Australian Rarities

Once-In-A-Lifetime Opportunity To See Australian National Treasures

For the first time, we are showcasing three of Australia’s most sought after and desirable rare coins, a 1930 Penny, an 1852 Adelaide Pound Type I, and an 1852 Adelaide Pound Type II.

These incredible Australian rarities will be on display, and are available for purchase, at The Perth Mint Shop for a limited time only, from 3 October until 27 November.

For more information, please contact our customer service team on 1800 098 817 or email

The 1930 Penny

The 1930 Penny is Australia’s most renowned rare coin. Fascination with this copper issue stems from the mystery surrounding its accidental minting. While the mintage is estimated to be between 1,500 and 2,000, the Melbourne Mint’s official records report that the coin was never struck for circulation. Though, the minting of six proof versions of the Penny is recorded. 

It was not until the 1940’s that the accidental minting of the 1930 Penny was discovered, which meant that it was in circulation for at least a decade before anyone even realised! By the 1960’s the discovery of ‘the coin that never was’ had whipped the nation into a frenzy, capturing the imagination of investors, collectors and the public as they rushed to get their hands on these elusive coins at rapidly escalating prices. 

Due to the coin having been in circulation for a decade or more, those that survived and remain today are of varying quality with many of them displaying obvious defects such as edge bumps and gouges. The 1930 Penny on display at The Perth Mint is slabbed and graded AU50 good Extremely Fine, with a RRP of $130,000. This coin is among the top 1 to 2 percent of 1930 Pennies in existence. 


The 1852 Adelaide Pound Type I

Providing a unique link to Australia’s first 19th century gold rush, the 1852 Adelaide Pound was Australia’s very first (unofficial) gold coin. The coin was struck by the province of South Australia at the Adelaide Assay Office, to alleviate the currency crisis caused by Australia’s first gold rush, as thousands of men flocked to the goldfields taking with them almost all the sovereigns in circulation, and leaving the colony on the cusp of financial ruin. 

With the local economy on the brink, the Adelaide Assay Office was hastily established under the Legislative Council’s Bullion Act of 1852 and on 23 September it began production of 22-carat gold Adelaide Pounds. 

Approximately 40 of the 1852 Adelaide Pound Type I coins were struck before it was discovered that the die had failed and had to be replaced. These coins are recognised by the die-crack to the left of the letters ‘DWT’ on the reverse design, and the presence of inner beading rather than crenulations. 

Unfortunately, by infringing on the Royal prerogative to coin gold, the Adelaide Pound was technically illegal. Its creators felt the time involved in gaining permission from London to establish a mint was too great a risk to the economy. By the time approval was received, production of the Adelaide Pound had ceased anyway thanks to a shipment of sovereigns. 

Only 30 to 40 Type I coins are believed to remain in existence today, making the coin on display at the Mint an incredibly rare find. The 1852 Adelaide Pound Type I is graded good Very Fine, with a RRP of $97,500. 

The 1852 Adelaide Pound Type II

After the discovery of the Type I failed die, a new reverse die was designed and engraved, and the 1852 Adelaide Pound Type II was born. The overall mintage was approximately 25,000, however, when the gold value of the coins rose above the face value, the vast majority of the mintage was exported to London by profiteers and melted down. 

As a result, it is thought that only some 200 of these Type II coins remain today. The 1852 Adelaide Pound Type II at The Perth Mint is graded Very Fine, with a RRP of $20,000.  

Also On Display At The Mint

King George V 
1921 One Penny

The square kookaburra coin was produced in 1919 when the Commonwealth Government considered replacing the bulky bronze pennies and half pennies with smaller and lighter coins made of nickel. They were never circulated, making them extremely rare. On permanent display in The Perth Mint Exhibition, today they can reach high prices among collectors. 

Queen Victoria
1899 Sovereign

The first sovereign minted at The Perth Mint was presented to Governor Lieutenant Colonel Sir Gerard Smith. Another 106 million sovereigns would be minted in Perth, but this original specimen is priceless. It can be seen on display at The Perth Mint Exhibition all year round.

The Roth Family Holey Dollar 
NSW Holey Dollar 1813

The Holey Dollar and Dump of New South Wales has, and always will take pride of place in any collection of Australian colonial coinage. The Roth Family Holey Dollar is a superior example of one of Australia’s most historic and desirable coins, with counterstamps that have been sharply struck in an upright position on a full host coin showing minimal wear. It is believed to have been purchased by Walter Edmund Roth prior to 1893 and gifted to his brother Bernard Roth between 1890 and mid-1892. Temporarily on display at The Perth Mint, this coin has a RRP of $225,000 and is currently on loan from Sterling & Currency.