Australian Coin Values
Want to jump straight in to our pages on Australian coin values, with actual valuation information for particular dates?
Please visit our 'Currency Guides' from the button at the top of the page, which will take you to our index page for individual denominations. From there you can find guides on values for specific denominations and dates.
However I would recommend that you first read the article below on what makes a coin valuable, factors affecting value, and why early Australian coins are generally more valuable than currencies from other countries of a similar era.
Australian Pre-Decimal Coins
Australian Coin Values
With all of our articles, information provided will evolve as more research is conducted, as information comes to light, and as time permits.
I do not claim to be an authority, just an interested party trying to bring together basic information to get others started.
I would recommend forming your own view based upon several prespectives, research, and developing your own knowledge.
Australian Coin Values - What makes a coin valuable?
What makes a coin valuable?
Desirability, pure and simple. If people want an item, whether it be a coin or anything else, and it is in short supply, it's value is increased relative to the amount a person will pay to have that item, and how much a person owning that item is willing to sell that it for.
Coins, much like stamps, are collectable as they represent a period in the history of a nation, are intricate and interesting, and are fairly easy to source and store. Variations and anomalies add to the interest, and there is a finite amount of any particular date / denomination / variation. There were only a certain amount ever minted, and the survival rate of any particular date, (etc), deminishes every year as coins are recalled to the mint to be destroyed, misplaced, lost, or otherwise become unavailable. To a collector a coin in a high state of preservation is a beautiful thing, not so much because of its value, but simply because of its intricacy and scarcity.
Often collectors are looking to complete or upgrade sets and many, (including myself), derive great satisfaction from searching for and obtaining elusive coins, or upgrading their coins of a particular date / variation to coins in a higher state of preservation.
Factors Affecting Value
Scarcity - Original mintage and actual survival.
Grade - State of wear of a coin relative to mint state.
Condition / Detractors - marks, deterioration, interference, cleaning, corrosion, bends, stains, scratches, toning, etc. Detractors affect the desirability of a coin, therefor reducing it's relative value, often very significantly.
Availability - how easy or difficult it is for someone who wants a particular coin to actually purchase it.
Demand - how many people want a particular coin, and how much they are willing to pay to have it.
What makes early Australian coins more valuable than other currencies of a similar era?
It primarily boils down to the very low mintage, (relative to other countries), of a coin of a particular date. Australia had such a low population in the early pre-decimal years, compared to other nations. The survival rate of many of our earlier coins was also quite low, as they weren't really seen as collectible until later in the pre-decimal era. Many pre-decimal coins were melted down with the conversion to decimal currency in 1966, simply to be taken out of circulation. The high silver content, particulary of the KEII / KGV era silver coins, has also seen many silver coins put away or melted down for their bullion value. Earlier coins were made of softer metals than our current day coins, contributing significantly to their attrition rate. (removal from circulation due to damage / wear).
As an example, let's say 1,000,000 of a particular date were minted, and an attrition rate of 5% per year lost or removed from circulation, for let's say 40 years, (we'll just call it 80%, for the sake of easy maths ....). That's 200,000 left. Remove approximately 1/2 that were melted down at the conversion to decimal - that leaves us with 100,000. Of those, 1 in 5 is 'Fine' condition, 1 in 50 is in 'Very Fine' condition, 1 in 500 is in 'Extremely Fine' condition, and 1 in 5,000 is in 'about Uncirculated' condition. The rest are in 'Very Good' or worse. Our example has only 20 coins in 'about Uncirculated' or better condition, making it extremely scarce in that grade, and about 200 in 'Extremely Fine', also making it quite scarce in that grade, however less scarce in Very Fine, with around 2,000 coins, and quite common in 'Fine' with 20,000 coins, etc.
Every year more coins are lost to the ages, as collectors pass on their coins to others who often many not know their value, or appreciate their significance. Incorrectly storing coins or mishandling coins, resulting in scratches, marks, or decay. Cleaning coins, thinking that if they look prettier they must be worth more, or just plain losing the coins in a box in the shed, etc.
Australian Coin Values
Factors affecting coin values, and why Australian coins are considered valuable.
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