This 1860 Sydney Mint Sovereign is a remarkable piece of colonial history. The coin was minted 154 years ago and yet it is ‘mint’ fresh. It is as though it was plucked off the assembly line yesterday.
That the coin survived the minting process and was never used in circulation is even more remarkable. The surfaces are superb. The edges undamaged, the denticles crisp, the coin still shows its original mint bloom.
And it is the quality of this particular coin that makes it a classic rarity. We last sighted a superb quality 1860 Sovereign at auction five years ago, at the sale of the famous Quartermaster Gold Coin Collection in June 2009.
Australia’s gold coinage history began in 1855 with the introduction of the Sydney Mint design. It was a style that rejected the protocols of London and which imparted a uniquely Australian flavour into the nation’s first official gold coinage. For the first - and only time - the word AUSTRALIA appeared on our sovereigns.
The Sydney Mint design continued until 1870. In 1871 Australia’s gold coinage took on the more traditional English designs of St George and the Dragon and the Shield.