Aust Gold - Imperial Sovereigns - St George Reverse

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Lot 1267    SESSION 5 (7.30PM TUESDAY 17TH APRIL)    Aust Gold - Imperial Sovereigns - St George Reverse

Estimate $600,000

GEORGE V, 1920 Sydney. Virtually unmarked, obverse well struck with good fields, reverse fields exhibiting mottling or pickling from die rust and grease, flat on St George's chest from metal flow to the obverse, uncirculated and excessively rare.

This example, not previously seen, has been consigned by the grandson of Jacob Garrard, who requested the Mint strike a very limited number of sovereigns with the 1920S reverse die to be distributed to his seven children to celebrate his Golden Wedding Anniversary on the 15th of April, 1920. The cost of minting sovereigns had become uneconomic because of the rise in the price of gold (127s 4d per ounce). Throughout the Empire only the Perth Mint struck quantities of sovereigns 1920 to 1924 while Melbourne and Sydney had small issues. It is apparent Sydney had no urgent requirement to mint sovereigns in 1920 with the 1920S mint mark dies.

There are only four other 1920 Sydney sovereigns that have been auctioned:
1) Spink Australia, Sale 2, November 1978 (lot 631), bought for Cullimore Allen, and later sold in Spink London, Sale 15, March 1992 (lot 438).
2) Noble Numismatics, Sale 50, 20th-22nd March, 1996 (lot 1470), George Collection, then at St James' auction, 5th March, 2014 (£542,500).
3) Jaggard, 1979, then at Kurt Jaggard Monetary auction, 11th April, 2006 (lot 404) ($582,500), then at Bentley Collection, Baldwin's auction, 27th September, 2012 (lot 736) (£780,000).
4) Quartermaster Collection, Monetarium, 4th June, 2009 (lot 196) ($840,000). This example, in specimen condition, may have been coined at the closure of the Sydney Mint in 1926 under the supervision of A.M.Le Souef for a VIP like Sir William Dixson.

Refer to St James' Auction 32, 19th May, 2015 (lot 240), and Sterling and Currency Newsletter - "The 1920 Sydney Sovereign: the Greatest Gold Rarity of the British Empire".

Estimate / sale price does not include buyer's premium (currently 19.25% including GST) which is added to hammer price. All bids are executed on the understanding that the Terms & Conditions of sale have been read and accepted. For information on grading and estimates please refer to the Buying at Auction advice.

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Adjacent lots

  • Lot 1265  

    GEORGE V, 1919 Melbourne. Nearly uncirculated and scarce.

    Estimate $1,000

  • Lot 1266  

    GEORGE V, 1920 Melbourne. Good extremely fine and rare.

    Estimate $5,000

  • Lot 1267   This lot

    GEORGE V, 1920 Sydney. Virtually unmarked, obverse well struck with good fields, reverse fields exhibiting ...

    Estimate $600,000

  • Lot 1268  

    GEORGE V, 1921 Sydney. Flat mintmark, nearly uncirculated and rare.

    Estimate $2,500

  • Lot 1269  

    GEORGE V, 1921 Sydney. Flat mint mark strike, good very fine.

    Estimate $1,500