The 1934-35 Centenary Florin was struck to commemorate the centenaries of Melbourne and Victoria. It's prized by collectors today for its scarcity, history and designs - on both sides of the coin!
While much of Australia battled with the Great Depression, a Centenary Council was busy planning the celebrations for two 100th anniversaries. Victoria's first permanent European settlement had occurred in 1834, with the founding of Melbourne soon after in 1835. To help cover costs of the celebrations, a commemorative sterling silver florin would be sold to the public at three shillings apiece.
Upon release, the provocative reverse design, featuring a naked man on horseback, divided opinion. “Perhaps it is appropriate,” mused art committee Chairman Russell Grimwade to The Argus, “because it looks worth about two shillings.” Despite this, the iconic design by George Kruger Gray is much admired by collectors today.
The 1934-35 Centenary Florin also features an obverse portrait utterly unique in Australian coinage. Created by Percy Metcalfe, the design was based on the familiar Bertram Mackennal effigy. It appeared on coins in other countries - but never on any other Australian coins.
Sadly, due to the Great Depression, many would-be buyers simply didn't have three shillings to spare to buy a coin. With sales low, 21,000 coins were melted down, leaving 54,000 of the mintage of 75,000 remaining. As a result, the 1934-35 Centenary Florin is very scarce today, and highly sought-after by collectors. Especially when found in the upper echelons of quality, as seen here!
|Country of Issue||Australia|
|Year of Issue||1934/35|
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