In 1489 gold had begun to gain acceptance as a currency in England. As a result, King Henry VII instructed the Royal Mint to produce a new gold coin, the Sovereign, which could be used as circulating bullion. The use of this original coin, nearly twice the size and weight of a modern sovereign, came to an end during the reign of James I (who ruled in England from 1603 to 1625) and did not appear for again for 200 years.
British sovereigns were also minted in Melbourne, Sydney, Perth, Bombay, Ottawa and Pretoria at various times between 1855 and 1932. Gold sovereigns have a nominal value of one-pound sterling, but in practice are used as bullion and valued by reference to the LBMA gold fix price.
This 1887 Sovereign was minted in Melbourne Australia as denoted by the "M" mint mark shown under the portrait of young Queen Victoria.
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