Peculiar 1928 SA Gold Sovereign! Any ideas?

Discussion in 'What's it Worth' started by Kazmer81, Jan 21, 2011.

  1. Kazmer81

    Kazmer81 Member

    This 1928 SA Sovereign has been looked at by a few so-called "Sovereign experts" who are a puzzled by this coin and I have a feeling that it's worth more than its weight in gold.

    One collector suggested that it was fashioned for costume jewelry. However, the crude bezel (as seen in the image) does not appear to be made to look pretty and the location where is was found is not the kind of place where gold costume jewelry is worn. Anyway, the part of the bezel that held the coin in was soldered together with the decorative face, and the coin was then crudely pinched into the setting. I found it with the coin in the bezel, but this collector who was taking a look at it for me wanted to see the edged of the coin and felt he needed to remove it from the bezel in order to better evaluate it. He believed that it was definitely made at the mint, and he could not positively identify it as a fake, or replica. Another "expert" took a look at it, and he also could not identify it as a replica.

    Now, the location it was found is another interesting detail about this coin. While camping in an obscure location of wilderness (near Yosemite via highway 49), I found this coin under a rock on the side of a creek. Near the creek is a crude foundation (made from river rocks and homemade cement) where a small cabin used to sit. I have tried to figure out who lived in that cabin, but there are seemingly no records of someone living in that area. Anyway, this was an area where I would camp with my family and only close friends. In the five years I frequented this spot, we never saw footprints or signs that other campers or hikers had been there. We actually called it "the secret spot" because of its seclusion and obscurity.

    Anyway, the pecularity of this coin is in the fact that supposedly half sovereigns were not made in 1928, however, this coin weighs in at 3.99g (precisely the weight of a half sovereign), but the diameter is 22.05mm (precisely that of a full Sovereign). This coin is high quality (22k) gold so it is pretty thin. Also, there are two unusual stamps on the neck of King George. What are they and what do they mean? Any ideas?

    The bezel is made of the same quality and color and seemingly from the same source and made specifically for the coin. I'm mostly just curious about the history of this coin and I'm not sure if I want to sell it any time soon, however, if the price is right I might change my mind.

    Please let me know what you think and please support your statements with some kind of credibility. I was told by one collector that Half sovereigns were made from the full sovereign mint that year in Pretoris, but were melted down. However, it seemed to merely be a conjecture, and sufficient evidence was lacking to support this claim. Rather than speculation, or a hypothesis, I'm looking for real answers here.

    Thank you!

    sovereign coin_both sides_reduced.jpg

    neck stamps.jpg

    gold bezel both sides_reduced.jpg
  2. Avatar

    Guest User Guest

    to hide this ad.

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    If the coin is really made of gold its value would be the gold content. The coin is a fake.
  4. Merc Crazy

    Merc Crazy Bumbling numismatic fool

    My feelings as well. Probably a fake created for jewelery?
  5. Kazmer81

    Kazmer81 Member

    If that's the case, it doesn't explain why I found it where I did. I mean, this place is in the deep woods, and next to an old foundation for a cabin. I don't know... I'm not trying to make this seem like something it's not. It's a very interesting scenario to me. So lets say it's a replica made for jewelry. If so, then why such a crude bezel? The bezel serves more of a function of being able to wear the coin on a necklace, rather than simply trying to look pretty. It doesn't make sense to me. Also, I don't see why anyone would be wearing jewelry in such a location. And if it were jewelry, it had to have been from a long time ago because it was under a very large rock (that weighed about 15 pounds) on the edge of the creek. The creek during early spring is more like a river and the rock that the coin was found under would be completely under water during the spring. My other question is about the stamps on the neck of King George. What do they represent or what are they for?

    Has anyone seen a fake like this before? This year and this mint?
  6. kaniyarasu

    kaniyarasu New Member

    Too bright for a old gold coin. Did you polish that? counter stamp mark looks like arabic script and numbers.A jewellers strike from india i think? May be wrong.
  7. ikandiggit

    ikandiggit Currency Error Collector

  8. Collector1966

    Collector1966 Senior Member

    Gold does not tarnish, so the brightness is not really a problem. However, the sovereign has been heavily counterfeited in the Middle East, sometimes with the actual gold content. Here's a web site that explains about fake sovereigns:

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    The last circulation issues of the half sovereign were struck in 1915 in London, and 1918 in Perth, during the reign of George V. The Perth Mint struck half sovereigns in 1919 and 1920 also, but they were not issued. Finally the Pretoria Mint struck proofs dated 1923 followed by circulation issues in 1925 and 1926. They have the mintmark SA.

