These Rare Australian Coins Are Worth Thousands Today
— Updated on 4 October 2023

These Rare Australian Coins Are Worth Thousands Today

— Updated on 4 October 2023
Nick Kenyon
WORDS BY
Nick Kenyon

For most of us, the idea of carrying loose change in our pockets has moved from being handy for parking, to an annoyance that makes you only want to use your card. However, that change takes on a whole new meaning when you consider that some of the best rare Australian coins in Australian history are actually both collectable and highly valuable.

The coin-collecting market has been hot in recent years but has been supercharged following the passing of Queen Elizabeth II last September, with a number of coins from the Royal Australian Mint that celebrated her Coronation and Platinum Jubilee skyrocketing in value. With the coronation of King Charles III having taken place in May this year and the updated currency set to arrive by the end of this year, rare Australian coins depicting Queen Elizabeth II are expected to continue to rise in value, while the first coins depicting King Charles III will establish an entirely new collecting market.

One of the other drivers of the increase in interest in coin collecting has been a Perth teacher by the name of Joel Kandiah, who has amassed a huge following of more than 130,000 followers on TikTok (@thehistoryofmoney) and 66,000 followers on Instagram (@thehistoryof_money). As a self-confessed numismatist and coin-noodler, he’s been collecting coins for nearly three decades and has taken to the platforms to educate his followers on the intricacies of collecting coins and the most valuable coins to look out for.

Rare Australian Coins
Image credit: pirate.australiacoins.org

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Because while you think finding a valuable coin or two the next time you pay for your coffee with a note is easy, they’re rarer than you might think. Of the 15 billion coins that were minted during the 70 years of the Queen’s reign, just 1%-5% of those are considered rare or special.

With that in mind, let’s take a look at a few of the best rare Australian coins to keep an eye out for. Decimal currency might not be as practical or convenient as it once was, but that doesn’t mean some coins aren’t more valuable than they’ve ever been.



$2 Coins

2012 Red Poppy $2 Coins

Why It’s Special: You’ve probably seen one of these red poppy coins before, as a two-dollar coin with a flash of red on its surface that was released to commemorate Remembrance Day. Released in two versions both without a mintmark and with a ‘C’ mintmark, the circulation of the red poppy coin was never very large, making folks hot for these two-dollar coins.

Mintage: 503,000

Market Price: “They are selling for between $150 and $370.” Mr Kandiah explained in an interview.


2013 Purple Coronation $2 Coin

Rare Australian Coins

Why It’s Special: The 2013 Purple Coronation 2-dollar coin was the very first time that the Royal Australian Mint released a coloured coin, with a distinct purple stripe on its surface. These rare coins have also seen an absolutely crazy jump in interest following the Queen’s passing, with the two coins we’ve just mentioned enjoying a hefty combined price.

Mintage: 995,000

Market Price: “Its value has shot up to $75 to $180,” Kandiah said in the same interview.


2015 Lest We Forget $2 Coin

Rare Australian Coins

Why It’s Special: “This coin was made to commemorate the centenary of the landing at Gallipoli,” says Kandiah in a post. “This coin is full of powerful imagery, with LEST WE FORGET in the middle, surrounded by a red circle.”

Mintage: 1.46 million

Market Price: $20 to $50


2008 or 2009 Double Struck $2 Dollar Coins

Rare Australian Coins
Image credit: australian-coins.com

Why It’s Special: In a break from coins linked specifically to the Royal Family, another corner of collecting rare currency is what is known as “double-struck” coins, where the coin has been stamped twice. Because of the rarity of these coins slipping through the Mint’s control processes, they command a hefty price.

Mintage: Unknown, but very rare.

Market Price: Up to $3,000


$1 Coins

2000 $1/10c Mule

Rare Australian Coins
Image credit: thepurplepenny.com

Why It’s Special: “A batch of $1 dollar coins from the year 2000 had been mistakenly produced using the incorrect obverse die (the heads side) and subsequently entered circulation,” says Kandiah in an Instagram post. “Astonishingly, this error went unnoticed for a year or two.

