4 - 1819 King George III Sovereign (1817-1820)
S.3785 ('Type A' as 1817) : The only known type, 1819 currency sovereign descending colon, no space between REX and F:D:
The excessively rare 1819 sovereign will be far beyond the reach of all but the most dedicated collector with extremely deep pockets. There are just 6-7 known examples with the best example by far being that of the above, and grading @Extremely Fine. Sold as lot 941 in part 3 of the Bentley Collection by Baldwins in London 2013, the coin realised a hammer price of £186,000. The sovereign had previously been sold by Sotherbys in October 1998 realising a price of £55,000, there is no reason to suggest that this coin would not have continued it upward trend should it be offered for sale today. The next best example being that of a Good Fine or near Very Fine sold by St James Auctioneers in May 2009 for £46,000. Of the remaining known 1819 sovereigns, most are Poor - Fine, holed and/or ex mount, but even these would sell for tens of thousands if bought to auction now. If this is the coin for you it should be noted that all appear with type A legend with coarse hair as seen on the 1817 sovereign.
A number of theories have been put forward as to just why so few sovereigns were struck for 1819. Steve Hill of Baldwins & Sons summarises this excellently in the 2013 Bentley Collection sale publication. The publication also lists the 1819 sovereigns known to be in private hands, along with their grades and prices realised in previous auctions.
Before we leave this rarest of all London struck sovereigns, I must mention one more 1819 sovereign said to exist but not seen since it was last sold at auction in 1939. This is purported to be the only known example of a proof struck sovereign for this year. The coin has not been verified as proof struck, and its whereabouts is unknown. However should this ever be offered for sale, its not unrealistic to suggest it could become the most valuable sovereign ever sold which is currently held by the 1920 Sydney struck sovereign at £780,000 but more about that one when we get to King George V later in the series.
Total recorded mintage for 1819 : 3,574