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In 1918, as the First World War raged on, The Sovereign was no longer used as day-to-day currency in the United Kingdom. Production had stopped altogether in London, but continued in the five branch mints operating around the world. This set unites five coins from those branch mints across the globe, telling the story of this interesting year in The Sovereign’s history.
The Branch Mints and the ‘Chief Coin of the World’
First introduced in 1817, The Sovereign became familiar as everyday currency in the UK. The outbreak of war in 1914 changed that almost overnight. The Government encouraged people to invest their gold in the war effort and by 1918, Sovereign production at The Royal Mint in London had stopped. The days of gold circulating coins in the UK were over, but The Sovereign’s reputation had grown beyond these shores as it became known as ‘The Chief Coin of the World’.
Starting with Sydney in 1855, branch mints were established overseas to produce Sovereigns near to new gold discoveries, rather than shipping the metal to London. In 1918, Sovereigns were struck in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Ottawa and for one year only, Bombay. This set celebrates the story of the branch mints with ‘Very Fine’ quality examples of five historic 1918 Sovereigns, each featuring a mint mark to identify where it was made.
|Alloy||22 Carat Gold|
|Reverse Designer||Benedetto Pistrucci|
|Obverse Designer||Bertram Mackennal|
|Pure Metal Type||Gold|