The Victoria/Melbourne Centennial Florin was Australia's second commemorative florin and has the lowest mintage for the entire florin series. The centennial represented Australia's first two settlements of Victoria in 1834 and Melbourne in 1835.
Initially 75,000 coins were struck for the Centenary Council, to be sold and distributed by them at a shilling above face value with the profits going to the Council. By early 1935 only 11,000 had been sold and thhe Centenary Council were told that the remaining unsold coins would be melted down in 6 weeks time if they had not been sold.
Eventually, a local department store (Foy and Gibson) came to the Councils aid by placing a request for 30,000 coins as part of a special store promotion for customers. Eventually the Council sold an additional 13,000 coins and returned 21,000 coins that were melted down leaving a net mintage of 54,000 coins.
The standard florin of that time was already using a bust image of George V for the obverse design (by Sir E. B. MacKenna) but the Victoria/Melbourne Centennial used a unique bust design created by Percy Metcalfe as well as a different legend on the outer periphery “GEORGE V KING EMPEROR”.
The reverse, designed by George Kruger Gray, features a young man bearing a torch while riding on a horse. Near the horses bottom hoof are the designer's initials “KG” while on the outer periphery is the legend “CENTENARY VICTORIA MELBOURNE 1934-35”.
General Market Notes
Coins carry a premium due to low a mintage in all grades.
Some coins are currently sold in conjunction with Foy and Gibson bags that were part of the stores promotion at that time. The bag & coin together carry a much higher premium though counterfeits are becoming common.