    The coin is a fake.
  10. Kazmer81

    Kazmer81 Member

    Oh, I see. It just seemed mysterious to me because of where I found it. I also don't understand how something that is constructed so crudely be worn as jewelry. It seems to me like it was made for the purpose of being worn at all times as something precious. Perhaps it had sentamental value for the person who wore it. Anyway, thank you for the replies. However, still, if anyone can possitively identify the stamps on the neck, it would be greatly appreciated. At this point, I agree that they are likely the stamps of the person who made the coin, or jeweler, but if I can get an ID for that it would be great. The obscurity of the location where this was found is what intrigues me most about this coin. I don't understand why it would be where it was, and it was likely there for a very long time. I'm guessing that the coin was made shortly after 1928.

    Also, the color came out a bit bright since I used my scanner to make an image of the coin. It's not quite as bright looking in person. It is definitely gold too. The bezel was tested and it is very high quality and is the same color and appearance as the coin. The person who tested it for me said it is 22k, likely the same quality as the original coin.
  11. ikandiggit

    ikandiggit Currency Error Collector

    You can use your imagination as to why it was where it was. Perhaps a dejected hermit who lost his love to the wealthy landowner moved into the woods to quell his pain. He had a picture of his lost love in that bezel but his tears eventually soaked the photo until it dissolved and the only thing he had that was precious was this gold sovereign that just happened to fit inside the bezel. Then one day while he was fishing by the creek a big rock tumbled down, squashing him. Each year the creek would flood and would wash away his bones but the gold sovereign was heavy and stayed beneath the rock only to be found by you.
  12. moneyer12

    moneyer12 i just love UK coins.......

    when the photo is enlarged you can clearly see that the kings beard in rather stragglely towards the ear, every other image of georg V clearly shows that the kings beard is neatly trimmed, therefore this coin is a forgery.
  13. hamman88

    hamman88 Spare some change, sir?

    The best post yet on cointalk? I think so.
  14. ikandiggit

    ikandiggit Currency Error Collector

  15. Kazmer81

    Kazmer81 Member

    haha... nice...
  16. Kazmer81

    Kazmer81 Member

    This scanned image isn't perfect. The actual coin has been compared side by side with a legit sovereign and there are no distinguishable differences. The coin I have is indeed worn down, but it is worn down the way that any sovereign would be that was in a river for many years. Anyway, I figure it's a forgery, I guess. However, it does weigh exactly that of a half sovereign (3.99g) and it the diameter of the full sovereign that year and is seemingly indistinguishable to the naked eye when viewed in person. Anyway, is it not possible that this coin was struck at the mint? Perhaps unauthorized? I have no idea how the minting process works, so that is why I ask. No one has seen a forgery like this one and the two collectors I have shown were very surprised at the similitude to the real ones they have. Any more idea? Has anyone seen these stamps that are on the neck of King George?
  17. Collector1966

    Collector1966 Senior Member

    There is a discussion about Middle Eastern-made fake sovereigns at the following web site. Maybe someone there can answer your questions:
  18. hamman88

    hamman88 Spare some change, sir?

    Long answer short: no. I literally have an ENTIRE BAG of fake US and world gold coins of off metals, size, weight, and year.

    And an answers from your previous post, gold coins used to be copied for jewelry purposes. The reason the mounting was crap was becuase it is a fake coin. A person with real one would have had a nicer mounting.

    You have in interesting imagination.
  19. GDJMSP

    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    This one thing, all by itself, even if you didn't know anything else about the coin, is absolute proof the coin is a fake.

    No, but I suspect they are 1 of 2 things. They are either 1 - the hallmark of the person who made the coin. Or 2 - a stamp to tell others that the coin is a fake.
  20. Kazmer81

    Kazmer81 Member

    Thank you everyone for you time and information!
  21. coinman0456

    coinman0456 Coin Collector

    close the darn window, will ya !
Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page