1902 Edward VII Gold Proof £5 Coin.
The 1902 gold five pounds, or quintuple sovereign, was issued in proof and normal (non-proof) versions, as part of the new designs for the newly ascended King Edward VII. It is only one of three dates of gold five pound coin which was issued for general circulation, in addition to proof or pattern issues. This proof version has an all matt finish, as did all the proof coins for this year.
The coin contains 1.1771 troy ounces of gold and is struck in 22 carat fineness. It has a total mintage of 8,066.
The first gold quintuple sovereign (£5 coin), was issued in 1820, and is considered by some to be a pattern coin. In 1826 and 1839, proofs were issued as part of complete proof coin sets, and this also occurred in 1902, 1911, and 1937. Only in 1887, 1893, and 1902 were ordinary circulation types issued in addition to proof versions.
The coins appear to have been a popular target for counterfeiters - you can read more about this on our Fake British Gold £5 Coins blog.
Although Edward VII aceeded to the British throne in 1901, the first year of his coinage was 1902. Gold five pound coins (quintuple sovereigns) were issued in both ordinary uncirculated, and proof versions, the proofs being issued as part of 13-coin sets. The mintage figures for both types was surprisingly high.
For the coronation of King Edward VII in 1902, the Royal Mint issued two different proof coin sets: the eleven coin set and also a thirteen coin set. The latter has the addition of a two pound gold coin (a double sovereign), and a five pound gold piece.
For some reason, the Mint decided to issued this set with an all matt finish rather than the more normal highly polished proof finish. The complete set is presented in its original red leather box. For collectors of modern proof sets, please note that in those far off ancient days, the Mint were not in the habit of issuing any certificate with their proof sets, but then in those days there was far less marketing of coin sets, and the issue price would have been little more than the face value, which was £2.1.10, two pounds one shilling and ten pence, the equivalent of £2.09 in its modern decimal equivalent. With the leather box, the total cost may have been around £2.25 to £2.50 in total.
George William de Saulles designed the Edward VII coinage portrait, which appears on the obverse of the coin. The inscription reads:
EDWARDVS VII D:G: BRITT: OMN: REX F:D: IND: IMP:
The reverse shows the iconic St. George and the Dragon engraving by Benedetto Pistrucci. This design has been used since 1817 on the reverse of most dates of Sovereigns, with a few exceptions.
BP can be seen under the ground on the right hand side in the exergue.
|Weight / Size||Quintuple|
|Gold Weight Troy Ounces||1.177|
|Silver Weight Troy Ounces||0|
|Fineness / Carat||0.917 / 22|
|Obverse Designer||George William De Saulles|
|Reverse Designer||Benedetto Pistrucci|
|Issuing Monarch||Edward VII (1901-1910)|
|Mint / Brand||The Royal Mint|
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