“Distinguishing a 2000 $1 / 10 cent mule from a regular $1 coin is relatively straightforward. The smaller 10 cent die results in a pronounced double rim around the obverse of the coin.”

Mintage: Estimated between 6,000 and 7,000.

Market Price: $300 to $3,000


2002 Year of the Outback “Coloured Proof” $1 Coin

Image credit: aussiecoinsdirect.com.au

Why It’s Special: Designed by Elizabeth Robinson and Wojciech Pietranik, this coin was released in an uncirculated pack of six coins and is made special thanks to the blue and red colours printed across the map of Australia.

“It is a very common coin, with 34 million of them minted, however, there is a coloured version in the mint proof set,” explains Kandiah in a video.

Mintage: 39,513 (34 million of the non-coloured version)

Market Price: $80 to $460


50c Coins

2022 Queen’s Platinum Jubilee 50c Coin

Why It’s Special: Released last year to celebrate 70 years on the throne of Queen Elizabeth II, this coin was uncirculated and originally retailed for $12.50, but remains one of the most collectable new rare Australian coins.

Mintage: 70,000

Market Price: $70 to $100


2000 Millennium ‘Recessed’ 50c Coin

Why It’s Special: To mark the turn of the millennium, a 50c coin bearing the Australian flag was released, however, while most had the central cross on the flag raised, a small number had the central cross recessed as well as larger and smoother stars. “200,000 of those (16.6 million coins) have a rare error,” explained Kandiah, giving you a good reason to keep an eye out for one.

Mintage: 200,000 (out of 16.6 million total)

Market Price: $25 to $1,500 (professionally graded)


20c Coins

1966 Wavy Baseline 20c Coin

Why It’s Special: This is one of the rarest Australian coins there are, and one that’s understood to be very valuable. “Turn (a 1966 20c coin) over to the tails side and look at the bottom of the number ‘2’,” says Kandiah in a post about the coin. “At the top of the base, if it’s wavy, you’re going to be in the money.”

As the decimal currency we know today was first introduced in 1966, it’s believed the “wavy” variation could be an early pressing error.

Mintage: Unknown, but very rare.

Market Price: $250 to $4,000


5c Coins

2007 Double Headed Australian 5 Cent Coin

Image credit: thepurplepenny.com

Why It’s Special: “A 2007 5c coin with two heads! Unbelievable! [They’re] very hard to come across because the mint processes are so stringent now, to find error coins in this day and age is incredible,” explains Kandiah about these rare coins. If you spot one, you could be in the money.

Mintage: Unknown, but very rare.

Market Price: $3,000


Coin Collector Sets

2019 “Effigies Over Time” 6-Coin Collector Set

Why It’s Special: Another set of rare Australian Coins coins linked to our late Monarch is the “Effigies Over Time” set, which includes all six Australian coins with different depictions of the Queen’s effigy as it evolved from 1953 to 2019.

Mintage: 14’736

Market Price: $250 to $1,000


2019 50th Anniversary Of The Dodecagon 50c Coin Pack

Why It’s Special: This uncirculated coin pack was released in 2019 to mark the 50th anniversary of the famed dodecagon-shaped coin, featuring a genuine gold-plated 50c coin and the five different effigies of Queen Elizabeth II featured since 1969.

“Each of the coins are dated 2019, so it’s strange seeing different effigies with that date,” says Kandiah about the set.

Mintage: 20,000

Market Price: $150 to $500


Rare Australian Coins — Frequently Asked Questions

Which Australian coins are valuable?

There are very valuable coins in almost every denomination, but some of the rarest and most valuable coins are $2 and 50c coins thanks to special editions and error printings.

What are the rarest $2 Australian coins?

What $1 Aus coins are rare?

Two of the rarest $1 Australian coins are:

Nick Kenyon
WORDS by
Nick Kenyon is the Editor of Boss Hunting, joining the team after working as the Deputy Editor of luxury watch magazine Time+Tide. He has a passion for watches, with other interests across style, sports and more. Get in touch at nick (at) luxity.com.au

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