The Sovereign Mintmark Collection by The Royal Mint
We offer for sale complete mintmark collections of British sovereigns. A detailed account of the 7 mints including the 6 branch mints can be found on our Mints & Mintmark page.
The following sets contain one each of the mintmarks issued in the reign. George V is the only monarch for whom all 7 mints and mintmarks were issued.
Save Over £500!
The Royal Mint, not content with its monopoly in producing new sovereigns, has for some years now been buying mintmark sets of sovereigns from the numismatic trade, and marketing them to its "Coin Club" members (customers) at prices which seem surprisingly high to us. Sadly because most of its customers are not coin collectors, but ordinary members of the public who appear to trust the Royal Mint without question.
As we wrote this, the Royal Mint's latest price on its George V mintmark collection was £1,245!* We should point out, in mitigation, that the Mint's collection does come in a quite impressive wooden box, with each coin in its own capsule, and with an informative booklet / certificate. At a pinch, the presentation might be worth as much as £50, but on the negative side, the quality of some of their coins is rather interesting. We have the advantage of having seen a number of the Royal Mint's sets, so we know their typical grades. Some of their coins would not even make it into our lowest grade / price. Otherwise their sets are closest to our lowest graded set.
Even our most expensive set is (was) £350* less than the Royal Mint's offering. Perhaps we should have increased our prices, but we just couldn't bring ourselves to charging poor value* prices.
Since then, gold prices have risen, and we have had to revise some of our prices upwards, but our sets still remain a far better deal than those from the Royal Mint. (We can sell you one of their sets if you really want).
For details and prices of mintmark sets including ours and the Royal Mint's, please see our Mintmarks Sets page.
Since creating this page, we have found a Royal Mint sales brochure offering "The Sovereign Mintmark Collection", "Only for Royal Mint Coin Club Members", at £895. The copyright notice on this is dated 2000, at a time when we were offering our own set between about £395 to £495, depending on grade.
When we added our "Save Over £500!" heading, the price differential between our sets and those of the Mint, was indeed over £500. Since then, gold prices have risen, and we change our prices depending on bullion market gold prices, whereas we guess that the Royal Mint react more slowly to price changes. With their much bigger profit margins, they can well afford to do this. Because our prices are more competitive, we need to review our prices more frequently.
*Relevant Dates & Other Information
As it is no longer a simple matter for us to determine our original publication date. In an effort to ensure that our comments remain historically accurate and fair, we note the following, and will add any more data as it becomes available:
- The back cover of the Royal Mint's certificate states "Crown Copyright 2000".
- The certificate states "This collection comprises seven sovereigns of George V..."
- Our mintmark sets are all of George V sovereigns, so they are directly comparable with the Royal Mint's sets.
- All price comparisons were correct at the time of writing.
- The Royal Mint may not be offering any similar sets currently.
- This page was created on or around December 2007.
Government Wealth Warning?
We wonder if some modern issue coin offerings should come with a "Government Wealth Warning".
According to the Royal Mint's Website*:
We have a screenshot stating "Last Updated 1/12/2007"
All Sovereigns are Struck in 22 Carat Gold to Very Fine Condition? *
At the beginning of the reign of George V the sovereign was still an integral part of daily life, changing hands frequently in a vibrant economy.
The First World War changed all that and within days of its outbreak in August 1914 the government was urging the public to give up its gold coins.
Although sovereigns were still struck overseas, if effectively meant the end of the sovereign as a coin in everyday use and thus the gold sovereigns of George V, struck at the Royal Mint in London and in several branches overseas, were the last sovereigns to be issued for general circulation.
This splendid collection comprises seven gold sovereigns struck in the reign of George V - one from each of the Royal Mint branches at Bombay, Ottawa, Pretoria, Melbourne, Sydney and Perth, all bearing the King's effigy and each carrying a mintmark peculiar to its city or country of origin together with one struck at the Royal Mint in London.
