Money for old money at royal sovereign sale

NEXT WEEK one of London’s oldest coin auction houses will host a sale particularly fitting for the Diamond Jubilee year, as a collection of coins representing the power and glory of Queen Elizabeth II’s predecessors goes on sale.

On 8 May the house will sell the first part of the Bentley Collection – a multi-million pound assortment of over 1,200 gold sovereigns built up over 34 years by a private collector.

The origins of the sovereign date back to 1489, but the modern gold sovereign was introduced for currency in 1817 after the Coinage Act of 1816 passed during the reign of King George III. And there hasn’t been a golden opportunity for numismatists to get their hands on rare sovereigns since Black Monday forced collectors to cash in their coins in the 1990s.

The most important piece of the London Royal Mint section of the collection is the impressive 1819 sovereign, added to the collection at the end of the last century and still the finest known specimen in private hands, valued at a six-figure sum.

So, with the pound in your pocket devaluing quicker than your ability to spend it, you might feel like throwing your lot in with some sovereigns.

Goldbugs – like Spandau Ballet – “always believe” in gold. If they turn out to be right, a sovereign will give you a piece of history that could make a mint.