This coin was excavated at the Commonwealth Block site between 1988 and 2003. It was minted at the Sydney mint in 1858.

Working in Little Lon.
Alongside the tightly packed cottages, commercial enterprise thrived in little Lon. Shops sold food and 'fancy goods'. Factories and workshops manufactured bellows, furniture, waterproof clothing and ice cream.

In the 1880s grocers flourished, and in the 1890s clothing firms and Chinese cabinet-makers dominated the local manufacturing scene. But Little Lon's most numerous businesses were the myriad hotels and brothels.

It is easy to overlook the 'invisible' work carried out in people's homes. Because such work was rarely documented we rely on things left behind to tell the story. The abundance of lace bobbins dug up at Little Lon hints at a lace-making industry and busy lives otherwise hidden from history.

Physical Description

This is a gold sovereign from the Sydney mint. It is slightly bent but otherwise in good condition. On the obverse is the head of a young Queen Victoria and on the reverse there is a crown and a wreath.

Physical Description

British gold sovereign minted in London in 1851. Obv: Shield & wreath, lettering: 'Brittanniarum Regina Fid: Def:' Rev: Young Victoria, lettering: 'Victoria Dei Gratia 1851' Almost mint cond tion. Bent by pick during excavation. 2 cm diameter. It is commonly called a Shield sovereign because of the shape of the Arms on the reverse. From 1872 the Melbourne Mint began to strike coins identical to this with the addition of a tiny 'M' Mint mark. Last Melbourne sovereigns made 1931.

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