Mints and Mintmarks - Melbourne Mint

Written by Ian • Last updated 25 Oct 2018

If your looking to buy Melbourne mintmark sovereigns please click here for our dedicated page.

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:-

Mint Mintmark First Last
London None 1817 Date
Sydney S 1871 1926
Melbourne M 1872 1931
Perth P 1899 1931
Ottawa C 1908 1919
Bombay I 1918 1918
Pretoria SA 1923 1932

The mintmarks are to be found on the ground above the centre of the date, at least for the Jubilee, Old Head, 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 number of Melbourne Mint sovereigns, all showing the M mintmark clearly.

Melbourne Mint, Australia

The Melbourne Mint in Australia struck gold sovereigns between 1872 and 1931. Some of these are common, some scarce, some rare, and others very rare. The Melbourne mint was set up to coin the gold, which had only recently been discovered in Victoria, into gold sovereigns. It opened for business in 1872.

Dates Produced

Melbourne Mint sovereigns were produced in the following years:-

Date Mintage
Shield
1872 748,180*
1874 1,373,298*
1880 3,053,454*
1881 2,324,800*
1882 2,465,781
1883 427,450
1884 2,942,630*
1885 2,967,143*
1886 2,902,131*
1887 1,916,424*
Young Head St George
1872  
1873 752,199
1874  
1875 1,888,405
1876 2,124,445
1877 1,487,316
1878 2,171,457
1879 2,740,594
1880  
1881  
1882 2,093,850
1883 1,623,000
1884  
1885  
1886  
1887  
Jubilee
1887 940,000
1888 2,830,612
1889 2,732,590
1890 2,473,537
1891 2,749,592
1892 3,488,750
1893 1,649,352
Old Head
1893 1,346,000
1894 4,166,874
1895 4,165,869
1896 4,456,932
1897 5,130,565
1898 5,509,138
1899 5,579,157
1900 4,305,904
1901 3,987,704
Edward VII
1902 4,267,157
1903 3,521,780
1904 3,743,897
1905 3,633,838
1906 3,657,853
1907 3,332,691
1908 3,080,148
1909 3,029,538
1910 3,054,547
George V
1911 2,851,451
1912 2,469,257
1913 2,323,180
1914 2,012,029
1915 1,637,839
1916 1,272,634
1917 934,469
1918 4,809,493
1919 514,257
1920 530,266
1921 240,121
1922 608,306
1923 511,129
1924 278,140
1925 3,311,662
1926 211,107
1927 310,156
1928 413,208
1929 436.938
1930 77,588
1931 57,809
Total 148,211,120

Notes
* = Includes St. George Type

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. The 1925 is much scarcer than its mintage figure would indicate, making it also a fairly scarce date of sovereign.

For Sale

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

Click here to find more about Branch Mints