Al That Glitters is gold As the Great British summer and all the Olympic celebrations draw to a close Baldwin’s will be busily preparing to sell part two of the landmark Bentley Collection, the ultimate collection of British
was so convinced of the need for currency that he signed an Act allowing the coins to be minted without following the legal regulations. These intriguing coin-tokens were never officially given the Royal seal of approval to circulate as a coin and were therefore only circulated for a short time as a gold token. While these were similar to Sovereigns in all but name they did not depict the St. George and the Dragon, nor the queen’s head. As soon as the powers in London became aware of what had happened 40,000 British currency sovereigns were dispatched and quickly put in to circulation, bringing an end to the Assay office coining their own tokens which ceased on 17th February 1853. It is thought that this example will achieve in the region of £20,000 – 25,000.
Other highlights from the Sydney mint selection include an 1855 Victoria Gold Sovereign, minted in the initial year of production this is one of the hardest specimens to find in a high grade of preservation; and an 1887 Victoria Proof Gold Sovereign depicting the Jubilee type bust of the Queen which is the rarest Jubilee style coin from the Sydney mint.
The Melbourne and Perth mints are also well covered with 100 pieces from Melbourne and 34 from Perth. Of which, the 1887 Victoria Melbourne mint gold sovereign, the rarest Victorian shield reverse type coin as it was the final issue before the Jubilee issue of 1887. The Australian Mints continued with the shield reverse long after the London Royal Mint ceased, as they were more readily accepted in trade with Asia over the St. George reverse piece. The 1926 George V Perth mint gold sovereign is the rarest currency from the mint and is represented in the collection by a superb quality piece. The coin depicts the King’s portrait on the obverse and carries the iconic St. George and the dragon reverse. It is remarked by the cataloguer that the coin seems to have become rarer over time; this therefore presents a rare opportunity to purchase what may well become one of the rarest of the sovereign series.
The Canadian mint in Ottawa did not produce coins every year due to lack of demand. As such, this collection contains coins from every year that the mint was active. Amongst the highlights in this section is the 1916 C George V, Ottawa Mint, Imperial type. This coin is the rarest Canadian currency sovereign in commerce today. Representing the pinnacle of the series it presents the biggest challenge for any collector to obtain. Another opportunity to purchase a rare and interesting coin from the Ottawa mint comes in the form of the 1908 C Edward VII Specimen Proof Gold Sovereign. The coin comes from the first batch of sovereigns issued by the mint and is one of only 646 struck. This ultra low mintage makes the coin incredibly scarce and highly desirable. The initial coins issued by the mint were all struck to a satin finish