The Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) recently announced its 2021 NGC Registry Award Winners and, once again, “The Young Victoria Collection” was awarded Best in its Category. The collection previously won the Best in Category award in 2012, 2016, 2017, 2019, and 2020. It has gotten edged out now and again since it was submitted for competition because it is intentionally limited to sovereigns with a shield reverse from 1838 to 1874, while the category in which it competes extends from 1838 until 1901, and includes sovereigns with a reverse depicting Saint George slaying a dragon.
Below is one of the highlights of the collection, an 1859 “Ansell” sovereign, so named in honor of George Frederick Ansell (1826-1880). Ansell experimented with a batch of gold that had been initially rejected by the Royal Mint for being too brittle and contaminated by traces of antimony, arsenic, and lead. Ansell’s efforts resulted in a strong alloy that enabled the Mint to strike 167,539 sovereigns from the batch, which were distinguished by an extra line on the ribbon holding Victoria’s hair. Today only 15-25 Ansell sovereigns are known to exist; this example is the finest.
The Young Victoria Collection in its entirety can be seen here.