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Coin and Paper Money Collecting/1897 British gold sovereign


I have an 1897 British gold sovereign with no maker's mark above the date (I am able to see the maker's marks clearly in the examples on the internet). The coin's detail is very good in other areas so I do not believe that it has worn off. Given that this is not a counterfeit, does this mean it was struck in London? If so, what might it's value be compared to Sidney and Melbourne mints? Thank you

ANSWER: Hi Pamela,
The M and S mint marks are the only ones found on 1897 sovereigns. There were no full sovereigns produced at the London mint that year, only half-sovereigns. If the mint mark is not worn or removed with a tool, it may be a jewelry copy. This is not an uncommon practice, though most jewelry copies I have seen are of the George V types and often stamped with the makers marks. The good news is that when talking about a coin that has been circulated, there is no difference in value. The jewelry pieces are made typically of the same purity gold as the real coin, and the value for these is generally gold bullion value unless the coin is in excellent condition.
Many of these are well made and very convincing, while some have differences that show they were not made at an official mint.
A clear, close-up picture would help confirm this if you would like to attach one to a follow-up question.
Thanks! =)

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

1897 gold sovereign I
1897 gold sovereign I  

1897 gold sovereign II
1897 gold sovereign II  
QUESTION: Thank you so much for your prompt reply, Dmitry. I have attached some pictures although I don't know if they are clear enough for you to tell.
Thank you

Hi again Pamela,
Sorry for the delay in answering your follow-up.

Good news, this is a 1/2 sovereign and not a full one. It's an official piece and in very nice condition too. Practical value on it now would be $225 to $250, which is $50 to $75 above gold bullion value.

Thanks again for the question! =)

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Dmitry Livshits


My specialty is world coins from the 18th to 20th centuries, primarily non-US foreign coins and related areas such as errors and exonumia (tokens, medals, etc.). I can answer questions relating to identification, grading, selling, preservation and evaluation of such items. In addition to catalog value, I can give you the practical market value and trends for specific types of coins. I will also take questions regarding counterfeits (both modern and antique) and on how to identify them. I am NOT knowledgeable in paper money/banknotes, ancient or "shipwreck" coins. Thank you.


Collector of world coins since early childhood. Access to a variety of auction records and reference material. You can also find me on Facebook.

A.S. in Psychology (2006), B.A. in Forensic Psychology (2008), M.A. in Forensic Psychology (2011).

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