Sydney Mint Guide
Australias earliest Sovereign was a Young Head Victoria – the reverse design of which was taken directly from the English Shilling(a common currency at that time in Australia)
This featured a slightly different Young Head of Queen Victoria.
This is known as the Type 1 Australian Sovereign.This was minted at the Sydney Mint in 1855 and 1856 at the Sydney Mint and had a mintmark s below the wreath on the reverse.It had a silver content of 8.33 %.
Young Head Sovereigns
In 1857 the portrait of Queen Victoria was changed to a more Australian version.
This featured Queen Victoria wearing a hairstyle with a wreath of native banksia.
This design was unique in any British designed coinage,
The reverse design remaining unchanged from 1855-56 Type I Sovereigns,
This Sovereign became very much sought after.
Because this sovereign had a silver content rather than copper this enhanced its popularity.It was a paler colour.
Sovereigns minted between 1857 and 1864 are some of the scarcest and rarest dates.
Sovereigns minted between 1866 to 1870 are more desirable in higher grades.
Please note that theSydney Mint did not produce a sovereign during 1869.
The Shield Reverse Young Head Sovereigns were minted concurrently with the St George Reverse Sovereigns by both the Sydney and Melbourne Mints.
Slaying a dragon was not acceptable in India so the sovereigns were minted with a shield on the reverse.
Mintage figure are difficult to ascertain as many sovereigns were re-struck or melted down when they became worn
No Sovereigns were minted in 1876.
Queen Victoria Young Head St. George Reverse Gold Sovereign 1871-1887
Queen Victoria Young Head St. George”Reverse Gold Sovereign 1871-1887
This Sovereign was one of the most popular series of Australian coins.
It was Minted by both the Sydney and Melbourne Mints concurrently with the Shield Reverse.
Before the discovery of the Douro shipwreck, all the early pre-1881 dates were extremely difficult to obtain .
Jubilee Sovereigns :
These were minted in 1887 to celebrate 50 years of reign of Queen Victoria.
These sovereigns were minted until 1893 when they were replaced by the more mature Veiled head style. (Old Head Sovereigns)
Old Head Sovereigns
These were minted for seven years and are a very popular coin
for both type collectors and date/mint collectors.
The whole series consists of only 14 coins.
The rarest date is the first minted 1887 Sydney, however several of the dates are much scarcer than the price indicates and some appear undervalued in uncirculated and higher grades.
Veiled Head Sovereigns
Queen Victoria Veiled Head St. George Reverse Gold Sovereign 1893-1901
Queen Victoria Veiled Head St. George Reverse Sovereigns were minted between 1893 and 1901 until Queen Victoria’s death.