The Royal Mint in London has always been the main mint required to produce the British sovereign. However, with the expanding British Empire, Gold coins started to be produced in other cities and countries, so it made sense to mark the Gold coins to distinguish them from each other.
In 1851 Gold was discovered in Australia, so The Royal Mint decided to start minting Gold Sovereigns there to save shipping costs. Sydney was the first city to have its own mint mark In 1855. During 1855-1926 they used the letter S to show the coins were from Sydney.
Melbourne was next and used the letter M from 1872-1931. Finally, Perth was distinguished with the letter P between 1899-1931.
After establishing branches in Australia, others were formed in Ottawa (Canada), Bombay (India) and South Africa.
On St George and the dragon Sovereign coins, the mint marks can be found on the ground below the horses’ hoof just above the date. In the one below you can see the M for Melbourne so we know this one was minted in Melbourne in 1911.
On older coins, you can see the mint mark just below Queen Victoria’s neck. The one below was also minted in Melbourne.
If there is no mark present on the coin it indicates that the coin was minted by The Royal Mint in London.
In 1914 banknotes were introduced. During WW1, Britain requested for all British citizens to give up their Gold Sovereigns to help with funding the war. The production of Sovereigns was halted by the Royal Mint in 1917. Some of these Gold coins are now quite rare so they can be worth a lot of money. The Gold sovereign is still one of the world’s most collectable coins.