George III (1760-1820)
Gold Sovereign, 1819, by Benedetto Pistrucci, laureate head right, coarse hair, date below, descending colon after BRITANNIAR: legend GEORGIUS III D: G: BRITANNIAR: REX F: D: rev struck with inverted die axis, St George slaying dragon right with broken lance, groundline with BP incuse to left, all within horizontally ruled garter with buckle, W W P incuse on sides of buckle, garter motto HONI . SOIT . QUI . MAL . Y . PENSE . no upper left serif to I of HONI, raised rim both sides, edge, milled, weight 7.97g (Marsh 3 R6 this coin illustrated plate 3; M.C.E. 466; S.3785). Light red tone, lightly hairlined with a few tiny spots and flecks, about extremely fine and the finest known specimen extant, the key date to the entire series of British Sovereigns minted by the Royal Mint, UK, of highest rarity.
ex Sotheby, 15th October 1998, lot 286, where it sold for £55,000 including premium.
Calendar year mintage 3,574.
The classic rarity of the London series, the Bentley Collection specimen is the finest known in private ownership by a full British grading step. All other known specimens are around poor to fair or fine condition with only one other approaching very fine. There are still less than ten specimens in private hands, and the purported proof version (if correctly identified as such) is unknown to modern numismatists (Murdoch 194=WR199) unseen for over 100 years since the Murdoch sale.