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Detailed information about Coin: Sovereign 1918 from United Kingdom

Coin: Sovereign 1918
Description

A gold coin (21.5 mm diameter with milled edge) featuring the effigy of King George V facing left; around, GEORGIVS V D.G. BRITT: OMN: REX F:D: IND: IMP:.

The reverse features St. George on horseback holding a short sword in his right hand, the horse rearing to right over a fallen dragon which has a broken lance in its chest; in exergue, the date, 1918 and the artist's initials B.P.; the mint mark is in the ground above the middle of the date.

This was the first and only issue of pre-decimal sovereign coins in India.

Indian gold coin was not legal tender. In 1864 the Indian government authorised the acceptance of Imperial sovereigns and half-sovereigns in payments to the Treasury at the rate of 10 and 5 rupees respectively but the coins were not made legal tender. In 1868 sovereigns and half-sovereigns minted in Sydney were added to the Imperial issues as acceptable in payment to Treasury. From 1871 Sydney produced Imperial types (both St. George and Shield reverses) as did the new mint at Melbourne from 1872. From the 1870s there was an expectation that the mohur coinage would be replaced by sovereigns, to the extent that coining mohurs ceased for a time from 1891. In 1899, the year that the Perth Branch of the Royal mint began production of sovereigns, Imperial gold sovereigns were declared legal tender alongside the silver rupee and it was decided that a mint would be established in Bombay to strike sovereigns. For a mint outside Britain to produce the sovereign it had to be a Branch of the Royal Mint. Building work on the new mint was begun but the concept was abandoned in 1903.

World War I however brought about a crisis in availability of silver and copper which saw India move to a greater reliance on paper money. The issues of paper were backed by gold bullion and a variety of gold coin. To simplify matters it was decided that this gold should be coined into sovereigns. An area of the Bombay Mint was set aside and isolated from other mint activities and was proclaimed a branch of the Royal Mint. Dies were provided for sovereigns from London (as was the case for all branch mints) and production began on 15 August 1918. The coins are distinguished by the mint mark I at the centre of the ground below St. George. 1,296,033 sovereigns were struck but there was no further call for gold coinage and the branch was closed in April 1919.

CountryUnited Kingdom CurrencyPound Sterling (pre-decimal)
Face value1 (x Pound) TypeSovereign (St George)
Year1918 CurrentNo (demonetised 1971)
Mintage13,900,265 (13.9 million)
Mints
NameMintageMint mark
Melbourne Mint 4,969,493 (5.0 million) Letter M
Perth Mint 3,812,884 (3.8 million) Letter P
Sydney Mint 3,716,000 (3.7 million) Letter S
Bombay Mint 1,295,372 (1.3 million) Letter I
Royal Mint Ottawa 106,516 (106516) Letter C
Material0.917 Gold DesignerBenedetto Pistrucci
MonarchKing George V EffigyPortrait by Bertram Mackennal (Bare Head)
Production technologyMilled (machine-made) ShapeRound
Size (mm)22.0500 Thickness (mm)1.5200
Mass (g)7.9881
Obverse

Head of King George V facing left; around, GEORGIVS V D.G. BRITT: OMN: REX F:D: IND: IMP:

Obverse inscription GEORGIVS V D.G.BRITT: OMN: REX F.D.IND:IMP:
Reverse

St. George on horseback holding a short sword in his right hand, the horse rearing to right over a fallen dragon which has a broken lance in its chest; in exergue, the date, 1918 and the artist's initials B.P.; the mint mark is in the ground above the middle of the date.

Reverse inscription

1918

EdgeMilled Edge inscription

None

Notes

Ottawa Mint sovereigns do not seem to be listed in Krause catalogues.

Museum Victoria states that "1,296,033 sovereigns were struck" at the Bombay Mint, but the Catalogue of British Commonwealth Coins 1649 - 1971 lists 1,295,372. The difference could be due to proofs included in one figure but not the other.

