Estimated reading time: 3 minutes
The hunt for specific Australian decimal coins has Dr Jade Sun of Totally Smiles in Pakenham, Victoria, frequently checking the change in her pockets.
“In 1967 there was a competition to design a new Australian $1 coin. It went to a popular vote and was won by the Goose Dollar. For some reason, the Australian Mint went with a different design, but a private company minted 1500 Goose Dollars. I’ve been hunting for this coin for a while and it’s become my personal white whale. I had the opportunity to purchase one a few years ago, but it was in poor condition so I turned it down. Unfortunately, I’ve come to the realisation that there aren’t any Goose Dollars in good condition. The other problem is that they now sell for about $1500 each.
“I started seriously collecting Australian decimal coins about 10 years ago. I’m not trying to collect every decimal coin, just the ones that interest me. At present, I have thousands of coins in my collection. The rare coins are in booklets and special folders, but I also have big tubs of loose coins. It’s not well organised, but I have my own system. I collect for myself—I don’t display them.
“I own several round 50-cent coins that were minted in 1966. They stopped production after that first year when they realised the value of the silver in the coin was worth more than the face value. Today, they are worth about $12 each in just silver value, generally paying more for numismatic value.
“I tend to check my change carefully when out shopping and often find $2 coins that are worth about $30 each. All my really good coins, however, are purchased from another collector or coin store. I’m also a member of a few Facebook coin collecting forums that often give me a hot lead.
“The Mint has realised there’s a big coin collecting community in Australia willing to pay for new variations of coins. It felt like they were releasing new coloured coins every month and I used to try and collect them all. I soon gave that up and only collect coins that interest me, such as space-related coins and ones with a red poppy.
“Coin collecting appeals to me because there’s a history to coins. Something like the Goose Dollar has a great story attached to it and tells us a little bit of how things used to be. I also consider it a personal achievement when I collect a coin and it goes up in value. If I was to sell my collection, it’s worth more than what I paid for it. Not that I’ve ever sold any of my coins and have no intention of selling any in the future, much to my husband’s dismay!”