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1838 Gold Sovereign Victoria Young Head Shield
Coin Collecting News

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1838 Gold Sovereign Victoria Young Head Shield This was the first date of Victoria sovereign issued, although we have seen something about the existence of an extremely rare 1837 pattern.

1838 Gold Sovereign Victoria Young Head & Shield
This was the first date of Victoria sovereign circulated, although we have seen something about the existence of an extremely rare 1837 pattern.
There are two specimens of this sovereign in the Smithsonian Institution, and they are two of the coins which Smithson received from the British Government, and with which he endowed the Washington DC Institution which bears his name. According to the website, most of the coins shipped to the USA were promptly melted down and reminted into US coins, probably double eagles. This will go some way to explaining why this date is scarcer than its mintage figures would lead one to expect, however similar considerations probably apply to most early dated sovereigns, many will have been melted and recycled, leaving only a relatively small proportion of the original mintage still extant.

 
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