Additional information:

[Book] Pridmore, Fred. 1980. The Coins of the British Commonwealth of Nations, Part 4, India. 2., 105 Pages

Sovereign 1918: Known varieties
VarietyMintageRarityDetails
Proof (Bombay Mint) unknown
Prooflike restrike (Bombay Mint) unknown
Sovereign 1918: Photos
Sovereign 1918: Photo Coin - Sovereign, New South Wales, Australia, 1918
Coin - Sovereign, New South Wales, Australia, 1918
Copyright: Museum Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: Sydney Mint.
source
Sovereign 1918: Photo Coin - Sovereign, New South Wales, Australia, 1918
Coin - Sovereign, New South Wales, Australia, 1918
Copyright: Museum Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: Sydney Mint.
source
Sovereign 1918: Photo Coin - Sovereign, Victoria, Australia, 1918
Coin - Sovereign, Victoria, Australia, 1918
Copyright: Museum Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: Melbourne Mint.
source
Sovereign 1918: Photo Coin - Sovereign, Victoria, Australia, 1918
Coin - Sovereign, Victoria, Australia, 1918
Copyright: Museum Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: Melbourne Mint.
source
Sovereign 1918: Photo Coin - Sovereign, Western Australia, Australia, 1918
Coin - Sovereign, Western Australia, Australia, 1918
Copyright: Museum Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: Perth Mint.
source
Sovereign 1918: Photo Coin - Sovereign, Western Australia, Australia, 1918
Coin - Sovereign, Western Australia, Australia, 1918
Copyright: Museum Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: Perth Mint.
source
Sovereign 1918: Photo Coin - Sovereign, Canada, 1918
Coin - Sovereign, Canada, 1918
Copyright: Museum Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: Ottawa Mint.
source
Sovereign 1918: Photo Coin - Sovereign, Canada, 1918
Coin - Sovereign, Canada, 1918
Copyright: Museum Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: Ottawa Mint.
source
Sovereign 1918: Photo Coin - Sovereign, India, 1918
Coin - Sovereign, India, 1918
Copyright: Museum Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: Bombay Mint.
source
Sovereign 1918: Photo Coin - Sovereign, India, 1918
Coin - Sovereign, India, 1918
Copyright: Museum Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: Bombay Mint.
source
Sovereign 1918: Photo India 1918-I sovereign
India 1918-I sovereign
Copyright: CoinFactsWiki / CC BY-SA
Author:
Notes: Bombay Mint.
source
Sovereign 1918: Photo India 1918-I sovereign
India 1918-I sovereign
Copyright: CoinFactsWiki / CC BY-SA
Author:
Notes: Bombay Mint.
source
Sovereign 1918: Catalogue Reference IDs
SourceReference ID
Friedberg, Gold Coins of the WorldAustralia 38 (Sydney), 39 (Melbourne), 40 (Perth)
Krause, Standard Catalog of World CoinsAustralia KM# 29 (Sydney, Melbourne, Perth Mints)
Spink/Seaby, Coins of England and the United Kingdom4003 (Sydney), 3999 (Melbourne) and 4001 (Perth)
McDonald, Australian Coins and BanknotesMcD 258 (Sydney), 259 (Melbourne) and 260 (Perth)
Renniks, Australian Coin and Banknote ValuesS165 (Sydney), S166 (Melbourne) and S167 (Perth)
Friedberg, Gold Coins of the WorldCanada 2 (Royal Mint Ottawa)
Spink/Seaby, Coins of England and the United Kingdom3997 (Ottawa Mint)
Friedberg, Gold Coins of the WorldIndia 15 (Bombay Mint)
Krause, Standard Catalog of World CoinsIndia KM# 525A (Bombay Mint)
Spink/Seaby, Coins of England and the United Kingdom3998 (Bombay Mint)
Sovereign 1918: References to Information Used
SourceEditionAboutLinkNotes
Museum Victoria Collections 2016 Coin description link
Renniks, Australian Coin and Banknote Values 1965 Mint Sydney Mint, Melbourne Mint and Perth Mint
Remick, Catalogue of British Commonwealth Coins 1971 Mint Royal Mint Ottawa and Bombay Mint
