Australia 1951-PL half penny

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Heritage sale 3073, lot 30404
photo courtesy Heritage Auction Galleries

This specimen was lot 30404 in Heritage sale 3073 (Chicago, April 2019), where it sold for $5,280. The catalog description[1] noted, "George VI Proof 1/2 Penny 1951-PL PR65+ Red and Brown PCGS. Very rare, and presently the single-highest certified example with the next best, a pair of MS64 RBs at PCGS. Complete with squared rims, an exemplary strike, and subdued luster. The "PL" mintmark, taken from Roman issues last made in London in the fourth century (Percussa Londinensis) was used to designated the issues struck for Australia in 1951 in the UK. The Deputy Master of the Melbourne Mint, Mr. O.G. Reynolds, spent some weeks in London during 1951, and this was, most likely, the reason for the striking of a small number of Proofs. For reference, we sold a 4-piece partial 1951-PL Proof Set in 2015 (lot 32110) for $42,000 hammer, with the 1/2 Penny therein graded MS64 RB by PCGS." The SCWC does not record why proofs are so rare for this date, which is otherwise common. The type was issued 1949-52 from Perth and London.

Sterling coinage was struck for several countries besides Great Britain, including Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Southern Rhodesia, Fiji and New Guinea. All converted to decimal coinage in the 1960's.

Recorded mintage: 17,040,000, the most common date.

Specifications: 5.9 g, bronze, 25.5 mm diameter.

Catalog reference: KM 42.


  • Cuhaj, George S., and Thomas Michael, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1901-2000, 42nd ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2014.
  • McDonald, Greg, The Pocket Guide to Australian Coins and Banknotes, 23rd ed., Lavington, Australia, 2017.
  • [1]Bierrenbach, Cristiano and Warren Tucker, Heritage World and Ancient Coins Auction 3073, Dallas, TX: Heritage Auction Galleries, 2019.

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