The awaited 2012 Proof Australian Gold Sovereign Coin has been released by the Perth Mint of Australia, marking the fourth annual issue in the series. Each coin is struck from 22-karat gold as part of an extremely limited 2,500 mintage.
Despite the relatively newness of the series, the Perth Mint has a long history of Gold Sovereign production. In fact, the Mint was originally constructed for just that purpose. Britain’s Royal Mint opened it as a branch facility in 1899 to refine gold from nearby deposits and produce Sovereigns for use in the British realm.
"Between 1899 and 1931, The Perth Mint struck more than 106 million gold sovereigns and nearly 735,000 half-sovereigns for use as currency in Australia and throughout the British Empire," states the Perth Mint. "The Mint stopped making gold sovereigns when Britain abandoned the gold standard in 1931."
Shown on the reverse of the 2012 Proof Australian Gold Sovereign Coin is a design featuring the Australian Commonwealth Coat of Arms. The Coat of Arms consists of the badges of the six States of the Commonwealth of Australia on a shield. The shield is enclosed by an ermine border which signifies the Australian Federation in 1901.
The Crest of the Arms, including a seven-pointed star, is supported by a kangaroo and an emu (both iconic examples of Australia itself). These design elements are placed on a background of golden wattle, which is Australia’s national floral emblem. Surrounding the reverse design are the inscriptions of AUSTRALIA and SOVEREIGN.
Each Gold Sovereign is minted as legal tender under the Australian Currency Act of 1965. As such, the obverse of the proof shows the Ian Rank-Broadley effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II of England. Obverse inscriptions include ELIZABETH II, AUSTRALIA, 2012 and the face value of 25 DOLLARS.
Gold Sovereign Coin Specifications, Price and Order Details
The Perth Mint strikes each 2012 Proof Australian Gold Sovereign Coin from 91.67% pure gold (22-karat) with a total gold weight of 0.2354 troy ounces. The $25 legal tender coins have a gross weight of 7.9881 grams, a diameter of 22.60 mm and a maximum thickness of 1.75 mm.
While subject to change based on daily gold prices, the current price for the proof coin is listed at AUS $682.00. Each comes with a presentation case and an illustrated shipper along with a numbered certificate of authenticity indicating the maximum worldwide mintage of 2,500.
Visit The Perth Mint website for more information about the coin or to place an order.
See other Perth Mint coin highlights from this site’s Australian Coin Guide.
About the Perth Mint
The Perth Mint (www.perthmint.com.au) is the official issuer of the Australian Federal Government’s Gold and Silver Bullion Coin Program. It was Australia’s third branch of Britain’s Royal Mint when it opened in 1899 (the others being the Sydney Mint and the Melbourne Mint, which are both now closed).
Ownership of the Perth Mint was transferred to the State Government of Western Australia in 1970 who still operates the facility today.