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1902-S Matte Proof Half Sovereign

Edward VII


The first half sovereigns struck under King Edward VII were struck in 1902 following His Majesty's coronation. This series was the fifth half sovereign series to be struck at Australian mints. The obverse , designed by George William De Saulles, features an uncrowned bust of Edward VII on the obverse, facing towards the right. The legend reads EDWARDVS VII D: G: BRITT: OMN: REX F: D: IND: IMP: .

The Type I reverse , designed by Benedetto Pistrucci, is featured on Edward VII half sovereigns from 1902 to 1905, with Australian mint pattern s struck bearing the date of 1906. It shows St. George, helmed and caped, riding a long-tailed horse and slaying a dragon. The ground bears a broken lance on the left, as well as the mintmark ('M' for Melbourne, 'S' for Sydney, 'P' for Perth) in the centre. The date is positioned below.

Reverse: Sydney Mint 'S' mintmark on the centre of the ground, below the horse's hooves and above the date.

Reverse: Melbourne Mint 'M' mintmark on the centre of the ground, below the horse's hooves and above the date.

Reverse: Perth Mint 'P' mintmark on the centre of the ground, below the horse's hooves and above the date.

This design is slightly smaller than the Type II reverse and lacks the designer's initials, B.P .

Type I Reverse (Small): St George's cape is far from the rim.

Type II Reverse (Large): St George's cape is close to the rim.

Type I Reverse (Small): Designer, Benedetto Pistrucci's, initials do not appear.

Type II Reverse (Large): Designer, Benedetto Pistrucci's, initials do appear.

Approximately 375,000 half sovereigns were struck for this type making it quite difficult to acquire, especially if sought in better condition. Typical mint state examples grade MS61 to MS62, with examples above MS62 practically impossible to source in any date other than the 1902 Sydney; the Quartermaster sale did offer a 1903 Sydney, which would have likely certified at MS64 or higher, that realized $5,486 (Monetarium, 2009) .

Of the series, the 1904 Perth is by far the toughest date to acquire, being extremely rare above AU; while the 1903 Sydney is the most common date, in general owing to the highest mintage , although the 1902 Sydney is much easier to acquire in mint state. This is due to a large hoard of mint state 1902 Sydney half sovereigns distributed by Noble Numismatics. The 1902 Sydney has been sighted with two different finishes: a brilliant finish and a matte finish. The brilliant finish is slightly scarcer in the upper grades, while no distinction can be made between the two in the circulated grades. Coming from a mintage of only 84,000, it is quite difficult to acquire with lower grade examples very rarely appearing on the market.

Proofs are known dated 1902 from the Sydney Mint and are available with both the matte and brilliant finishes.

The heads side of the coinThe tails side of the coinA coin struck as a representation piece of a coin that never eventuatedA marking, usually a letter or dot that signifies which mint struck a particular coinThe number of coins struck of a particular designationA large number of coins found from a single source that have never before reached the collector market(Monetarium, 2009)
Values are in AUD and are retail price estimations based on past sales of coins certified by PCGS or NGC and as such values only related to such graded coins. Uncertified coins or coins graded by other services would likely be worth significantly less. For wholesale pricing please refer to the Red Sheet. While all attempts to ensure accurate pricing, data entry errors can occur and as such no warranty is expressed or implied as to the accuracy of any information published on this website. It is important to verify all published sales to ensure the accuracy of the pricing when making any purchase decision. Any personal information provided to us is protected by the Privacy Act 1988.