Rare 1923 Australian Half Penny Coin Sells for $500,000

by Coinworks on February 24, 2009 · 50 comments

Coinworks has just sold the Proof 1923 Halfpenny for a world record price of $500,000. The only proof example of Australia’s rarest halfpenny available to collectors, the iconic copper was quickly snapped up by a prominent Sydney family.

Australian Proof 1923 Halfpenny

The family’s story is not merely one of Australian history, but how a passion for collecting can comfortably co-exist with informed investment.

One member of the family spearheads the interest in rare coins, that interest commencing at the age of seven when the grandmother died, leaving a small tin of sovereigns. The grandmother’s gift seeded a collecting spirit that endures to this day; the sovereigns still part of the family’s holding.

The family members share a passion for history, their forebears having arrived as free settlers in the penal colony of New South Wales in 1855. Driven by that passion and their quest for rarity, the family has acquired some of Australia’s greatest coins, guided in their choices by Coinworks.

Because Australians love their coppers, the Proof 1923 Halfpenny will take a special place in their holding. But it won’t be the only talking point in a collection that includes another very famous copper, the Proof 1930 Penny.

Top silver coins are well represented by the 1920 Pattern Star Florin and 1920 Pattern Star Shilling, the 1919 Pattern Shilling, 1788 Holey Dollar and Dumps and a cased 1916 Specimen-Proof Set. Gold has not been forgotten with a superb 1852 Adelaide Pound and the 1855 Proof Sovereign and Half Sovereign pair.

While the half million paid for the Proof 1923 Halfpenny may seem to be a bit mind numbing, the coin has been acquired at a price level that will embrace growth.

The Proof 1923 Halfpenny made its first public appearance at an Australian auction in July 1998 sharing the catalogue’s front cover with another great rarity, the 1924 £1000 banknote. While the 1923 Proof Halfpenny sold for $89,100 in July ‘98, the same auction enticed a buyer to pay $94,600 for the £1000. As a point of comparison, that same £1000 banknote sold in 2007 for 1.22 million. (12.8 times the price paid in ‘98) You do the math!

And there are plenty more examples out of this July 1998 auction to suggest that the new buyer has spent their half million wisely. A Proof 1923 Penny sold in the same auction for $9900. Value today is $100,000.

We sold a Proof 1951 Perth Penny a few months ago for $53,000; the same coin selling in 1998 for $7040. So too the Type 9 Square Penny that was bought for $16,500 and now commands $160,000. Which tells us that, in the main, top proofs and patterns are today valued between seven to ten times the prices realised in July 1998.

Over the years the family has made some very gutsy decisions with their buys, such as the purchase of the Proof 1930 Penny for $620,000. They admit that at the time they were shocked at the price being asked for a single coin. And yet, many years on, they have spent a comparable amount to acquire its small denomination counterpart, the Proof 1923 Halfpenny.

They have never veered from their buying principles. The family chooses their coins as they choose their real estate … wisely. That means targeting those coins that combine historical relevance with high quality and rarity in the knowledge that it is these coins that will ultimately fulfil the family’s investment objectives.

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{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

lunaticg February 24, 2009 at 9:31 pm

That family sound so passionate about collecting their coin. Nowadays, it is hard to find a rare coin and with a beautiful coin like that it is certainly a worthy investment.
Thank you for sharing this one.

curious June 16, 2009 at 1:47 am

My family have the exact same coin but made in 1921 not 1923 so should my coin have more value and be more rarer than this one posted?

One Half Penny 1921
Posted: One Half Penny 1923

Mark Bickel July 26, 2009 at 2:34 pm

I have a 1924 half penny, looks exactly like the 1923 half penny.How can I get more info.

Karbanowicz August 4, 2009 at 4:02 am

Due to the odd number of the 1923 half penny and the amount made by the mint the 1923 half penny is worth much more..

The year of the coin doesn’t necessarily determine its value, to find out more info research!

DENNIS TRUJILLO December 11, 2009 at 11:28 am


Joan February 19, 2010 at 12:44 am

I have a 1929 half penny anyone know the value

Carlo August 12, 2010 at 7:03 am

I have possesion of a 1923 (One PENNY) Commonwealth of Australia GEORGIVS V.D.G.BRITT:OMN:REX F.D.IND.IMP.
Could you please advise me what the value could be



nick August 14, 2010 at 11:09 pm

i got a 1924 AUSTRAILAIN ONE HALF pennie can any one tell me how much it is worth?

rosa September 3, 2010 at 3:46 pm

i have 1924 australia one penny how much it worth?

james d evans September 20, 2010 at 9:38 pm

i have a 1923 Australian one penny, in excellant condition [ i don’t know the grades ], could anyone tell me what it could be worth ?

