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Sovereign rarities from George V, ranked from top to bottom



There are a lot of sovereign rarities across the George V sovereign series. There are about a dozen major rarities from the 1920s to 1930s, as well as handful minor ones. Key dates like the 1923SA currency-issue sovereign are rare because of special circumstances, while other key rarities, such as the 1920S sovereign and 1921M sovereign, are rare despite high mintages because of mass government meltings during the 1920s. The remaining fifty or sixty dates which would not be considered rare are often lumped together as a group described as “common” or of “normal” scarcity, especially as the Marsh sovereign guide describes them explicitly this way. However, there are many scarce and very scarce dates outside the “melt rarities” that deserve a premium as well. Dates such as the 1920M sovereign, 1928M and 1929M sovereigns, and 1921S and 1924S sovereigns are all much harder than your garden-variety common-date sovereign. Some dates, like the 1916M sovereign and 1918M sovereign could even be considered sleepers, yet to be appreciated by collectors.

1920 Sydney Sovereign

The rare specimen 1920 Sydney sovereign.

To that end, I’ve compiled a list of George V sovereigns minted across all the mints and years, and sorted them in order of what I view to be their rarity, from most rare to most common. Toward the bottom of the list, the individual rarity of the more common dates is neither here nor there, and the order I’ve put those dates matters less than, say, the top twenty coins, where individual rarities are more clear and more important.

Rank Date MM
1 1920-S Sovereign S-4003
2 1923-SA Sovereign S-4004
3 1917 Sovereign S-3996
4 1921-M Sovereign S-3999
5 1922-S Sovereign S-4003
6 1926-S Sovereign S-4003
7 1916-C Sovereign S-3997
8 1923-S Sovereign S-4003
9 1922-M Sovereign S-3999
10 1924-SA Sovereign S-4004
11 1920-M Sovereign S-3999
12 1928-M Sovereign S-3999
13 1929-M Sovereign S-4000
14 1924-S Sovereign S-4003
15 1913-C Sovereign S-3997
16 1921-S Sovereign S-4003
17 1914-C Sovereign S-3997
18 1931-M Sovereign S-4000
19 1924-P Sovereign S-4001
20 1919-S Sovereign S-4003
21 1925-P Sovereign S-4001
22 1919-M Sovereign S-3999
23 1930-M Sovereign S-4000
24 1927-P Sovereign S-4001
25 1916 Sovereign S-3996
26 1911-P Sovereign S-4001
27 1911-M Sovereign S-3999
28 1926-M Sovereign S-3999
29 1915-P Sovereign S-4001
30 1912-P Sovereign S-4001
31 1926-P Sovereign S-4001
32 1918-C Sovereign S-3997
33 1917-C Sovereign S-3997
34 1919-C Sovereign S-3997
35 1928-P Sovereign S-4001
36 1916-M Sovereign S-3999
37 1918-M Sovereign S-3999
38 1915-M Sovereign S-3999
39 1917-M Sovereign S-3999
40 1921-P Sovereign S-4001
41 1923-P Sovereign S-4001
42 1923-M Sovereign S-3999
43 1924-M Sovereign S-3999
44 1930-P Sovereign S-4002
45 1929-P Sovereign S-4002
46 1932-SA Sovereign S-4005
47 1929-SA Sovereign S-4005
48 1925-M Sovereign S-3999
49 1914-P Sovereign S-4001
50 1914-M Sovereign S-3999
51 1916-S Sovereign S-4003
52 1925-S Sovereign S-4003
53 1913-P Sovereign S-4001
54 1912-M Sovereign S-3999
55 1922-P Sovereign S-4001
56 1918-I Sovereign S-3998
57 1919-P Sovereign S-4001
58 1912-S Sovereign S-4003
59 1916-P Sovereign S-4001
60 1913-M Sovereign S-3999
61 1913-S Sovereign S-4003
62 1917-S Sovereign S-4003
63 1917-P Sovereign S-4001
64 1920-P Sovereign S-4001
65 1925-SA Sovereign S-4004
66 1926-SA Sovereign S-4004
67 1911-C Sovereign S-3997
68 1911-S Sovereign S-4003
69 1911 Sovereign S-3996
70 1914-S Sovereign S-4003
71 1915-S Sovereign S-4003
72 1918-S Sovereign S-4003
73 1918-P Sovereign S-4001
74 1931-P Sovereign S-4002
75 1913 Sovereign S-3996
76 1915 Sovereign S-3996
77 1912 Sovereign S-3996
78 1914 Sovereign S-3996
79 1930-SA Sovereign S-4005
80 1928-SA Sovereign S-4004
81 1931-SA Sovereign S-4005
82 1927-SA Sovereign S-4004
83 1925 Sovereign S-3996

Popular PCGS and NGC-graded Coins

  1. 1881 Sydney Shield Reverse Sovereign

    Equal-third finest graded by PCGS (8/20)...

    PCGS MS63
    certification
    AUD $2,950
  2. 1916 Sydney Half Sovereign

    Equal-second finest graded by PCGS (5/20...

    PCGS MS66
    certification
    AUD $1,950
  3. 1857 Sydney Mint Half Sovereign

    Second-finest graded by PCGS (7/20) and ...

    PCGS MS63
    certification
    AUD $29,500
  4. 1945 Perth Halfpenny with dot after Y

    A semi-key date.

    PCGS MS64BN
    certification
    AUD $295
  5. 1887 Sydney Jubilee Head Sovereign

    S-3868A, with small, spread JEB initials...

    PCGS AU50
    certification
    AUD $950
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