- Presented in a wooden case, with an emblazoned brass plaque
- Accompanied by numbered Certificates of Authenticity
- The obverse of the coins features the commanding portrait of George V by Sir Edgar Bertram Mackennal RA
- Benedetto Pistrucci's classic St George and the dragon graces the reverse of each sovereign
- A Free pocketsize magnifying glass with every collection
- A Free booklet which charts the proud and distinguished history of the Royal Mint accompanies each collection.
- An issue limit of just 1,000 has been set
When we read this, we didn't know whether to laugh or cry. Surely when sovereigns are struck, they are in uncirculated condition. Once they have circulated for some time, they degrade through Extremely Fine to Very Fine condition.
The claim was obviously not made by a coin collector, as one of our colleagues pointed out, but I would suggest that it was not written by anybody with an understanding of the English language.
So it must have been written by a marketing person!
Our conclusion from this is:
It is now official that not only do the Royal Mint not know anything about numismatics, but they don't know what they are talking about either.
The expression "Struck ... to Very Fine Condition" is an oxymoron, a figure of speech containing a contradiction in terms, a paradox. When coins are struck (created) they are self evidently uncirculated, which describes the coins' condition, and defines it to be "as struck". The word "uncirculated" is recognised in English speaking countries as a coin grade. The grade "very fine" is two grades below uncirculated, and applies to a coin which has had some wear in circulation.
The etymology of the word is ancient Greek oxus, sharp + moros, dull.
Perhaps the writer in trying to be sharp ended up looking dull?
* When we checked in January 2011, The Royal Mint appeared to have removed this statement from its website.
Mintmark Sets - Our Own Superior Quality Sets
For availability and pricing. Also for the Royal Mint sets as on this page.
The George V Sovereign Mintmark 7 Coin Collection by The Royal Mint
Although the certificate which accompanies this set specifies that all seven coins are George V sovereigns, they have also sold a "George V Sovereign Mintmark 7-coin Collection". As far as we can tell, the set is identical except for its title which is repeated on the certificate, and probably also the box lid, but appears to be in a slightly upgraded box similar to the "Three Monarchs Sovereign Mintmark Set". Confused? Yes, so were we.
* It is the Royal Mint's George V Sovereign Mintmark Collection which makes this particular statement.
George V Gold Mintmark Set - 5 Coins
While updating this page in January 2011, we noticed we owned at least two examples of a Royal Mint "George V Gold Mintmark Set".
The copyright notice on the certificates accompanying these sets are dated 2004.
This "set" puzzles us more than most. It contains 5 gold sovereigns of George V. A complete mintmark set of George V sovereigns would and should contain 7 sovereigns.
This Royal Mint "set" contains, according to its certificate:
- One London Mint sovereign (no mintmark).
- One sovereign from the Bombay India Mint (mintmark I).
- One sovereign from the Ottawa Canada Mint (mintmark C).
- Two sovereigns from the Pretoria South Africa Mint (mintmark S.A.). One of these has the early large head portrait used from 1911 to 1928 inclusive, while the other has the small later portrait used from 1929 to 1932 inclusive.
Missing Coins! - No Mention
This is not, in our opinion, a complete set. It omits sovereigns from 3 mints, with 3 different mintmarks. The "missing links" are:
- A sovereign from the Sydney Mint in Australia (mintmark S).
- A sovereign from the Perth Mint in Australia (mintmark P).
- A sovereign from the Melbourne Mint in Australia (mintmark M).
We can see no mention of the fact that three mints and mintmarks are missing from the set. We can only guess the any Royal Mint customers remained happy in their blissfully ignorant state, perhaps believing that the four mints represented were the only ones operating in the reign of George V or at all, and that the set in their proud possession was a complete set, which it is not.
While we can see that the inclusion of a small head sovereign is an excellent inclusion, it could have been done instead of the early large head Pretoria sovereign, and been just as relevant with only four sovereigns.
We have yet to see any advertising or promotional material for this "set", but we doubt whether it drew any attention to its incompleteness, as the certificate / information card fails to do so.