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.

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Official Launch Event For Downies New Southgate Store

On Friday, May 29 Downies held a special event to officially launch their new retail store at Southgate on the banks of the picturesque Yarra River in Melbourne’s CBD.

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The event was attended by around 30 people, with clients, friends of Downies Coins and Downies staff in attendance. Ken Downie was also on hand to host the launch of the store which has been recently refurbished after relocating from the historic Block Arcade, where it resided for the past 21 years.

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As part of the launch party celebrations, the announcement of a winner for the Lucky Coin Offer was made – and while the $20,000 major prize did not get drawn, Mr C Hill of Woodbine, NSW did manage to pick up a $500 prize. Guests were also given exclusive pre-release access to the latest in the Deadly & Dangerous Silver Coin Series dedicated to the vicious Bull Ant.

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On hand to capture the event was a videographer who put together a terrific video package about the store, with some of our valued clients talking about what it means to be a collector, as well as sharing their opinions on the new store. Also interviewed were Downies CEO Ken Downie and Senior Numismatist David Jobson, who is based at our Sydney Town Hall store but attended the event as part of a visit to Melbourne to meet with customers.

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

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?

Half-price shipping through November!

Been waiting to secure that RAM Mint Set or Perth Mint 1oz Silver Proof? Well, wait no longer! Downies has…

Half Price Shipping at Downies.com!

From now until the end of November, DECEMBER! Downies is offering half-price shipping throughout Australia on ALL ORDERS placed from now until the 30th of November! Promotion extended until the end of December! With shipping just $4.40 for orders under $100 and $6 for orders over $100 – and FREE for orders over $500 – you now have every reason to avoid the queues and visit downies.com!