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Gold Sovereigns

1903 Melbourne Mint Gold Sovereign

22 Carat Gold

Although Edward VII acceded to the throne in 1901, he was not crowned until 1902, and the first coins issued for him were dated 1902, all 1901 dated coins continuing to bear Queen Victoria's head. As sovereigns remained in circulation as pound coins until the first world war, most Edward sovereigns are quite worn. Because 1902 was the first date of his reign, some people tended to store a few nice shiny new coins, although few could afford to save sovereigns.

1903M Melbourne Mint Gold Sovereign Reverse

1903M Melbourne Mint Gold Sovereign Obeverse

Many of the foundations of Australia’s monetary system, economy and society that are today taken for granted were laid during the Edwardian era. Most of our national government institutions were established at this time; the Banknote Act was passed; and Australia’s first currency coins were issued. The first battalion of Commonwealth troops entered active service in 1902; many major public buildings were erected; and a large number of regional towns & centres were established.
Only one portrait was used on the sovereigns of Edward VII, from 1902 to 1910 inclusive. The engraving of his hair is in fairly low relief, and tends to very quickly show signs of wear. Contact marks and wear that would be focused on a small surface area on another sovereign is spread over a wide portion of Edward’s portrait

When collectors examine the Edward VII obverse, there are a certain number of points which are examined closely for strike & wear.
  • The forehead, eyebrow and upper cheek;
  • The jaw line running from below the ear to the tip of the chin;
  • The vertical line running from 12 o’clock to 6 o’clock;
  • The area on Edward’s head just below his bald patch, running from the back of his head to the top of his forehead;
  • Weakness will show in a lack of definition of the hair including beard and moustache;
  • The top of the ear which would show a lack of sharpness on a weak strike;
  • As always, the rims and fields;



Composition: 91.67% Gold
8.33% Copper
Gold Content: 0.2354 oz
Edge: Reeded
Weight: 7.9881 grams
Size: 21.5 mm
Reverse: Benedetto Pistrucci
Obverse: George William De Saulles
Chard Gold Sovereigns Andrew Crellin of Sterling & Currency.

The Sovereign
Daniel Fearon & Brian Reeds
Hilden Publications
17 Windmill Drive
Croxley Green, Hertfordshire
United Kingdom

Token Publishing

The Gold Sovereign
Golden Jubilee Edition

Michael A Marsh
25A St Neots Rd
Cambrigeshire CB3 7QH
United Kingdom