News & Views


Leading numismatist, Barrie Winsor, was ‘blown away’ when John Jay Pitman passed him the 1852 Adelaide Ingot Type I at a US Coin Show in the mid-1980s. Formerly owned by King Farouk of Egypt, the ingot is now offered for private sale.


Type TWO INGOT n&v august 2017 2

The Gold and the Nation Collection is comprised of ten pieces, six of which are offered as three pairs, the remaining four pieces are offered individually.

In the context of this unique ten piece collection, gold retains its position as a symbol of status and wealth as it has throughout the ages.

The cultural and historical importance of the ten pieces cannot be overstated.

A number of them were exhibited at the opening of the National Museum of Australia, Canberra, in 2001 as part of an incomparable exhibition of gold artefacts from around the world.

The opening of the museum was the centrepiece of Australia’s Centenary of Federation Celebrations.

This ten piece collection tells the story of gold in Australia from its discovery in 1851 and its conversion into gold ingots and gold coins in 1852, the nation’s first gold currency.

The ensuing critical years of 1853, 1855 and 1856, when Australia struck its first official gold sovereign and half sovereign coinage are also represented.

Included in the collection are, not one, but two 1852 Adelaide Gold Ingots, the only known examples privately held. Each ingot is unique and each is offered at $1.35 million.

ingot technical shots 1

Adelaide Assay Office 1852 Gold Ingot Type 1.

ingot technical shots 2

Adelaide Assay Office 1852 Gold Ingot Type 2.

The collection also includes a gold 1853 Proof Sovereign and a gold 1853 Proof Half Sovereign offered as a pair for $1.5 million. 

The two coins were struck at the Royal Mint, London, as test pieces for Australia’s first official gold coinage, and is the only known pair privately held. No examples are held in Australian public institutions. (Australia’s first official sovereigns and half sovereigns were not issued until 1855.)

The narrative of Australia’s coinage is as much about the people that have owned them as it is the point in time that each represents.

King Farouk of Egypt, who amassed one of the most famous coin collections in history during his reign between 1936 and 1952, owned the Gold Ingot Type I. The Gold Ingot Type II was formerly owned by Herbert W. Taffs M.B.E. 

The first recorded owner of the 1853 Proof Sovereign and 1853 Proof Half Sovereign was Captain Vivian Hewitt. Born in 1888 to a wealthy brewing family in the U.K., he was an aviation pioneer.

Coinworks is honoured to have been entrusted with the sale of the Gold and the Nation Collection.

All enquiries for the Gold and the Nation Collection should be directed to Belinda Downie Managing Director of Coinworks. 

preview gold and the nation

Contact details are as follows:

E   belinda@coinworks.com.au

P 03 9642 3133

M 0402 289 499


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