The Nobleman One Pound is one of many top colonial coin rarities that left Australia's shores, found a home with a foremost British coin collector to re-surface in the early 1900s. It is fortunate for Australian collectors the Nobleman One Pound eventually made its way back to its country of origin.
The provenance of the Nobleman One Pound, 1922 to 2022, is as below.
Nobleman Collection, sold Sotheby Wilkinson & Hodge London, 27 March 1922.
Lot 695, sale price £7 5s.
The Nobleman Collection was sold by Sotheby, Wilkinson & Hodge on the 27 March 1922 over four days. The preface to the catalogue indicated that the collection of Coins, Patterns and Proofs had been formed by a 'Nobleman', recently deceased. The Nobleman was later confirmed as Baron Philip Ferrari La Renotiere. (11 January 1850 – 20 May 1917)
Spink & Son Australia Pty Ltd Auction, 2 November 1978
Lot 529, sale price $28,000 (estimate $15,000).
Spink Auctions, 20 November 1980
Lot 427, sale price $70,000 (estimate $30,000).
Private Treaty to Quartermaster Collection 1992.
Monetarium Australia Pty. Ltd. 4 June 2009
Lot 21, sale price $340,000 (estimate $300,000).
Private Treaty to Perth Collection 2010.
Exhibited National Museum of Australia 11 March 2001 to 24 June 2001.
Canberra's National Museum of Australia opened in 2001 as the centrepiece of the Centenary of Federation celebrations. The museum's first Exhibition, 'Gold and Civilisation', featured eight pieces from the Quartermaster Collection. The Nobleman One Pound was one of the eight and was photographed in the souvenir book.
Exhibited Museum of Victoria 19 July 2001 to 21 October 2001.
As part of the Centenary of Federation celebrations, the eight coins from the National Museum of Australia were displayed at the Museum of Victoria, Melbourne.
Exhibited Royal Australian Mint Canberra 22 February 2005 to 31 August 2002.
To celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Sydney Mint, the entire Quartermaster Collection was exhibited at the Royal Australian Mint Canberra, the Nobleman One Pound one of the highlights.
The Nobleman Gold One Pound is the ultimate Australian gold coin, number 1. It is Australia’s very first gold currency, and this example is the absolute finest and comes with an unbeatable pedigree.
The coin is a national treasure and will have great appeal to local collectors.
It will also appeal to international collectors. A 1920 Sydney Sovereign sold for an almost seven-figure sum at an American Auction in May 2022. Feverish bidding from right across the globe, re-affirms the demand for top Australian gold coin rarities on the international stage.
The rarity of the Gold One Pound and the significance of the production run.
Gold was discovered in Victoria in 1851. And while the natural assumption might be that it would bring wealth to all, the mass exodus of people (and money) to the Victorian gold fields pushed the colony of South Australia to the brink of bankruptcy.
The Governor of South Australia devised a two-part solution to the crisis. Pay an over the top price for Victorian gold and finance its overland transportation back to Adelaide. And using a loophole in the Currency Act pass legislation (The Bullion Act) that would legitimise the production of a gold coin, circumventing the requirement for Royal approval.
Local jeweler and engraver Joshua Payne created the dies, the obverse with the issuing authority - Government Assay Office Adelaide - encircling a crown and the date. The reverse declared the fineness and weight encircling it's one pound value.
The first gold One Pound was struck on 23 September 1852. It was the first gold coin for the colony of South Australia and the first for the nation.
The first production run.
The first reverse die with its stylish lettering and simple, elegant beaded inner circle is thought to have produced about fifty coins before a crack developed in the die, forcing an interruption to production and the hasty preparation of a replacement die.
The second production run.
Under pressure to resume production, Joshua Payne opted for a simpler version of the first reverse die, the legend and value in plain lettering. He also changed the design of the the inner border, duplicating that already in place on the crown side.
Production was resumed with the second die and a further 24,000-plus coins minted, referred to as the Type II One Pounds.
By producing two different dies Joshua Payne clearly distinguished between those coins struck in the modest first run. And those from the more substantial second run.
And in so doing created a rarity of the highest order.
The Gold One Pound struck during the very first production run of the nation's first gold coin, better known as the Type I One Pound .
What we know today is that less than forty Type I Gold One Pounds are in collector’s hands. And perhaps six times that figure of the Type II examples.
Both rare. But the Type I One Pound excruciatingly rare.
And this example, the Nobleman Gold One Pound the absolute finest of them all.
The enormity of this offer cannot be overstated.
This coin was never given kid gloves treatment during the production process. It was struck in what can only be described as a factory, hammered out and hurled down an assembly line, more than likely into a barrel or bucket.
How this coin survived the production process, and more than one hundred and seventy years later still be in its pristine original state is impossible to fathom.
The Nobleman One Pound is a coin of the utmost significance.
This is a unique opportunity to acquire an inspiring example of Australia's very first gold coin, offered at a spectacular and unbeatable quality level.
With an equally spectacular and unbeatable provenance.