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1857/5 Overdate Half Sovereign

Sydney Wreathed Bust


Probably one of the lesser known Sydney Mint varieties, the 1857/5 Overdate Half Sovereign was first catalogued in the late 1970s in Spink Australia sale 3 (Spink Australia, 1978) , ex the Moran Collection, and appeared later in Noble Numismatics auction 65 (Noble, J, 2000) in November 2000. While overdating during this period was very common what makes this date interesting is that the existence of coins struck from the original host die, the 1855, has for a long time not been known to exist. It wasn't until 1983 that in Spink Australia Sale 15, 5 years after the Moran coin sold that the first example of a business strike 1855 Wreathed Bust surfaced.(Spink Australia, 1983) Since then an additional two examples of the 1855 Type II half sovereign have surfaced sheddingsome light as to how the 1857/5 overdate came about.

The Moran Collection 1857/5 Overdate

The 1855 Type II Half Sovereign from Spink Australia Sale 15

It is likely that with the seemingly perpetual die shortage experienced at the Branch mint in Sydney, the 1855 die was employed to supplement coin production. It would seem that after striking a number of coins it was decided that the die would be overdated to 1857 so that it would appropriately reflect the year when the coin was struck.

The 1857/5 overdate is one of the scarcer overdates in the series though as its existence was only recently popularised, in remains undervalued though the potential for new finds is high offsetting that somewhat. The overdate can be detected by the presence of the loop of the 5 protruding out from the base of the 7 as in the photo below.

The date of the 1857/5 overdate

a facility that produces coinsA coin struck differing from the standard design to commemorate an eventThe tails side of the coinThe heads side of the coinThe inscription around the inner edge of the coinA coin with a numeral in the date punched or tooled over another numeralThe edge around a coin, often with beading or denticlesA coin struck as a representation piece of a coin that never eventuatedA cylindrical punch with an inverted impression of a coin's design used to strike the coinA coin struck from specially prepared dies to strike a superior quality coin not intended for circulationA coin that resembles the appearance of a proof coin of the same type, often resulting from being struck from the same diesThe open, exposed areas of a coin's design(Reserve Bank of Australia, 2005)(Melbourne Museum, 2016)(Sydney Living Museums, 2016)(Sydney Living Museums, 2016)(The Perth Mint Australia, 2016)(Macfarlane, I, 2005)(Melbourne Museum, 2016)Spink Australia, 1978Noble, J, 2000(Eigner, W, 2009)Spink Australia, 1983A coin with a numeral in the date punched or tooled over another numeralA coin struck for normal circulation

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