There are some key indicators that collectors look for when making a numismatic purchase. And all of this is weighed up against the price. The date is critical. The more important the date, the better. How rare is the coin for the rarer the better. And finally, what about its quality? This Brilliant Uncirculated 1871 Sovereign has the lot!
An important date. A new obverse. A new reverse.
A new obverse design was introduced on Australia's sovereigns in 1871, that of the Young Head portrait. The reverse design was also changed in 1871, the St George and the Dragon design superseding the Sydney Mint design introduced in 1855.
The importance of this coin is clear. It marks the start of the era that produced Australia's Young Head Sovereigns.
It is an acknowledged fact that collectors prefer the first and last year of a series over and above all others. The first year and the last year are defining. Those in between are not.
How rare is the coin?
Throughout Australia’s history, upheavals and extraordinary events have impacted on mintages and created numismatic super-stars. Think 1930 Penny. Think 1920 Florin. And think 1871 St George Sovereign.
The Sydney Mint was awash with options in the striking of its sovereigns in 1871 with two reverse designs available to them, that of St George and the Dragon and the Shield. It was inevitable that amidst the chaos a numismatic super-star would emerge.
And it has in the form of this coin, the 1871 Sovereign featuring the Young Head portrait of Queen Victoria and the St George reverse. It is one of the key dates of the series and a world class rarity.
History confirms the extreme rarity of the Sydney Mint 1871 Young Head St George Sovereign (1871S).
Noble Numismatics is Australia’s largest Auction House holding three auctions annually each comprised of about 3000 lots. Their auctions provide a plethora of invaluable information on prices realised and importantly, the frequency of sightings ... how often a coin can realistically be expected to appear on the market.
We note that Nobles last offered a choice quality 1871S sovereign in November 2010. The next highest quality offering of an 1871S Sovereign was nearly uncirculated and was offered in 2017 and 2011.
We also note the provenance of this coin. Robert Jaggard, Paul Terry and Tom Hadley of Quartermaster fame ... three of Australia's greatest gold coin collectors. That their names are attached to this sovereign is perhaps the greatest affirmation of its standing.
1871S featuring the St George and the Dragon design, 'long tail' and normal B.P.
A highly detailed obverse portrait ... we note the kiss-curl in front of the ear.