Jiten Mhatre September 22, 2010 at 6:52 am

I have 1921 One Half Penny of Commonwealth of Australia, can you tell me how much it worth today?

Sue September 28, 2010 at 3:08 am

I have 1921 One Half Penny ,anyone tell me how much it worth now?

james d evans September 28, 2010 at 8:26 am

how many of the 1923 Australian one penny’s were minted and what makes them worth so much money ?

Sue October 1, 2010 at 10:28 am

Can you see Australia’s coin ? If anyone interested to buy please feels free to contact me at supraneemn@yahoo.com

Simone Minarelli October 19, 2010 at 11:47 pm

Could you please tell me what a 1921 penny is worth?

jackie November 13, 2010 at 3:45 pm

i have a 1924 half penny,what is it worth

Melissa November 25, 2010 at 4:34 am

hey i have a how a few soveriegns half pennys and one pennys.
what are the best years in all of these?
there is one particualar sov that is in excellent condition dating 1892 ? what does that mean?

Harkamal December 7, 2010 at 4:22 pm

I have a 1924 commonwealth one penny is good condition, about how much would that be worth?

Joy December 26, 2010 at 8:49 pm

Hi, To all I have a 1923 one penny in good cond,also 1924 one penny and 1934 one penny.Also 1927,1926,1922 one half penny.also 1914,1925,1943 three pence.And 1922,1943,1945 sixpence.Also 1901 English Farthing.And 1874 Farthing.And 1928 Irish Republic 1Shilling.and others,could some one please tell me of the value.

Gaye December 28, 2010 at 9:52 pm

I have three Australian half pennys

1920 with picture of person holding three pronged fork.
all appear to have been in circulation. can you please advise their worth.
thankyou, Gaye Adomeit

Lek May 8, 2011 at 11:48 pm

I have a Commonwealth of Australia One Penny 1914 coin. Do you think it has value? If so how much.

Please advise. Thank you.

Trevor June 23, 2011 at 10:43 pm

I have a 1917,1943,1945,and a 1960 half pennies what are they worth.

Ian July 12, 2011 at 6:53 am

I’ve just rattled through an old coin tin and found a 1923 halfpenny what would its value be (not new)

Peter August 17, 2011 at 11:36 pm

Hi Ian,
It would all depend on the grade. In worn circulated condition, say VG, I’d guess about $1000. Price scaling up from there to the half mil for a proof.
For everyone wanting a guesstimate price I’d suggest you check out McDonald’s Coins book. It’s a good place to start. Cheers

Tim August 20, 2011 at 8:19 am

I am happy to sell my 1921 one half penny for a fraction of that price.

Emily November 9, 2011 at 6:50 pm

I have a 1914 Commonwealth of Australia one penny, could you tell me how much is it worth?

Rhonda Bamford November 12, 2011 at 6:29 pm

I have a 1929 Australian half penny and would like to know how much it could be worth please.


luke December 26, 2011 at 10:24 am

I have an Australian penny 1911 in excellent condition. An Australian penny 1958 in reasonable condition. An Australian penny 1943 in good condition and an Australian halfpenny 1950 in excellent condition. Could I get a rough value for these?

BRETT December 28, 2011 at 9:25 am

Hi i have many old coins ,i also have a 1935 half penny in good condition just wondering what they are worth cheers Brett

BRETT December 28, 2011 at 9:26 am

Hi i have many old coins i need valued…i also have a 1935 half penny what are they worth

Jessi January 13, 2012 at 5:37 am

Hey I have a 1919 One Penny Georgivs V D C Britt: coin does anyone know what it is worth????

Jodi pitman January 19, 2012 at 11:04 am

Hi, I need some direction. I have quite a few of Australian Shillings dating from 1952 to 1960. Also commonwealth Australian penny dated from 1902 onwards, half penny’s etc, I would like some advice in where to take my coins to get them valued please. Anyone. Help. Thanks for your time Jodi

Jodi pitman January 19, 2012 at 11:23 am

Hi, I need some direction. I have quite a few of Australian Shillings dating from 1952 to 1960. Also commonwealth Australian penny dated from 1902 onwards, half penny’s etc, I would like some advice in where to take my coins to get them valued please. Anyone. Help. Thanks for your time Jodi, oh and I have a half penny dated 1919

blake July 10, 2012 at 6:05 am

Hello i have just found a australian 1924 penny and was wondering how much it is worth


Dehavalynn Alce August 4, 2012 at 6:19 pm

I have a 1913 and 1926 Commonwealth of Australia Georgvis V.D.G. britt half penny. How can I find out if these coins are worth something.

