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Australia Victoria Shield Large Head

1879-S Narrow Ribbon Half Sovereign reverse 1879-S Narrow Ribbon Half Sovereign obverse

1879-S Narrow Ribbon Half Sovereign

Figure shared with:
O over C Full Sovereign
Mint:Sydney 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


Sales History

Current listings


1879 is the last year that half sovereigns were struck before standardised designs were introduced by Australian mints, though the London Mint continued to use varying designs from previous years in 1880 and the Melbourne Mint issued 1882 Melbourne Half Sovereigns with a truncated bust. The design is similar to the 1877-1882 narrow ribbon issue from the Melbourne Mintbutthe obverse relief is slightly more pronounced with some minor tilting of the portrait.The issue was struck at the Sydney mint as denoted by an S mintmark below the shield.

S mintmark indicates this was struck at the Sydney mint S mintmark indicates this was struck at the Sydney mint

From a low mintage of 94,000, it is estimated that around 1000pieces have survived though the date is very difficult to acquire in AU or better condition. The finest example at the Reserve Bank of Australia sale was gradedgood EF and sold forjust over $10,000 against an estimate of $3,000 (Downies, 2005) . This example was later put to auction by Monetarium from the Quartermaster collectionbutit was unsold (Monetarium, 2009) .

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