AUSTRALIAN SOVEREIGN 165TH PIEDFORT VERSION (2020, Perth Mint)
AUSTRALIAN SOVEREIGN 165TH PIEDFORT (PERTH MINT)
The first overseas branch of the British Empire’s Royal Mint was opened in Sydney, Australia in 1855. In a rare turn of events, the mint was empowered to actually produce Sovereigns, rather than just export the prodigous amount of mined gold back to the United Kingdom for it to be done there. The Sydney mint struck coins were unique and Sir Leonard Charles Wyon, eldest son of Chief Engraver William Wyon, produced designs that departed from the traditional look of the original. The denomination ‘ONE SOVEREIGN’ was included on the reverse which also comprised depictions of St Edward’s Crown and a laurel wreath. Even ‘AUSTRALIA’ was engraved prominently, despite not yet being an independant nation. This all changed in 1870, when the mint adopted the core British design, but with the addition of a small mintmark.
To mark 165 years since it was first struck, the Perth Mint has produced a special piedfort (double thickness) variant with a ‘165’ privy mark on the reverse face. These are rare for the Perth Mint in being produced from 0.9167 (22kt) gold, as they generally use the very fine 0.9999 grade for their numismatics. It contains a little under ½oz of gold (0.471 oz) and hits 22.60 mm in diameter. A nice touch is capitalising on the extra thickness to create a high-relief strike. One for the traditionalist. Available now, it has a mintage of 350 pieces and sells for $1,990 AUD.
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