Gold coin; Denomination: Sovereign
Royal Mint, London
Queen Victoria (1837-1901)

A sovereign is a 20 shilling or 1 pound coin. Struck from Australian gold that had been shipped to London but found on arrival to have impurities which rendered it brittle when struck at the high pressures needed to make a coin. A method of treatment of this gold to allow striking was developed by G.F. Ansell in the Royal Mint laboratories and the coins made from this batch were distinguished by the addition of an extra line on the Queen's hairband.

Obverse Description

Head of the Queen facing left wearing ribbon in her hair (extra line behind ear); around, VICTORIA DEI GRATIA; below, 1859

Reverse Description

Crowned shield bearing royal arms within a wreath of laurel; around, BRITANNIARUM REGINA FID: DEF:; below, a rose, thistle and shamrock united.

Edge Description


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