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1911-S Half Sovereign

George V

Australia

Half sovereigns were struck at the Sydney, Melbourne and Perth mints from 1911 to 1920. Despite the relatively high proportion of surviving coins in AU or better, in recent times they have become difficult to acquire in true mint state condition, and beyond that very difficult, often being the victim of harsh cleaning or jewellery mounting. The George V half sovereign series (1911-1918) was the sixth and final half sovereign series to be struck at Australian mints. The obverse , designed by Sir Edgar Bertram MacKennal, features the uncrowned bust of King George V facing left, with denticles in the rim s. The designer's initials, B.M. , appear on the truncation of the bust. The legend reads GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:.

Obverse: Note the designer's initials, B.M., on the truncation

The reverse , designed by Benedetto Pistrucci, 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 ('S' for Sydney, 'M' for Melbourne, 'P' for Perth) in the centre.

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. The date is positioned below and the designer's initials, B.P. , appear on the far right below the ground.

Reverse: Note the designer's initials, B.P., below the ground.

Although over one million half sovereigns were struck at Australian mints during the reign of George V, few were used in circulation due to the introduction of treasury note s and, as a result, most remain in AU or better condition.

PCGS have certified fourteen coins from the George V series into MS66 and one MS66 (PCGS Population Report, 2016) which command very strong premiums over pieces in lower grades, often up to double MS65 values. Many coins, especially those from the Perth and Melbourne mints , are often very softly struck and are difficult to obtain above MS64.

The obverse of the coin is very hard-wearing, with the highest point being the end of George V's moustache which typically wears off below the AU grading. The reverse wears much more easily, but due to the frequency of weakly struck examples and the superior obverse, AU pieces are often mistaken as being mint state.

A typical mint state half sovereign of George V makes MS62 to MS64 for the later dates, though may drop down to MS63 occasionally. Coins graded below this have almost always been circulated but due to their hard-wearing nature still make the mint state grades. Most dates are quite common below mint state but still in demand due to the scarcity of mint state examples and because they are generally quite pleasing to the eye, even in AU.

Examples of the 1911 Sydney are known in the upper AU grades as well as mint state grades ranging from MS62 to MS66 (PCGS Population Report, 2016) .

The heads side of the coinTooth like shapes around the edge of a coinThe edge around a coin, often with beading or denticlesThe inscription around the inner edge of the coinThe tails side of the coinA marking, usually a letter or dot that signifies which mint struck a particular coin(PCGS Population Report, 2016)(PCGS Population Report, 2016)
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.