Jump to content
  • The above Banner is a Sponsored Banner.

    Upgrade to Premium Membership to remove this Banner & All Google Ads. For full list of Premium Member benefits Click HERE.

  • Join The Silver Forum

    The Silver Forum is one of the largest and best loved silver and gold precious metals forums in the world, established since 2014. Join today for FREE! Browse the sponsor's topics (hidden to guests) for special deals and offers, check out the bargains in the members trade section and join in with our community reacting and commenting on topic posts. If you have any questions whatsoever about precious metals collecting and investing please join and start a topic and we will be here to help with our knowledge :) happy stacking/collecting. 21,000+ forum members and 1 million+ forum posts. For the latest up to date stats please see the stats in the right sidebar when browsing from desktop. Sign up for FREE to view the forum with reduced ads. 

1915-L London Mint Gold Sovereign with Extreme Orange Peel / Flow Lines - Genuine or Fake?

Recommended Posts

1915-L London Mint Gold Sovereign with Extreme Orange Peel / Flow Lines - Genuine or Fake?

Whenever I am looking through gold sovereigns, there are always some features which prompt me to take a second, longer look. One of these features is irregularity or lack of smoothness which primarily occurs or exhibits itself on the fields.

This can take several forms, graininess, orange peel, or flow lines, although the distinction between these is somewhat arbitrary, and in practice many coins exhibit a mixture or these textures.

My main target when checking gold coins is to detect fakes, and most fakes display signs of poor production quality and irregularities. Because circulation coins such as gold sovereigns, at least those before George VI, were mass produced, and done so on very tight budgets, some variations in production quality is only to be expected.

Irregular surfaces and fields are not necessarily a production fault or defect, and some variation is almost inevitable.

Let's look at today's example:


Usually, I tend to show the reverse first, but the obverse has more obvious (worse) flow lines / orange peel than the reverse.


In fact, the reverse looks very good, with no notable irregularity.

This big difference between the two sides creates a slight puzzle in itself. How and why do the features occur on one side, but not the other?

I don't know the answer to the question, which is frustrating because I can usually work out a reasonable explanation using a little imagination combined with a fair knowledge of coin production.

Although I was satisfied that this coin was genuine, I nevertheless did a Niton XRF test on it:


This was on an old version of our testing form, so it must have been hanging around for some time waiting for photos or further attention.

The results are almost perfectly normal, and as expected. 0.3% silver is what I would expect. The only notable thing is the Iron content, but at only 0.1%, and only on the reverse, we can afford to ignore it. Some small impurities are quite normal, and all testing methods do have some levels of error or tolerance.

We have started to do serration counts on most sovereigns:


This shows 108 serrations, which I think is normal for 1915-L

I think that many investors, stackers, and even seasoned numismatists might query the authenticity of this sovereign, so it is worth studying as an example of a genuine coin with unusual surface features, easy to mistake or at least suspect of being counterfeit.



Edited by LawrenceChard


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...

Cookies & terms of service

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. By continuing to use this site you consent to the use of cookies and to our Privacy Policy & Terms of Use