Gold Sovereigns

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Branch Mints - Ottawa Canada

Since 1871, British sovereigns were struck at branch mints, in addition to the Royal Mint in London.
The first branch mint to strike sovereigns was Sydney in Australia. It made good sense to produce British sovereigns close to the gold mining source areas, rather than ship the gold to London to be made into coin, then possibly ship it back again.
In 1872, the Melbourne mint followed.
The Perth, Australia mint started production of sovereigns in 1899, and the Ottawa mint in Canada started in 1908.
The Bombay mint in India struck sovereigns in just one year, 1918, and the Pretoria mint in South Africa started production in 1923.

Mintmarks
The mintmarks used by the various mints are as follows:-
MintMintmark
LondonNone
SydneyS
MelbourneM
PerthP
OttawaC
BombayI
PretoriaSA

The mintmarks are to be found on the ground above the centre of the date, at least for the Edward VII and George V sovereigns. Many collectors find the mintmarks very difficult to find at their first attempt, but it really is quite easy once you know where to look. It helps of course to use a magnifying glass!
Our photographs show a 1913 Canadian Mint sovereign, and a close-up of the date and mintmark.

Ottawa Mint, Canada
The Canadian Mint at Ottawa only struck gold sovereigns for ten years between 1908 and 1919.
All of these are scarce, some rare, and two of the dates are extremely rare.
The Ottawa mint was set up to coin the gold, which had only recently been discovered in British Columbia and the Yukon, into gold sovereigns. It opened on January 2nd 1908, and this was the first date of British gold sovereign to be minted in Canada, although it is one of the two extremely rare dates.
Naturally the mint produced other coins in silver and base metal, the first coin struck at the Canadian Mint was a fifty cent piece. The mint still operates today, and is known as The Royal Canadian Mint. It was made a Crown Corporation on April 1st 1969.

Dates Produced
Canadian Mint sovereigns were produced in the following years:-
DateMintage
1908646
190916,300
191028,020
1911257,048
19133,717
191414,900
19166,119
191758,875
1918106,570
1919135,957
Total628,152


Rarity
The rarity of each date is not quite in proportion to the mintage figures. Many are thought to have been melted down, some dates being affected more than others. It is possible that only a handful of the 1908 mintage survive, making this an extremely rare coin. Similarly the 1916 is much rarer than its mintage figure would indicate, making it also a very rare date of sovereign.

For Sale
Rather than duplicate our listing of sovereigns for sale, we include the Canadian Mint sovereigns which we have for sale on their appropriate pages, being :-

More About Branch Mints


Reverse of 1918 Canada Mint Sovereign
Reverse of 1918 Canada Mint Sovereign

Close-up Showing Mintmark and Date

Close-up Showing Mintmark and Date

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The Chard "Gold Sovereigns" website is owned and operated by Chard (1964) Limited
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