Proof 1899 Half Sovereign struck as a Coin of Record at the Melbourne Mint

Proof 1899 Half Sovereign struck as a Coin of Record at the Melbourne Mint
Proof 1899 Half Sovereign struck as a Coin of Record at the Melbourne Mint
Sold April 2022
Superb FDC
Murdoch Collection, A. H. Baldwin, Nobles 2004
This Proof 1899 Half Sovereign was struck at the Melbourne Mint as a presentation piece. A Coin of Record. The coin made its first public appearance in 1903 when it was sold by Sotheby's London as part of the famous John G. Murdoch Collection. Over the last century only one other example has been sighted. The coin's extreme rarity is typical of this sector of the market and the very reason why they are so popular with collectors. And investors. Their scarcity simply gives people the reason to buy. And this glorious turn-of-the-century Proof 1899 Half Sovereign is available now.
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I would like to invest in Proof Gold. Please advise your current inventory.

A comment on recent price movements. The Sincona Auction held in Zurich, November 2021, was a watershed moment for collectors of Australian proof gold sovereigns and proof gold half sovereigns.

Two veiled head proof sovereigns, 1898 and 1901, sold for an equivalent of $100,000 and $190,000, the latter a rarer Perth Mint striking.

While some collectors shook their heads in disbelief, we were elated that the coins are now commanding the respect - and the prices - that they deserve.

Proof gold is stunning and impactful. The coins have a wonderful history, generally linked to a prominent collector.

And they are excruciatingly rare. In the case of the coins sold at Sincona, we have never sold a Proof 1898 Sovereign. And sold only one Perth Mint Proof 1901 Sovereign in June 2013.

When it comes to collecting vintage gold coins, collectors have two distinct options.

They can acquire coins that were struck for circulation: coins that were meant to be used. Or they can collect coins that were struck as presentation pieces to PROOF QUALITY.

The coin on offer is one such presentation piece, a Proof 1899 Half Sovereign struck at the Melbourne Mint.

That proof coins were struck in the nineteenth century may surprise some readers. But it has to be said that the striking of proof coins in Australia is not a modern day phenomenon. Nor a product of the decimal era. The nation’s mints were striking proofs of our pre-decimal coinage in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and the intention was then, as it is today, to create limited mintage coins struck to the highest standards of quality.

I would like to invest in Proof Gold. Please advise your current inventory.

Each option, circulating coinage or proof coinage, presents the buyer with a vastly different sized pool of specimens from which to choose.

General date (non-key date), average circulating gold sovereigns, are available in the thousands if not the tens of thousands. Once the collector sets parameters on quality and dates, the pool of specimens narrows and it is true that acquiring a key date gold coin that was struck for circulation, particularly one in premium quality, can be a journey in time that involves many months, if not years.

The task of acquiring gold proofs of our pre-decimal coinage is far more challenging. The pathway to proof coinage for buyers can involve many years, if not decades.

Rarity is the key word when discussing proof gold. And it is a statement of fact that proof gold, irrespective of the sector, is extremely rare and buying opportunities will always be thin on the ground.

And the reasons?

  1. Proof gold coins were NOT struck every year.
  2. And of those dates that were struck as proofs, only one, or perhaps two up to a maximum of three made their way out into the collector market.
  3. Natural attrition has taken its toll on coins out of the original mintages with some of them filtering their way into circulation or being mishandled and thus having their quality marred. So suddenly one, two or three proofs becomes even less.
  4. Great coins tend to be held. The owner of the Madrid Collection held onto his gold proofs for more than twenty years. The Spalding family similarly.

This Proof 1899 Half Sovereign is a golden opportunity and for just one buyer. Only one other proof half sovereign of this date has appeared over the last century.


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PO Box 1060 Hawksburn Victoria Australia 3142

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