Proof 1930 Melbourne Mint Sovereign

1930M Proof Sovereign rev Large November 2018
1930M Proof Sovereign obv Large November 2018
Proof 1930 Melbourne Mint Sovereign
Proof 1930 Melbourne Mint Sovereign
Sold November 2018
Superb FDC
Private Collection Melbourne
In 2018, proof gold has emerged as one of the most fiercely contested areas of the rare coin market. Over the last twelve months, prices paid at auction for proof sovereigns and proof half sovereigns have surged by about 20 per cent, the consequence of increased demand. Now while it is true that gold is Australia’s most popular collecting metal, the key to the growth in proof gold has been its inordinate scarcity. Buyers know that there is never a chance that the market will be flooded with examples. The scarcity has simply given the market the confidence to buy. This coin is a case in point. We are aware of two Proof 1930 Melbourne Mint Sovereigns. This coin, sold by private treaty in the 1990s through Monetarium Sydney and now in our hands. And one other example that appeared at public auction in 1988. But that’s as far as it goes for the year 1930. And proof sovereigns. The Sydney Mint was not producing coins having closed in 1926 and it is on record that the Perth Mint did not strike proofs in 1930, the year of the Great Depression.
1930M Proof Sovereign obv Large November 2018
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When sizing up a coin and evaluating its potential for growth, a buyer needs to consider two aspects. The rarity of the coin itself.

And the second aspect, the rarity of the sector of the market to which it belongs. The adage, "less is best" holds true in the rare coin industry for you don't want the market to be flooded with examples from the same sector.

The ideal "investment" scenario is that the coin is rare. And the sector is occupied by very few other coins. 

As detailed above, this Proof 1930 Sovereign is rare.

The Proof 1930 Sovereign is from the George V era and that sector of the market is amazingly limited in numbers as the text below reveals.

The portrait of King George V first appeared on Australia’s circulating sovereigns in 1911.

Sovereign production continued uninterrupted until 1931 when Australia struck its last sovereign with both the Sydney Mint (up until 1926 when it closed), the Melbourne Mint and the Perth Mint contributing to a total coin pool of more than 110 million circulating George V sovereigns. 

During that time two George V portrait designs were used, referred to as the standard head type (1911 to 1928) and the small head type (1929 to 1931).


As prolific as the three mints were for circulating coinage, it is on record that they were absolutely miserly in the production of proofs for collectors. 

Proofs were only struck in six of those twenty-one years, 1911, 1914, 1920, 1929, 1930 and 1931. And the mintage in each year was minuscule.

  • The 1911 is known by only one example, struck at the Melbourne Mint, and last appeared at auction in 1985. Sydney and Perth did not strike proofs in 1911.
  • A 1914 Sydney Mint Proof Sovereign is believed to have been struck but has never been sighted. Melbourne and Perth did not strike proofs in 1914.
  • The 1920 Sydney Mint Proof Sovereign is known by only one example and is a million dollar-plus coin precluding most collectors. Perth and Melbourne did not strike proofs in 1920.
  • A 1929 Melbourne Mint Proof Sovereign was last seen on the market in 1998. The Perth Mint did not strike proofs in 1929. The Sydney Mint was closed.
  • Two 1930 Melbourne Mint Proof Sovereigns are known. As stated above, this coin and one other that appeared at auction in 1988. The Perth Mint did not strike proofs in 1930.  
  • Both the Melbourne Mint and the Perth Mint produced proof coins for collectors in 1931. Two of each are known.

Aside from their scarcity, proof gold coins are a delight to the eye, appealing to those who seek perfection in coining.

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