Heritage Auction in the US described this 1926 Sydney Sovereign as ‘an exceptional coin for its beauty and rarity’ and a ‘nearly flawless and fully blazing gem’.
The coin was accurately described and is a stunning example of the Sydney Mint’s very last sovereign.
The mintage of the 1926 Sovereign was 1.03 million, all of which were believed melted down to pay war debt.
This coin fuels the discussion that has been waged for decades amongst collectors.
Which is the rarer and/or more valuable of the two? A Proof or Specimen sovereign struck in a restricted mintage in a highly controlled nurtured environment? Or one that was struck for circulation and somehow managed to survive the rough and ready nature of the minting process to be preserved in immaculate condition?
The exceptional state of this 1926 Sydney Sovereign will sway many to the latter view.
The Sydney Mint was Australia's first mint and began receiving gold on May 14 1855, issuing its first sovereigns soon after on June 23. After seventy-one years of operation, the mint was forced to close. the official closing date 11 August 1926.
Its operations had been unprofitable for some time the irony being that a mint could go broke making coins.
The official reports from the Mint Master of the Sydney Mint to the Royal Mint London in the era 1922 to 1926 clearly reveal a mint in decline; the limited mintages evidence of such. Today these coins have become vibrant collector’s items.
And while the four coins of 1922, 1923, 1924 and 1926 are high in demand, the stand-out year as far as collectors are concerned is the year 1926, which denotes the mint’s final year of coining.