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Australia Victoria Shield Large Head

1877-M Narrow Ribbon Half Sovereign reverse 1877-M Narrow Ribbon Half Sovereign obverse

1877-M Narrow Ribbon Half Sovereign

Mintage:80,016
Figure shared with:
Wide Ribbon
Mint:Melbourne Mint Monarch:Victoria Reverse Designer:J. B. Merlen Obverse Designer:William Wyon Size:19mm Weight:3.99g Edge:Reeded Composition:91.67% Gold
8.33% Copper

Values

Sales History

In 1877 the Melbourne mint introduced a new obverse design featuring a narrow ribbon tying the Queen's hair together. While the old design was still used on 1877 half sovereigns, a vast majority were struck with the new narrow ribbon design.

Melbourne Mint 'M' mintmark directly below the shield and between two rosettes. Melbourne Mint 'M' mintmark directly below the shield and between two rosettes.

This new obverse bust type features a low relief and a narrow ribbon through Victoria's hair. The shield appears to be identical to the previous Melbourne years but it displays less detail, possibly due to die wear from re-using the dies from previous years.

Note the narrower width of the ribbon. Note the narrower width of the ribbon.

The 1877 Wide Ribbon design The 1877 Wide Ribbon design

This design combination was used exclusively by the Melbourne Mint in 1877 and 1882.

Despite being the more common of the 1877 types, it is by no means easy to obtain, especially if sought in better grades. Above AU, the date is very difficult to acquire but it is available in mint state. The date is quite underrated with approximately 750 to 1000 examples available, most of which would grade from VG to F. Note that the mintage figure of 80,016 includes the wide ribbon type bearing the same date. The reverse of this date is almost always appears superior by about one grading with AU level examples still having nearly full mint lustre on the reverse owing to the intricate and hard-wearing shield.

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