Featured Canadian Sovereign

Discussion in 'World Coins' started by serdogthehound, Jul 28, 2020.

  1. serdogthehound

    serdogthehound Active Member

    08DF9F4C-6F9B-4A74-8EDC-9CDF2F04F006.jpeg There is a trend from a few days ago talking about US collectors growing up wanting a Spanish Milled Dollar and the excitement of finally getting on. It is after all the first coin in the Red Book. Growing up in Canada I had a similar experience with Carltons. I don’t remember what was at the start of that book but I do remember what was the last regular issue... The Sovereign.

    It was a strange coin. Gold. Different design (Benedetto Pistrucci fanatic St. George). Different head (Barehead v Crown head on coins of the day) . Mint Marked. Strange denomination (Pounds). Rare (~600k total)

    As a Kid I can remember going up the Eaton’s coin counter in Pacific Centre Mall on Robison Street in Vancouver and window shop them. Sovereign were out of my price range but I have some proof sets and a Carson City Morgen I got from them. They had really friendly and knowledgeable staff its sad that the days of Department store coin counters are gone . It is now a Nordstrom and I miss the coin counter. I always wanted one.

    I just got mine
    First A bit of History

    St. George
    The legend of St. George and the Dragon has long been part of European history. St. George association with England and the British Royal Family dates from the time of Edward III, one of Englands greatest monarchs. Edward wanted a military saint over the saintly but weak Edward the Confessor. Edward also founded the Order of The Garter the badge of which is St.George slaying the dragon.

    The Sovereign

    During the great recoinage of 1816 Britain Gold standard gold coin was change from the historic guinea. The new sovereign was slightly less valuable (20 v 21 Shillings) and was one pound. Over the course of the 19th century the sovereign became one of the worlds standard gold coins for trade and for daily commerce though out the British Empire. It was minted in London and at Branch mints in Australia.

    The Canada Dollar
    As the Canadian Provinces moved toward responsible goverment the question of currency arose . The Imperial Government in London favoured a single currency for the empire the Pound based on the Gold Sovereign. The Provinces favoured decimalized currency and generally favoured linking in the the American Eagle. This was ultimately approved in all provinces save Nova Scotia which had a different dollar until 1870 . The value of a Gold Sovereign in that system with $4.8666 and it was legal tender to that amount. America gold coins being valued at par made up most of the gold used by Canadians in commerce and by Banks backing currency.

    A Canadian Mint?

    Early Canada coins were struck by the Royal Mint in London or by the Heaton Mint in Birmingham. Following gold rushes in British Columbia and the Klondike. The Canadian Parliament pushed for the creation of a Canadian Mint either in British Columbia or Ottawa. There was some question as to if it would be an independent mint or a branch of the royal mint. For constitutional reasons the Ottawa Mint was opened as a branch mint under imperial statue.

    The Ottawa Mint

    The Ottawa Mint was opened in 1908. Since that time Canada has produced all its coinage domestically with a single Identifiable exception(some dime minted in Philadelphia with US collars). Being a branch mint Ottawa had to strike on request sovereigns on request. This coin did not circulate in Canada and were generally used for export when companies need to pay suppliers in pounds. Prior to 1911 all sovereign were struck with imported gold afterwords the Mint refined it own gold as it continues to do to this day.

    Canadian Sovereigns

    All Canadian Sovereigns are scarce. Most are rare. And the 1916-C is a great rarity. Of the 7 mint the issued sovereign in the classic era Ottawa stuck the fewest by far with each other mint have years that top the total Canadian Mintage of around 600,000. Canadian Sovereigns are identified by a C mint mark below the St. George. Some examples show circulation which likely took place outside of Canada. Canada struck tribute coins during the 2010’s to celebrate the Sovereign this are NOT in anyway Sovereign and or ugly.

    So without further delay here is mine. It is 1911 which was the most common year by far but I also think it is kinda cool that it was likely the first year made with Canadian Gold. NGC MS 62 Ex Heritage Weekly World Coins July 23 2020
    895721B1-78D3-425B-97F8-4961870C9947.jpeg 19DA260A-62FF-4680-B5F9-C18318854655.jpeg CB4A515F-61F4-4852-A873-C55714E9BA7B.jpeg
    Now that I have this I think I may go for the Mint set since this is more or less the Key Coin. I am excited to own what could be call “Canada’s First Gold Coin.
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  3. Lawtoad

    Lawtoad Well-Known Member

    Very nice sovereign. I did not know until I looked it up that there was a tiny "C" above the date for the Ottawa Mint. Learn something new every day. Thank you for sharing.
    runninghorse1 and serdogthehound like this.
  4. Zonker

    Zonker Active Member

    You've started down a very interesting road. Collecting sovereigns the world's most recognized and trusted gold coin during the height of the British Empire is an extremely satisfying collection - if you go that route. There are so many ways to collect sovereigns - much more than any other coin from any other country because it had been minted for over 500 years (over 200 years for the Modern sovereign) and it was issued in seven mints and five countries. There are so many sets that you can build.

    Good luck and enjoy your treasure.
  5. Zonker

    Zonker Active Member

    The Bombay mint produced sovereigns in 1918 for about eight months and surpassed the total output of Ottawa (all years combined). You can find nice examples of most of the dates at reasonable prices. The 1916, 1913, 1908 will be expensive - especially in the better grades.
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