1870 Sovereign date side
COIN
1870 Sydney Mint Sovereign
QUALITY
Uncirculated
PROVENANCE
Private Collection Sydney
PRICE
$ 2500
COMMENTS
This 1870 Sydney Mint Sovereign brings tremendous history. It was the very last year that the Sydney Mint design appeared on Australia’s sovereigns so it is a truly important and historical coin. Presented in Uncirculated quality, it also is highly collectable.
SOLD
April 2016

As far as gold sovereigns are concerned you can’t get much more historical than the Sydney Mint Sovereign series. The coins were minted at the nation’s very first mint, the Sydney Mint, which was located in the southern wing of the city’s Rum Hospital constructed during Lachlan Macquarie’s term as Governor of the penal colony.

The mint began receiving gold on May 14, 1855, and issued its first sovereigns soon after on June 23. The Sydney Mint design appeared on Australia’s sovereigns between 1855 and 1870 inclusive.

Unlike South Australia, which overcame a currency shortage by striking the Adelaide Pound, without British Government approval, Victoria and NSW followed protocol and petitioned for a branch of the Royal Mint to be established in their colonies. Sydney had applied for a branch of the Royal Mint as far back as December 1851.

On the 9 th August 1853 Queen Victoria approved an Order in Council prepared by the British Government to establish Australia’s very first mint at or near Sydney, in New South Wales.

Although it was initially envisaged that the Sydney Mint would produce imperial design sovereigns, it was decided that, as the coins would be legal tender only in the colonies, a design specifically attributed to the Sydney Mint should be produced.

The full name of the mint, Sydney Mint, was incorporated into the legend: going against all known protocols at the time. Furthermore the coins were inscribed with the national name, Australia, even though the country was at that stage operating as separate colonies. Australia did not operate under a single Government until Federation in 1901.

The mint began receiving gold on May 14, 1855, and issued its first sovereigns soon after on June 23. The Sydney Mint design appeared on Australia’s sovereigns between 1855 and 1870 inclusive.

In 1871 the British Government revoked the approval of the Sydney Mint design and Australian sovereigns took on a traditional British flavour. The queen’s portrait was modified and the traditional St George and Dragon and Shield designs were introduced on the reverse.

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