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Australia Victoria Shield Large Head

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

1877-M Wide Ribbon Half Sovereign

Mintage:80,016
Approximately 50-60 known examples of this type
Figure shared with:
Narrow 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

The 1877 Melbourne was the last branch mint half sovereign to come in the wide ribbon design and is one of the scarcer issues in the series. With an initial mintage of just 80,016, the 1877-M Wide Ribbon was always going to be scarce and when you consider that just 1 in 4 have the wide ribbon design, the actual mintage of this type is probably closer to 20,000. The issue was struck in Melbourne as denoted by the M mintmark under the shield.

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

The issue can be differentiated from the Narrow ribbon type by the width of the ribbon in Queen Victoria's hair. In addition the issue is struck in higher relief and there are numerous minor positioning differences in the design.

Wide Ribbon obverse Wide Ribbon obverse

Narrow Ribbon obverse Narrow Ribbon obverse

Prior to the Reserve Bank of Australia sale, this issue was extremely scarce with only a handful of coins in private hands, the sale however brought an additional nine pieces to the market with the finest grading EF selling for over $7000. (Downies, 2005) . Other than this piece, one finer example sold at the Quartermaster Auction (Monetarium, 2009) , and one other example has appeared on the market since the RBA sale which was graded good VF and sold for about $2000 in 2007. Note that the mintage figure of 80,016 is combined with the narrow ribbon type.

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