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Selected Highlights from the Collection



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THE EDWARD VIII GOLD PROOF SOVEREIGN OF HIGHEST RARITY.

Edward VIII (acceded 20January, abdicated 10 December 1936), Gold Proof sovereign, dated 1937, bare head of King facing left, HP initials below for engraver T Humphrey Paget, legend surrounding reads "EDWARDVS VIII D: G: BR: OMN: REX F: D: IND: IMP:" finely toothed border within twin concentric circles and raised rim both sides, rev St George with flowing cloak and helmet with streamer, slaying dragon with sword, broken lance on ground to lower left, date in exergue, engraver initials B.P. to upper right for Benedetto Pistrucci, edge milled. Of the greatest rarity in the modern Proof Sovereign series, Edward VIII who controversially abdicated his throne for the woman he loved, was about to authorise a new coinage to be ready in time for his Coronation in 1937. The coinage was controversial from Edward's refusal to follow coinage tradition in facing in the opposite direction to his predecessor, his Father King George V who had faced left. This tradition started with King Charles II, and has been followed ever since, except for Edward VIII who preferred his left facing profile. This example of his proof Sovereign is the only single coin available to collectors. There being only one other in private hands in a complete set of the proposed coinage of King Edward VIII, and the recent Bentley Collection did not possess an example. This is only the third time this actual coin has ever been publicly auctioned

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THE GREATEST RARITY IN THE COINAGE OF OUR CURRENT QUEEN - THE 1953 PROOF SOVEREIGN

Elizabeth II (1952- ), Gold Proof Sovereign, 1953, young laureate head facing right, tiny incuse M. G. on truncation for engraver Mary Gillick, legend surrounding reads "+ELIZABETH. II. DEI. GRA. BRITT. OMN. REGINA. F: D:" finely toothed border within twin concentric circles and raised rim both sides, rev St George with flowing cloak and helmet with streamer, slaying dragon with sword, broken lance on ground to lower left, date in exergue, engraver initials B.P. to upper right for Benedetto Pistrucci, edge milled.
The other great rarity in the modern Proof Sovereign series, the Elizabeth II 1953 Proof Sovereign for the Coronation year was not issued for sale to private collectors. Gold four-coin sets of Five Pounds, Two Pounds, Sovereign and Half-Sovereign were made in a limited number only for Institutions to display for the Coronation. Very few Sovereigns, indeed have since found their way into private collections, this being only the second occasion an example has ever been offered for sale at public auction. This coin is the plate example as illustrated in the standard reference on the subject, and there was no example present in the recent Bentley Collection. This is an extremely rare opportunity to secure a piece of history of the highest rarity.

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THE BEGINNING OF THE GOLD SOVEREIGN PROGRESSING THROUGH THE THREE TUDOR KINGS

Henry VII (1485-1509), Fine Gold Sovereign of Twenty Shillings, group IV, crowned full figure of King seated facing on ornate throne, holding orb and sceptre, initial mark lis at start of legend, legend reads "hEnRICVSx xDEIx xGRAx REXx AnGLx ETx FRAnx DnSx hIB'n'xx" rev quartered shield of arms upon Tudor rose, surrounded by beaded and linear tressure of ten arcs, each cusp overlaid with alternating leaf and lis fleury device, beaded circle surrounding, initial mark dragon at top, legend reads "xIhESVSx xAVTEMx xTRAnSIEnSx xPERx xMEDIVMx xILLORVMx xIBAT xx*xx"
The gold Sovereign was first introduced by King Henry VII, recorded in a commission dated 28th October 1489 to be struck at the Tower of London at a 20 Shilling face value; at a fineness of 23 carats and 3 ½ grains (0.995 fine gold); and 240 grains in weight (15.552g). The commission further stated that for every pound of gold struck into coin at the Tower, at least two coins had to be gold Sovereigns, which equated in face value terms to £2 in every £22 and 10 Shillings. The Hemisphere Collection coin was struck circa 1502-1504 dated by the initial marks used, of which the dragon was reserved for use only upon the gold Sovereign. This is a very well preserved example of an important piece of numismatic history.

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James I (1603-1625), Gold Sovereign of Twenty Shillings, first coinage, mint mark thistle, crowned half-length armoured figure of King right, holding orb with sceptre on shoulder, beaded circles surrounding, initial mark thistle both sides, legend reads "IACOBVS. D'. G'. ANG'. SCO'. FRAN'. ET. HIB'. REX." outer beaded circle both sides, rev crown over quartered shield of arms, now incorporating Arms of Scotland, I to left, R to right, beaded circle surrounding, legend reads ".EXVRGAT. DEVS. DISSIPENTVR. INIMICI."
King James I was also King James VI of Scotland, since his mother, Mary Queen of Scots had died in 1567, and was the first monarch to proclaim titles for both England and Scotland on the British coinage. The Hemisphere collection example is the first issue and mint mark, with the first type of bust dating it to 1603 and was issued in 22 carat fineness (0.917 fine) as our gold Sovereigns continue to be today. This coinage marks the last time a Sovereign is called as such in the hammered gold series, and the name is not used again until the advent of the modern Sovereign for currency in the reign of George III in 1817. The Twenty Shilling denomination continues under other guises as the "Unite" "Laurel" and "Guinea."

