On 10 June 1921 on the Greek island of Corfu, Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and Princess Alice of Battenberg welcomed Philip, their fifth child and only son, into the world. Back in Britain, the country he would one day adopt as his own, the nation was still gripped by economic decline. An initial post-war boom had given way to a full-blown recession. Crippled by war debt, the Government was unable to implement crucial social reforms. Unemployment soared to a post-war high of 2.5 million. Domestic production of Sovereigns had come to an end by 1918, sacrificed to fund the war effort, but in branch mints on the other side of the world, limited batches were struck.
In 1921 Sovereigns were manufactured in three branch mints in Australia: Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. These were some of the last Sovereigns ever struck and many were melted down. Distinguished by their own unique mint mark placed beneath Benedetto Pistrucci's classic St George and the dragon design, they feature the portrait of George V by Bertram Mackennal on the obverse.