Downies Auction 320 Prices Realised 321 Consignments

A grand event for Australian numismatics, Downies Australian Coin Auctions Sale 320 was an outstanding success!

Comprising more than 3,500 lots, our last auction for 2015 was highlighted by a number of exquisite English Hammered pieces, which as expected sold well above estimate. We saw nearly a million dollars’ worth of material go under the hammer with 87% of lots sold – once again emphasising our industry leading clearance rates. Prices realised are now available online.

Highlights included:

Lot 2683 - Charles I (1625-1649) Pound, Oxford Mint

Lot 2666 – Charles I Oxford Pound Est. $7,500 – Sold $16,000

Lot 2669

Lot 2669 – Newark Besieged Shilling Est. $1,500 – Sold $2,600

Lot 2687 - Newark Besieged (1645-May 1646) Ninepence 1646 (S3144; N2641)

Lot 2670 – Newark Besieged Ninepence Est. $2,000 – Sold $3,200

Lot 2689 - English Civil War, Pontefract Besieged (June 1648-March 1648/9) Round Shilling 1648

Lot 2672 – Pontefract Besieged Round Shilling Est. $5,000 – Sold $8,000

Lot 2690 - English Civil War, Pontefract Besieged (June 1648-March 1648/9) Octagonal Shilling 1648

Lot 2673 -Pontefract Besieged Octagonal Shilling Est. $5,000 – Sold $8,500

Preparations for our next auction are already well underway. To be held at Box Hill Town Hall in Melbourne on the 3rd and 4th of May 2016, consignments for Sale 321 are now being accepted. Please contact us today to arrange an appointment at our Melbourne head office, at either of our retail stores, or in your home or office. Consignments close early March.

Royal Australian Mint Master Collection Coins of Interest

While the Royal Australian Mint’s Master Collection – being auctioned on May 26 at Box Hill Town Hall as part of Downies Australian Coin Auctions Sale 319 – is in and of itself a special event, on account of every item in the auction being a special production unit coin and not included in the official mintage, we’ve picked out a small selection of items that we feel are extra special and deserve a bit of added attention.

995

Lot 995 – 2009 $5 Silver Gold Plated Proof International Polar Year FDC
Particularly significant on account of being a gold plated version commissioned by the Royal Society of Victoria, only 500 coins were struck within the official mintage, with the above example being outside that mintage figure. Estimated at $300.

1046

Lot 1046 – 1993 $10 Silver Proof Bird Series UNEP Cockatoo FDC
This coin has rarely been seen and was struck as part of the United Nations Environment Programme. Little is known about this release but it should be noted that on this production unit the strike is noticeably weaker than the standard and piedfort versions, and as a result appears to be missing feathers. Estimated at $250.

492

Lot 492 – 2004 $1 Eureka Stockade Al-Br Unc
Struck for the 150th anniversary of the Eureka Stockade and in the highest rarity BU quality, this coin is especially significant for having no mintmark. The regular mintage of coins were produced for the ANDA show mobile press and as such carry a counterstamp. We expect a lot of interest in this coin. Estimated at $1,000.

1141

Lot 1141 – 2012 $3000 Gold Proof Like Lucky Dragon 1 Kilo FDC
With a worldwide mintage of just 99 coins, this 74.77mm 1 Kilogram Gold Coin (in exquisite FDC quality) is undoubtedly the headlining piece of the Master Collection and sure to pique the attention of every collector, regardless of their ability to bid within the $60,000 estimate.

You can view the entire Master Collection catalogue online at http://www.downies.com/aca/pages/catalogue_319A.asp

The Royal Australian Mint’s First Ever Triangle Coin?

It has been exactly one year since the Royal Australian Mint announced the groundbreaking 2013 $5 Parliament House Triangular Silver Proof on March 18th, 2013. The very first 3-sided Australian legal tender coin, this sensational release naturally attracted interest from news media around the world. It was exciting to see an Australian numismatic collectable receive such extensive international publicity – with the triangle coin selling out as a result – even if a few under-prepared news reporters frustratingly got some obvious details about coin collecting wrong.

Twelve months on from that groundbreaking announcement, we thought we’d take a look at the history of triangle coins around the world.

2008 Canadian 50c Triangle Coin – Milk Delivery

2008 Canadian 50c Triangle Coin – Milk Delivery

In 2008, The Royal Canadian Mint broke new ground by striking its very first triangle shaped coin. That coin was the 2008 50c Milk Delivery coin, featuring a beautiful translucent enamel effect. Public demand for this triangle coin was monumental, and it sold out at an astonishing pace. The second triangle coin came a year later, with the release of the 2009 50c Six String Nation Guitar coin, which featured a selective hologram, making the guitar strings appear as if they are resonating!

