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1886 Victoria Sovereign Melbourne Mint St George

1886 Victoria Sovereign Melbourne Mint St George Reverse

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Buy a 1886 Victoria Sovereign Melbourne Mint St George

(VAT Exempt)
Victoria gold Melbourne mint 'full' Young Head Sovereign with St George reverse. The colonial branch mint founded in 1872 in Melbourne, Australia used two different reverses for their gold Sovereigns for a number of years: Jean Baptiste Merlen’s shield and wreath as well as Benedetto Pistrucci’s depiction of England’s patron saint. This coin features the latter, a design created for the first modern Sovereigns, issued in 1817. It’s paired with the ‘Young Head’ portrait of Queen Victoria to the reverse. Variations of they portrait by Royal Mint Chief Engraver William Wyon were used on the Queen’s coinage for decades. It’s the letter ‘M’ mint mark, found below the portrait that identifies where this coin was minted. The Melbourne mint was the second of three such facilities to issue British coinage in Australia and continued to strike Sovereigns until 1931. Like all gold Sovereigns - historic and modern - this one is composed of 7.98 grams of 22 carat (916.7) gold and has a diameter of 22.05 millimetres. Its one of 2,902,131 gold Sovereigns were minted at the Melbourne mint in 1886, when you count both the shield and St George issues (the latter being more common). This example has been graded by our expert numismatists as EF - Excellent details, usual minor contact marks for gold and a grade of Extremely Fine or near so. S 3857C.
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22 carat gold 'Young Head' Melbourne mint Queen Victoria Sovereign dated 1886 with Pistrucci design to the reverse.

Queen Victoria Young Head Sovereigns

Victoria came to the throne at the age of 18 in 1837. She would wear the crown for 63 years across a period of unprecedented change in the UK and the wider British Empire that would become known as the Victoria era.

The coinage minted in the early decades of Victoria's reign features variations on a royal portrait known as the 'Young Head'. This effigy was created by the Royal Mint's Chief Engraver, William Wyon, and shows the youthful Queen with her hair pulled back by two fillets. The legend around reads: 'VICTORIA D: G : BRITANNIAR : REG : F : D :' or similar.

In 1871 the reverse of some gold Sovereigns was changed from Jean Baptiste Merlen's shield design to Benedetto Pistrucci's classic interpretation of the legend of St George and the dragon. For UK Sovereigns, minted in London, this design was used concurrently with the old shield design for only a few years. At the Melbourne and Sydney branch mints - both founded in Victoria's reign - the two designs coexisted for much longer.

Sovereigns Of The Melbourne Mint

Opened in June 1872, Melbourne was the second of the three colonial Royal Mint branches established in Australia. Each of these mints was positioned to take advantage of successive gold rushes that increased both the supply of raw gold and the demand for gold coins. 

You can identify Young Head Melbourne mint shield-back Sovereigns by looking for an 'M' mint mark below the wreath. For Saint George Young Head Melbourne mint Sovereigns the mint mark appears beneath the obverse portrait.

Sovereigns would be struck at the Melbourne mint until 1931 when the Pound left the gold standard. This was more than a decade after Sovereigns had ceased to be issued in London. In the early twentieth century the Melbourne mint would strike Commonwealth silver coinage before production was moved to the Royal Australian Mint in Canberra.

Historic Queen Victoria Gold Coins

Marsh reports that some 2,902,131 Sovereigns were issued from the Melbourne mint in 1886 though this figure includes the rarer shield back coins. Like all branch mint Sovereigns, those struck at the Melbourne mint can be difficult to find, particularly in high grade. All our historic Sovereigns are individually authenticated and graded by our expert staff.

Grade: EF - Excellent details, usual minor contact marks for gold and a grade of Extremely Fine or near so.

Victorian Sovereigns conform to the narrow specifications established for these coins when they were first issued in 1817. Each one is composed of 7.98 grams of 22 carat gold and has a diameter of 22.05 millimetres. Their gold content means that these coins are free from VAT in the UK and the EU while their face value of £1 / One Pound lends them an important Capital Gains Tax exemption.

Sell An 1886 Victorian Gold Sovereign

Got a historic branch mint Sovereign you are looking to sell? We buy Melbourne mint Sovereigns and other rare gold coins for market leading prices. Visit our Sell Your Coins page for more information or contact us today for a free, no-obligation quote for your Queen Victoria Sovereign.


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