For those collectors interested in a unique limited mintage coin with a significant amount of history behind, the newly released 2010 Perth Mint Gold Proof Australian Sovereign might be just what you are looking for. Despite having a relationship to a coin dating back over five centuries, the Australian Sovereign is new in both its design and in its re-appearance in the last 100 years.
The first sovereigns date to 1489 and were minted for King Henry VII of England. Gold sovereigns continued to be produced over the next 400 plus years almost non-stop for the British Empire. As one of the colonies of Great Britain, Australia also used the coins as currency during the late 1800's.
To simplify the production and distribution of the coins to its colonies, the Royal Mint of Great Britain had branch mint's constructed to refine local gold deposits and strike sovereigns to be used in or near that colony. The Perth Mint of Australia was one such branch mint created just for that purpose.
The Perth continued to strike the sovereigns until 1931 when Great Britain went off of the gold standard. Last year, in 2009, the Perth started re-issuing sovereigns as collectible coins in an extremely limited mintage. This year marks the second installment of the coins which the Perth states will be a continuing annual series.
All of the coins are struck from 22-carat gold to what the Perth terms "supreme proof quality." The obverse (as legal tender of Australia) contains an image of Queen Elizabeth II while the reverse showcases the Australian Commonwealth Coat of Arms along with a seven-pointed star, a kangaroo and an emu.
Initial price for the coins is listed at AUS $590 and includes a numbered certificate of authenticity and a timber presentation case.
See World Mint Coin's 2010 Australian Sovereign page for more information.