Renniks, Australian Coin and Banknote Values 1965 Mintage Sydney Mint, Melbourne Mint and Perth Mint mintage
Remick, Catalogue of British Commonwealth Coins 1971 Mintage Royal Mint Ottawa and Bombay Mint mintage
Remick, Catalogue of British Commonwealth Coins 1971 Varieties Proof (Bombay Mint)
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Sovereign 1918: Links to sites that (may) sell similar coins
Gold Sovereigns: 1918 Gold Sovereigns 1918M George V Australian Gold Sovereign - Silveragecoins.com
1918P George V Australian Gold Sovereign - Silveragecoins.com 1918S George V Australian Gold Sovereign - Silveragecoins.com
1918C George V Canadian Gold Sovereign - Silveragecoins.com
Sovereign 1918: Some useful external links
Museum Victoria Collections: Coin - Sovereign, New South Wales, Australia, 1918 Museum Victoria Collections: Coin - Sovereign, Victoria, Australia, 1918
Museum Victoria Collections: Coin - Sovereign, Western Australia, Australia, 1918 Museum Victoria Collections: Coin - Sovereign, Canada, 1918
Museum Victoria Collections: Coin - Sovereign, India, 1918 Cruzi's Coins: Gold Sovereigns: 1918 Bombay Mint Gold Sovereign
India 1918-I sovereign - CoinFactsWiki
List of all (148) coins of type: United Kingdom / Sovereign (Pre-Decimal)
Sovereign 1817 Sovereign 1818 Sovereign 1819 Sovereign 1820 Sovereign 1821 Sovereign 1822
Sovereign 1823 Sovereign 1824 Sovereign 1825 St George Sovereign 1825 Shield Sovereign 1826 Sovereign 1827
Sovereign 1828 Sovereign 1829 Sovereign 1830 Sovereign 1830 William IV Sovereign 1831 Sovereign 1832
Sovereign 1833 Sovereign 1835 Sovereign 1836 Sovereign 1837 Sovereign 1837 Victoria Sovereign 1838
Sovereign 1839 Sovereign 1841 Sovereign 1842 Sovereign 1843 Sovereign 1844 Sovereign 1845
Sovereign 1846 Sovereign 1847 Sovereign 1848 Sovereign 1849 Sovereign 1850 Sovereign 1851
Sovereign 1852 Sovereign 1853 Sovereign 1854 Sovereign 1855 Sovereign 1856 Sovereign 1857
Sovereign 1858 Sovereign 1859 Sovereign 1860 Sovereign 1861 Sovereign 1862 Sovereign 1863
Sovereign 1864 Sovereign 1865 Sovereign 1866 Sovereign 1868 Sovereign 1869 Sovereign 1870
Sovereign 1871 Shield Sovereign 1871 Sovereign 1872 Shield Sovereign 1872 Sovereign 1873 Shield Sovereign 1873
Sovereign 1874 Shield Sovereign 1874 Sovereign 1875 Shield Sovereign 1875 Sovereign 1876 Shield Sovereign 1876
Sovereign 1877 Shield Sovereign 1877 Sovereign 1878 Shield Sovereign 1878 Sovereign 1879 Shield Sovereign 1879
Sovereign 1880 Shield Sovereign 1880 Sovereign 1881 Shield Sovereign 1881 Sovereign 1882 Shield Sovereign 1882
Sovereign 1883 Shield Sovereign 1883 Sovereign 1884 Shield Sovereign 1884 Sovereign 1885 Shield Sovereign 1885
Sovereign 1886 Shield Sovereign 1886 Sovereign 1887 Shield Sovereign 1887 Young head Sovereign 1887 Jubilee head Sovereign 1888
Sovereign 1889 Sovereign 1890 Sovereign 1891 Sovereign 1892 Sovereign 1893 Jubilee head Sovereign 1893 Veiled head
Sovereign 1894 Sovereign 1895 Sovereign 1896 Sovereign 1897 Sovereign 1898 Sovereign 1899
Sovereign 1900 Sovereign 1901 Sovereign 1902 Sovereign 1903 Sovereign 1904 Sovereign 1905
Sovereign 1906 Sovereign 1907 Sovereign 1908 Sovereign 1909 Sovereign 1910 Sovereign 1911
Sovereign 1912 Sovereign 1913 Sovereign 1914 Sovereign 1915 Sovereign 1916 Sovereign 1917
Sovereign 1918 Sovereign 1919 Sovereign 1920 Sovereign 1921 Sovereign 1922 Sovereign 1923
Sovereign 1924 Sovereign 1925 Sovereign 1926 Sovereign 1927 Sovereign 1928 Sovereign 1929
Sovereign 1930 Sovereign 1931 Sovereign 1932 Sovereign 1937 Edward VIII (not released) Sovereign 1937 (Proof only) Sovereign 1953 (not released)
Sovereign 1957 Sovereign 1958 Sovereign 1959 Sovereign 1962 Sovereign 1963 Sovereign 1964
Sovereign 1965 Sovereign 1966 Sovereign 1967 Sovereign 1968