This post is getting a bit long in the tooth now – it was written in Dec, 2020 – however much of the information is still relevant today.
Australia Florin KGV 1932 – KM# 27
The scarcest Australian florin
There’s no doubting that the 1932 is the toughest date of all the Australian florins – a measly 188,000 were produced. No surprise then that this coin commands a hefty premium and has done for ages, even in the lower grades (VG to F).
In fact you hardly ever see them in VF or higher – as an example, at the local auction house I can only remember one in aEF being offered over the last 4 years, and it sold for AUD 700 (in that period around a dozen low end ’32s sold). I didn’t buy that coin – it’s not the one in the photos, but it was in similar condition.
At that time the catalogue value for VF was AUD 1150 and AUD 3750 for EF, which was down on 2013 estimates by a couple of hundred dollars and there’s been little change up to today.
Let’s face it – not too many people are really able to throw a thousand dollars at a coin, even a rare one like the ’32. Still if you want a complete Aussie florin set, you basically have to have one and here is where it gets more interesting.
At the lower end of the market – where the coins on offer are in VG (or maybe worse!!!) – the price action has gone the other way…yes, the poorer examples are becoming more valuable!
The book quoted a VG ’32 around AUD 185 in 2013 – increasing to AUD 225 last year – no change in the 30th edition (2020). Speaking of this year, at least one of the contacts I trust for selling currently wants around AUD 350 for VG+ examples, although to be fair the product is reliably that grade and that seller has been in the business a long time…so maybe they know something….
Seller’s market now ?
What’s going on…? Well it would seem that there are now enough collectors seeking the lower graded coins to seriously affect the worth of the dwindling supply. The florin is far and away the most popular of the Aussie silver predecimals and a complete set is very achievable but it just might be getting harder to do. We may have reached the tipping point where the run of the mill ’32, even though there are more of them, starts to push up in value a lot until it reaches a new plateau…who knows ?!?
Anyway, I reckon if you are able to it’s well worth shelling out for the ’32 sooner rather than later – I’ve noticed that online you used to have a choice of VG coins generally being sold off around AUD 200 or even less. Not any more – those that have come up for online auction, say, in the last 6 months are more like AUD 220-250. Those that are fixed price offerings are basically another hundred on top of that and they are now the majority of what’s available. Back in 2016 I had the opportunity to buy at the local auction for AUD 160 whereas these days just the opening bid is more like AUD 200 – and there are a lot fewer being let go, too.
Then there are coins you can check out closely at shows and markets – they tend to be much closer to the F grade and the price is accordingly usually well into the three hundreds.
My final piece of circumstantial evidence is the fact that pretty much anyone that has these prized florins available will not move much, if at all, on their asking price – they know (even if only by instinct!) that the supply is limited so it looks like a seller’s market and probably not going to change, either…