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Rare Australian Pattern Penny
By Kerry Rodgers

Collectors of pattern coins and trials need to take a long hard look at Roxbury’s catalog for the firm’s May 22 Queensland auction. It includes an Australian classic, an example of the 1937 uniface, reverse and pattern for Australia’s penny showing a bounding kangaroo (SCWC Pn24).

This was the first time this Australian icon had appeared - by itself - on any Commonwealth coin. It would remain as the reverse design for the penny and halfpenny until 1964. At the Royal Mint a series of different patterns were struck of Kruger Gray’s incisive but simple design. All are excessively rare with very few in private hands. The Standard Catalog entry for this item does not differentiate between the four possible patterns.

The uniface version comes with the word MODEL across the coin’s obverse as shown here. However, it exists with both a hole drilled in the planchet or unholed. The 2007 edition of Renniks Australian Coin and Banknote Values give the mintage of the uniface “model’ as 8 and with a value as A$110,000. However, this catalog does not distinguish holed from unholed.

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