Ed. note: This article is periodically updated to reflect the current price of most valuable coins.
All over the world, you can see avid coin collectors of many rare australian coins. These pieces are worth thousands and even millions of dollars. Case in point, the Proof 1930 Penny, struck by the Royal Australian Mint, which was sold to a Sydney collector for $1.15 million last year. This staggering amount comes as no surprise since it was considered as the “King” of rare Australian coin.
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List of Valuable Australian Coins – Value Chart 2023
There are a good handful of Australian coins worth collecting. If you want to know which ones, here is a list of the most important.
|Rare Australian Coin||Auction Record||Comments|
|The 1894 Gold Sovereign Melbourne Mint||$711.00||22 CT gold|
|The 2010 Perth Mint Proof Australian Sovereign||$400,00||91.67% pure gold.|
|The 2000 $1/10c Mule||$3,000||Rare hybrid|
|The 2007 Double Obverse (Head) 5 Cent||$1,500||Coin with error|
|The 1966 20 Cent Coin Wavy Line||$2,500||Special serie to watch out|
1894 Gold Sovereign Melbourne Mint (South Australia)
This gold coin struck in South Australia by the Royal Australian Mint can be found in prominent coin collections and is worth at least $711.00(USD). It is made of 22 CT gold and weighs 7.322 grams. Of course, with such a rare coin, you must be willing to pay a lot of money to buy this one.
2010 Perth Mint Proof Australian Sovereign
The Perth Mint resumed its regular production of gold coins or sovereigns in 2009. Because of proof coin, many avid Australian collectors want to gain one of these remarkable coins. This rare australian coin has meticulously crafted these coins from 91.67% pure gold. They depict the Commonwealth Coat of Arms on the reverse as well as the words AUSTRALIA, SOVEREIGN, and The Perth Mint’s ‘P’ mintmark. There are about 2,500 copies, meaning they are rare and won’t be found easily.
Valuable Australian One Cent to look for – The 2000 $1/10c Mule
Another rare coin to watch out for is the 2000 $1/10c Mule. Just this year, a Melbourne mother hit the jackpot when she found this precious coin – gaining $3,000. This rare coin was produced due to a mix up at a mint that created the rare hybrid. These coins are worth the money and are hard to find. If it has an accidental pairing of a 10 cent heads die and the normal mob of roos reverses die, then it is an authentic coin. At least thousands of these coins were minted and have circulated for years now. It would be worth your time to look out for them.
The 2007 Double Obverse (Head) 5 Cent
Known as “double headed“, should be at the top of the list as a piece that you should carefully examine as a coin collector. These coins were a product of a mint worker who paired two 2007 head side dies and then ran the press to mint hundreds or thousands of coins. Initially, it was thought there were only a few of these coins until they found too many over the years. This meant that thousands could still be in circulation. But, the only way you can determine it is a profitable coin is if it is high grade and authentic. This coin can be easily forged, so you should be careful if you’re looking for one. It is worth at least $500 to $1,500.
1966 20 Cent Coin – the king of Australian 20 Cent Coins
This coin was introduced during the time that Australia was converting from pre-decimal to decimal currency. It has composite metals of 75% copper and 25% nickel. The piece has had variances over the years, but the unintentionally erroneous coins called ‘varieties’ are the most profitable ones.
How to identify the 1966 Wavy Line
Rarities add value. There’s the 1966 Wavy Line, which was struck by the UK Royal Mint and featured a raised section on the top of the horizontal baseline of the “2”. It is worth at least $2,500 in uncirculated condition.
The History of Australian Currency: the Australian dollar coin
To understand Australian coin collecting better, why don’t we go over the history of currency in Australia? Before coins, the aboriginals used a barter system to exchange things such as food, shells, tools and other raw materials. Then came the early settlers who brought with them various collections of international coins, promissory notes and tokens. In 1813, this currency was superseded by the Australian coins, the “dump” and the “holey dollar.”
There was also the gold rush during the 1800s where gold was turned into ingots, and in 1855, the Royal Mint was opened, turning the gold coins into what is known as sovereigns. But, it was not until 1910 that the country’s national currency was formed. Before then, when it was still a colony, it’s official currency was British coinage.
During this time, their commonwealth currency was also still based on the UK’s monetary system. It had the same denominations and relative values. They had the Australian shilling, threepence, sixpence and florin. The halfpenny and penny were introduced in 1911, while the crown in 1937.
On 14 February 1966, Australia adopted the decimal currency system. This is still being used today. It replaced the penny with the cent and the pound with the dollar. The one-cent, two-cent, five-cent, ten-cent and one-dollar coins etc. were later introduced in 1984. In 1990, circulation issues of one-cent coins were also minted. The following years saw the decimal system’s improvisation, which we can now see in Australia’s currency.
The Different Types of Australian Coins to Collect
The Royal Australian Mint is the only place that produces all of the country’s circulating coins. For the coin collector, this should be the best place to start off your collection. They have a range of collector coins that can suit any of budget and interest. Here are some types of coins you should understand before starting:
Uncirculated – These coins may either have unique designs or are special versions of the circulating coin designs. These contain the same materials as circulated coins but have a sharper image and more clearly-defined edges. You can often find them packaged in presentation cards.
Frosted Uncirculated – These coins are created based on the same process and technology as uncirculated coins. Their clearly defining characteristics are that they are polished and have a more striking appearance against a frosted field or background. If you are a coin collector who has a passion for certain themes and designs, then you should collect some of these to become highlights in your collection.
