Nuphil Associates, formed in Christchurch New Zealand and operating through a Post Office Box in Canberra, ordered specimen quality 50c coins from the Royal Australian Mint in 1969, Canberra, for this Postal Numismatic Cover, often referred to as a 'Yarralumla Cover' because of the place of cancellation. Having accepted the order and received payment, the mint found it did not have coins ready to supply. The coins to meet the order were hurriedly struck on unpolishd blanks. The PNC's were then assembled by Mr Varian Wilson (Nuphil) and Mr Ray Whelan (a coin dealer from Healesville, Victoria) on the mint's premises where they remained until the coin's official release date.

Upon release, the covers were postmarked at the Yarralumla Post Office on 1 September 1969 and then back-stamped at Canberra City on the same day. An unsubstantiated rumour has circulated that the Yarralumla Post Office was chosen simply because it was close to the mint when the coins were collected.

The exact number issued is unclear but is believed to be between 1,200 and 2,000. One source states that Nuphil printed 1,650 envelopes for the issue while another states that the Royal Australian Mint produced specifically to order, 1,200 specimen quality coins used for the issue.

Named as issue NU-27 by Nuphil Associates Ltd, each envelope is individually numbered. The issue sold for approximately $7.00 each at the time.

In correspondence dated 2007, Mr Ray Dobson, one of the original partners of Nuphil Associates Ltd (the other was Varian Wilson), states that a special striking of specimen coins was undertaken by the Royal Australian Mint specifically to fill the company's order. A total of 1,330 covers were prepared. 6 of the covers are known to have remained unstamped and unpostmarked and now command a significant premium.

Of particular note about this release is that the 50c coins were struck on unpolished blanks of specimen quality and remain the only way to obtain a specimen quality 1969 50c coin. There is some evidence that 2,000 specimen coins were struck, and the 670 coins not used for the Nuphil PNC's were distributed as change through the Mint Shop in the RAM itself. The chances of these coins being found in pristine condition is therefore highly unlikely.

As it was the only way to secure a specimen quality 1969 50c coin, the survival rate of this PNC is now low with many of the scarce coins being removed and the covers discarded.


Alloy: 75% copper and 25% nickel

Weight : 15.55 g

Diameter: 31.5 mm

Engraver: Obverse: Arnold Machin, Reverse: Stuart Devlin


SKU 67743
Shipping Weight 0.0400kg
Shipping Width 0.200m
Shipping Height 0.010m
Shipping Length 0.100m
Shipping Cubic 0.000200000m3

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