The 1919 florins

Mint mark
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 close
b Wide date
and 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.

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 mintings.

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.

Reverse of 1919 florin


See detailed illustration below.

Detail of the date showing at least six varieties.


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 beads.

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Most recent revision: 27th December 1999
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