Australia 1953(p) half penny
"The Coronation Set of Elizabeth II--Elizabeth II Six-Coin Certified Proof Set 1953, 1/2 Penny - PR63 Red and Brown PCGS, KM49, Penny - PR65 Brown PCGS, KM50, 3 Pence - PR64 PCGS, KM 51, 6 Pence - PR66 PCGS, KM 52, Shilling - PR65 PCGS, KM53, Florin - PR66 PCGS, KM 54, Penny - Florin Mintage: 12 pieces. Halfpenny Mintage: Unknown. Struck for Queen Elizabeth II's Coronation in 1953, a minuscule total of twelve, penny through florin, sets were officially produced at the Melbourne Mint, with the entire mintage ending up in the possession of the Chase Manhattan Bank in New York for their currency museum. Clearly, later deaccessioned or distributed, less than half of these have made their way to auction over the following six decades. The Halfpenny, missing from the standard Coronation set, was actually struck separately at the Perth mint (identified by the period after Australia). While the true mintage remains unknown, its rarity likely even surpasses that of the sets, with the Museum Victoria detailing their manufacturing as, "only for official purposes...some to numismatic society collection." Together, this set, the Halfpenny through Florin, represents a "true" full set of the circulating denominations in their proof state, and would be nearly impossible to recreate.
Conditionally, this group leaves little to be desired. The Halfpenny is spectacular, displaying all-over, golden-red luster with moments of turquoise tone on the reverse and essentially no brown to speak of. Other than a few, insignificant wisps and two milky spots, the fields are clear of any distractions. The Penny, at first glance, sports a darker chestnut color, but upon rotation the surfaces ignite with technicolor brilliance that covers not just the fields, but also the bust of Elizabeth. The reverse, similarly colored, presents a pattern of iridescence, likened to that of a beautiful, watercolor painting. All of the silver denominations showcase shimmering surfaces, the look more often associated with a "Specimen" finish than the typical mirrored proof. In summation, this is a set that contains visual excellence as rare as the set itself."
Recorded mintage: 23,967,000 plus 16 proofs.
Specification: 5.67 g, bronze, 25.5 mm diameter.
Catalog reference: KM 49.
- 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.
- Bierrenbach, Cristiano, Warren Tucker and Scott Cordry, Heritage Signature Auction 3037, featuring the Empire, the Santa Catarina, the Law and the Santa Maria Collections, Dallas, TX: Heritage Auction Galleries, 2014.