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1872/1 Melbourne Shield Sovereign Unc (PCGS MS61)

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1872/1 Melbourne Shield Sovereign Unc (PCGS MS61)

Wonderful surfaces, just a hint of bagging evident.

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Queen Victoria 1872/1 Gold SOVEREIGN Melbourne Mint

Obverse: Queen Victoria Young Head

Reverse: Coronate shield within wreath, mintmark below

Wonderful surfaces, just a hint of bagging evident.

Despite their best efforts, the efficiency of the Melbourne Mint’s coin production in the early days was unfortunately far below acceptable standards. In an attempt to make the most of the Mint’s scarce resources until additional dies arrived from London, Colonel Ward engaged the services of a Danish jeweller named Julius Hogarth.

Hogarth's colleague, Conrad Erichsen had the idea to alter the last digit of the 1871-dated dies that were among the first batch sent out from London, so that they could be used if a complete lack of alternatives required it.

The result of this work remains evident for collectors today - essentially, Erichsen added a number “2” to the date of sixty obverse dies, and although his work significantly increased the number of coins the Melbourne Mint was able to produce during 1872, as the number “1” can still be seen under the “2” on numerous 1872 Shield sovereigns available to collectors today, it cannot be regarded as impeccable work.

This intervention by a sub-contractor in the Royal Mint's normally rigidly-controlled manufacturing process is without parallel in the history of the Royal Mint. Few Australian sovereigns have an element of intrigue about their rarity as the 1872/1 Melbourne overdate.

That this officially recognised variety is explained by such momentous events as a shipwreck and the work of a jeweller in altering coining dies only adds to the coin's appeal.

They remain a tangible reminder of the ingenuity required of many that travelled to the Australian continent in the middle of the 19th century seeking their fortune on the goldfields.

This particular example remains in excellent condition - it has superb surfaces both sides, and has just some light bagging evident.

Click here to read the full background to this historic coin.

Click the PCGS icon below to verify the certificate details for this coin directly on the PCGS website.

PCGS Certificate Verification 37390309