Australia 1934-35 Florin PCGS MS63

This particular finish appears to be unique in Centenary Florins – an experienced dealer was surprised to see it graded – he thought it was coated in PVC! What this coin appears to be is a Type 2, partially prepared proof die with a reverse SATIN or MATT finish. What can now be related in the experimentation conducted by Melbourne Mint staff is that they not only produced superior coins for premium paying collectors, they also produced different planchet finishes.

Some collectors might think of mother-of-pearl when they see the shimmering reflection. A comparative image below illustrates the unique reverse finish on this type 2 die on the right compared to a well struck 3C reverse die on the left. It’s not a dusty patina either – this coin was removed from its slabbed and dipped to restore to mint metal (click on the image for a large version):

What is the Type 2 proof like die?

The Melbourne Mint was under strict deadlines from the Centenary Committee to produce these coins in a very limited period of time – 4 months. That included design, master die production and expedited shipping from England! Acceptance of the Centenary Florin was low and it is only grace of a retailer by the name of Foy & Gibson – handing these florins out in change – that Australia saw 53,000 coins made available to collectors.

At the same time, a New Zealand dealer ordered some 50 to 60 coins, largely for American collectors. In response to this collector demand, the Melbourne Mint produced two superior sets of dies that, while looking far better than the ordinary strikes, do not meet the definition of proof quality. These dies have been conveniently labelled Type 1 and Type 2 “proof-like”.

They are partially prepared proof dies, but without the careful double strike that marks a proof coin, they are better labelled superior business strikes or specimen quality coins. Typically, they come with the brushed metal or highly polished, semi-cameo finishing. The Type 2 proof-like is denoted by the die marker behind the rider’s foot – a scratch on the horse’s belly. The Type 2 proof-like below is the finest example yet sold by Top End Coins for $1250 in 2020 (click on the image for a larger version):

You can check the certificate of this 1934-35 florin by clicking on the following link: