The original sovereign was the largest British coin in both size and value, with the reverse bearing the double Tudor rose, symbolizing the union of the York and Lancaster Houses, and reinforcing its political message. This example has a tiny spot on the reverse and some slight doubling on the obverse, but is otherwise Good Very Fine, according to the firm. It is estimated at £100,000 to £120,000 (about $165,327 to $198,393 U.S.).
Sovereigns continued to be issued by the Tudor and Stuart monarchs until the reign of James I, when the coin began appearing in different guises termed as “Pound,” “Unite” and “Laurel,” which lasted for more than 200 years until the recoinage of George III in 1816 and 1817.
The sovereign name returned, and a new design and smaller size were adopted, showing St. George slaying the dragon in a design created and engraved by chief medalist for the Royal Mint, the Italian artist Benedetto Pistrucci.
The rarest London Royal Mint sovereign is an 1819 example of George III, one of eight currency or circulation examples known to exist from a reported mintage of 3,574 pieces.
The Hemisphere Collection example of the 1819 sovereign has never been offered at public auction before, according to the auction house, and the only previous record of the coin is in the Royal Mint publication Royal Sovereign 1489-1989.
The 1819 sovereign, Fine to Good Fine and toned, is estimated at £50,000 to £60,000 (about $82,671 to $99,204 U.S.).
The Hemisphere Collection is being sold in one sale, on May 8 in London. The catalog will be available to view online at www.baldwin.co.uk and online bidding with no additional buyer's fee is available at www.the-saleroom.com.
For more information about the collection or a preview catalog, visit the firm’s website, telephone Baldwin at (011) 44 20 7016 1700 or email the company at firstname.lastname@example.org.