7 February 2024

King's cancer diagnosis could 'quite possibly' affect value of Mint's new coin set

| James Coleman
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The 2024 Six-Coin Uncirculated Year Set retails for $40. Photo: Royal Australian Mint.

Just as King Charles III takes a step back from public duty due to a cancer diagnosis, the Royal Australian Mint has released a “once-in-a-lifetime” set of coins showing the change in monarch.

The ‘Six-Coin Uncirculated Year Set’ includes every denomination from the five-cent piece to the $1 coin, each featuring the various portraits of Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II over the decades since she ascended the throne in 1952.

The heads-side of the $2 coin features the portrait of His Majesty King Charles III, only rolled out on Australian coins since December 2023. In keeping with tradition, he faces left – the opposite direction to his mother.

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Mint CEO Leigh Gordon described the ‘Change of Monarch’ set as a “lesson in Australian numismatic history”.

“The story behind the set focuses on the Monarch effigies which have appeared on Australian coins as we transition from the reign of the Queen to that of the King,” he said.

“The King’s effigy appears on the $2 coin allowing for a dynamic visual of the five Queen effigies looking to the right while the King effigy looks back at them.”

Unlike other special releases, the 1000 sets will only be available through the Mint’s Contact Centre on 1300 352 020, or through one of the Mint’s authorised distributors from 8:30 am, Thursday (8 February), rather than the Mint’s Canberra coin shop.

The set includes all five effigies of the Queen, and the first $2 ‘King’ coin. Photo: Royal Australian Mint.

The price is $40, but numismatists (aka, coin collectors) aren’t expecting it to stay like this for long.

King Charles III began regular treatments for cancer on Monday, 5 February. A statement from Buckingham Palace on Tuesday, 6 February, didn’t reveal much about the form of cancer, but said the 75-year-old monarch “remains wholly positive about his treatment and looks forward to returning to full public duty as soon as possible”.

But this may not stop the coin market making morbid predictions.

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Edlins of Canberra, a coin broker based on Alinga Street in Civic, says all of the Mint’s special releases go up in price almost as soon as they’re released, and this latest set will be no different, largely down the $2 ‘King’ piece. But there could be another contributing factor too.

“I haven’t got a crystal ball, but [the cancer diagnosis] could quite possibly have quite an effect I would think,” the owner told Region.

“But there’s no way of knowing for sure, because no one knows exactly what type of cancer he’s got.”

What we do know is that the $2 coronation anniversary coin released in 2013 jumped in value – from $50 to $125 – following the Queen’s death, and uncirculated pieces regularly fetch between $150 and $200.

“Time will tell.”

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