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Australia Victoria Shield Large Head

1881-S Crenulated Reverse Low Relief Half Sovereign reverse 1881-S Crenulated Reverse Low Relief Half Sovereign obverse

1881-S Crenulated Reverse Low Relief Half Sovereign

Mintage:62,000
Figure shared with:
Beaded Reverse Low Relief
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

Values

Sales History

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During the years from 1880 to 1883, the Sydney Mint struck small numbers of half sovereigns that feature a crenulated reverse, typically associated with the Melbourne Mint issues. Very little is known about this variety beyond educated guesses and what has turned up. This variety has been sighted in the dates of 1880, 1881, and 1883 and is identifiable by a crenulated reverse with 147 rim denticles, as opposed to the standard issue which features an even beaded reverse rim and 148 denticle and an S mintmark under the shield.

S mintmark under the shield indicating it was struck in Sydney S mintmark under the shield indicating it was struck in Sydney

This coin, the crenulated reverse type This coin, the crenulated reverse type

The more common beaded reverse type The more common beaded reverse type

The second date in the series of crenulated reverse Sydney Mint half sovereigns,the 1881-S is the toughest type in the Young Head series to acquire and it is estimated that under twenty pieces are in existence today with only four lower grade examples appearing in the Reserve Bank holdings (Downies, 2005) . It is unlisted in Marsh (Marsh, M, A, 2004) . The reverse design of the type appears to have been re-engraved rather than having been struck from re-used 1880 dies , as had been previously believed, and features a sharper rim and stronger design elements within the shield, in particular the lion in the upper right quadrant of the shield.The second finest known example sold at the Quartermaster sale for $3165 (Monetarium, 2009) graded VF/gVF which was the finest example at the Reserve Bank Sale (Downies, 2005) .

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