The Type I Shield sovereign features the Imperial shield design on the reverse paired
with William Wyon's portrait of Queen Victoria on the obverse. It differs from the Type II
Shield sovereign by the designer's initials, WW appearing incuse within the truncation beneath the bust.
The design was introduced in 1871 but was changed to the normal WW type before the end of the year and by 1872 all shield
sovereigns would have the normal WW on the obverse.
of this issue can be identified by a mintmark
beneath the shield on the reverse as shown in the illustrations below:
The absence of a mintmark or the presence of a die number indicate
a London mint issue.
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