Rare Australian coin worth nearly $ 1 million featuring a ‘sour’ Queen Victoria on display in Melbourne

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Rare Australian coin worth nearly MILLION dollars and featuring a ‘sour’ Queen Victoria will be on display at Easter

  • A five-pound coin from 1887 will be on display at the Melbourne Museum in April
  • The coin, featuring a ‘sour’ looking Queen Victoria, was released for her anniversary
  • At an auction in Dallas, USA last week, the coin sold for a whopping $ 867,600

An extremely rare and valuable Australian coin bearing a ‘sour’ looking Queen Victoria will be on public display in Melbourne this Easter holiday.

The five pound coin, also known as a fivefold sovereign, fetched $ 660,000 ($ AU867,600) at auction in the American city of Dallas on March 27.

It was the second-highest price paid for an Australian coin in history, behind the 1930’s Proof Australian Penny, which sold for $ 1.15 million in 2019.

The coin was one of only three coins struck by the Sydney Mint in 1887 to mark Queen Victoria’s jubilee.

This 1887 five pound coin featuring a 'sour' looking Queen Victoria will be on display at the Melbourne Museum from April 1-18

This 1887 five pound coin featuring a ‘sour’ looking Queen Victoria will be on display at the Melbourne Museum from April 1-18

Museums Victoria claims to be the only one not to be privately owned after it was handed over to them by the Royal Mint’s Melbourne branch on January 11, 1978.

Michelle Stevenson, head of the Department of Society and Technology at Museums Victoria, said the coin’s rarity was key to its value.

“In Australia, sovereigns have always been minted as collected pieces or presentation pieces and always in fairly small numbers,” she told AAP on Thursday.

“They are naturally collectible.”

To commemorate 50 years of reign under Queen Victoria, the obverse of the coin features a portrait of the monarch by Austrian-born sculptor Sir Joseph Edgar Boehm.

But the Jubilee design was discarded in 1893 after being publicly panned for portraying the queen as ‘severe or sour’ and not reflecting her royalty.

The coin (pictured) was one of only three coins struck by the Sydney Mint in 1887 to mark Queen Victoria's jubilee

The coin (pictured) was one of only three coins struck by the Sydney Mint in 1887 to mark Queen Victoria's jubilee

The coin (pictured) was one of only three coins struck by the Sydney Mint in 1887 to mark Queen Victoria’s jubilee

The coin recently sold for $ 660,000 ($ AU867,600) at auction in the American city of Dallas on March 27.

The coin recently sold for $ 660,000 ($ AU867,600) at auction in the American city of Dallas on March 27.

The coin recently sold for $ 660,000 ($ AU867,600) at auction in the American city of Dallas on March 27.

That also helps to increase the value of the coin in the eyes of collectors.

“The fact that it has only been in production for six years means that there are only a limited number of countries that have that in them,” said Ms. Stevenson.

“That affects its rarity.”

The coin is also complemented by the reverse, which features the iconic engraving of Saint George and the Dragon by Italian sculptor Benedetto Pistrucci.

“There’s almost a sense of movement in St. George on his horse killing the dragons,” added Mrs. Stevenson.

“It’s a very beautiful, evocative design.”

The Five Pound Coin is on display at the Melbourne Museum from Thursday to the end of the Victorian school holidays on April 18.

Entrance tickets to the museum are free for children and $ 15 for adults.

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