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.
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
wear from re-using the
from previous years.
Note the narrower width of the ribbon.
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
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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