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Australia Victoria Shield Large Head

1886-M  Half Sovereign reverse 1886-M  Half Sovereign obverse

1886-M Half Sovereign

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


Sales History


The 1886 Melbourne is of similar rarity to the 1881 Melbourne with damaged examples turning up from time to time and problem-free examples in XF or better being extremely scarce. The total surviving examples would be under 1000 with only two or three examples in mint state, probably surfacing from the Ballarat hoard.

This can be differentiated from the more common 1886 Sydney mint half sovereign by the presence of an M mintmark underneath the shield on the reverse.

1886 Melbourne (this coin) 1886 Melbourne (this coin)

1886 Sydney mint mark sovereign 1886 Sydney mint mark sovereign

There are also subtle differences on the rim beading with the Sydney mint type having beads and the Melbourne mint type having a toothed rim.

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