1996 Bermuda Triangle $30 Gold 1/2oz Proof

1996 Bermuda Triangle $30 Gold 1/2oz Proof

Fittingly, Bermuda has issued the odd triangle coin over the years too. Most recently, these were minted by The Royal Mint and, unsurprisingly, many feature ships or… shipwrecks!

The demand for these coins got us wondering about other triangle shaped coins. Along the way we learned a little known fact about the 2013 Parliament House Triangle Coin – it’s not the first triangle coin struck by the RAM! After a bit of research we discovered that the Cook Islands became the first modern country to issue a circulating three-sided coin! And guess what? From at least 2003, and possibly earlier, their $2 coin was struck by our very own Royal Australian Mint!

And so, whilst triangles are a rare occurrence in Numismatics, there are a few out there. Perhaps, given the success of last year’s Australian legal tender triangle coin, we may even see another one soon?

We certainly hope so! While we wait, a question: what do you think would make a good theme for another Australian triangle shaped coin?

Australia has already dropped the 1c and 2c coins; should we go one step further and ditch the 5c too?

5c

The article was prepared by Archie S., who joined our team recently during his Year 10 work experience. We think he did a great job – how about you?

In a previous post we discussed the doing away of the penny by the Canadian treasury due to increased production costs and it seems that Australia’s own five cent coin is facing the spotlight for the same reason. Today, the five cent coin makes up $198 million worth of Australia’s hard currency, but is this humble coin still a valuable part of Australian currency or has it overstayed its welcome?

One of the main reasons for the debate is the market price of copper and nickel. Fluctuations in the two raw materials that are used in making the five cent piece can drive the cost higher than the actual face value of the coin! In some ways, these low denomination coins are also becoming irrelevant in our day to day lives; with scarcely any items in retail stores priced at five cents – and most vending machines and parking meters no longer accept the coin!

People find the masses of small change in their wallets annoying and unnecessary, even more so as more and more transactions these days are performed electronically. Similarly, back in 2006, New Zealand dropped the five cent coin from their currency, whilst also reducing the physical size of all of their coins thus fixing that excessive change issue. Many people now believe Australia should follow suit, including Deakin University marketing professor David Bednall, who says that the nation could easily adapt to living without the five cent coin.

Australia’s Assistant Treasurer Shorten is hesitant about the decision however, as he realises how this change would affect charities – the main recipients of 5 and 10 cents coins as donations. Organisations such as ygap – organisers of the charity http://www.fivecent.com.au/ – base entire donation drives around the 5c piece. The change would also potentially affect the retail world, changing the way we round numbers in prices, most likely to the system in New Zealand (1,2,3,4 –round down &  5,6,7,8,9- round up). Store owners fear a consumer backlash over perceived price increases.

Finally, the smallest coin in our pockets has also found its usefulness around the house. If it is discontinued, how else will we open the backs of our fiddly electronics or scratch our lotto tickets?

The last time Australia dropped a denomination was the 1 and 2 cent counts in 1992. Is it time we take the next step and drop the five cent coin too?

Featured Coin Producer: Coin Invest Trust, Innovative Numismatic Developer

Modern collecting is often marked by a fervent desire for collectors to acquire the new and innovative. It’s not everyone’s cup of tea, but these unique modern issues are highly sought after – as long as they are also high quality. For many years now, Downies has partnered with, and been sole official Australian distributor for, one of the most innovative coin producers in the world – Coin Invest Trust (CIT).

2013 500 Togrog Mongolian Nature – Crying Wolf 1/2oz Silver BU

2013 500 Togrog Mongolian Nature – Crying Wolf 1/2oz Silver BU – Click image for more information

Established in 1970, CIT is a European firm that has been producing coins since 1982. Over the years CIT have won a number of high-profile awards for their ground-breaking releases, including the Coin Of The Year award for their ‘Gulo Gulo’ Wolverine coin, part of the Wildlife Protection Silver Series. They are known for a range of ground-breaking numismatic issues, including the Pearl Silver Proof Series, the Tiffany Glass $10 Series, and the Meteorite Silver Proof series, to name just a few.

The original Tiffany Glass offer made way back in 2004!

The original Tiffany Glass offer made way back in 2004!

As an indication of the popularity of some of their coins, the first of CITs Tiffany Glass $10 Series was sold by Downies for $139.95 in May, 2004. It is now selling at up to $4,000 on the open market! It’s no mere fluke, either, as each of the coins in that series (and many others) have sold out almost instantly each year since!

 Andorra 2013 5 Diners Swallowtail Butterfly 3D Colour Silver Proof - click image for more information

Andorra 2013 5 Diners Swallowtail Butterfly 3D Colour Silver Proof – click image for more information

A big part of what makes releases by CIT so globally popular is that not only are they extremely innovative (3D coins with Butterfly wings, anybody?), but they are also crafted to the highest standards. CIT don’t just create new coins – they craft innovative, high-quality collector pieces that push the boundaries of modern numismatics. Downies is happy to partner with them and share their story with our collectors.