Gold Sovereign 1923 PROOF « GEORGIVS V D.G. BRITT».

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King George V saw his role as monarch as being to embody those qualities his far-flung subjects saw as their greatest strengths – diligence, dignity & duty.
Australian designer Bertram Mackennal obviously held these values in mind when casting his portrait.
1923 is the first year that Pretoria Mint produced sovereigns. Estimates vary from 24 to 713 struck for circulation with just 655 proofs being produced and used in the sets.

The King George V “Large Head” obverse appeared on sovereigns during an era of change and turmoil. The effects of events as momentous as World War I and the Great Depression were felt for many decades to follow, influencing the rarity of many sovereigns.

There is much variation in the depth to which this portrait is struck. The points to examine when grading this obverse are:

  • The peaks of the eyebrow and upper cheek;
  • The fine detail in his moustache;
  • The broad area of hair above the ear & towards the fringe;
  • The neck muscle between his ear and the base of his neck.
  • Weakness will show in a lack of definition of the hair including beard and moustache;
  • The top of the ear which would show a lack of sharpness on a weak strike;
  • As always, the rims and fields;
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