1914 Gold Sovereign SYD


The 1914 Gold Sovereign. Sydney Mint.

The 1914 Sydney Sovereign depicts Benedetto Pistrucci’s famous portrayal of St George slaying the dragon on the reverse of the coin.

A small 'S' just above the date indicates the sovereign was minted at the Sydney Mint, Greater Sydney, New South Wales, Australia.

King George V’s portrait, designed by Bertram MacKennal, can be seen on the obverse of the coin.

Image Credit: Museums Victoria.


Mintage: 1,774,000 (may include coins in sets)
Minted at The Sydney Mint.
Remember 1914 ?
The Monarch is King George V. Prime Minister is H. H. Asquith (Liberal). US President is Woodrow Wilson (Democrat). World War One starts; on the 4th August 11.00pm Britain declares war on Germany after the German Army invades neutral Belgium; the Royal Navy is in action the very next day. By the end of the year the War was already claiming thousands of lives. Sir Ernest Shackleton sets sail on the Endurance from Plymouth in an attempt to cross Antarctica. Although Edward VII died in 1910, the start of WWI is taken as the end of the Edwardian Era.
George V (1910-1936)
George V was King of the United Kingdom and the British Dominions, and Emperor of India, from 6 May 1910 until his death in 1936 and was King during World War 1. George was the second son of Albert Edward, Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII), and grandson of Queen Victoria. After his death he was succeeded by his eldest son, Edward VIII.

In 1919-20, the Silver price rose dramatically so .925 silver coins began to made in 0.500 siver. Gold Sovereigns were produced in large quantities early in George's reign - over 30 million in 1911 and again in 1912, although there was no bullion sovereigns issued 1918-1924 (Commonwealth mints did continue mintage).
General Description: Sovereigns
The 1914 Gold Sovereign Sydney 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 1914 Gold Sovereign Sydney was minted at The Sydney Mint.

The Obverse is the Monarch's head (George V) 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: George V

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 1914 Gold Sovereign Sydney, 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 Sydney Mint
The Sydney Mint in Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, is the oldest public building in the Sydney Central Business District. It stopped making gold sovereigns about 1926.
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.
If you don't see a coin in the list below try the Sovereigns page on eBay UK

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