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Australia Sydney Wreathed Bust

1858 SOVRR Half Sovereign reverse 1858 SOVRR Half Sovereign obverse

1858 SOVRR Half Sovereign

Figure shared with:
General issue
Mint:Sydney Mint Monarch:Victoria Reverse Designer:L. C. Lyon Obverse Designer:L. C. Lyon Size:19mm Weight:3.99g Edge:Reeded Composition:91.67% Gold
8.33% Silver


Sales History


The 1858 SOVRR variety is the most recognised spelling error variety of Australian coinage having been discovered and popularised in 1994 by the late Barrie Sparks. It is identified by the spelling of SOVEREIGN as SOVRREIGN. Official correspondence from the Royal mint London denies the possibility that the die left London with such an obvious mistake and that it is more likely the die was re-punched in Sydney to extend its working life. This seems to be consistent with the overall appearance of later strike half sovereigns of the early days at the Sydney mint with numerous re-punched letters evident. This would continue up until about 1883 where the practice seemed to cease.

Legend of the error coin showing SOVRR Legend of the error coin showing SOVRR

While the rarity of this issue is certain with approximately 10 known examples, other spelling errors n the series have not experienced such popularity and as such this issue sells for prices well beyond that of other varieties of similarrarity indicating that some of the other spelling errors in the series to be sleepers .

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