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Australian Pre-Decimal Proofs

1959 Perth Mint


In 1955, after the mint had become confident enough, the then Foreman of Machinery, George Knight suggested for the Perth Mint to issue collectors with proof coins. He was the only person with the skills to detect flaws in the proof finish as so inspected all these coins himself.
The coins where sold loose as individual coins, rather than as a set with packaging consisting of wrapping them up in cellophane. Bronze coins after having been around for decades are now quite difficult to find in a fully brilliant state of preservation. The Perth Mint only produced bronze pennies and half pennies and often lightly lacquered these coins, as a result of this they can be more often found in BU condition.

Some of the general pointers to look for to distinguish Perth proofs from the normal circulation strikes are:
  • The fields are flat with little of the light detraction caused by the normal rolled unpolished planchet for circulation strikes.
  • Perth mint proofs from 1958 to 1963 have matte fields with the design mirror-like ( similar to modern frosted Unc issues )
  • The rim is sharp and flat, with a definite right angle on the edge, the circulation strikes are slightly rounded.
  • The Perth mint always ground down any extrusions on the rim, evidence of this may be seen under magnification
  • The beads are almost always near perfect