin collectors. A common question from new and experienced collectors is what is the 2012 red poppy $2 coin actually worth? Well, like most questions in coin collecting, the answer is, it depends. It’s worth a quick look at how the coin was issued before we get into values. The coin itself was never intended to circulate and the colour was applied with a pad printing process and was not very durable. As a non-circulating design with a mintage of just 503,000 it was initially released via the Returned Services League (RSL). The coins were supplied to the RSL in Chubb security rolls of 25 coins. These rolls had dark green paper with black writing that read “$50 Two Dollar Coins” and included the Chubb logo.

RSL staff and volunteers broke open the rolls and released the coins with a collector card. They initially glued (yes glued) the coin to the card with a silicon adhesive. When told this was harmful to the coin they then put the coin in a ziplock baggie and either stapled this to the card or supplied the coin in the baggie loose with the card. Release price of the coin with the card was a $10 donation to the RSL. This was a cost of $2 to the RSL and a profit to the RSL as a fund raising activity. At this time some RSL branches were also selling entire rolls of the coins because they couldn’t dispose of red poppy $2 coins with cards fast enough.

The Two Dollar Remembrance Day Red Poppy coin was also struck with a ‘C’ mintmark, the ‘C’ representing Canberra. 40,902 of the ‘C’ Mintmark red poppies were produced and issued in a mix of cards and postal numismatic covers (PNCs). The most common way you’ll see these mintmark poppies is in a capsule housed in a cardboard ‘tri-fold’ folder that were issued for $12.95. The ‘C’ mintmark coin was also released in a 2012 PNC by Australia Post for $19.95. The “C” mintmark red poppy was also released in 2014 PNC that included the 2014 Green Dove Remembrance $2 coin.

Before we get started on values it’s important to realise two things. Firstly, these values are RETAIL values, if you’re selling on eBay you might get these but remember eBay takes a cut. If you’re selling to a dealer expect to get about 20% to 50% less than the prices quoted. Second thing to realise is that the prices are current at time of writing (July 2020). To get an idea of values right now try checking out 2012 Remembrance Red Poppy $2 Sold Results on eBay.

2012 Red Poppy $2 Coin on RSL Collector Card

2012 Red Poppy (No Mintmark) Value

Right now for a nice uncirculated 2012 red poppy $2 coin you can expect to get $100-$150 for your coin. If it includes an RSL collector card add $10 to that. If your coin is one of those that was glued to the card and is now toned expect to get $20-$30 less. PCGS graded 2012 red poppies really only start to be worth more than non graded examples in PCGS MS66 or higher. At that point you might get $200, or in MS67 $300. If you want to see what red poppies are going for on eBay right now then click this link to be taken to eBay.

There is one other popular way you might see the no mintmark 2012 Red Poppy, and that’s in a capsule on red and black information card that was issued by Downies Coins. These (at the time of writing) sell for about $200 or so. We find this a bit odd as the quality of the coins on these cards is typically WORSE than those found with the RSL Collector cards.

It’s important to note a major factor in the value of your coin and that’s the condition of the paint. Chipped paint poppies generally sell for much less than a full paint poppy example. Back in 2012 when the RSL were opening rolls of coins they typically banked poor paint examples as they were deemed unsaleable at the $10 rate.

2012 Red Poppy ‘C’ Mintmark Folder

2012 Red Poppy ‘C’ Mintmark Value

A ‘C’ mintmark red poppy in a well kept ‘tri-fold’ folder might be worth $300-$400 right now. One in a 2012 Australia Post Red Poppy PNC would be worth a very similar amount as would the 2014 PNC that includes the 2014 Green Remembrance $2 coin. If you want to see what ‘C’ mintmark 2012 red poppies are going for on ebay right now click this link to be taken to Ebay.

2012 Red Poppy Roll Value

Original Chubb security rolls of 2012 Red Poppies are very valuable, selling for $2500 to $4,000. Often they sell for more than the value of the individual coins which is very unusual. If you’re interested in purchasing a roll we suggest sticking to those with Chubb paper. Some sellers suggest that some rolls were released in plain brown paper, however we handled several hundred original rolls back in 2012 and only EVER saw those in green paper. If you intend to open the roll to cash in then remember the original rolling process wasn’t beneficial to the paint applied to the coin and you should expect to see some coins with chipped paint inside. Click this link to be taken to eBay and go crazy!

Posted in Collecting Coins, Investing in Coins

2020 Skippy the Bush Kangaroo Coloured 50 Cent

2020 Skippy 50c (image courtesy

Mention Skippy and collectors ears prick up. The iconic television series was recently celebrated with a collector coin release and it’s popularity hasn’t waned in over 50 years. Skippy the bush kangaroo and young Sonny adorn the non-circulating coloured 50 cent inside a TV screen. The denomination of 50 cents fitting to this 50 year tribute coin. The coin also featuring the new portrait (with necklace) obverse. Just 20,000 collector coins were produced by the Royal Australian Mint with 14,000 released in a collector card by the Royal Australian Mint and Downies and 6,000 in a PNC (postal numismatic cover) released by Australia Post.

2020 Skippy 50c Card (image courtesy

The Australia Post PNC features the coin and a $1.10 stamp depicting a kangaroo paw and cancelled in Kangaroo Valley NSW on release date 26 May 2020.

2020 Skippy PNC (image courtesy Australia Post)

Posted in Collecting Coins

2020 Beneath the Southern Skies Silver Dollar

2020 Beneath the Southern Skies Silver Dollar (image courtesy Royal Australian Mint)

One ounce of 99.99% fine silver is the base of this stunning coin created from one of Stuart Devlins early design drafts intended for our new circulating decimal coins in 1966. The unused images have been retrieved from the Royal Australian Mint archives and used on this new 2020 dated large size dollar coin struck to entice silver collectors and investors. The design appears spherical and depicts the Australian continent alongside the Southern Cross constellation with bands of latitude and longitude. The design carries over to the obverse with the new Jody Clark portrait (with necklace) of the Queen appearing suspended over the globe.

The design is also used on the 1oz fine gold $100 version. Retail price varies as the intrinsic value of the gold and silver fluctuates especially during the unsettled world economy we’re seeing in 2020 (see how I avoided the use of the latest catchphrase unprecedented times). Pricing of the silver coin is around $50 and the gold coin $3,500.

Posted in Investing in Coins

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Australian Numismatic Calendar

Current Coin Values, Bullion Prices and Exchange Rates

AUD $11.64
Australian 1966 Round 50c
AUD $676.38
Gold Sovereign
AUD $846.73
Australian $200 Gold Coin
AUD $34.08
Silver Price (per Oz)
AUD $2,873.04
Gold Price (per Oz)
USD $0.6410
Australian Dollar

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: 03:04 03 Oct 2023

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