The following was penned by Downies employee Jimmy…
On Saturday last week, I ventured to the shops to buy a coffee. Upon receiving my change, I instinctively started to sort through the coins, looking for anything interesting. This is a relatively new habit of mine, only picked up since I started working at Downies last October. Even then, ‘checking my change’ – and provoking worried looks from shop assistants thinking they had over-charged me – is something I have only started doing consistently since flipping through a McDonald’s Guide to Australian Coins & Banknotes.
‘Maccas’, as it is known, reveals the wealth of Australian coin types that one might find in change, and I started to keep a mental list of things I wanted to look for – from rare Errors such as the 2000 $1 Mule, to the odd varieties such as the 1966 Wavy 20c, to commemoratives such as the 2000 Millennium 50c. Indeed, it was the Millennium 50c that was staring at me when I got my change that particular Saturday – but not just any Millennium 50c. Upon closer inspection, it appeared to be an ‘Incused Millennium 50c’!
Distinguished by a recessed Union Jack and larger star, the Incused Millennium 50c is the rarer of the two Millennium 50c types. Approximately 16,630,000 Millennium Flag 50c coins were struck by the Royal Australian Mint, with the rare incuse type accounting for only 1-2% of the overall mintage! Seldom found in change, this unique type is naturally highly sought after by collectors.
I had been keeping my eyes open for the 2000 Millennium 50c in the days before my trip to the coffee shop, as I had only just learned of the existence of the 2000 Incused Millennium 50c. I had spotted two examples of the Millennium 50c, but, alas, both were standard types. I resigned myself to the fact that the Incuse Millennium 50c was going to be a tough one to find, and my hopes of finding one would probably have to be filed with my ambitious dreams of finding a 1966 Wavy 20c and 2000 Mule $1. Amazingly, it was just a few days later that I had one in my hands!
This was my first real experience with finding an unusual, potentially valuable coin in my change, and let me tell you, it sparked my interest enormously! I now have quite a large pile of commemorative coins at home, and am always searching through my change to find something interesting that others may have overlooked. I feel that this is just the beginning…
Which brings up the question: Have you found any interesting coins in your change?
Let us know below in the comments 🙂