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Australian Florins

1927 Opening of the First Parliament House, Canberra.

Sterling Silver

Australia's first commemorative coin marked the opening of Parliament House in Canberra.
The Federal Parliament transferred from Melbourne to Canberra in May 1927 and was opened in a grand ceremony by the future George VI known then as the Duke of York and his wife, The Queen Mum, as she became known as in her later years.
Although designed by Sir Edgar Bertram Mackennal, who designed the normal circulating George V issues, the portrait is of a distinctive style, showing a crowned George V facing left. It is obvious from patterns that the design was modified many times before finally settling on this likeness.
The reverse, which features Parliament House framed in an ornamental panel and resting on crossed maces, with the date also in a heavily ornamented panel, was designed by George Kruger Gray, who more famous for his designs of the more stylized Australian Coat of Arms introduced on florins in 1938 and the reverse of the 1934/35 Melbourne Centenary florin. This design is regarded as one of his most delicate efforts.

1927 Parliament House Australian Silver Florin

These are the first example of the "Bower bird" instinct in Australians. Many people put these coins away and as a result can often be found in higher grades at affordable prices, whilst the reverse is true for the "normal" issue of this year.

Points to consider when grading the reverse are:
  • the mace ends;
  • the shell;
  • the footpath;
  • the area containing the date;
  • the sharpness of details on the denticles, and lettering;
  • the rim for dents and nicks;
  • A weak strike will show in the steps at the end of the footpath, the high points will lose definition and lack sharpness such as the maces and the shell in the top of the design as well as the windows and flagpoles.

The highest point on the obverse is the crown band where the centre diamond, pearls and rubies can be found. Wear starts at the centre diamond and spreads out from here consuming the pearls and rubies. The points of wear are almost identical to the normal portrait.

When looking at the obverse of these coins a collector should look at:
  • the centre diamond of the crown band;
  • the end of the moustache:
  • the top of the ear;
  • nicks and dents around the rim;
  • scratches or other defects on the surface;
  • a weak strike shows in the rim denticles and crown pattern and in the collar just under the chin, also the orb on the crown flattens out with die wear.


Composition: .925 silver
Silver Content: 0.3363 oz
Edge: Reeded
Weight: 11.31 grams
Size: 28.5 mm
Obverse: Sir Edgar Bertram Mackennal
Reverse: George Kruger Gray