Rare Australian Decimal Coins: Part One- Rare Coins in Change


There are many Australian decimal coins which are rare and scarce. Often it can be harder to find certain coins in circulation because for a particular year that denomination was low mintage. Examples of these are:

  • 1968 5 cent

  • 1972 5 cent
  • 1968 20 cent
  • 1997 50 cent

Legitimate variety or error finds that were actually released by the mint that are so scarce that if you actually find one in circulation then you should go out and buy yourself a lottery ticket! These include the 2000 $1/10 cent mule or the 1966 wavy 2 20 cent piece.

1966 20 cent with Wavy 2

1966 20 cent with Wavy 2


Some years coins weren’t issued for circulation but were found in mint sets, some of these coins have found their way out of the sets into circulation and might be found.
These include:
  • 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993 and 1995 20 cent

  • 1986, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1992 Coat of Arms 50 cent

Some coins just weren’t issued to be circulating currency but are the same size, weight and colour as those you would get given in change. The majority of these are one dollar coins and are issued as Non-circulating Legal Tender (NCLT) coins. You can get lucky and find them in change and this is rare indeed. Examples of these might include:

  • 2000 Victoria Cross dollar

  • a variety of mintmarked, privy marked or counterstamped dollars
  • Coloured Ocean/Land series dollars

Other rare Australian coins are errors, mistake coins that have usually had quite obvious mishaps during the minting process. These are usually found and destroyed by mint staff before they leave the mint but occasionally some escape. Sometimes these are off centre strikes (also called mis-strikes or broadstrikes) or even clipped planchet coins just to name a couple. Other errors quite often overlooked because of their obscurity are cuds on coins or metal peels. These are often interesting collector pieces as they are all different.


Posted in Collecting Coins

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