Thursday, August 23, 2012

Coins and History: Australian Penny 1943

As I mentioned in my previous post  On Line Business: Selling Coin Collectibles and Lessons in History; after signing up with the on line store Bonanza and having set up my own booth, I started to go over my coin collection and was able to post the collection for sale. It turned out that coming up with the individual post per item was also as much fun itself as selling  them as each coin became mini lessons in history of the country where the coin was minted. Each coin turned out to be historical snapshots of significant particular timelines per country which I will share with you one coin at a time..

Australian Penny 1943.

Reverse Design: Kangaroo
Obverse Design: King George VI

Most of the information below came from the "Coin Library Australia" from my constant coin resource Typeset Coin Collecting site.

Years Minted: 1937-1952
Composition: 0.97 copper, 0.025 zinc, 0.005 tin
Diameter Type: 30.8 mm
Weight: 9.4 grams
Total Series Mintage: 354,387,800 (circulation)
Obverse Design: Bust Design
Reverse Design: Kangaroo
Unique Features: Plain (smooth)

With the passing of King George V and coronation of King George VI all Australian coinage received a new effigy obverse and most coinage also received a new reverse design including the Penny. Of all redesigned reverses the penny & half penny (which bears the same design) symbolize Australia like none before it. In the same aspect that the Native American Indian designs are identified with United States coinage the Kangaroo says nothing stronger than Australia.

Coins in the series were primarily minted at the Melbourne & Perth Mints. But, during World War II Australia was experiencing coin shortages and to assist, some coins were minted at the Bombay Mint in India. By 1951, Australia was facing another coin shortage and a request was sent to the Royal Mint of London to produce penny coinage in addition to what was already being produced by the Melbourne Mint.


The obverse, designed & engraved by T.H. Paget, features the bust of George the VI facing left.  At the bottom of  George's neck are the designer’s initials “HP”. On the outer periphery are the words "GEORGIVS VI D.G. BR : OMN : REX F.D. IND : IMP" (latin for "George VI, by Grace of God, King of all the Britons, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India") though this would later be changed to just "GEORGIVS VI D.G. BR : OMN : REX FIEDI DEF" (latin for "George VI, by Grace of God, King of all the Britons, Defender of the Faith").

The reverse, designed by George Kruger Gray, features a kangaroo in leaping stride. On the outer periphery is the denomination “PENNY”, country name “AUSTRALIA” and year of issue. Located just above the kangaroo's tail are the designer's initials “KG”. Perth mint pennies feature a dot mint mark after the “Y” in “PENNY” and no dot before “PENNY” though early issues (1940 & some 1941) did not have the dot but instead are recognizable by the designer's initials which have a dot between the letters “K.G”. The Perth mint mark would change one last time in 1952 when the dot was moved after the last “A” in “AUSTRALIA”. Bombay mint pennies featured dots before and after “PENNY” as well as the mint mark 'I' under the bust on the obverse. Melbourne minted pennies carried no mint marks.

My Bonanza Collection:
Please feel free to go over my coin collectibles for sale just in case you might be interested in some of them. I have a considerable number of highly collectible Silver and Bronze US Philippine coins from the 1900s up during the short US administration of the Philippine islands.

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