The value of any coin is a combination of two elements: the finesse of the striking and just how well it has been preserved in the intervening years. This 1860 Sydney Mint Sovereign scores highly on both counts.
The 1860 Sydney Mint Sovereign is one of the prized rarities in the Sydney Mint Sovereign series. The series ran from 1855 until 1870 with the first obverse design appearing between 1855 and 1856 and the second between 1857 and 1870. Two dates are regarded as the absolute key dates of the second obverse design series: 1858 and this coin, the 1860.
It is an elusive coin in any quality. But the coin on offer here is just not ‘any quality’. This coin is ascribed the higher grading level of Choice Uncirculated.
You can count on the fingers of one hand the number of high quality 1860 Sydney Mint Sovereigns that we have sold, a reflection of our quality standards coupled with the coin’s extremely limited availability. It is on record that we sold a Choice Uncirculated 1860 Sydney Mint Sovereign earlier this year and a similar calibre piece in March 2014. Prior to that, the only quality example that we have come in contact with was at the sale of the famous Quartermaster Gold Coin Collection in June 2009.
The buyer that acquires this sovereign will be taking up a classic Australian coin rarity.
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.