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1900 Queen Victoria Gold Full Sovereign Melbourne Mint Widowed Veiled Old Head Coin

1900 Queen Victoria Gold Full Sovereign Melbourne Mint Widowed Veiled Old Head Coin Reverse
(VAT Exempt)
Victorian Old Head gold Sovereign, struck in Melbourne, Australia in 1900. The Melbourne mint had been opened in 1872 and was quickly striking Sovereigns and Half Sovereigns from the gold found in what was then the Victoria colony. Melbourne would be the second of three Royal Mint branches, established in Australia during Queen Victoria's reign. This facility would strike Sovereigns until 1931, long after these 7.98 gram 22 carat gold coins had ceased to be minted in London. Melbourne Sovereigns from this period are identified by a tiny 'M' found on the ground beneath the dragon to the reverse. The design used here is Benedetto Pistrucci's instantly recognisable St George design, seen intermittently on Sovereigns since the reign of George III. This reverse design is paired with Sir Thomas Brock's portrait of Queen Victoria. Known as the 'Old Head' or the 'Widowed Head' this veiled effigy was first seen on Sovereigns in 1893 and was used until the Queen's death in 1901, the year after this coin was issued. These 1900 Sovereigns are pre-owned and were struck for circulation. They may show marks and wear typical of circulated coinage. The images shown on this page are stock photos. They represent the type of coin you can expect to receive but you may not differences in grade, wear pattern and minor design details. Annual mintage for Melbourne in 1900: 4,305,904. References: S 3875, Marsh 160.
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Widowed Head gold 'full' Sovereign of Queen Victoria, struck in Melbourne, Australia, in 1900.

Old Head Sovereigns Of Queen Victoria

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.

Several portraits of Victoria appeared on her coinage during her long reign, the last was the so-called 'Widowed' or 'Old Head' that appears on Sovereigns minted from 1893 until the year of the Queen's death: 1901. This portrait, the work of the English sculptor and medallist Sir Thomas Brock, shows Victoria wearing a tiara that is covered with a long veil that drapes across her shoulders. The legend around reads: 'VICTORIA · DEI · GRA · BRITT · REGINA · FID · DEF · IND · IMP ·'.

For Sovereigns dated 1983 to 1901, the 'Veiled Head' portrait is paired with Benedetto Pistrucci's interpretation of the legend of Saint George and the dragon. This historic reverse was created in 1817 for the first modern Sovereigns. An examination of the ground above the date will reveal no mint mark if the Sovereign was struck in London or a tiny letter if it was issued by an Australian branch mint in Melbourne ('M'), Sydney ('S') or Perth ('P').

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. 

Early 'Young Head' Sovereigns, struck in Melbourne, then the prosperous and expanding capital of the Victoria colony, are identified with an 'M', found below the portrait on the obverse. On Jubilee Head and Old Head Sovereigns, the Melbourne mint mark can be found on the reverse. 

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 4,305,904 Sovereigns were struck with an 'M' mint mark in 1900. 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.

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 A 1901 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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