1852 Type II Adelaide Pound Unc (PCGS MS61)
Excellent value for a mint-state example.
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Gold Adelaide Pound (Type II) 1852 Adelaide Assay Office
Obverse : Crown & date within a beaded, linear and ornamented circle. ADELAIDE GOVERNMENT ASSAY OFFICE around, split by small rosettes either side of ADELAIDE.
: VALUE ONE POUND
within a beaded, linear circle. 22 CARATS, WEIGHT 5 DWT : 15 GRS around,
split by small rosettes either side of 22 CARATS. All text in a sans
Mintage : 24,648 coins
Quality: PCGS MS 61 (See below for a link to the online certificate details)
Excellent value for a mint-state example.
The 1852 Adelaide Pound is Australia’s first gold coin, minted in response to problems caused by the discovery of gold at Mount Alexander (Victoria) in November 1851.
It is one of Australia’s rarest and most coveted coins, and is seldom seen on the collector market.
The story surrounding its conception, production and withdrawal has several threads that have been shown to have enduring appeal – the perseverance and foresight of George Tinline; the leadership of Sir Henry Young; the ingenuity of the Assay Office staff and the enterprise of all those that flocked to the goldfields are all stories that strike a chord with Australians in the 21st century.
The Adelaide Ingots and Pounds remain to this day as solid testament to Australian ingenuity during a period of social and economic turmoil. From an economic perspective, research into the gradual move from gold nuggets and dust being exchanged for goods to the return of sovereigns in daily trade is a unique and intriguing case study of the evolution of money in an Australian context.
The appeal of these national heirlooms to historians and collectors is heightened further when their rarity and fragile beauty in superior quality is considered.
Very few collectors ever enjoy the opportunity of owning either an Adelaide Ingot or Pound, and it is hardly surprising that they are keenly sought by collectors the nation over.
This particular example shows stacks of lustre all over. Examine the small beads that comprise the inner circles either side, and you can see this coin has no wear at all.
The quality designation by PCGS of MS 61 confirms there are a number of light contact marks either side, characteristics that are commensurate with a coin that travelled in the company of a number of other Adelaide Pounds for just a short period of time.
Importantly for this coin, the rim details remain strong around the perimeter either side, it is devoid of the weakness often evident on the upper left quarter of the obverse, standard for many Adelaide Pounds.
Despite the current softness to the Australian numismatic market, the Adelaide Pound is still seldom seen at auction in true, unimpaired mint-state condition.
I don't believe a comparable example has appeared at public auction in Australia since July 2014 - the other mint-state examples sighted at auction in the intervening months have either been slightly better quality (with an exponentially higher reserve price), or have been impaired in some way.
Based on that recent auction activity, I believe this coin offers excellent value for money - it remains a solid example of one of Australia's most historic coins.