Australia: Three rarities on display for the first time ever

On Monday, Maddison Simmonds at reported that the Perth Mint has placed three of Australia’s rarest historical coins on display for the first time ever.

The three coins—a cent from 1930 and two gold 1852 Adelaide pound coins (Type 1 and Type 2)—have a collective value of nearly AU$250,000.


This VF-35 example of the 1930 cent sold for $12,650 in 2012. The coin on display at the Perth Mint is valued at about US$99,000.  (Images courtesy Stack’s Bowers Rare Coin Galleries)

The exceptional penny specimen on display at the Perth Mint is valued at AU$130,000 (about $99,000 in the U.S.); it is believed that approximately 3,000 were minted, and that somewhere between 1,500 and 2,000 remain in existence. A U.S.-sold example is illustrated above; in a PCGS VF-35 Secure holder, the coin (KM-63) sold at a Stack’s Bowers auction for US$12,650 at the Philadelphia ANA show in April 2012.


A Type 2 example of the 1852 Adelaide gold pound. (Images courtesy of Stack’s Bowers Rare Coin Galleries)

The 1852 gold pound coins were the products of Australia’s gold rush in the 19th century, and were Australia’s first unofficial gold coin. A Stack’s Bowers catalog entry from 2012 describes Type 2 thusly:

“Fr-3; KM-2; Renniks-type-2. . . . Mintage of only 24,648 pieces. Struck by the government Assay Office in Adlaide, in accordance with the amendments made to the 1852 Bullion Act. Shortly after minting, it was discovered that the coins contained nearly two shilling of gold value over the one pound face value. It is believed that many of the 24,648 struck were melted by profiteers shortly after being struck. The Adelaide Pound represents the first coin produced in Australia from Austalian ore, with an entirely Australian design. Historically significant and very interesting.”

According to the Perth Mint, only 30 to 40 Type 1 coins and only 200 Type 2 are believe to remain in existence.

The coins will be on display until November 27 at the Perth Mint, 310 Hay Street, East Perth.

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