Two rare coins have sold for around $1.5 million each in a Monaco auction on Saturday, making them the most expensive Australian coins ever sold at auction.
The coins were minted in Sydney and Melbourne, with one of them - a £5 coin minted in Melbourne in 1921 - so rare that it was one of only seven ever minted.
“This is the finest known specimen,” auctioneers MDC Monaco described in the coin’s online listing.
“Special strike of seven minted only, by the Melbourne mint in 1921 on the original die.”
They said it was an “exceptional coin”, with the historical artifact ultimately selling for €992,000 (AU$1.56 million).
The second coin was minted in Sydney in 1920 and was one of only four coins of its type made. It sold for €942,400 ($1.48 million).
That coin features an engraving of St George slaying a dragon.
“This is the only graded coin and the most beautiful of the four minted known. This is the only specimen strike known. There are just three other coins known of normal striking. It is the greatest rarity of the sovereign series,” MDC Monaco said in the listing.
“This is the rarest mint of the Sovereign series, even rarer than the London 1819 sovereign, of which 10 to 12 coins are listed.
The auctioneers said the coin had been struck as a private commission for NSW politician Jacob Garrard for his 1920 wedding anniversary.