4 - King George IV Bare head Sovereign (1825-1830)

S.3801 King George IV (Bare Head) : 1825-1830 currency sovereigns.

The King’s head to the left bare. Date shown below truncation on field with Inscription.

Obverse Legend : GEORGIUS IV DEl GRATIA.

(George IV by the Grace of God )

The Ensigns Armorial of the United Kingdom contained in a beautiful ornate shield surmounted by the royal crown; the centre of the shield features a small shield with the Hanoverian coat of arms.


(King of the British territories, Defender of the Faith)

As with the 1st type sovereign, the bare head sovereign series doesn't have much to offer in the way of varieties. A recent discovery since my 1st articles a decade ago, is the 1826 with small '6' under the correct size digit. This small punch may have been used in error or in the absence for a short period of the of the correct punch. The other described as extremely rare by Spink is the 1830 opposite die axis or 'struck en medaille' sovereign.  

The 1825 Bare head sovereign outnumbers its laureate 1st type counterpart of the same year by probably a conservative estimate of @15-1, and along with 1826 make up the most often seen sovereigns of the series. Examples of these can be readily found in poorer grades of fine or below with prices from as little as £350-£500. For Good Very Fine and upwards prices will start at @£1000 and those truly around Extremely fine or uncirculated will be nearer to £3000-£4000. Too few examples of the small '6' in date below the correct digit have come to the market to be able to make any real assessment of value, 2 examples of this variety sold in the Bentley collection sale, one very fine realised a price of £648, and another said to be the best known example at the time at being near extremely fine realising a price of £1860.

1827/29/30 cannot be considered as rare but all are more difficult to find then the 2 earlier coins and you should expect to pay a few hundred pounds more for these at the top end with entry level examples or between @Fair-Fine perhaps being picked up as low as £500. For better examples or extremely fine and above just a tad more than the 2 earlier sovereigns at @£3000-£5000.

The 1828 sovereign is worthy of special mention being the rarest and most difficult to find of all George IV sovereigns with just 386,182 struck as production for almost the entire year continued with 1827 dies. Apparently the Mint discovered that the 1827 dies were in such good condition at the start of 1828 that they decided not to commission new dies until they became unworkable. It appears the 1828 were only struck in late November-December of the year and very few into 1829 if any.      

The 1828 can be described as a key date coin not only for this series but within all London struck sovereigns with very few known examples, and being 2nd only to the 1819 sovereign in rarity. Although one of these did appear in the Bentley Collection sale, of @Very Fine, and realised a price of £13,200, it was for once not one of the best examples. That for me has to go to the example from the Jacob Y Terner MD Collection the 'Terner 1828' slabbed by PCGS at MS63 'Good Extremely Fine'. There cannot be more than 3-4 examples matching this grade, and with a value of  @£30,000-£40,000 you will need very deep pockets to put one of this quality in your collection.       

Total recorded mintage for 1825 :  4,200,343 (Includes @300,000 laureate 1st head)

Total recorded mintage for 1826 :  5,724,046

Total recorded mintage for 1827 :  2,266,629 (1827 dies used until Nov 1828)

Total recorded mintage for 1828 :  386,182 (Struck only between Nov-Dec 1828)

Total recorded mintage for 1829 :  2,444,652

Total recorded mintage for 1830 :  2,387,881

The total number struck for the bare head type 2nd issue sovereign for the reign of King George IV, totaled : approximately 15,259,733 allowing for '300,000' 1825 laureate type for 1825, bringing the total number struck during the entire reign to approximately 35,306,308 all were struck at the Tower Mint in London.

King George IV (1820-1830) - Part 1

King George IV (1820-1830) - Part 2

King George IV (1820-1830) - Part 3

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