The portrait of George V appeared on Australia’s sovereigns from 1911 to 1928.
A modified portrait appeared in 1929 and lasted until Australia struck its last sovereign in 1931.
It is the first portrait of George V (or what we refer to as the standard portrait) that has brought forth some of Australia’s greatest gold coin rarities.
Looking more closely at the George V era we see that it is the 1920s that present a fabulous era for numismatic investors.
And the mint of choice out of this era is the Sydney Mint. (The Sydney Mint’s misfortune has become a bonanza for investors.)
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 that was quite literally going out of business.
As indeed it eventually did in 1926 when the Sydney Mint closed its doors and shut down its coining operations, the irony being that a mint could go broke making coins.
The mintages of the Sydney Mint’s circulating sovereigns in 1922, 1923 and 1926 were minuscule reflecting a mint in decline. 578,000, 416,000 and 130,050 respectively.
In Uncirculated quality they are a $45,000 - $50,000-plus item.
But it is the Sydney Mint’s presentation pieces out of this era that attract the most attention for their exclusivity and their superb striking.
The 1922 Specimen Sovereign is known by two examples.
The 1923 Specimen Sovereign is also known by two examples of which this coin is one.
The 1926 Specimen Sovereign is known by three examples.
The rule of thumb for us in this area of the market is clear.
The availability of a pre-decimal proof or specimen gold coin rarity is an opportunity. If you happen to be offered one of exceptional rarity, such as a 1923 Specimen Sovereign, then the opportunity is even more profound.