Collectors are scrambling to get their hands on coins bearing Queen Elizabeth’s face as prices soared after her death.
Alan Marks, owner of Melbourne Coins & Collectables Co, said there is now a “crazy demand” for collectible coins featuring the Queen’s portrait.
“Collectors are furious and post-market prices are skyrocketing,” he said.
The most popular coin is the Royal Australian Mint’s platinum commemorative coin, released earlier this year, which jumped in value to over $100 following the news.
“Issued yesterday at an original MSRP of $12.50 per coin, it was worth 5 times its original price on the secondary market and continues to rise!” Mr Marks said.
“Until any official tribute coin is released, I expect this coin to be in high demand for some time.”
A collectibles expert said the coins could be as high as $300 at their peak, with market prices continuing to rise.
While Friday was a sad day for many, Mr. Marks, along with other collectibles business owners, saw their profits skyrocket.
“All in all, in less than 48 hours since Her Majesty’s death, Melbourne Coins & Collectables Co’s sales have quintupled as collectors vie for everything that features the Queen’s portrait!” he said.
While he can’t give an exact figure on how much these bad guys might sell in the future, he said that there will be a constant need for collectors to purchase the first and last issues of a particular monarch.
“For example, the official 2022 coin set was completely sold out on my website yesterday,” he said.
“This may or may not be the last set to feature Her likeness, but it is certainly the last set released during her lifetime, making it highly collectible.”
For those looking to source coins for Queen Elizabeth II, reputable coin dealers are the gold standard, but Australians looking to capitalize on this trend can also look to platforms like eBay and Amazon, as well as social media markets.
The Perth Mint and the Royal Australian Mint are also likely to produce their own Australian coins for collectors, as is the Royal Mint in the UK, Mr Marks said.
Melbourne coin dealer Sam Seigel would have had the same hype on Friday if not for one smart buyer.
On Monday, Mr Seigel received a call from a collector asking him to buy anything from his shop that had the Queen’s face on it.
He sold about $1,600 worth of Queen Elizabeth coins from his Max Stern and Co store on Collins Street to the man.
“He must have had some kind of internal connection to Buckingham Palace,” Seigel told The Australian Financial Review.
“The man said, ‘The queen is about to die, I want everything you have with her.’ But he had the last laugh, because in the last 24 hours, the demand for coins and other goods has just gone crazy. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
Queen Elizabeth II is the only monarch depicted on Australian decimal coins.
Serious intrigue over the design of the new coins also got collectors talking, with commemorative coins hitting the market and the Australian currency undergoing a major rebranding.
But one thing that won’t change – at least not immediately – is the $5 bill that features her face.
Since 1995, the $5 note has been marked with a portrait of the Queen at age 58.
The Reserve Bank has confirmed that there will be no “immediate changes” to Australian banknotes.
“They will not be withdrawn and will likely remain in circulation for years to come,” the spokesman said.
The reigning monarch has traditionally been depicted on the Australian banknote in the lowest denomination, and the RBA has said it will provide further updates in due course.
The Queen was the only monarch featured on Australia’s decimal currency, which was introduced in 1966.
However, from next year, the image of King Charles III will begin to appear on the reverse side of the newly minted coins, but, interestingly, it will now face to the left.
This is part of a tradition that dates back to the reign of Charles II in the 1600s that every new monarch must change the direction of his gaze.
The Treasury has been working with the Royal Australian Mint, as well as the Perth Mint, to plan the re-image on Australian coins to be supplied by the UK Royal Mint.
As this transition may take some time, coins bearing the face of the late queen may continue to be minted.
Coins bearing the image of the queen will remain legal tender, so a mixture of both the new king and his mother will be in circulation for some time.
Queen Elizabeth has appeared on more money than any other person in history, her face adorning the currency in 35 countries including the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
Before the change from pounds, shillings and pence, Queen Elizabeth’s father King George VI appeared on the reverse side of the country’s coins and banknotes.
But after his death in 1952, a competition was announced to create an image of the Queen for coins and banknotes in Great Britain and other Commonwealth countries.
In the end, 71-year-old Mary Gillick was chosen for her “fresh” image of a young monarch.
Since then, the face of the Queen on the reverse side of Australian coins has been updated four times. in 1966 when Australia switched to decimal currency, again in 1985 and 1998.
The last change was in 2019.