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.
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.
The 1918 Canada Sovereign struck in Ottawa is by far the rarest, as can be seen in the following mintage figure.
Year Mintage Branch Mint
1918 106,570 Canada
1918 1,296,033 India
1918 3,716,000 Sydney
1918 3,812,884 Perth
1918 4,969,493 Melbourne
|Alloy||22 Carat Gold|
|Reverse Designer||Benedetto Pistrucci|
|Obverse Designer||Bertram Mackennal|
|Pure Metal Type||Gold|