New edition of The Gold Sovereign is out

Discussion in 'World Coins' started by calcol, May 25, 2021.

  1. calcol

    calcol Supporter! Supporter

    Just received my copy of the new 2nd revised edition of The Gold Sovereign by Michael Marsh (revised by Steve Hill). Pre-ordered last month from the publisher ( Curious that though the book was written and printed in the UK, it was shipped from Paris. Came with a separate price guide. Nicely done, comprehensive book. 248 pages with lots of color photos. If you’re interested in sovereigns of any size of any era, it’s a book you should have. See the pics.


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  3. physics-fan3.14

    physics-fan3.14 You got any more of them.... prooflikes? Supporter

    Does this book cover only British/UK sovereigns, or does it extend across the empire? I know Australian sovereigns are quite popular. Just wondering what the scope of this book is.
  4. calcol

    calcol Supporter! Supporter

    It covers British and Australian sovereigns. Does not cover other parts of the empire (Canada, India, South Africa). Covers sovereigns, 5-pounds, 2-pounds, 1/2 sovereigns and 1/4 sovereigns from the very first through early 2021.


    Edit: In fact, there is coverage of other mints in the empire. Ignore the sentence stating otherwise.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2021
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  5. Zonker

    Zonker Active Member

    Are you sure it does not cover Canada, India and South Africa??? You might want to check again.

    One word of caution - there are errors contained in some of the rarity ratings. Overall it's a good book with loads of information. This edition contains the double and 5£ Sovereign's as well a s the full and half.
    calcol likes this.
  6. calcol

    calcol Supporter! Supporter

    Thanks. You're right. My error. There is coverage of other mints in the empire. In my defense, only the Australian mints are listed in the table of contents and the book has no index. But, yeah, I should have paged through the whole thing before concluding something wasn't there.

    Last edited: Jun 8, 2021
  7. Zonker

    Zonker Active Member

    The Marsh book is the definitive book on the series. Other books and a few auction catalogs/limited edition books of the auction add a bit, but Marsh is the first book you should purchase. Marsh analyzed the Young Victoria series and was about to tackle the Jubilee. He passed away and did not go into the same depth with the Jubilee head and beyond - which is a shame. Iverson and Hill tackled the Jubilee series after Marsh's death and obtain the rights to update Marsh's books some years later. That information is contained in the two updated editions by Hill. There has also been some analysis done on the Veil head that includes a minor variety. That is not in the book. As far as King Edward VII, George V and Queen Elizabeth II - those have not been tackled in any meaningful way other than Marsh's original work or by a couple of prominent collectors.

    The Coins of England published by Spinks is another good book to own. It also lists most of the major varieties, but does not include all of them or some of the minors.

    Grading British Coins is another excellent book to own.

    The above is just the beginning of the books to own if you are serious about collecting one of the most influential coins in the world that has over a 500 year history and provides probably the greatest number of ways that you can build a set due to the length of time that they have been issued along with the number of countries where they were minted.
    calcol likes this.
  8. calcol

    calcol Supporter! Supporter

    One other, inexpensive book to own, if interested in British coins, is Coin Yearbook, also published by Token. It has comprehensive coverage of British coinage, but not a lot of depth on most issues. It's comparable to Guide Book of United States Coins aka the Red Book.

    One other important publication on British coins is the magazine, Coin News. Published monthly and not too expensive for just the digital version.

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  9. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    I am sure this book must have the definitive answer:

    How many 1937 sovereigns were minted for the King George VI Proof sets? One source says 5,001 and another says 5,501.
  10. Zonker

    Zonker Active Member

    Plain edge Proofs = 5501. What source quoted 5001?
    Matt Finish Proofs = 2 known in private hands.
  11. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    The 2020 Spink price guide and earlier editions.
  12. Zonker

    Zonker Active Member

    I looked in Spinks = 5001. So there was probably a printing error in one of them (Marsh or Spinks). You will find printing errors in both, if you look hard enough.

    I would probably go with the 5001, but would verify that through the Royal Mint. They should have the definitive answer.
  13. calcol

    calcol Supporter! Supporter

    Coin Yearbook 2021 states 5,501 proofs. Krause (2019) has it at 5,500 regular proofs plus one matt proof.

  14. johnmilton

    johnmilton Well-Known Member

    If you search the Internet, you will see the 5,501 number listed.

    I wonder if there was a net mintage. Did 500 sets get melted because they didn't sell? You find this now and then with certain issues.
  15. Zonker

    Zonker Active Member

    Are you a sovereign collector? If so, how? (Date, mint, monarch, type; proof or business strike)

    The Iverson/Hill book (more of a catalog) on the Jubilee series goes into a bit more detail than what is in the Marsh/Hill book. I wish the scans were a bit better, but they are good enough.
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2021
  16. calcol

    calcol Supporter! Supporter

    I’ve only recently gotten into British and French coins as my few, short US sets are almost complete.

    I am still trying to decide which British coins to work on. I’d like to do a short series or three that are actually doable … meaning not having any outrageously rare and expensive members. The coins must also appeal visually. So, I’m looking into some Victoria sets. The only coin I have so far is the ’47 proof crown. Bought it a while ago because I really like the portrait and reverse. This series might be doable, but the ’39, ’44 and ’53 are pretty pricey.

    With regard to Victoria sovereigns, a circulation strike set is out … too long. Ditto for circulation strike half sovereigns. The proof Victoria sovereign set is reasonably short but pricey. The proof Victoria half sovereign set is shorter and cheaper … I might try for it.

    The only sovereigns I have so far are both QE2. I was lucky enough to get the 2017 strike-on-the-day 200th anniversary sovereign in the online scramble when it went on sale. Sent it to NGC, and it came back MS70DPL … not too surprising … most graded 69 or 70. This coin is infamous at NGC. They initially considered it a proof. Then had to change a bunch of labels to MS.

    But then I thought it would be fun to have a regular 2017 sovereign too. So, I ordered one from Apmex. Did not expect it to be pristine … would probably have enough dings to get a 65-67 MS grade. Looked pretty good when it arrived, so sent it off to NGC. Much to my surprise it came back MS69DPL, which placed it at sole top of pop … there are others there now. See the pics … first is strike-on-the-day; second, is regular sovereign.

    I don’t intend to make a complete set of QE2 sovereigns.

    What do you collect, @Zonker?


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  17. Zonker

    Zonker Active Member

    I'm currently collecting books and auction catalogs on the sovereign. There are quite a few out there. Interesting history and loads of information not commonly found.
  18. Mister T

    Mister T Member

    I got my copy - shipped from Sweden.

    Are there any varieties in after the reign of Queen Victoria? I don't know of any.
  19. Zonker

    Zonker Active Member

    I can't think of any off-hand. There really hasn't been the kind of analysis on those series, however. Bentley probably has looked at the series the closest. I'll have to review his collection to see if he mentioned any. This is one area that I may start reviewing. King may be another resource.
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  20. Zonker

    Zonker Active Member

    And the answer from the Royal Mint is:

    Our records confirm that 5501 gold proof sovereigns were minted as part of the King George VI coronation sets in 1937. I regret that the records do not appear to indicate a figure for the number of matt proof sovereigns minted in this year, but as you may be already be aware, the matt proof version of this sovereign is regarded as extremely rare.

    As I mentioned earlier - Bently knew of at least two Matt proofs in private hands. I imagine the Royal Mint has at least one.
    Mister T likes this.
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