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  • Three rarest together for the first time 
     

  • Australia's “back pocket bonanza”
     

  • The coin that never was

Australia’s Three Greatest Penny Rarities

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The 1930 Penny is Australia’s greatest predecimal coin rarity. It captured the national imagination in 1966 around the time of decimal changeover with “rags to riches” tales of people finding this elusive coin in their change and instantly a small fortune was theirs. Today, it’s long gone from circulation but its fame lives on due to its amazing story. 

The Great Depression caused a downturn in economic activity and a correspondingly smaller need for coins in circulation. Large quantities of pennies were minted in the years 1927, 1928 and 1929 and so it was decided not to strike further pennies for circulation in 1930. However, by the time this decision was taken some dies dated 1930 had already been made and testing was taking place at the Melbourne Mint. It is thought that only a few thousand coins were struck as part of this testing process, which then became added to the coins released in 1931. 

However, no official record was made of how many were produced, and in fact it was not even known to exist until the 1940’s! But once the 1930 penny was identified it became Australia’s “back pocket bonanza” and has remained the most sought-after coin in the Australian series since.

There are other rare predecimal pennies and they too have remarkable tales. 

During the reign of King George V the largest mintage of pennies recorded in any one calendar year was 12.7m coins in the year 1922. This huge mintage most likely led to a surplus of coins in circulation, because just three years later, in 1925, only 117,000 coins were minted! All were struck at Melbourne. This is the smallest recorded mintage of any penny in the reign of King George V - in fact, it is the smallest in the entire predecimal coins era!

During the reign of King George VI production also varied depending on the amount of currency needed within the banking system. A large run of production in the years 1943, 1944 and 1945 (53.1m, 30.2m and 10.1m coins respectively) led to an incredibly small number of coins recorded for the year 1946 - just 363,000. All were minted in Melbourne. This is an incredibly small mintage compared to the year that preceded it, and it is the lowest mintage of any year in the reign of King George VI. 

This set includes Australia's three rarest pennies - the 1930 ‘headliner’ and both ‘supporting acts’, the 1925 and 1946. Includes a Certificate of Authenticity. 

ALSO AVAILABLE: For those who may be fortunate enough to already own a 1930 Penny, this set is also available as a two-coin set with just the 1925 and 1946.

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