Australia 1934-35 Type II Florin PCGS MS63

This particular finish appears to be unique in Centenary Florins – a special strike known as the type II with matt satin finish. This extremely rare example appears to illustrate the experimentation conducted by Melbourne Mint staff. Not only did they produce superior coins for premium paying collectors, they also appeared to have produced different planchet finishes. The only comparison that can be made is to Matt finishes made popular by the French and then seen in US Mints, like the following rare example:

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 on the left against a normal polished type 2 example. 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 special strikes. Typically they come with the brushed metal and 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 a previous example 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: