The 1939 Old Reverse half penny is the 2nd coin of a two part series produced by the Melbourne Mint while waiting for Kruger Gray's new Kangaroo design to be approved. While over 4 million pieces were produced, the coin tends to be scarcer than the 1938 especially if sought in mint state. One bank roll of 1939 half pennies has surfaced which accounts for their availability in mint state, in particular with mint brilliance.
The date is usually quite well struck up and mint state examples tend to range around the MS64 level, a full grade higher than the typical 1938 grading. This is most likely due to the fact that mint state 1939 half pennies tend to originate from the aforementioned bank roll while mint state 1938 half pennies tend to be pieces hoarded from circulation. This type continues until the last few months of 1939 where it was replaced with the Kangaroo Reverse. The Melbourne mint also produced a proof of record strike as part of a 6 coin set from half penny to florin bearing the old Reverse and later produced commercial proofs bearing the Kangaroo reverse.
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