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Australia 1928 Shilling

Mint:Melbourne Mintage:332,000 Milling:Reeded
Weight:5.65 grams Diameter:23.5 mm Composition:92.5% Silver, 7.5% Copper
Click to enlarge
Wear
Obverse 2 - English
Click to enlarge
Wear
Reverse A - London
Designer: Sir (Edgar) Bertram Mackennal (Initials 'B.M.' raised on truncation)
Design:Left facing profile of George V
Legend:GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP: •
Denticle Count:141 teeth
Mint mark: None
Designer: William Henry James Blakemore (no attribution)
Design:Star above a Kangaroo and Emu standing left and right of the Armorial Ensigns of the Commonwealth of Australia. 'ADVANCE AUSTRALIA' in ribbon below. ∋ ∈
Legend:ONE SHILLING
Denticle Count:142 teeth
Mint mark: None
Characteristics:
Click on Wear to show high points first susceptible to wear
Value
BM
Ad
NP
8
Good
VG10
10
VG
F12
12
about F
F15
15
Fine
VF20
20
good F
VF25
25
about VF
VF30
30
Very Fine
VF35
35
good VF
EF40
40
about EF
EF45
45
Ext Fine
AU50
50
good EF
AU53
53
about Unc
AU55
58+
virt Unc
AU58
58-60
Uncirc
MS60
58-61
Uncirc
MS61
58-62
Uncirc
MS62
63-64
Choice Unc
MS63
64-65
near Gem
MS64
65-66
Gem
MS65
66-67
Gem
MS66
67-68
Gem
MS67
68
near Flaw
MS68
69
virt Flaw
MS69
70
Flawless
MS70
Proof
BV
+
NGC
1
 
PCGS
 
 
BV
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
 
 
$12
+
NGC
1
 
PCGS
1
 
$40
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
3
 
$75
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
2
 
$100
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
 
 
$125
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
 
 
$175
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
1
 
$300
+
NGC
1
 
PCGS
 
 
$400
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
1
 
$450
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
 
 
$600
+
NGC
1
 
PCGS
6
 
$1250
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
7
 
$2000
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
 
 
$2500
+
NGC
1
 
PCGS
1
 
$3250
+
NGC
3
 
PCGS
5
 
$5000
+
NGC
1
 
PCGS
4
 
$7500
+
NGC
1
 
PCGS
11
 
$12500
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
2
 
$20000
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
 
 
$35000
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
 
 
-
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
 
 
-
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
 
 
-
+
NGC
 
 
PCGS
 
 
Y
BM
Benchmark
Ad
Adjectival
NP
NGC/PCGS
Collectable grades
Does not exist by definition

Investment grades
-
Unlikely to exist

Aspirational grades
BV
Bullion or metal value

Not known in these grades
''
Value as above
Proof
Y (Yes)
N (Not known)
Last updated February 2020
Notes:
That the 1928 Shilling is likely to emerge as the hardest date to acquire in high grade is due only in part to the comparatively small numbers struck. The long accepted mintage of this coin was 664,000, but this was challenged in 1991 by W. J. Mullet, the Melbourne Mint official who was responsible for tabulating coin production figures. In his publication 'Australian Coinage - An Account of Particular Coins' he records that exactly half of that figure i.e. only 332,000 were actually struck.

But, surprisingly, it is not a particularly hard coin to find in very low grade and this may be explained by the the tale of the 'Swatow' fakes that were written about by the collector Owen Fleming in an Australian Coin Review article in August, 1984.

The article sets out that "Swatow, in northeastern Kwangtung province, China, was the origin of a flood of forged Australian coins which first came to the notice of the authorities in the early 1930s. The forged coins were all Australian one-shilling pieces dated 1928. They were well struck, and of good silver. Some, astonishingly, were of greater purity than their genuine counterparts. Many, it can be surmised, are in Australian collections today, their owners little realising the Chinese origin of these specimens. In 1931 and early 1932, banks in the four main capital cities of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide were not unduly suspicious when bags as well as £2 rolls of new 1928 shillings were presented over the counters for exchange into notes. But when the volume of these pieces increased to the extent that they began to accumulate in vaults, doubts were raised and inquires instituted. First, in view of the low official mintage and then in view of the low price of silver (the silver content of a shilling piece fell from 5 pence to 3 pence between 1928 and 1931), counterfeiting was suspected."

Investigations began, and to paraphrase the remainder of the article, authorities identified Kwong Khi Tseng a Sydney merchant in oriental rugs as a suspect. He was arrested as he stepped off a steamer returning from Shanghai and was found to be carrying a very large quantity of 1928 shillings in his luggage. A further search of his premises unearthed more of the counterfeit coins and he and two business associates were duly charged. Although only two were convicted all three were eventually deported "and warned that neither they, nor any of their relatives would ever be allowed to enter Australia again."

It seems the likely course that 'new' or uncirculated 1928 shillings would have been purged from the banking system to extract the forgeries from circulation leaving only the more worn examples to survive. This would explain why so few 1928 Shillings have survived in high grade but as a circulated coin it is not particularly scarce.

How many of the counterfeit shillings made it into circulation cannot be determined, but on reports it would seem probable that the official mintage of 1928 (M) shillings was somewhat augmented by an undisclosed number of 1928 (S) shillings struck unofficially in Swatow.