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Australia Sydney Wreathed Bust

1866  Half Sovereign reverse 1866  Half Sovereign obverse

1866 Half Sovereign

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


Royal Mint reports indicate that no half sovereigns were minted in 1866 but 62,000 were minted in 1867 and a further 154,000 in 1869 (Marsh, M, A, 2004) . As it is known that there are no 1867 or 1869 dated coins, it is presumed that they were struck with 1866 dies, indicating a total mintage of 216,000 which would seem consistent with the relative survival rate of the date. The date is one of the easier pieces to source with an estimated survival rate just shy of 1,000 and examples do turn up around XF from time to time, though finding examples at AU and beyond can be quite a challenge. The date is often found with a bold obverse rim paired with an undetailed central reverse strike. These examples came off the recycled proof dies of the year as during the year the Sydney mint struck two proof half sovereigns for the Inter-colonial Exhibition in 1866 and the International Exposition in 1867 as products of New South Wales (Noble, J, 2003) .

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