United Kingdom

Ultra rare Australian coins sell for $1.5million each

Two ultra rare Australian coins have sold for a world record more than $1.5 million each in an online auction in Monaco. 

One of the unique coins, belonging to Lot 104, is a £5 coin that was minted in Melbourne in 1921, part of a collection of just six others. 

On Saturday, it sold for $1.56 million and was described by auctioneers MDC Monaco, as an 'exceptional' coin, the rarest type of £5 and a 'very fine specimen'. 

Two ultra rare Australian coins (pictured) have broke a world record after being sold for over $1.5million each in an online auction in Monaco 

The coin was inspired by an earlier coin designed by engraver Joshua Payne in 1852, after he got lucky in the gold rush in 1851. 

Another of the exclusive set is believed to be in the possession of the Victoria Museum in Melbourne, the Sydney Morning Herald reported. 

Ian Russell, president of coin experts Great Collections in Irvine, California, said the sales broke the record for the biggest sale of Australian coins worldwide. 

He said he noticed increased interest in coin collecting, with record bidders and prices, not just on the 'uber-high end' of the scale. 

The second record-breaking coin, belonging to Lot 123, is a George V Sovereign minted in Sydney in 1920, displaying St George and the dragon. 

The ultra rare coin was minted in Melbourne in 1921, inspired by an earlier coin designed by engraver Joshua Payne in 1852, after he got lucky in the gold rush in 1851

'This is the only graded coin and the most beautiful of the four minted known. This is the only specimen strike known', the catalogue description reads.  

'There are just three other coins known of normal striking. It is the greatest rarity of the sovereign series.'

The coin was originally commissioned for Jacob Garrad, a politician in NSW serving as Secretary for Public Works. 

The heirloom was a gift for his wedding anniversary which he and his wife commemorated on April 15, 1920. 

The couple had seven children, so it is assumed that nine of the coins were minted, with each member of the family gifted one. 

Only four of the coins has survived since the 1920s, the one sold in at a Monaco online auction believed to be the most beautiful.  

The second record-breaking coin, belonging to Lot 123, is a George V Sovereign minted in Sydney in 1920, displaying St George and the dragon (pictured)

Jim Noble from Sydney coin dealer Noble Numismatics, has sold examples of both of the pricey coins and described the asking price as 'extraordinary'. 

Speculating the buyer was probably from the US, he explained the £5 coin was sold for $16,000 in 1977, $43,000 in the 1980s and $800,000 in 2002.  

The auction followed another record-breaking purchase of an American 1933 $20 gold piece that sold for $19 million - an all-time record for a coin. 

An 1887 Australian £5 coin pressed at Sydney Mint sold for $867,000 at an auction in Dallas, Texas, the second highest figure for an Australian coin sold at auction. 

Named a 'proof' coin, the rare artefact was never meant to reach the public and was only meant for presentation purposes.  

One of the unique coins, belonging to Lot 104, is a £5 coin that was pressed at the Melbourne Mint (pictured) in 1921, one of a series of just six others like it

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