Proof – These coins are one of the hardest to find and are considered rarities. You can make a profit by selling them because of how valuable they are. They are usually made with metals such as gold and silver coins. There are only a few thousand copies available, with some even costing hundreds of dollars. These also come in presentation cases with numbered certificates of authenticity.
Antique finish – Based on the name itself, you already have a clue as to what type of coins these are. These are specially prepared to make it look like an old, treasured coin. These antique finish coins are made of blanks and are cleaned, treated and struck to the Royal Mint’s exacting standards. Compared to other coin finishes, these coins are completely handmade, and each has its own unique characteristics to inspire nostalgia.
What to Consider when Collecting Rare Australian Coins
- Make sure that when you collect Australian coins, you are sure of significant details about the history of the coin. These will help you learn more about its credibility.
- There must be stated features of the coins to offer you some guidance. The form of the coin will influence how much it’s worth. This is because you will be identifying the dissimilarity for every grade of the coins. Therefore, you’ll have an idea of its actual market value.
- As a coin collector, you should understand that it is important to check the coin collection values from time to time because the cost can vary depending on the existing market trends. This will help when it comes to knowing when to trade.
How to Know the Worth of Coins struck by the Royal Australian Mint
If you are starting your collection, it is essential to know each value of Australian coins with the help of a coin seller or evaluator. Make sure to choose those with credible reputations. You should also know the basics of figuring out genuine collectible coins. You should consider dates, mint marks or coin compositions, among other things. You should remember to be careful, especially if you are planning to purchase rare and valuable pieces that could cost thousands of dollars. Your collectible coins can serve as an investment. Another thing to take note of is that it is not the age of the coins that have the most influence on the worth, but its scarcity and demand in the market. Australian half sovereigns are more precious than the earliest currencies, for instance.
What are the rarest $2 Australian coins?
Several $2 Australian coins are considered rare and valuable. Here are some of the rarest $2 Australian coins:
- 1988 “Aboriginal Elder” design: This coin features an image of an Aboriginal elder designed by artist Horst Hahne. It was only produced in 1988 and had a mintage of only 1,362,000.
- 2013 “Purple Stripe” Remembrance Day coin: This coin features a purple stripe in the center to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the First World War. It was produced in limited numbers and is highly sought after by collectors.
- 2012 “Red Poppy” Remembrance Day coin: This coin features a red poppy in the center to commemorate the sacrifices of Australian soldiers. It was also produced in limited numbers and is highly prized by collectors.
- 2016 “Paralympic Games” coin: This serie features a design commemorating the 2016 Paralympic Games held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It was produced in limited numbers and is highly sought after by collectors.
- 2019 “Mr. Squiggle” coin: This coin features an image of the popular children’s television character Mr. Squiggle. It was only produced in limited numbers and is highly sought after by collectors, especially those who remember the show from childhood.
Which Australian 5c coins are valuable?
Most Australian 5 cent coins in circulation are not particularly valuable, as they are made of copper and nickel and have a low face value. However, there are a few rare and valuable Australian 5 cent coins that collectors seek out. Here are some of the most valuable 5 cent coins in Australia:
1972 “Double Bar”: In 1972, the mint accidentally produced a small number of 5 cent coins with two vertical bars on the reverse side instead of one. These coins are highly sought after by collectors and can be worth hundreds or even thousands of dollars, depending on their condition.
1981 “Three and a Half Claws”: In 1981, the mint produced a small number of 5 cent coins with three and a half claws on the echidna’s paw on the reverse side instead of the usual four. These coins are rare and can be worth up to several hundred dollars, depending on their condition.
2007 “Misaligned Die”: In 2007, the mint produced a small number of 5 cent coins with a misaligned die, resulting in an off-center image on the reverse side. These coins are relatively rare and can be worth several hundred dollars, depending on their condition.
What rare Australian 50 cent coins are worth money?
There are several rare Australian 50 cent coins that are highly sought after by collectors and can be worth significant amounts of money. Here are some of the most valuable:
1966 “Wavy Baseline”: In 1966, the mint produced a small number of 50 cent coins with a wavy baseline on the obverse side of the coin, which is the side with the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II. These coins are extremely rare and can be worth tens of thousands of dollars in good condition.
1970 “Captain Cook”: In 1970, the mint produced a commemorative 50 cent coin to mark the bicentennial of Captain Cook’s discovery of Australia. The coins feature a portrait of Captain Cook on one side and a map of Australia on the other. These coins can be worth several hundred dollars in good condition.
2000 “Incuse Flag”: In 2000, the mint produced a small number of 50 cent coins with the Australian flag design incuse, or recessed, into the coin. These coins are relatively rare and can be worth several hundred dollars in good condition.
2016 “Paralympic Team”: In 2016, the mint produced a commemorative 50 cent coin to celebrate the Australian Paralympic team. These coins are relatively rare and can be worth several hundred dollars in good condition.
Final thoughts about Australian Coins that are Worth Money
There are so many Australian coins worth collecting out there. You just need the dedication to be able to get them. If you are a beginner, you can start out small. There are collectible coins worth at least $50. You can then slowly save up to buy rarer and more beneficial coins. Moreover, coin collecting is enjoyable. Obtaining valuable pieces is satisfying, not to mention how some may provide you with profits larger than you can imagine as you get involved more deeply with the changing market.
References and sources
- Royal Australian Mint
- Heritage Auctions, Australian coins
- Top 12 American Rare coins: List of American coins that reach the highest prices
Numismatic Expert & Writer. BA in History and BS in Computer Science. I’m a member of the American Numismatic Association (ANA) and the Numismatic Literary Guild (NLG) and write in several digital media specialized in collecting, auctions and antiques reviews.