1879 S Victoria gold sovereign proof
Ένα πραγματικό στολίδι σπάνιας ομορφιάς δημοπρατείται στις 5 Μαρτίου(2014) St. James's Auctions PCGS SP65 με έναρξη δημοπρασίας στα 48.000 pounds
Victoria, specimen sovereign, 1879, Sydney mint, young head l., rev. crowned shield of arms within wreath, S below (S.3855; Fr.11; KM.6), in plastic holder, graded by PCGS as Specimen 65+, an extraordinary gem of great rarity and special beauty, clearly evidencing proof qualities including brightly mirrored fields with a frosted portrait in contrast, the reverse motif similarly contrasting, all details bold and deeply impressed by the dies onto a specially prepared blank, virtually as struck in 1879 £60,000-70,000 This magnificent coin represents one of the finest collecting opportunities for sovereign enthusiasts in many a year, and not only is it certified as special but it is also of recent fame. While the Krause-Mishler reference lists other proofs of colonial mints created during this period, and these are occasionally seen, the Sydney Mint proof of this year was known to exist for over a century but not located until it turned up in the USA in the early 1990s. Its history is remarkable. It was minted during the International Exhibition hosted by Sydney from 17 September 1879 to 20 April 1880, the first of its kind, where to mark the occasion specially struck sovereigns of both dates, each bearing the distinctive, bold S mintmark of the Sydney mint, were displayed among an exhibition of gold and silver medals. The occasion was indeed special: it was the first ‘exhibition’ ever held by any Australian colony, and Sydney had gone to great lengths to set up before its rival Melbourne (which planned a similar exhibition for 1880) was able to accomplish the task. The governor himself, Lord Augustus Loftas, cut the ribbon to open the Sydney exhibition. Only rarely had any Australian mint struck gold proofs. Three sets of the 1880 proofs are known, a Shield and a St George sovereign, and a half sovereign with shield, all with the young portrait of the Queen. The 1879 Sydney specimen sovereign is extremely rare, this being the sole specimen certified and known. None is recorded in museums or in institutions – only this coin, in private hands. It appears to be unique. Two pairs of Sydney Mint sovereigns of 1866 are known in specimen state (struck from polished dies, but not showing acid-etched or frosted contrasting portraits – this was considered the ‘Sydney standard’ as opposed to a cameo portrait); these coins have been recorded as being cleaned by the Royal Mint for the colonial office in 1879 for exhibition purposes, most likely also at the Sydney exposition of the same year. Fortunately, the 1879S specimen was spared cleaning. To illustrate its rarity: the 1871 Sydney sovereign is known in proof state (also without frosted portrait) and was clearly made to celebrate and preserve an example of the first new issue featuring the imperial portrait by William Wyon; rarely have other dates been specially minted to show off their qualities in the most dramatic manner, as only a proof can do, thus extremely rare specimens are known for the Jubilee year £5 and £2, and a few other dates of that era, but even they pale by comparison in rarity to the Sydney Mint proof sovereign of 1879, one of the greatest of all sovereign rarities – ultimate in rarity but also ultimate, as seen here, in both its wonderful quality and its delightful, bright eye-appeal. Its purchaser will instantly exalt his sovereign collection to the highest possible rank, which no others can possibly equal. Unique means there is only one, and only one collection may possess this golden jewel.