An Uncirculated grading on an 1852 Adelaide Pound warrants buyer attention. That's for sure.
But there is more to an Adelaide Pound than its grading level. There is the strike, just how well the design details have been executed. And this is reflected in the denticles and the legend. And the depth of detail in the crown.
While there may be a natural assumption that care and attention would have been applied during the minting process of the nation's first gold coin. This was certainly NOT the case.
The Adelaide Assay Office was a refinery opened to re-cast gold into rough and ready ingots.
Except for ensuring the accuracy of the weight and purity of gold in the Adelaide Pound, there was minimal care regarding the overall striking and the eye appeal.
We also know from historical records that the striking of the Adelaide Pound was fraught with problems.
Pressure cracked the first die. The first die was swapped over for a second die that featured a crenelated inner circular design and the decision was made to relax the pressure to minimise the risk of the second die cracking.
While the reduced pressure extended the life of the dies, it created its own set of problems in the execution of the design detail.
It is a fact that many Adelaide Pounds show weakness in the edges and the legend 'Assay Office'. With some coins this area is almost non-existent. In other Adelaide Pounds we see weakness in the crown area. A flattened cross on the orb and no ermine in the band.
When it comes to assessing an Adelaide Pound, we always start at the edges and work our way in.
We confirm the strength of the edge denticles and the legend Government Assay Office. We then move inwards to the crown. And lastly, we examine the fields.
Taking up this rule and applying it to this coin we see:
The 1852 Adelaide Pound holds a very special place in Australia's history as the nation's first gold coin struck from gold brought from the Victorian gold fields.
It is an iconic Australian numismatic rarity, as is the 1930 Penny, the 1813 Holey Dollar and the 1813 Dump.
Its status as Australia’s first gold coin ensures that it will always be sought after and strengthens its investment value.
Its investment value is also enhanced by its rarity for we estimate that perhaps 250 examples are available to collectors, across all quality levels.