In the world of coin collecting, certain pieces stand out as hidden treasures, and the 1968 2-cent Australian coin – worth a whopping $495 today – is undoubtedly one of them.
This unassuming copper-nickel coin struck at the Perth Mint holds a unique place in Australian numismatic history.
With a mintage of just 16,995,000, it’s the second lowest mintage issued 2-cent coin and is considered the key to the 1966-91 2c series.
What makes the 1968 2c coin genuinely exceptional is its scarcity in premium grade.
While most examples have naturally circulated and lost their original shine, a few have been preserved in pristine condition.
Among the well-preserved specimens, a select few have been graded by leading independent third-party coin verifiers, Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS), at MS66, the equivalent of Gem Uncirculated condition.
These coins represent the pinnacle of quality and desirability for collectors.
What sets this coin apart, aside from its remarkable condition, is its unique history. The Australian two-cent coin was introduced in 1966 and circulated until 1992.
Its reverse featured a frill-necked lizard designed by Stuart Devlin, a renowned coin designer. Notably, Mr Devlin’s initials, “SD,” were meant to appear under the lizard’s belly on these coins.
However, an intriguing mystery surrounds some of these coins.
On an unknown number of 1968 2c coins, the famous designer’s initials, “SD,” are missing.
This unusual occurrence also extends to some 1967 and 1981 issues, making it a puzzling anomaly in Australian coin history.
The value of these 2-cent coins has steadily increased over the years, driven by collector demand and the uniqueness of the “SD” missing varieties.
Some of the finest-known examples have fetched prices over several thousand dollars.