Matt September 17, 2012 at 3:14 am

I have a 1927 proof half penny, does anyone know how much that may be worth? It’s not in mint condition and has a couple of little scrathes.


debbie November 10, 2012 at 10:09 pm

hi there not sure if anyone gets answered here but same here i have
1917 one 1/2 penny,1954 1/2 penny,1952 penny, 1957 penny,1943 1/2 penny.
all been in circulation but not damaged.
new zealand 1943,
american one cent 1957.
any ideas on values.

jennifer November 18, 2012 at 1:08 pm

we have 2 1923 half pennys..they are well used, unfortunately,one more than the other..would there still be a value on these..thankyou for your time..

Jeron Hille December 7, 2012 at 11:28 pm

I have 3 1939 Half Penny Roo’s in my possession.They are of very good quality and would like to know what they are worth.. I also have nearly the whole collection of 1911-1964 Half Pennies..Can someone tell me where I can get a 1923 half penny for around a $1000 with a Authenticity Certificate by chance..Ready to buy to complete my set and carry on..Keeping for investment purposes..Look forward to anyone who can help me Thank you

cherie gibbs February 7, 2013 at 3:22 pm

I have a 1923 half penny, and a 1946 penny I don’t understand the terms
used to describe them, they aren’t mint.

Shell February 9, 2013 at 10:40 am

could someone please tell me if any of following coins are worth anything or even keeping
COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA 1911,2X 1913,1920, 2X 1922, 1933,1934

and many many more

Cornelius Seboza March 9, 2013 at 4:51 am

I’ve got a 1943 australian rare half-penny coin sealed ├Źn a Green/or Blue Sheet uncirculated. Pls advice what its worth/cost is.

Thank you,

Delsiana Garoa June 2, 2013 at 3:25 am

I have 200plus pennies, half pennies, shillings altogether. I want to find a place or auction to sell all of them. Could u advice pls? Thanx

Ken June 16, 2013 at 4:40 am

Can someone let me know if the following Australian coins are worth anything ?
Penny coins: Half Penny coins:
1912 1921
1927 1950
1933 1954

ronnie August 24, 2013 at 5:37 am

hi all to have posted seeking values for their coins,

most of the coins you are asking about is worth its bullion value i.e its weight in copper ( a few cents ) even if the coin looks the same, is one year off from a coin you see is worth $100K – it’s still most probably worth next to nothing – unless of course it is great condition. For those of you new to collecting, you would not be able to determine what “great condition” is. It is very subjective and even dealers can disagree on a coin’s condition.

a coin’s value is determined by its rarity and availability, condition and probably most importantly, its demand.

so, unfortunately for most of you who have found an old coin the looks nearly 100 years old – it is probably not worth much. to put it into perspective, you get roman coins that are 2000 years old for about $10.

The best analogy i can use to explain why a coin the looks very similar to another that is worth a lot of money is….

imagine you have a winning lottery ticket worth $1 million and another lottery ticket that looks the same and is one number off…. get it? :D all the best

Anne Thompson February 24, 2014 at 5:45 pm

I have a 1921 half penny, can anyone advise me on what this coin would be worth today.

Sarah Cashion June 10, 2014 at 9:13 pm


I found half penny copper (1954) coin Australia while we renovating our house. Front coin (say Elizabeth and back coin Half Penny Australia) I wondering how much it worth for me to sell it please.


chris August 9, 2014 at 6:12 am

I have a 1923 half penny in very good condition how much is it worth and how can I sell it and how would buy it im in Sydney could u please let me know thank u

Scott August 16, 2014 at 2:48 am

Hi there fellow collectors,

I was going through my grandfathers coins as he got me started on this he’s no longer with us But I came across a 1934 Brass Georgivs V D.C. Britt. On the other side it’s got a weird tinge of blue depends on the angle of light you hold it under. Anyway it reads commonwealth of Australia One Penny The thing I’ve never seen is its got a clamp type device that protects the coins edge made of the same material.

Can anyone give me an idea what it is that I actually posses.

Regards: Scott

angie January 1, 2015 at 9:13 pm


My Nanna has a tin full of pennies including a shilling, half pennies and a Third penny. The oldest date is 1911 but there are so many different dates how can I find out there value?

Any info would be great thanks!

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