Antiques and Collectables

Collect the past and invest for your future. A wonderful hobby that brings much enjoyment.

I have been collecting for most of my adult life and have always enjoyed the search and discoveries made. The people you meet, the stories you hear, the information you gather and the memories collected are special. Spring is in the air; hopefully some drying conditions and a fabulous season for our farmers.

There is a look-out on the Tinonee Road between Tinonee and Wingham called Brushy Cutting Lookout. The fence had been vandalised and was dangerous, our Council has finally erected a replacement. The views to the west are spectacular and I am drawn to slow or pull in as I pass, the best views I have had there are at sunset; spectacular! A wonderful piece of our Manning Valley.

Coin Collecting

Coins of the Australian decimal variety were introduced on the 14 February 1966, although they did not at that time include the one-dollar or two-dollar coins. The dollar was equivalent in value to 10 shillings (half a pound) in the former currency.

‘Design of the Australia’s new decimal currency’ was first broadcast by the ABC in 1964. The coins, produced by the Royal Australian Mint, all have featured four versions of the effigy of Her Majesty Elizabeth II, on the obverse. 

The first effigy was designed by Arnold Machin, the second effigy by Raphael Maklouf, the third effigy by Ian Rank-Broadley and the fourth effigy by artist Jody Clark. They have all been matched with designs by the Australian-born artist Stuart Devlin on the reverse. The set then comprised a 50c, 20c, 10c and a 5c coin, all still referred to as “silver”, although they consisted of 75% copper and 25% nickel. 

For many years there were also 2c and 1c coins, traditionally called “copper” coins, although they are actually an alloy of copper and zinc.The original 50c coin was circular and contained 80% silver and 20% copper, and the metal in the coin quickly became worth more than 50c. It had almost identical dimensional specifications to the British half-crown coin. However, to avoid confusion with the 20c coin and because of its excess value, it was only produced for one year and then withdrawn from circulation. No 50 cent coins were minted for 1967 or 1968. The coin was issued in a dodecagonal (12-sided) shape starting in 1969, although the 12-sided version had been minted in 1966–67 as a specimen piece to test the design. The standard design on both versions of the coin are the same: the obverse carries the effigy of the sovereign, and the reverse shows the Coat of Arms of Australia, although, the coin has been issued with both standard and commemorative designs. 94.13 round 50c coins made up a fine kilogram of silver.

“Gold” one-dollar and two-dollar coins were introduced in the 1980s. The one-dollar coin was introduced in 1984, to replace the banknote of the same value. The two-dollar coin, also replacing a banknote, was introduced in 1988. They have content of 2% nickel, 6% aluminium and 92% copper. The two-dollar coin is smaller in diameter than the one-dollar coin, but the two-dollar is slightly thicker.

Due to the metal exceeding face value, the minting of one- and two-cent coins was discontinued in 1991, and they were withdrawn from circulation. However, as of 1991, both coins are now minted as collectors’ items. Commemorative coins have been produced for various denominations in various years with imagery representing an event replacing the usual design on the reverse side of the coin. In some years, all the coins of that denomination are replaced with a different design for that year. In other cases, only a few million coins have the commemorative design, and coins with the standard reverse are also released. No commemorative issues of the 1c coin have been produced, with the exception of the 2016 issue, there have been no commemorative issues of the 5c and 10c coins. A special 2c coin was released, showcasing one of Stuart Devlin’s alternative designs. Many commemorative versions of the 50c coin have been placed in general circulation since 1970. The first $1 coin commemorative issue was in 1986, the first 20c commemorative issue in 1995, and the first $2 commemorative issue in 2012. Mintages reported for these coins vary from around 500,000 to around 50 million.

In 1992 the Mint commenced production of commemorative issues which were not for circulation. Mintages reported for these coins vary from around 5,000 to around 125,000, with the notable exception of the four 25c coins of 2016 which have mintages of 1 million each. 

In 2016, to celebrate 50 years of decimal currency, a commemorative design for the obverse of the coins was released. To date this is the only issue where the commemorative design is on the obverse face rather than on the reverse face. The Royal Australian Mint regularly releases collectable coins, one of the most famous of which is the 1980-1994 gold two-hundred-dollar coin series. Australian collectable coins are all legal tender and can be used directly as currency or converted to “normal” coinage at a bank. Metals include aluminium bronze, silver, gold and bi-metal coins. Nugget coins are issued in ounces and fractions or kilograms and come in gold and platinum, some are denominated in dollars, and others by their weight value. 

Most commemorative coins do not increase in value by substantial amounts. The secret is to buy low mintage coins or the more unique varieties. Do your homework! 

Our shop is at 12 Isabella Street in Wingham. It is called Antiques & Old Wares, call in and say hello.

If you have items that you are not sure of, I may be able to help with information, appraisals and/or sales. I love the history and stories of old and interesting treasures from the past.

Phone Rex – 0427 880 546.

Take care and stay safe!

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