M on reverse below date|
There are several die varieties of the 1919 florins and the varieties are very
difficult to classify.
John Dean1 lists three varieties
which differ according to the slope of the nines in the date and the position of
the second 1 with respect to the mint mark and provides photographs. Robert Clarke2 also lists three varieties but
he is rather cryptic in is descriptions of the variations:
a First 19 closeand doesn't elaborate or provide a picture. In my own collection I have eleven specimens of this coin and they represent at least six varieties. That is an extraordinary number for such a small sample.
b Wide date
Obviously, my 1919 florins were struck by six different coining dies and the
differences in the coins reflect differences in the dies. There is something rather
peculiar about the 1919 issue. There are no observed or reported varieties of the
1916, 1917 and 1918 florins suggesting in each case that a single derivative master
die had been made, then a punch which was used to create the working dies. In 1919
there may have been a departure from that practice, and a reversion to the technique
apparently used in the Royal Mint for the earlier issues where the final two digits
of the date were hand-punched onto the working dies. This regression may have been
prompted by the planned issue, which was lower than any of the three earlier Melbourne
There is a lot of conjecture in the paragraphs above and
I invite commentary and correction. My remarks are based solely on observations
of a limited number of coins.
See detailed illustration below.
Second 19 slopes left. Second 1 directly over rim bead.
Second 19 slopes left. Second 1 over gap between rim beads.
2nd 1 (nearly) upright and positioned over a rim bead. 2nd 9 slopes left.
2nd 1 upright and positioned over the gap between two rim beads. 2nd 9 slopes
left. 2nd 1 close to 1st 9.
2nd 1 slopes slightly right. Both 9s slope right. 2nd 1 over rim bead.
2nd 1 slopes slightly right. Both 9s slope right. 2nd 1 over gap between rim