1875 Australia Victoria Shield Back Sovereign

Discussion in 'World Coins' started by Sallent, Oct 6, 2022.

  1. Sallent

    Sallent Live long and prosper

    Here's a young Victoria head with shield back minted in Australia. It's basically what most people would call average circulation wear. I love that portrait, even though it's not really what Victoria looked like by 1875. Having compared it to my newer George and the Dragon reverses, I think I prefer those over this shield back design, but this is still a fun little coin to own.

    Victoria Shield Back.jpg
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  3. Treashunt

    Treashunt The Other Frank

  4. spirityoda

    spirityoda Coin Junky Supporter

  5. Sallent

    Sallent Live long and prosper

    Bad news, calibrating my scale today I weighed it and it's 7.95 grams instead of the 7.98 grams it should be on paper. The damn British Empire cheated me out of 0.03 grams of 91.7% gold, or $1.50 USD at today's prices.

    Sadly a common occurrence with pre-20th century coins, they all have slight variances from what their weight in paper should be. Even AU and BU coins suffer from slight variances, so it's not just a wear thing.

    I'd petition Queen Victoria for my 0.03g back and for better scales for the Sydney Mint in 1875, but I'm only 147 years too late from the date of production, plus I'm sure old Victoria hasn't cared much for earthly affairs for the last 121 years.

    On the bright side, diameter and width are spot on according to the caliper, and sigma seems to like it alright. So it's just a matter of me getting my OCD under control and stop crying about my 0.03g

  6. Razz

    Razz Critical Thinker

    What is the spec tolerance for the coin issue? Also what is the accuracy of your scale? One or the other or a little of both could be the issue. The numismatic premium is what is of importance. No one weighs it if selling for melt unless you have a bag of well worn coins...
  7. Sallent

    Sallent Live long and prosper

    I've heard of George III through William IV sovereigns being as light as 7.80g, and Victoria sovereigns from the mid-1800s being as light as 7.85g.

    This is something that's not often talked about, but old coins were not always to exact tolerances. They were always close, but not always exact. Something I've had to research and learn about because most modern bullion sites just give you a gold content weight (what the exact gold amount of a BU coin should be on paper) and hardly ever give you the full metal weight of the gold and alloy combined, never the tolerances, and much less what a VF or aVF example should weight (which is what you often end up getting of we are talking about mid-1800s coinage) instead of the more expensive BU samples that are graded and have a numismatic premium. And it goes without saying that the more circulated your coin is the less likely it's going to meet the exact specs of what a perfect and shinny BU example should be on paper. It will be fairly close, as wear doesn't shed that much weight, but still, something that would have been disclosed and people would know 30-50 years ago, but no one knows these days because just about everything US comes in a capsule these days and people don't bother educating themselves.

    Heck, I think I'm a fairly small minority because all my old Euro and pre-1933 gold is not encapsulated, and neither is my modern bullion. I'll let some other chump pay those expenses somewhere down the line when I start to sell when I'm old as dirt and getting ready to die....or my next of kin if I still own gold coins when I pass away.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2022
    The Eidolon likes this.
  8. Zonker

    Zonker Active Member

    Your coin falls within the tolerance dictated by the Royal Mint. Aussie sovereigns had some minor issues, but were within the tolerance levels. I like your gadget.
  9. Mister T

    Mister T Active Member

    I think there were some recent articles about later Sydney Mint sovereigns being slightly underweight at times - in later years it certainly struggled when competing with the Melbourne and Perth mints.
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