There are perhaps eight to ten examples of the 1852 Adelaide Pound struck with the second die that sit right at the top of the tree for quality. And that command prices in excess of $100,000. They are not just classified as Uncirculated. They are assigned a higher grading level of Choice Uncirculated which is a reflection of the finesse of the minting process.
This Adelaide Pound is deservedly ascribed the technical grading of Choice Uncirculated. Struck during the earliest state of the dies and in the finest state of preservation it is simply one of the best. And here’s why.
The cross on the orb at the top of the crown, the fleur de lis, the ermine in the lower band of the crown and the vertical lines in the fabric are amazingly well defined.
The coin has unblemished surfaces and an abundance of original mint bloom and lustre. It was clearly viewed as important from the day that it was made and has had special care ever since to preserve its original, pristine state.
The final point that warrants mention with this coin is the denticles. They are strong and present around the entire circumference of the coin which is quite extraordinary and seldom seen in Adelaide Pounds minted with the second die.
The production of the nation’s first gold coin at the Government Assay Office in Adelaide was plagued with problems. The pressure applied initially cracked the die. Reduced pressure was therefore used on the second die.
But that decision also had its consequences. The majority of second die Adelaide Pounds show inherent weakness in the “Assay” portion of the legend and in the edges. Not so with this coin.
The outstanding quality attributes of this piece and the unique historical status of the Adelaide Pound ensure that this coin will always be sought after.