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Half Sovereign

1887 - 93

Jubilee Head

The Half Sovereign Jubliee Head was the third half sovereign series to be struck at an Australian mint , with business and proof strikes struck at both Sydney and Melbourne from 1887-1893.

The series shows only one obverse and one reverse type. The obverse, designed by Sir Joseph Edgar Boehm, shows Queen Victoria facing left. She wears a crown and veil, as well as a necklace, earrings, and half garter star.(Monetarium (Australia) Pty Ltd, 2009) The legend reads VICTORIA DEI: GRATIA. Edgar Boehm's initials, JEB , vary in appearance: the letters can be wide, narrow, normal or medium, or the 'J' can look like an 'I'. Spacing of the letters is different depending on the mint, and most 1891 Sydney issues do not show the initials. (Monetarium (Australia) Pty Ltd, 2009) See some examples below:

Wide JEB

Narrow JEB

Normal or medium JEB

Obverse: JEB as IEB

The reverse, designed by Jean Baptiste Merlen, depicts a crown atop a shield; the date and mintmark sit directly below the shield. The legendreads BRITTANIARUM REGINA FID: DEF .

Sydney Mint 'S' mintmark directly below the shield

Melbourne Mint 'M' mintmark directly below the shield

There is one variation in the reverse design which can be seen in the 1889 Sydney and 1893 Melbourne. For these two issues, the shield is placed slightly lower than in others. The base of the shield touches the mintmark, and the cross on top of the crown is fully visible (Monetarium (Australia) Pty Ltd, 2009) .

A fairly short type as far as business strikes go. The key date is the 1889 Sydney which has always been highly underrated, possibly because catalogues did not have a mintage figure for this date, which traditionally has been used as a gauge of rarity despite Royal Mint reports indicating a mintage of 32,000 (Marsh, M, A, 2004) . Its rarity was only revealed at the Reserve Bank of Australia sale, which had so few quality examples available (Downies, 2005) .

There are many dates within the series only available as patternswhich would disappoint many date set collectors, most of whom have simply learned to skip those dates. The mintage figures for the two 1891 Sydney types are combined, while mintage figures for 1887 types are all inclusive of every other type including Young Head types. The 1893 Melbourne mintage is possibly shared with the Old Head type of the same date but there are only five known business strikes of the Old Head type.

a facility that produces coinsA coin struck from specially prepared dies to strike a superior quality coin not intended for circulationThe heads side of the coinThe tails side of the coinThe inscription around the inner edge of the coinA marking, usually a letter or dot that signifies which mint struck a particular coinThe number of coins struck of a particular designationA coin struck as a representation piece of a coin that never eventuated(Monetarium (Australia) Pty Ltd, 2009)(Monetarium (Australia) Pty Ltd, 2009)Monetarium (Australia) Pty Ltd, 2009(Monetarium (Australia) Pty Ltd, 2009)Marsh, M, A, 2004(Downies, 2005)The inscription around the inner edge of the coinA coin struck for normal circulationA coin struck as a representation piece of a coin that never eventuatedA collection containing one of each date and mintmark of a seriesA coin struck for normal circulation

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.