The 1849 Gold sovereign features the young head portrait of Queen Victoria as the obverse engraving with the reverse featuring the crowned shield design by Jean Baptiste Merlen.
The 1849 gold sovereign is the second date for the new Queen Victoria "second head" shield sovereign. This is second type of Victoria sovereign was issued from 1848 to 1872, has a slightly larger head in lower relief, and the reverse legends are repositioned. The first type, issued from 1838 to 1848, has a smaller head in higher relief.
See the rest of the 1849 Sovereign Collection.
Photographs shown may not be the actual coin and may differ in terms of grade, die numbers, design flaws and other minor details. Contact us if you require a photograph prior to purchase.
Hammered gold coins called 'sovereigns' had been minted on and off between 1489-1604, whereupon James I (VI) changed the name of the 20/- gold piece to a 'Unite'. The reform coinage sovereign of 1817 onwards was issued as a normal circulation type coin, and also as a proof.
There is another variation of the 1849 sovereign, the standard form and an alternative with the "1" of the date being replaced by a Roman I. A coin with this design on the obverse could be worth even more than the standard form.
Trying to spot the differences in detail is quite difficult, but it is very easy to sort them "by sight". Once you get used to looking at the different variations, you should be able to recognise the second head instantly because of the change in the size of Queen Victoria's head.
Designed by William Wyon, Chief Engraver, the obverse features the second (large) young head portrait facing left of the young Queen at just 18 years old. This larger bust fills more of the area of the coin and shows Victoria's hair held by a double fillet and gathered into a loosely knotted bun. The initials W.W. are set in relief in the rear of the truncation.
The inscription reads
VICTORIA DEI GRATIA
and the date (1849) appears below the portrait.
The reverse of the 1849 gold sovereign was designed by engraver, Jean Baptiste Merlen. It features the shield design,which is mounted by a crown. It also has a branch of laurel leaves on either side. The branches are tied, with a ribbon in a bow, below the shield.
Beneath this, the reverse displays the thistle, rose and shamrock (symbolising the unity of Scotland, England and Ireland) with a small flower stop on each side.
The inscription reads
BRITANNIARUM REGINA FID: DEF:
completing the monarch's legend, which begins on the obverse.
|Weight / Size||Full|
|Gold Weight Troy Ounces||0.235|
|Silver Weight Troy Ounces||0|
|Fineness / Carat||0.917 / 22|
|Obverse Designer||William Wyon|
|Reverse Designer||Jean Baptiste Merlen|
|Issuing Monarch||Victoria (1837-1901)|
|Mint / Brand||The Royal Mint|
|Obverse Grade||Reverse Grade||Price||Availability|
|VF||gVF||£1,093.28||Add Stock Alert|
|gFine||gFine||£568.28||Add Stock Alert|
|04 May 2020||VF||gVF||£575.60|
|23 February 2021||gFine||gFine||£562.43|
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Bullion coins are provided as is and on occasion may have some minor scratches or edge knocks. These are not regarded as faulty or damaged goods as their precious metal content and value as a bullion coin is not affected. Any coin sold for a value less than a 180% intrinsic is considered a bullion coin.
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