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1934 Proof Threepence

George V


1934 marked the third year proof coins would be struck at the Melbourne mint for collectors. Fifty sets were prepared for New Zealand coin dealer H. G. Williams (Verheyen, T, V, 2009) , it is unclear whether any more sets were produced as mint records don't indicate any direct sales to the public. H. G. Williams on sold these sets in a 1936 price list cover for 6/6, interestingly described as mint state as opposed to proof as with the New Zealand Waitangi Crown (Verheyen, T, V, 2009) . This is perhaps because they were described as specimen coins by the Melbourne mint , but they were certainly produced from specially prepared dies and did not endure the handling process, enough to classify them as proof , but minute imperfections are often found, in particular on the larger denominations indicating that the care taken in their manufacture was limited. Whether they were ever intended to be proof or specimen coins is uncertain, but they are certainly different from regular business strikes and command strong premiums accordingly. The proof 1934 threepence features a mirror reverse finish with a frosted relief caused by visibly thick die polishing striations while the obverse features a matte to semi-matte finish, depending on how early the strike is. Due to the lack of concavity in the die , caused by die polishing, the center is almost never struck up well, with weakness particularly around the top and bottom of the shield. The obverse rarely has more than 6 pearls visible with the 2nd and 4th sets generally unclear and heavy die polishing often causes the mustache to merge with the cheek and wears down the top of the nose to merge with the fields. The proof 1934 threepence is much scarcer than most collectors realize with a tiny mintage of 50 coins, appearing on the open market roughly 3 or 4 times per decade and is one of only two years, the other being the 1916-M, that commercial proofs of this type and denomination were manufactured. The Melbourne mint also struck 1,616,000 business strike threepence in 1934.

A coin struck from specially prepared dies to strike a superior quality coin not intended for circulationa facility that produces coinsA coin struck from an early circulation die state, not intended for circulationA cylindrical punch with an inverted impression of a coin's design used to strike the coinThe tails side of the coinThe raised part of a coin's designThe heads side of the coinThe number of coins struck of a particular designation(Verheyen, T, V, 2009)
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