Blue Sheet > Australia > Commonwealth Coinage > One Penny > George V > 1930 Penny

1930 Penny

The 1930 penny is the most famous Australian coin and one of the world's most valuable circulating copper coins. Its fame originates from the 1940s and 1950s where its rarity was first revealed to the general public, thus creating a surge in interest with the general public searching for this key rarity in their change. Consequently the average 1930 penny only circulated for 15-20 years leaving the average grade at around the Fine to VF level, slightly higher than pennies from surrounding years.

This interest has lasted on giving it the title of Australia's Glamour coin, and the
key date to every penny collector's set. Consequently, despite a relatively high estimated
mintage of 2000-3000 pieces, the 1930 penny commands prices similar to much rarer coins such as

In 1930, with the economy slowing to a halt, the treasury did not request any pennies to be struck, as with denominations from threepence to florin, there simply wasn't any need for additional currency with the great depression in full force. Despite this, a small number of 1930 penny
dies were prepared (Coin Web, 2007) and it is suggested that visiting dignitaries were permitted to purchase fresh pennies, dated 1930 from the
mint (Coin Web, 2007). This would seem to contradict the minimal number of upper grade examples of the date, with no known examples in
mint state. It is more likely that the coins were struck to test the
dies as suggested by Andrew Crellin (Sterling & Currency, 2008).

The coin itself is fairly scarce in lower grades with about 1500 pieces in the market today, above XF the coin becomes very rare and is almost unheard of in AU grades. The coin usually features a
central strike weakness on the
reverse and is almost always paired with an Indian

At the end of 1930, the Melbourne
mint also produced
proof strikes for various museums and as
proof of record pieces for the
mint (1930 Proof Penny).
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Est. 3,000
Reverse Designer
W. H. J. Blakemore
Obverse Designer
Sir E. B. MacKennel
30.8 mm
Copper: 97%
Zinc: 2.5%
Tin: 0.5%
Bullion Value
1930  Penny Reverse

1930  Penny Reverse


Grade Value AUD
F12 $19.5K
VF20 $30K
VF35 $47K
XF40 $52.5K
AU50 $155K
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Related Coins

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  • key date - A difficult date to acquire in any grade, hence being the key to a series
  • mintage - The number of coins struck of a particular designation
  • pre-decimal - Denominations without base 10 equivalents
  • proof - A coin struck from specially prepared dies to strike a superior quality coin not intended for circulation
  • die - A cylindrical punch with an inverted impression of a coin's design used to strike the coin
  • mint - a facility that produces coins
  • mint state - A state of a coin that shows no signs of circulation
  • central strike weakness - A weak strike around the centre of the design caused by a lack of concavity in the dies relative to strike pressure.
  • reverse - The tails side of the coin
  • obverse - The heads side of the coin
  • proof of record - A proof or specimen strike intended to represent a circulation piece produced for mint records

Numismatic Glossary - View the full glossary of numismatic terms.


References - View full bibliography