World Coins

Sovereign establishes record in Bonhams sale

A new record price for a British sovereign was established during Bonhams’ Dec. 14 auction. The coin, in “virtually Uncirculated” condition, realized £34,800 ($54,206 U.S.), including the buyer’s fee

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An 1841 gold sovereign of Queen Victoria established what Bonhams said is a record price for a sovereign during a Dec. 14 auction conducted by the auction firm.

The coin features the Small Head bust of the queen and the W.W. initials of designer William Wyon on the truncation of the bust. It realized £34,800 ($54,206 in U.S. funds), including the buyer’s fee, more than three times its estimate of £8,000 to £10,000.

The buyers fee is 15 percent on the first £5,000 of the hammer price, and 10 percent for the rest of the hammer price.

Cataloged as Seaby-3852 in Coins of England and the United Kingdom (which was originally published by Seaby but is now published by Spink), the “virtually Uncirculated” coin “is probably one of the finest 1841 Sovereigns in existence.”

A private collector in the United Kingdom purchased the coin, according to Bonhams.

The Dec. 14 auction realized in total £475,075 ($739,996 U.S.), including the buyer’s fee.

For more information about the auction or future Bonhams coin and medal sales, visit the firm’s website,, email it at or telephone it at (011) 44 20 7393 3914. ¦

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