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United Kingdom, George IV, 1828 Sovereign Extremely Rare, R4, Key Date PCGS About Uncirculated Details - Tooled

- The key date of the George IV sovereign series, and the second rarest date of all circulation, London sovereigns.

- Extremely rare and rated R4 by Marsh. Only 11-20 examples are thought to exist.

- Its rarity in combination with its being needed to complete a date run makes this one of the most sought-after sovereigns in existence.

Condition
PCGS About Uncirculated Details – Tooled. Obverse - the all-important date side – attractive. Reverse heavily tooled. Both sides with some peripheral tone.
Obverse
Bare head left; date below; • GEORGIUS IV DEI GRATIA • [George IV, by the grace of God].
Reverse
Crowned shield of arms; BRITANNIARUM REX FID: DEF: [King of Britain, defender of the faith].
Edge
Milled.
Our Price:
SOLD
Weight
approx. 7.98 g
Diameter
approx. 22.05 mm
Metal
gold
Fineness
22 carat (91.67%)
Fine weight
7.315 g (0.2352 oz t)
Production method
milled
Alignment
Coin ↑↓
Designer
obv.: Francis Leggatt Chantrey (1781-1841)
rev.: Johann B. Merlen (1769-1850)
Engraver
obv.: William Wyon (1795-1851)
rev.: Johann B. Merlen (1769-1850)
Mintage
386,182 (calendar)
General References
Fr.377b; KM.696 [“6 or 7 known”]; Marsh.13 [R4]; MCE.479; S.3801
Collection References
Bentley.21; King.-; Schneider.II.-; Slaney.-; Stratos.-; Waterbird.-
Type
2/2 (MCE)
Certification number

The 1828 sovereign is the key date for the George IV sovereign series. It is the hardest of all circulation sovereign dates to find, barring the 1819 sovereign of George III. Truly, the issue is blazingly rare and only 11-20 examples estimated to exist. It is worth remembering that this is not just a variety of a date, this is how many circulation sovereigns dated 1828 exist in total. An example in any condition, being both so rare as well as needed to complete a date run, is exceedingly sought after and demands staggering premiums. An example graded NGC AU55 sold for £30,600 (inc. fees) in February of 2022.

The reasons for rarity of the 1828 coin are no mystery. Quite simply, there were far, far fewer sovereigns dated 1828 minted - about a sixtieth the number of the surrounding years. The reasons for this come down to the economics of the mint. Creating new dies each year is a painstaking task and naturally the mint is happier to reuse any working dies from the year before and put off the creation of new dies. In 1828, a large number of remaining 1827 dies in combination with a low demand for sovereigns that year resulted in dies dated 1828 only coming into use that December. The quoted mintage for the issue of 386,182 is a calendar mintage and most of these coins would be dated 1827. The true mintage for the issue is likely around 32,000 coins, of which just 11-20 survive.

Although the coin accompanies a ‘details - tooled’ grade from NGC, the tooling in question is fortunately confined to the reverse of the coin. It is the obverse of the coin that features the coveted key date, and - rare dates aside - is the side most often chosen by collectors to be on display in one’s cabinet. The obverse is quite pleasing, and both sides feature some tone in peripheral bloom.

George IV (1762-1830)

George IV was the personification of the decadent Regency period. Although the technical span of his reign was from 1820 to 1830, he had been in control of the country since early 1811 when his father’s debilitations forced a retirement in all practical senses. George, as Prince Regent, led (or was supposed to lead) the country through the Napoleonic Wars and 1816, and The Year Without a Summer - when one of the most violent volcanic eruptions in 1,300 years plunged half of the world into a false winter with very real consequences. Nothing grew. And as such poverty was rampant. The tastes of the Prince however became more and more repugnant in their resplendence, growing almost as quickly as the public’s resentment of their deluded and gluttonous leader. Civil unrest bubbled and foamed only to be crushed with new, authoritarian laws such as the death penalty for unlicensed public meetings. Parliament agreed to clear the Prince’s debts if he would take a wife; which he did, only to disown and treat her with the cruel and cold brutality he had become so accustomed to.

With his coronation, this story only continued. King George IV fiercely fought parliamentary reform while defending religious intolerance. Towards the end of his life, ashamed of his bloated physical appearance and diminished public appeal, the King eschewed public life and preferred to live his hedonism in private. He died in 1830, deranged, grossly overweight and a laughingstock.

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Rest of the world

Orders to rest of the world are shipped via Royal Mail up to an order value of £2,500, via DHL on order values over £2,500. Insurance cover at 0.5% of order total will be added. Prices are excluding VAT.

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Royal Mail

DHL

US

£15.00

£50.00

Canada

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Australia

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£55.00

Japan

£15.00

£55.00

Singapore

£15.00

£55.00

China

£15.00

£55.00

Rest of World

£20.00

£55.00

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