The 1922 half penny is one of the easier dates in the series owing to its high initial mintage of almost 7 million coins. It is available right up to MS66 thanks to two bank rolls surfacing but most of the coins were toned brown and finding higher grade examples with original mint brilliance can be quite difficult. If original mint brilliance is not required, this coin makes an excellent type coin due to its availability in MS65 and up. The date is sometimes very softly struck, particularly noticeable around the pearls of the crown of King George V. This may limit the grading of a mint state coin to MS64 but such examples were not from either of the surfaced mint rolls so one must be careful not to confuse a worn coin with artificial colour with a softly struck piece. Like the 1919 , 1920 and 1921 half pennies, the 1922 suffers from a central strike weakness but also some softness around the rim.
The above illustrations show the typical central strike weakness of 1922 half pennies, this doesn't affect all 1922 half pennies but most are affected by a soft obverserim.
The above illustration, the obverse of an NGC MS66 1922 half penny shows the typical soft rim of a 1922 half penny on even the finest gems. The Sydney mint also produced a specimen strike in 1922.
Throughout 1922 the Melbourne branch of the Royal Mint was undergoing a substantial upgrade. Some of the new additions included - two large furnaces to be used for bronze and nickel, two new electric rolling mills, and six new coin presses.(The Argus, 1922) This new equipment was imported from around the world and further consolidated the premier position of the Melbourne Mint. The new rolling mills, for example, were produced by the company 'Robinson Bros.'(The Argus, 1922) The company was a mechanical engineering powerhouse in the United Kingdom and had been heavily involved in the industrialisation of Japan following the Meiji Restoration, including the construction of a Mint in Osaka.(Meg Vivers, 2015) The rolling mills at Melbourne Mint were driven by electric motors connected to the City Council's power station. This was a substantial upgrade from the existing mills which had been powered by a steam engine which had been installed fifty years earlier.(The Argus, 1922)
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