Rare Australian Coins – Brief History of the Penny
The first bronze (“copper”) penny coins to appear in Australia were minted in 1911. Up until 1918 these coins were minted in London, Birmingham and Calcutta. From 1919 the coins were produced in Australian mints in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. Sydney production ceased in 1926. Nine different master dies were used for both the obverse and reverse sides of the coins and often different combinations of dies were used in the same year. Production of pennies ended in 1964.
The most valued example of the penny is the 1930. No coins were ordered for production in 1930 however it is believed some experimental work was done to produce better pennies. The good coins produced from the experiment were released with the 1931 coins. It is unknown how many 1930 coins were actually produced but there is believed to be some 1500 coins still in existence today. The fame associated with this coin is responsible for it’s high value.
Some rare examples of the penny include
the 1920 variety made using the London obverse die with a dot over the lower scroll, only three coins are known to exist.
1931 penny with Calcutta obverse and London reverse, known as “Indian die, dropped one variety”. Only 20 specimens known to exist
1930 penny struck with the London obverse. Only 2 authenticated but more are known to exist.
Example Values of the Penny
The following prices are for some of the most sought after penny coins. Coins minted in other years are also of value, those listed below are simply the “cream of the crop”. These prices are only a guide to possible marketplace values. There will be fluctuations in the actual marketplace. Prices will also vary depending on the condition of the coin. Some years show a range of values due to a number of variations in dies being used in that year. All values are listed in Australian dollars. For more up-to-date information on coin values, please visit the Australian Rare Coin Ready Reckoner.
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