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Edward VIII Sovereign - The 1 Million Pounds Gold Coin

By Lightw4re    |   Sunday, 15 March 2020

In 1936, the prince Edward VIII succeeded his father, George V, becoming King. On December 11, 1936, he abdicated the throne in the face of opposition to his proposed marriage to Wallis Simpson, proclaiming to the public:

You all know the reasons which have impelled me to renounce the throne. But I want you to understand that in making up my mind I did not forget the country or the empire, which, as Prince of Wales and lately as King, I have for twenty-five years tried to serve. I have found it impossible to carry the heavy burden of responsibility and to discharge my duties as king as I would wish to do without the help and support of the woman I love.

Edward was then given the title of Duke of Windsor, and in 1937, he married Simpson in a small private ceremony in France.

Edward VIII Sovereign Gold Coin

This gold (22-carat) £1,000,000 coin was created as part of a trial set following Edward VIII's ascension to the throne in January 1936, but was never released to the public after he gave up the throne. First British coin in history to sell for that price, this Edward VIII Sovereign example was described by the Royal Mint, which oversaw the transaction, as one of the most coveted in the world. It was previously owned by a collector in the United States.

[this sale will] inspire others to look through their homes and see what treasures are hidden. The Edward VIII Sovereign is part of numismatic legend, belonging to a series of coins that were never meant to exist and were hidden from the public for decades. This Sovereign is significant not only because of its rarity, but because it sits at the heart of an international story and has been treasured by collectors in both the UK and US..

- Matt Curtis - Royal Mint Collector Services

Only 6 Edward VIII Sovereign are known, 2 in private hands. One of them is certified PCGS PR-66CAM. The other four are held by museums or institutions.

Sales history

  • 1981: Undisclosed amount
  • 1984: £40,000 (sold in Tokyo)
  • 2014: £516,000 (bought by a US collector - A.H. Baldwin & Sons Auction)
  • 2019: £1,000,000 (bought by a UK collector)

On the Edward VIII Sovereign, the King broke with tradition with the design of the coin. Historically, it is the custom that each monarch should face the opposite way to his or her predecessor when new currency is produced. However, Edward insisted on being depicted facing the same way as his father, King George V, because he preferred his left profile.

The Edward VIII Sovereign is one of the rarest and most collectible coins in the world, so it's no surprise that it has set a new record for British coinage. We were delighted to be able to locate such a special coin for our customer, and bring it back to the UK to make history once more.

- Rebecca Morgan - Royal Mint Collector Services

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