Reverse of Australia's very first sovereign, the 1855 Sydney Mint Sovereign .
Every circulated coin has a grading level at which serious rarity kicks in. That is the point at which the balance between acquiring a coin as a collectible - and as an investment - shifts more towards the latter.
For the 1855 Sydney Mint Sovereign that point is the grading level of ‘About Extremely Fine’.
Below ‘About Extremely Fine’, in the quality levels of Fine to Good Very Fine, the 1855 Sydney Mint Sovereign is reasonably readily available, as auction records attest.
At About Extremely Fine, Extremely Fine, Good Extremely Fine and above, the 1855 Sydney Mint Sovereign is exceedingly scarce.
And as the chart included in this section shows, the higher the quality, the scarcer the coin.
Our experience attests to the scarcity. We commented above that we last handled an Extremely Fine ’55 Sovereign more than eighteen months ago.
This coin is well priced and, in our view, earmarked for growth. It should be a $45,000-plus coin. It can be a $45,000-plus coin.
And why do we believe so strongly in the price potential of the 1855 Sydney Mint Sovereign?
The 1855 Sydney Mint Sovereign is far rarer than the Adelaide Pound in comparable quality (four times as rare) and yet their respective prices do not reflect this disparity.
That’s an anomaly that we believe the market will address over time.
The Sydney Mint was opened on June 23, 1855 to strike Australia’s very first official gold currency.
Except for ensuring the accuracy of the weight and the purity of gold in the coin, there was minimal care regarding the overall striking. The coins were to be used as currency, traded in commerce. Not preserved as collectibles.
Obverse of Australia's very first sovereign, the 1855 Sydney Mint Sovereign.
In its first year of operation the Sydney Mint produced 502,000 sovereigns.
Some three years later, mintage figures had doubled, the very reason why the 1855 Sovereign is so scarce.
Australia’s first sovereign was struck depicting a youthful portrait of Queen Victoria with a braid in her hair. The design referred to as the Type 1 design appeared in 1855 and 1856 only.
It was replaced in 1857 depicting Queen Victoria with a sprig of Australia’s native flower, the banksia, in her hair. It is referred to as the Type 2 design.
The reverse design of both the Type 1 and Type 2 sovereigns was classically Australian: the word AUSTRALIA emblazoned across the face of the coin.