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Gold Sovereigns

Sovereign Collector Notes


Intended to be notes on issues in no particular order as yet. Information added as it is found or remembered.
By no means comprehensive, this is a on going project in order to educate and inform collectors, submissions welcome !
1892 Sydney Relatively common in high grade, part of Swiss hoard, well struck year, ChUnc minimum.
1893 Melbourne The Jubilee Head version of this is quite scarce in higher grade, date to watch.
1899 Perth Mostly poorly struck issue, been informed MS-64 is possible.
1899 Sydney Relatively common in higher grade, large hoard in Swiss Banks released late 90's to about 2003, Choice Unc minimum to buy. Some evidence suggests that there are still rolls available today.
1902 Matte Proof Nearly all have some kind of wipe mark, anecdotal evidence of Mint workers wiping coins. Impaired and damaged proofs common, Coins pickled after strike.
1908 Perth Seems to be only Perth date to be available in ChUnc for Edward VII, considered well struck for a Perth issue.
1916 London All of this issue exported to the USA and melted into ingots, rare.
1917 London All of this issue exported to the USA and melted into ingots, extremely rare.
1926 Sydney All of this issue exported to the UK and melted into ingots, rare.
1929/30/31 George V St George is different, much weedier, detail in obverse is not as strong as "large head", hair appears quite flat.
1937 Proofs With plain edge and tight fitting case most of these have edge bruising, case allows coin surfaces to be handled, proofs in FDC truly difficult to find.
1957-1968 Most went to Syria, Lebanon, Egypt and Israel to attempt to blunt demand for counterfeits being produced in that region, most of remaining orders came from Australia and Canada.10
1968 Most went to Greece, according to 1971 ACR article, the Military Junta put a stop to further orders for gold.10
Perth Mint Most issues poorly struck, some years better than others.
Grade before Rarity. Demand drops very sharply for grades lower than Unc, grade is priority when deciding on which examples to purchase
2007 St George Reverse Royal Mint Re-Engraved St George Reverse From Original Model of Pistricci's, many changes to design, but Mint says much closer to original work.
De-Monetization of Pre-Victorian Sovereigns Newspaper clipping in Kenyon's Gold Coins of England: Times Newspaper 12th Feb 1890.

Sovereign Collections

Since it is nearly impossible to collect entire series of these wonderful coins, here are a few suggested types of collections each with its own challenges and rewards.
Uncirculated is minimum standard to buy, Choice Uncirculated preferred, if you ever see a gem and it is affordable to you, buy it !
If you spread your the cost of your collection over a minimum 5 year period, a quality set is within reach of all budgets.

Queen Elizabeth Type Set

One of each type produced.
Affordable to most budgets over a few years and quite enjoyable.
Those with a substantial budget could attempt this in proofs only, the Mary Gillick portrait is very rare.
1957 Sovereign 1957 has finer milling than later issues.
1958-1968 The First portrait is available at around bullion for BU examples.
1974-1984 Proof issues of early 1980's are available at around bullion.
1985-1997 Proof only and rather difficult to obtain.
1989 1989 issue is quite popular comes up fairly regularly.
1999- Large head obverse and 3 different reverses, deceptively simple, St George shown here.
2002 Shield Reverse
2005 Stylized St George Reverse

King George V Mints Set

One of each mint produced.
George V ruled at height of the Royal Mints reach and is the only monarch whose portrait appears on sovereigns from all 7 branches.
Suits most budgets, starting from bullion up to AUD$500,000 each (US$350,000).
Sydney Mint Most expensive and cheapest of the set, Choice Uncs can be obtained for 25% above bullion.
Melbourne Mint Well struck most dates, relatively common.
London Mint 1913 most common, 1917 rarest.
Ottawa Mint 1917 seen most often, not easy in higher grades.
Pretoria Mint 1927, 1928 very common in higher grade, 1923 and 1924 nearly impossible.
Perth Mint Usual weak strike most years, Choice Uncs for every budget.
Bombay Mint 1918 only, top examples not easy.

Queen Victoria Type Set

One of each type produced.
Affordable to most budgets over a few years and quite enjoyable.
Those with a substantial budget could attempt this in proofs only, the Young portrait ones are very rare.
Young Head St George Reverse Produced from 1871 in Sydney and London, Melbourne started in 1872, purists may wish to note that there is 3 or so slightly different versions of this portrait.
Young Head Shield Reverse Produced in London from 1838, with branch mints commencing in 1871 & 1872 purists may wish to note that there is 5 or so slightly different versions of this portrait.
Jubilee Head Produced in 3 mints 1887 to 1893, Michael Marsh notes 2 types of this obverse.
Veiled Head Produced in 4 mints from 1893 to 1901. Perth commenced in 1899.

Monarch Type Set

One of each monarch type produced.
Bit of a challenge this one in strictly Uncirculated condition or an interesting and, (I believe), somewhat good value method to gather the proofs from this series.
George III 1818 rarest of all sovereigns, other dates obtainable in Unc with patience.
George IV, Laureate Head. Not easy to find in better grades.
George IV, Bare Head. Proof depicted here, only found slightly more than earlier portrait.
William IV Not often found in collectable grades.
Queen Victoria, Young Head, St George. A well struck high grade version is truly a thing of beauty to behold.
Queen Victoria, Young Head, Shield. Shield design is quite hard wearing, still retains good eye appeal at lower grades but Unc minimum to buy.
Queen Victoria, Jubilee Head. Proof depicted here, Choice Uncs are achievable.
Queen Victoria, Veiled Head. Proof depicted here, Choice Uncs are achievable.
Edward VII Matte Proof depicted here, Choice Uncs are difficult to find.
George V, Large Head. 1920 Sydney is the rarest of this series with prices around AUD$500,000 to 1911 Sydney in Choice available for AUD$190. A coin for every budget. London Proof Depicted Here
George V, Small Head. A low point in sovereign history, general standard is not high, Unc versions can be quite disappointing.
George VI 1937 Proofs only, plain edged, often "edge bruised".
Queen Elizabeth II Proofs near impossible, Gem UNC's for around bullion.
Queen Elizabeth II, Decimal. Proofs around bullion, good value to gather.
Queen Elizabeth II, 3rd Portrait. Deceptively difficult to obtain.
Queen Elizabeth II, 500th Anniversary. Single Year Issue in 1989, rather attractive design available in Proof only.
Queen Elizabeth II, Old Head Proofs and bullion issues still affordable.

How do I go about Collecting Australian Gold Sovereigns?

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