Queen Victoria 1859 Ansell Gold Sovereign PCGS AU53

Queen Victoria 1859 Ansell Gold Sovereign PCGS AU53

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  • Immensely rare, the 1859 Ansell Gold Sovereign is famous, distinctive and sought after.
  • One of the greatest sovereign rarities – known by 15 to 25 examples!
  • Distinguished from the standard 1859 Sovereign by a line on the ribbon of Queen Victoria’s portrait on the obverse.
  • Struck from Australian gold at the Royal Mint, London – see below for the full, fascinating story!
  • A superb example of this sought after date, graded by PCGS at AU53.

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Known by 15 to 25 examples!

The great sovereign rarities often emerge under unlikely circumstances, and are regularly underpinned by an unusual, interesting heritage. Struck from Australian gold, and sought after worldwide, the Royal Mint’s rare 1859 ‘Ansell’ Gold Sovereign is no exception to the rule.

In 1859, the Royal Mint in London received a batch of gold from Australia, which was of course in the midst of the Gold Rush. When annealed ready for minting, this gold proved too brittle to use in the production of coinage, and it was naturally rejected. A Royal Mint chemist, George Ansell, asked to be given a chance to experiment and hopefully to render it usable in the production of sovereigns. Detecting traces of antimony, arsenic and lead, Ansell was not only able to create a usable gold alloy – he created sovereigns that were stronger than the standard sovereign!

As a result of Ansell’s work, the Royal Mint was able to strike 167,539 sovereigns from the previously tainted gold. These coins became known as ‘Ansell Sovereigns’, and are easily distinguished by the line on the ribbon of Queen Victoria’s portrait on the obverse. This detail was perhaps added so the coins could be identified in assessing how durable they were in circulation.

Bearing an identifiably different obverse design, underpinned by a fascinating tale, and guaranteed to have been struck from Australian gold, Ansell Sovereigns are also notable for the undeniable rarity. British sovereign expert Michael Marsh estimated that there could be as few as 15 to 25 remaining in existence!

Virtually never seen on the market, the opportunity to own a premium quality example of this iconic rarity must not be missed. Graded by leading independent 3rd party coin verifier Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) at AU53, we have just the single 1859 Ansell Sovereign available.

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More Information
Country of IssueUnited Kingdom
Year of Issue1859
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