Australia South Australia Adelaide
One Pound 1852
Struck from the first die which cracked very early in production
Mint: Adelaide Assay Office

This was not really a coin, but a coin-shaped ingot guaranteed to be worth a pound. The Colony of South Australia backed their valuation by giving exact details of the purity (22 carats) and weight (5 pennyweight and 15 grains) of the piece. It was made from gold brought to South Australia from the Victorian goldfields in 1852. Although production was technically illegal, these pieces were made by the South Australian government to solve a major problem in the local economy caused by people leaving for the gold fields and taking most of the colony's money with them. By the time the written request for authority to make the pieces had arrived in England and the refusal returned to Adelaide, the Assay Office had opened, solved the problem by issuing the tokens and closed.

Physical Description

A gold coin (23 mm diameter milled edge) with, on the obverse at the centre a crown within an ornate circle; below, 1852; around, * GOVERNMENT ASSAY OFFICE * ADELAIDE. and on the reverse at the centre within ornate circle in three lines, VALUE / ONE / POUND; around, * WEIGHT 5 DWT: 15 GRS: * 22 CARATS.

Obverse Description

At centre a crown within ornate circle; below, 1852; around, *GOVERNMENT ASSAY OFFICE* ADELAIDE.

Reverse Description

At centre within ornate circle, VALUE / ONE / POUND; around, * WEIGHT 5 DWT: 15 GRS: * 22 CARATS Die cracked through D of DWT

Edge Description

milled, fine

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