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Victoria Gold Sovereign

This is the last find from a group sent in by Paul Altabas. It’s a Victorian shield type gold sovereign, which is dated 1853 beneath the head of the queen. The die maker’s initials (W W for William Wyon) are in raised letters at the base of Victoria’s neck, so this coin is amongst the sovereigns listed as number 3852C in the Standard Catalogue. It has a couple of tiny edge nicks but is otherwise in VF condition.

Paul wanted to know if it would be worthwhile selling this and some of his other coins at auction. If you are selling a large collection or something very valuable then sale at auction can bring the best result. For just a few coins that are not worth much then auctions will not be the best way to sell. The vendor has to pay commission (there is sometimes a minimum charge) and the buyer has a pay a premium based on the hammer price; the vendor might be charged 20% commission plus VAT and the buyer pays a premium of at least 20% plus VAT. Therefore, the difference between what the buyer pays and what the vendor receives can be close to 50%. In the case of this sovereign, in its present condition it might be worth around £350-400. However, if sold at auction then prospective buyers would make an allowance to cover the extra premium they would have to pay on top of the hammer price.

If you have a single sovereign then the best thing to do is to shop around various buyers, including bullion dealers (who often work on lower profit margins). For fairly run-of-the-mill finds it’s worthwhile asking other club members if they want to buy them, or if they know of a reliable dealer. However, do remember that condition is all important and things in poor condition will only fetch poor prices.


As mentioned above, in its present condition it might be worth around £350-400

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