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1871-S Proof Half Sovereign

Young Head


The Half Sovereign Young Head series was first struck on Australian soil in 1871 following the short-lived Sydney mint series. The changeover to the imperial shield reverse design half sovereign also coincided with the changeover to a gold-copper alloy for half sovereigns.

The series has five different obverse s with very slight variations (Monetarium (Australia) Pty Ltd, 2009) . They all feature the portrait of a young Queen Victoria facing left, her hair bound in a double fillet and secured in a bun. They show toothed denticles around the rims, and the legend reads VICTORIA DEI GRATIA .

There are four different reverses (Monetarium (Australia) Pty Ltd, 2009) . All the reverses show a crown atop a shield. The legend reads BRITANNIARUM REGINA FID: DEF:. The mintmark is positioned directly below the shield between two rosettes.

Reverse: Sydney Mint 'S' mintmark, directly below the shield and between two small rosettes

The first type struck by an Australian mint is the 1871, which was struck at the Royal mint , Sydney. It uses the Type I obverse and Type I reverse. The Type I obverse has two distinct identifiers: the tip of Queen Victoria's nose lines up with the left long-side of the 'O' in VICTORIA, and the 'I' in DEI lines up with the crown of her head (Monetarium (Australia) Pty Ltd, 2009) .

Type I Obverse: tip of nose lines up with left long-side of 'O', 'I' lines up with crown of head

The Type I reverse also has two distinct identifiers: the cross on the top of the crown does not touch the rim, and the central vertical line on the shield shows a single dot near the centre of the shield (Monetarium (Australia) Pty Ltd, 2009) .

Reverse: the cross on top of the crown does not touch the rims

Reverse: single dot on the central vertical line of the shield

Royal mint reports do not mention any half sovereigns being struck during in 1871, however, they are definitely known to exist and reports from 1872 indicate that 356,000 half sovereigns were struck at the Sydney mint (Marsh, M, A, 2004) . It is likely that the mintage figure for the 1872 half sovereign includes the quantity struck in 1871.While the Young Head series consists of many of the rarest half sovereigns, the 1871 is a relatively common year with about 1,250 to 1,500 pieces in existence today, though finding them in EF or better can be very difficult. One Brilliant Uncirculated example was sold at the Reserve Bank Sale in 2005 (Downies, 2005) .

There have been no recent sales of 1871 Sydney Proof Half Sovereigns.

a facility that produces coinsThe tails side of the coinA substance composed of several metalsThe heads side of the coinTooth like shapes around the edge of a 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 designation(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)
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.