1910 Gold Sovereign Melbourne – Proof


The 1910 Gold Sovereign Proof - Melbourne Mint

This proof version coin is extremely rare.

The 1910 Melbourne Sovereign Proof depicts Benedetto Pistrucci’s famous portrayal of St George slaying the dragon on the reverse of the coin. The small 'M' above the date indicates that this coin was minted in the Melbourne Mint, Australia.

King Edward VII’s portrait can be seen on the obverse of the coin, designed by G W De Saulles (initials DeS at base of neck).

Image credit: Photographer: Naomi Andrzejeski, Museums Victoria.


Mintage: Rare
Minted at The Melbourne Mint.
Remember 1910 ?
King Edward VII died and George V became Monarch. Prime Minister H. H. Asquith (Liberal) remained in office after the general election. The second general election of 1910 was held for the electorate to resolve the battle of wills between the Houses of Commons and Lords. The US President was William Howard Taft. Old Trafford, the largest football stadium in England with an 80,000 capacity, is opened. Girl Guides' Association founded. 'Fowler's match': the Eton v Harrow cricket match at Lord's said to be the greatest of all time.
Edward VII (1901-1910)
Edward VII was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions and Emperor of India from 22 January 1901 until his death in 1910. Edward was the eldest son of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Edward married Princess Alexandra of Denmark in 1863.

Five Pound, Two Pound and Crowns were only released in 1902. The 1902 Proof set for the Coronation is unusual in that it had a Matt finish. Gold Sovereign mintages were high during the reign of Edward VII, averaging more than 10 million per year which makes them fairly common even today.
General Description: Sovereigns
The 1910 Gold Sovereign Melbourne - Proof is an example of the Gold Sovereign and is one of the most ubiquitous of all coins and much sought after by both coin collectors and bullion investors. Sovereigns have been minted since 1817 (in Britain 1817-1917, 1925 and 1957 on). At coins fairs you often hear the dealers refer to these coins as Sovs.

Besides being minted in Britain, Sovereigns have been made in Australia (Melbourne, Sydney, Perth), India (then Bombay, now Mumbai), Canada (Ottowa) and South Africa (Pretoria) although these regional mints have not made sovereigns since 1932. The non-British coins carry a small mintmark ('S','M','P','I','C' or 'SA') just above the date. This 1910 Gold Sovereign Melbourne - Proof was minted at The Melbourne Mint.

The Obverse is the Monarch's head (Edward VII) and the Reverse is most often St George and the Dragon, although other backs have been used and are of interest to collectors. The Reverse often gives the Sovs a new term, like "ShieldBacks".

Specifications for the Gold Sovereign
 
  • Weight: 7.9881g
  • Diameter: 22.05 mm
  • Thickness: 1.52 mm
  • Purity: 22 carat = 91.67% (11/12ths gold, 1/12th copper. Adding copper makes the coin more scratch and dent resistant)
  • Gold Content: 113 grains = 7.3224 g = 0.2354 troy ounce
  • Face value: £1 = 20 shillings
  • Monarch: Edward VII

History

Up until 1604 there was a coin called the English gold sovereign and in 1816 when there was the "Great Recoinage" the name was revived. At that time standard gold (22 carat) was valued at £46 14s 6d per troy pound; this meant a £1 coin needed to weigh 123.2744783 grains or 7.988030269 g. The weight is still the same today.

As a historical note: to maintain the Gold Standard, in 1816 the value of silver was set at 66 shillings for one troy pound and silver coins were only legal for denominations up to £2.

The first sovereigns carried the head of King George III and the famous George and the Dragon design by Benedetto Pistrucci (29 May 1783 – 16 September 1855), an Italian engraver who became chief medallist at the Royal Mint.

With high value coins such as the 1910 Gold Sovereign Melbourne - Proof, collectors and bullion investors often worry about forgeries but actually gold coins are very difficult to forge due to gold's unique properties of density and colour. Gold is extremely dense and to use another metal and gold-plate it would result in a coin that is under-weight, over-diameter or half as thick, something that would be spotted very easily. More difficult to spot would be a bullion coin melted down and re-cast as a highly collectable date, but an expert can usually tell these too. You should always use reputable dealers.

Which Mint: The Melbourne Mint
The Melbourne Mint, Victoria, Australia, opened around 1872 and was originally a branch of the Royal Mint in London. From 1872 to 1916 the Melbourne Mint minted only gold sovereigns, but from 1927 to 1967 it produced all Australian coins.
Country of Origin: Australia
Australia is a country and continent surrounded by the Indian and Pacific oceans. Australia used pounds, shillings and pence until 1966, when it adopted the decimal system with the Australian dollar divided into 100 cents. The 1oz Silver coins are a particular favourite with collectors around the World and feature the famous Australian animals such as Kookaburra, Kangeroo and Kaola.
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