Obverse design of Queen Victoria
The 1855 Sydney Mint Sovereign has pride of place in every Australian sovereign collection.
It is the nation’s first gold sovereign minted at the Sydney Mint, the nation’s very first mint, and brings to any collection a wonderful and everlasting history.
But, the 1855 Sydney Mint sovereign offers more than history. In the quality level offered here the coin also offers exceptional rarity.
You can count on the fingers of one hand the number of 1855 Sydney Mint Sovereigns that we have sold at About Uncirculated, a reflection of the coin’s extremely limited availability in the upper echelons of quality.
The attached pie chart clearly shows the relative scarcity of an 1855 Sydney Mint Sovereign at this quality level. (The yellow area).
It’s a picture that speaks a 1000-words.
This 1855 Sydney Mint Sovereign is presented in nearly Uncirculated, with minimal marks in the field and original lustre on both the obverse and reverse.
Given its superior quality we ask the question. Which coin is the more difficult to acquire in this superior state? The 1855 Sydney Mint Sovereign or the 1852 Adelaide Pound? Australia’s first gold sovereign or first gold pound?
From an examination of auction records – and our own experience - the answer is very clearly, the 1855 Sydney Mint Sovereign. In fact, our first sovereign is four times harder to find than the Adelaide Pound.
We have always had the greatest faith in the 1855 Sydney Mint Sovereign. And we are keen buyers of high-quality examples.
Reverse design featuring the word Australia and Sydney Mint
The Sydney Mint was opened on June 23, 1855 to strike Australia’s very first official gold currency.
Except for ensuring the accuracy of the weight and the purity of gold in the coin, there was minimal care regarding the overall striking.
The coins were to be used as currency, traded in commerce. Not preserved as collectibles.
In its first year of operation the Sydney Mint produced 502,000 sovereigns.
Some three years later, mintage figures had doubled, hence the relative scarcity of the 1855 Sovereign.
Australia’s first sovereign was struck depicting a youthful portrait of Queen Victoria with a braid in her hair.
The design referred to as the Type 1 design appeared in 1855 and 1856 only.
It was replaced in 1857 depicting Queen Victoria with a sprig of Australia’s native flower, the Banksia, in her hair. It is referred to as the Type 2 design.
The reverse design of both the Type 1 and Type 2 sovereigns was classically Australian: the word AUSTRALIA emblazoned across the face of the coin.