With 80,000 pieces struck, the 1880 Sydney was always going to be a scarce issue, the estimated survival count is about
1500 pieces distributed among two types. The piece was struck at the Sydney branch of the Royal mint as denoted by the S
under the shield.
S mintmark under the shield indicating Sydney mint
This, the beaded reverse type can be differentiated by having a beaded
on the reverse side as opposed to a tooth or crenulated
reverse for the remaining coins.
This, the beaded reverse variety
The crenulated reverse variety
While the beaded reverse type is typically considered to the be more common of the two, collectors of high grade half
sovereigns will be aware of just how difficult the type is to acquire in
even when compared to the crenulated type which has a number of high grade examples known. The finest that sold through
the Reserve Bank Sale was graded EF which sold for about $6,000
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