18 March 2019 – South Yarra rare coin dealer, Coinworks, has just sold the Proof 1930 Penny to a Sydney collector for $1.15 million.
The sale establishes a new price record for an Australian coin and reaffirms the standing of the Proof 1930 Penny as Australia’s most valuable coin and the world’s most valuable penny.
“The Proof 1930 Penny is the greatest coin in all of Australian numismatics,” said Ms Belinda Downie, Managing Director of Coinworks. “It is simply a phenomenal coin in an exceptional state of preservation, and for the buyer represents an investment that guarantees their place in history.”
The buyer crossed one item off his wish-list when he acquired a circulated 1930 Penny in 2018. The thrill and emotional high of this purchase saw him approach Coinworks several months later to acquire the ultimate 1930 Penny, the Proof 1930 Penny.
“Collectors feel a pride in acquiring exquisite objects, especially the rarest or most important pieces,” said Downie.
The Proof 1930 Penny was struck as a presentation piece at the Melbourne Mint at the height of the Great Depression and only six were made. One was retained by the Melbourne Mint, one was sent to the Art Gallery of South Australia and a third was sent to the British Museum. Three were destined for private collections.
The Proof 1930 Penny just sold was originally held in a private collection and was donated to the British Museum in 1962. It was the second Proof ’30 held by the Museum.
Two decades later the British Museum decided that two Proof 1930 Pennies were surplus to their requirements and entered into negotiations with a Sydney-based Auction House to swap a Proof ’30 for an example of Australia’s very first gold coin, an 1852 Cracked Die Adelaide Pound.
The exchange facilitated the return of the Proof 1930 Penny to Australia where it was acquired by a local collector for a figure reputed to be $150,000. An Australian and world record at the time.
The coin surfaced in 1999 when it sold at public auction for $258,000. In 2005 the coin changed hands again for $620,000.
“If the Proof 1930 Penny is the King of Australian rare coins, then this example is the King of Kings for its widely regarded as the finest of the three privately held proof 1930 Pennies,” said Downie. “Buyers are appreciating the overwhelming rarity of top Australian coins and recognising the investment opportunities that their offering presents.”
“The sale of the Proof 1930 Penny to a local collector also means that an Australian treasure stays in Australia, always an important consideration for Coinworks.”