Adelaide Pound 1852 Type II PCGS MS63
From Eric Eigner of Drake Sterling; the technical aspects of this coin:
Like the 1813 Holey Dollar and Dump coins, the Adelaide Pounds were crudely struck. Standard sovereigns were struck from dies manufactured in London, where Tower Hill had had centuries of experience minting and producing the Empire’s specie. The dies for the Adelaide Pound, however, were engraved by a local die sinker, Joshua Payne, and the coins themselves were struck in Adelaide on local machinery by inexperienced mint staff. The first batch of coins were struck on high pressure, quickly cracking the reverse die (and producing the famous Type I Adelaide Pound). A second reverse die, with a somewhat modified design, was hastily prepared and the coins struck were minted at far lower die pressure so as to avoid another mishap. The resulting coins were softly struck, often with crumbling edges and a poorly-formed crown.
The coin photographed above, while not unpleasant to the eye, is similarly poorly struck, with rounded edges, weak crown, and planchet aberrations in the fields, possibly related to metal flow. Conversely, the fields are otherwise free from major bag marks, thus accounting for its above-average grade of PCGS MS63. The lustre is also fully intact, and cartwheels as the coin is rotated beneath a light.
From Andrew Crellin of Sterling & Currency, the history behind the coin:
Contemporary reports suggest that once the discovery of gold at Mount Alexander became known in Adelaide, over 8,000 men (from a total population of approximately 50,000) decamped to the goldfields. The impact that this gold rush had on those that remained in Adelaide was plain – the main contributors to the local economy simply were not available. “It was with difficulty the harvest was got in. Mining and other productive operations requiring numerous hands were suspended.” https://www.sterlingcurrency.com.au/research/history-adelaide-assay-office-1852-adelaide-ingot-and-adelaide-pound
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