All collections » Coins » Australia
1927 Opening of the First Parliament House, Canberra.
|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.
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 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: