New Military Coins from The Royal Mint
New Military Coins from The Royal Mint

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


Specification Value
Denomination Sovereign
Alloy 22 Carat Gold
Diameter 22.05mm
Reverse Designer Benedetto Pistrucci
Obverse Designer Bertram Mackennal
Specification Value
Quality Circulating
Year 1918
Pure Metal Type Gold
Length 7.98 g
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