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Value of an 1869 sovereign with four small errors in the obverse legend?


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I am a novice collector, so please bear with me, especially if I have used the word 'error' incorrectly. Also, please forgive - and I know that this will be annoying and frustrating for any kind person who might be willing to help, so I do apologise in advance - my inability to provide any photographs. Firstly, I cannot get my computer to work properly with files at the moment, and, as you will read below, I do not have the coin in question in my possession; even if I did, I lack a macro lens for the time being.

I have been offered by one of my contacts an 1869 shield reverse sovereign in 'good Very Fine' condition ( I would agree with his description). It has very slight over-strikes to three letters in 'Victoria', all with a slight shift to the right for the second strike, nothing sensational but definitely there, whilst the 'V' has been re-positioned slightly downwards, away from the rim, to which it had been positioned too close on the first strike. This latter error is different in kind from the others and is more noticeable, but it is still not as messy and eye-catching as some errors that I have seen.

Now I know that the above purely verbal information is very far from ideal as a basis upon which to form an opinion, but could some kind soul give me some approximate indication as to whether the price asked is a reasonable one, namely £700. My contact cites two 'shield' sovereigns of roughly comparable dates that sold for £1150 and £2800 in the last September 2020 Coin Cabinet auction, the former price for one that had only one over-strike in the obverse legend and the latter price for one that had three over-strikes and an impressive 'c' over 'o' as the third letter of 'Victoria'. 

I checked up on this auction and my admittedly inexperienced, ill-informed opinion is that these prices look way, way over the top - the result perhaps of two collectors locked in a death-struggle??

I don't normally like to move too far away from the bullion value of sovereigns, though of course I expect a fair premium to be added. So, £700 would be a bit of a stretch for me.

Please can some one advise, naturally without any liability, on the reasonableness or otherwise of the price asked?

 

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The obvious question is, why do you want this particular sovereign?

If you look on eBay you will find quite a number of Victorian shield sovereigns in the range £450-£550 (though you do have to be careful when buying gold on eBay).  If you examine some of these you will see that double strikes of letters or numbers are not uncommon but the real money is attracted to errors where one letter is on top of a different letter, or one number is on top of a different number.  So at £700 you would appear to be paying quite a premium - but it does also depend on the condition of the coin.

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46 minutes ago, dicker said:

To be absolutely honest, I would need to see a very high definition picture to make a comment.  
 

I am instantly suspicious when anyone *tells me* I am getting a “good deal”, it hasn’t happened to me in life yet...

Best

Dicker

 

Thank you - yes, I tend to agree!

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23 minutes ago, Zhorro said:

The obvious question is, why do you want this particular sovereign?

If you look on eBay you will find quite a number of Victorian shield sovereigns in the range £450-£550 (though you do have to be careful when buying gold on eBay).  If you examine some of these you will see that double strikes of letters or numbers are not uncommon but the real money is attracted to errors where one letter is on top of a different letter, or one number is on top of a different number.  So at £700 you would appear to be paying quite a premium - but it does also depend on the condition of the coin.

No particular reason except that I do like the 'shield' series and this example seemed at first glance to have rarity value, but, after what you say, I think it may be exaggerated, so I will probably pass on the offer. Many thanks for your insight.

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2 hours ago, rdhcustance said:

I am a novice collector, so please bear with me, especially if I have used the word 'error' incorrectly. Also, please forgive - and I know that this will be annoying and frustrating for any kind person who might be willing to help, so I do apologise in advance - my inability to provide any photographs. Firstly, I cannot get my computer to work properly with files at the moment, and, as you will read below, I do not have the coin in question in my possession; even if I did, I lack a macro lens for the time being.

I have been offered by one of my contacts an 1869 shield reverse sovereign in 'good Very Fine' condition ( I would agree with his description). It has very slight over-strikes to three letters in 'Victoria', all with a slight shift to the right for the second strike, nothing sensational but definitely there, whilst the 'V' has been re-positioned slightly downwards, away from the rim, to which it had been positioned too close on the first strike. This latter error is different in kind from the others and is more noticeable, but it is still not as messy and eye-catching as some errors that I have seen.

Now I know that the above purely verbal information is very far from ideal as a basis upon which to form an opinion, but could some kind soul give me some approximate indication as to whether the price asked is a reasonable one, namely £700. My contact cites two 'shield' sovereigns of roughly comparable dates that sold for £1150 and £2800 in the last September 2020 Coin Cabinet auction, the former price for one that had only one over-strike in the obverse legend and the latter price for one that had three over-strikes and an impressive 'c' over 'o' as the third letter of 'Victoria'. 

I checked up on this auction and my admittedly inexperienced, ill-informed opinion is that these prices look way, way over the top - the result perhaps of two collectors locked in a death-struggle??

I don't normally like to move too far away from the bullion value of sovereigns, though of course I expect a fair premium to be added. So, £700 would be a bit of a stretch for me.

Please can some one advise, naturally without any liability, on the reasonableness or otherwise of the price asked?

 

If two similar coins sold at auction, one for substantially more than £700, why does seller not auction the coin.

I have bought Sovs like this only to find that when attempting to re-sell, the perceived buyers did not materialise. 

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57 minutes ago, Xander said:

If two similar coins sold at auction, one for substantially more than £700, why does seller not auction the coin.

I have bought Sovs like this only to find that when attempting to re-sell, the perceived buyers did not materialise. 

Now that is a very good point - thank you. I think more and more that those auction results were a bit freakish.

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I'm by no means an expert - so this is no advice... but I think generally the 'safest' error sovereigns are those which are listed in Spink and/or Marsh. If it's not listed, it tends to be of less collector interest and worth less premium. 

E.g., the 1860 O/C error is listed in both books. It's a recognised variety.

If it's not listed, "the jury may still be out there". Exercise caution.

 

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The 1969 Sovereign (Marsh 53)  has a common rating of over 6 million. Clearly you feel that the overstrikes might have enhanced its value. Certainly GVF is a reasonable condition on its own. However, why not check the die number first? You might be luckier enough to have die number 34 and have the 'yellow gold' variety (R3). Good-luck.

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35 minutes ago, jultorsk said:

I'm by no means an expert - so this is no advice... but I think generally the 'safest' error sovereigns are those which are listed in Spink and/or Marsh. If it's not listed, it tends to be of less collector interest and worth less premium. 

E.g., the 1860 O/C error is listed in both books. It's a recognised variety.

If it's not listed, "the jury may still be out there". Exercise caution.

 

That's very helpful information, thank you. I don't think that these over-strikes are listed - certainly not advertised by the vendor as such. I will indeed be cautious.

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31 minutes ago, Britannia47 said:

The 1969 Sovereign (Marsh 53)  has a common rating of over 6 million. Clearly you feel that the overstrikes might have enhanced its value. Certainly GVF is a reasonable condition on its own. However, why not check the die number first? You might be luckier enough to have die number 34 and have the 'yellow gold' variety (R3). Good-luck.

No such luck, I'm afraid, but thank you for the information. All knowledge is extremely valuable to me at my stage. I think I may have got too excited by the over-strikes: though perhaps they do add a small amount of value, I doubt if it justifies £700.

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10 hours ago, dicker said:

To be absolutely honest, I would need to see a very high definition picture to make a comment.  
 

I am instantly suspicious when anyone *tells me* I am getting a “good deal”, it hasn’t happened to me in life yet...

Best

Dicker

 

You’ve never had a good ‘deal’ @dicker?

Youve been barking up the wrong trees.

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