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THE RAREST LONDON, ROYAL MINT CURRENCY GOLD SOVEREIGNS

George III (1760-1820), Gold Sovereign, 1819, from Royal Mint London, designed and engraved by Benedetto Pistrucci, laureate head of King right, coarse hair, date below, legend surrounding reads "GEORGIUS III D: G: BRITANNIAR: REX F: D:" descending colon after BRITANNIAR: 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, the initials of William Wellesley Pole, Master of the Mint, garter motto reads "HONI . SOIT . QUI . MAL . Y . PENSE ." edge, milled.
The greatest Rarity in the London Sovereign Series, the 1819 is the hardest date to find and this is one of only seven currency examples known. The Hemisphere Collection example has never been offered at public auction before, the only previous record of this actual coin was its use as a plate coin in the Royal Mint publication "Royal Sovereign 1489-1989" which was issued for the 500th anniversary of the gold Sovereign.

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QUEEN VICTORIA (1837-1901), GOLD SOVEREIGN HIGHLIGHTS STRUCK BY THE ROYAL MINT LONDON

Victoria (1837-1901), Pattern Gold Sovereign, 1837, small young head left, plain truncation ruled with fine lines, date below, legend reads "VICTORIA DEI GRATIA" more widely spaced, engraved by William Wyon, rev crowned quartered narrow shield of arms within laurel wreath tied with bow below shield, engraved by Jean Baptiste Merlen, laurel wreath each side consists of 30 leaves per side and terminates in three leaves at top, emblems below, legend reads "BRITANNIARUM REGINA FID: DEF:" edge, plain.
This is a prototype pattern for which a young Queen Victoria granted William Wyon multiple portrait sittings. The head is of a smaller stature than that used for currency, with the legend widely spaced; the reverse by Merlen being also different to that adopted for currency. Such early design pieces were struck to see how they would look as a finished coin and for approval from the various members of counsel on the Royal Mint committee.

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AUSTRALIAN RARITIES OF THE SYDNEY MINT IN THE REIGN OF GEORGE V (1910-1936)

George V (1910-1936), Gold Sovereign, 1922 S, Sydney Mint, bare head left with B.M. on truncation, legend reads "GEORGIVS V D: G: BRITT: OMN: REX F: D: IND: IMP:" engraved by Edgar Bertram MacKennal, rev St George slaying dragon, S mint mark on ground below, date in exergue, initials B.P. to upper right, engraved after Benedetto Pistrucci.
Of all the George V Sovereigns that emanated from the Sydney Mint the 1922 date is considered the third hardest to find and is extremely rare. The Hemisphere Collection gives the opportunity to bid for such a rare piece herewith.

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AUSTRALIAN RARITIES OF THE MELBOURNE MINT

Victoria (1837-1901), Gold Sovereign, 1880 M, Melbourne Mint, Imperial type, second larger young head left, W.W. in relief on truncation, date below, legend reads "VICTORIA DEI GRATIA" engraved after William Wyon, rev crowned shield of arms within laurel wreath, M mint mark below, emblems below, legend reads "BRITANNIARUM REGINA FID: DEF:" engraved after Jean Baptiste Merlen.
This is the third most difficult to acquire Victorian shield reverse for the Melbourne Mint though 1880 represented the highest calendar year mintage of the type. This was the first year the Melbourne Mint had struck shield reverse type Sovereigns in six years and they were no doubt in demand and must have had a very high attrition rate as the survival rate is very low today.

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COLONIAL RARITIES OF CANADA AND SOUTH AFRICA

CANADA - OTTAWA MINT

Edward VII (1901-1910), Specimen Proof Gold Sovereign, 1908 C, Ottawa Mint, Imperial type, struck to a satin finish, bare head right, legend reads "EDWARDVS VII D: G: BRITT: OMN: REX F: D: IND: IMP:" engraved by George William De Saulles, rev St George slaying dragon, date in exergue, C mint mark on ground-line, initials B.P. to upper right, engraved after Benedetto Pistrucci.
The initial Canadian Sovereign issued from the Ottawa Mint, all specimens of which were given a satin finish is the rarest of all the Edward VII Canadian Sovereigns with only a low mintage figure of 636 pieces.

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COLONIAL RARITIES OF CANADA AND SOUTH AFRICA

PRETORIA - SOUTH AFRICA MINT

George V (1910-1936), Gold Sovereign, 1923 SA, Pretoria Mint, Imperial type, bare head left with B.M. on truncation, legend reads "GEORGIVS V D: G: BRITT: OMN: REX F: D: IND: IMP:" engraved by Edgar Bertram MacKennal, rev St George slaying dragon, SA mint mark on ground below, date in exergue, initials B.P. to upper right, engraved after Benedetto Pistrucci.
This initial striking of the gold Sovereign at the Pretoria Mint in 1923 is the rarest currency piece of the short series, as Sovereigns were only struck on demand from gold brought into the Mint, and purportedly the issue for this year was struck from only one consignment of gold giving a total of just over 700 struck.