Great Britain 1838 sovereign

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Heritage sale 3010, lot 21213
photo courtesy Heritage Auction Galleries

This specimen was lot 21213 in Heritage sale 3010 (Boston, August 2010), where it sold for $6,900. The catalog description[1] noted, "Victoria Sovereign 1838, Young Head, MS63 NGC, Choice UNC and quite a beautiful example of this rare, first year of issue of the very popular early sovereign type of Victoria. Normal good details on the portrait, shield especially well struck as are the crown above and the surrounding laurel wreath. Very few abrasions, and all tiny. Slight disturbance of the frosty luster on the portrait (not rub, more like having been rotated on a velvet pad), any minor detriment being overwhelmed by the lustrous gold, which has toned to a beautiful, mellow color. Finer pieces are known but this one is impressive for its eye appeal." This bust was used on the sovereign, or one pound coin, 1838-64 with a slightly modified type (KM 736.2) extending until 1874.

Recorded mintage: 2,719,000 plus a few proofs. An expensive date.

Specification: 7.988 g, .917 fine gold, .2354 troy oz AGW.

Catalog reference: S3852, KM 736.1.


  • Cuhaj, George S., and Thomas Michael, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1801-1900, 7th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2012.
  • Bressett, Kenneth E., A Guide Book of English Coins, Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, 2nd Ed., Racine, WI: Whitman Publishing, 1962.
  • Lobel, Richard, Mark Davidson, Allan Hailstone and Eleni Calligas, Coincraft's Standard Catalogue of English and UK Coins, 1066 to Date, London: Coincraft, 1995.
  • [1]Tucker, Warren, Scott Cordry and John Kraljevich, Heritage Sale 3010: World Coins, Dallas, TX: Heritage Auction Galleries, 2010.

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