The Perth Mint is showcasing three of Australia’s most sought-after and desired rare coins—a 1930 penny, an 1852 Adelaide pound type one, and an 1852 Adelaide pound type two—for the first time ever.
These rarities are collectively valued at more than $250,000 Cdn., making them prized pieces of Australian numismatic history. All three coins are available for purchase and will be on display at the mint’s shop until Nov. 27.
“Each of the three coins is prized by investors and collectors as they are seldom seen on the market,” said Group Manager of Minted Products Neil Vance. “It is a real privilege to showcase these incredible treasures and we encourage visitors and local residents to come into The Perth Mint to see these remarkable artefacts.”
The 1930 penny is arguably Australia’s most renowned rare coin. Fascination with this copper coin stems from the mystery surrounding its accidental minting. The Melbourne Mint’s records report that the coin was never struck for circulation. It was not until the 1940s that the accidental minting of the 1930 penny was discovered. The mintage is estimated to be between 1,500 and 2,000.
By the 1960s the public discovery of “the coin that never was” had whipped the nation into a frenzy, capturing the imagination of investors, collectors and the general public as they rushed to get their hands on these elusive coins at rapidly escalating prices.
Providing a unique link to Australia’s first 19th century gold rush, the 1852 Adelaide pound was Australia’s very first unofficial gold coin. The coin was struck by the province of South Australia at the Government Assay Office in Adelaide to alleviate the currency crisis caused by the gold rush as thousands of men flocked to the goldfields taking with them almost all the sovereigns in circulation and leaving the colony on the cusp of financial ruin.
About 40 of the 1852 Adelaide pound type one coins were struck before it was discovered the die had failed and had to be replaced. These coins are distinguished by the die-crack to the left of the letters “DWT” on the reverse and the presence of inner beading rather than crenulations. Only 30-40 type one coins are believed to remain in existence today.
After the discovery of the type one failed die, a new reverse die was produced and the 1852 Adelaide pound type two was born. The overall mintage was around 25,000; however when the gold value of the coins rose above the face value, the vast majority of the mintage was exported to London by profiteers and melted down. As a result, only about 200 of these type two coins remain today.
The 1930 penny is slabbed and graded About Uncirculated-50 and is priced at $130,000. The 1852 Adelaide pound type one is graded good Very Fine (VF) and holds a price of $97,500. The 1852 Adelaide pound type two is also graded VF and has a price of $20,000.