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Gold Sovereigns

1930 Melbourne Mint Gold Sovereign

22 Carat Gold

King George V saw his role as monarch as being to embody those qualities his far-flung subjects saw as their greatest strengths - diligence, dignity & duty. King George V was the only monarch whose effigy appeared on sovereigns from all seven mints. George reigned during the height of the Royal Mint's reach, but the tumultuous events of World War I, the collapse of the international monetary system and the demise of the gold standard meant that he would be the last King to grace the sovereign .


The King George V "Small Head" obverse has 2 rows of beading around the rim and was seen rather late in the life of the sovereign. It was issued only 1929 to 1931, the last 3 years which Australia was on the gold standard. It was introduced in an attempt to improve the level of detail seen both in the obverse & reverse designs and prevent 'ghosting ' of the reverse design. One of the technical considerations for an artist designing a coin is that when the coin is struck, the metal should flow evenly throughout both designs. If the design is higher on one side than the other, then not all of the opposing design will be clear. This was thought to be the case with the George V Large Head portrait, hence the change.

Due to the smaller portrait, there is a larger portion of the fields exposed on the Small Head than on the Large Head. This coin is more prone to having bag marks in the fields as a result. All of the same high points as on the Large Head portrait should be examined.
There are slight alterations to the St George reverse with changes to the folds in the cape, his sword and the broken lance on the ground.
When collectors examine a sovereign with the St George reverse, there are a certain number of points which are examined closely for strike & wear. From top to bottom, they are:
  • The crest of St George’s helmet;
  • St George’s chest, together with the strap & pin fastening his cloak;
  • The bridle as it crosses the horse’s neck;
  • The muscle separation in St George’s upper thigh;
  • The horse’s forequarters & rump;
  • The “bloodline” in the sword;
  • The upper band across St George’s boot;
  • The dragon’s torso below it’s neck.



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: Edgar Bertram Mackennal
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