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Sovereign Key Dates
January 11, 2024
Rarest Gold Sovereign
January 11, 2024
Pattern Coins Explained

What are Pattern Coins?

Most numismatic coin collectors will have come across the term 'pattern coin' but what is exactly is a pattern coin? These are often the rarest type of coin seen in the market because of the nature of a pattern coin. A pattern coin is one that is struck as a proof of concept for a given design. These coins are almost like a draft to see how the coin looks after it is manufactured. The coins are made in a very small quantity and then assessed before the go ahead is given to mass produce them

When a coin is labelled as 'pattern' it will mean that this design was likely never advanced to mass production. This can be for several reasons including a change of policy or a key event such as the monarch displayed on the coin dying or abdicating the throne. The most famous pattern coin in the UK is the 1937 sovereign featuring George VI. However, a less known pattern coin holds the title of the rarest Gold Sovereign which features Edward VIII

Rarest Gold Sovereign Edward VIII coin

1937 Edward VIII Sovereign

An extremely rare British Gold Pattern coin, featuring Edward VIII
1937 gold sovereign

1937 George VI Sovereign

Another rare British pattern coin, total mintage of 5501

Given the rarity of the pattern coins, they are extremely difficult to secure and often attract the very well capitalised elite of the coin collection world. This is especially the case when the coin is of historic significance or has an attractive design

Although not always the case, Gold pattern coins are often seen in proof finishes. A classic example is some of the early British five Sovereign coins. The 1820 five Sovereign is an excellent example, only 25 pieces were manufactured with all being struck in a proof finish

A classic example of an attractive pattern coin is the Gold 50 Centavos coin from Bolivia which only saw 6 coins struck. The reason for why this coin never saw mass production is unknown

Pattern coins should not be confused with 'specimen coins' which are often struck with the purpose of being a diplomatic gift or to showcase the issuing mint's ability. Neither pattern or specimen coins are intended for circulation

Elite of Numismatic Gold

Gold Pattern Coin Examples

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