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1930 Penny - King of Australian Coins

By CAA    |   Monday, 12 October 2020

Even if no 1930 penny were ordered, at the end of 1929, the Mint made the dies for a 1930 penny and struck a few of them. The most famous of all the Australian Commonwealth circulating coins, the 1930 pre-decimal penny, was minted at around 3,000 examples (source: PCGS and Krause) for circulation and 6 in proof finish. Mostly because of the Great Depression which began in October 1929, there was no need for that coin. The 1929 and a small number of 1930 pennies were released into circulation at the same time in 1929.

The now famous 1930 penny was the result of experimental work undertaken to produce better pennies for the 1930s.

- Bill Mullett, Notes on Australian Pre-decimal Coinage, Journal of the Australian Numismatic Society, 1996

Prices Realized

Penny 1930 - Australian coin

Circulation Strikes

There were technical problems in producing coins and some usable experimental 1930 reverse dies and both types of obverse (called English and Indian) dies were used. The best certified example known is a PCGS AU-50 (Indian Obverse) which sold for $AUD86,000 on April 14, 2016. If an uncirculated example is found, it will probably reach more than AUD$125,000.

1930 penny sold at auctions

The English Obverse variety is less common than the Indian one.

  • English
    • PCGS: 2 certified - EF-40 and EF-45
    • NGC: 0 certified
  • Indian
    • PCGS: 70 certified - AU-50 highest
    • NGC: 2 certified - EF-45 highest

Be aware, several fakes exist.

Proof Examples

The 1930 proof penny is sometimes called the King of Australian Coins. Out of 6, only two examples are in private hands since 2005. The others are in institutional collections including:

  • British Museum, London
  • Science Museum of Victoria
  • Art Gallery of South Australia
Historical sales

$16,000 AUD


$100,000 AUD


$150,000 AUD


$126,500 AUD


$247,500 AUD


$281,000 AUD


$806,000 AUD


This specimen was removed from the British Museum's Collection.

$800,000 AUD


$1,050,000 AUD



  • Mint: Melbourne
  • Weight: 9.45g
  • Diameter : 30.8mm
  • Edge: Smooth
  • Engraver: Obverse: Sir E. B. MacKennel, Reverse: W. H. J. Blakemore
  • KM #: 23

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