Mintage:64,013 Approximately 10 known examples of this type Figure shared with: Victoria Shield Large Head Narrow JEB Wide JEB Mint:Melbourne MintMonarch:VictoriaReverse Designer:J. B. MerlenObverse Designer:Sir J. E. BoehmSize:19mmWeight:3.99gEdge:ReededComposition:91.67% Gold 8.33% Copper
The 1887 half sovereigns come in a number of varieties distinguishable by the place of manufacture which can be Sydney,
Melbourne or London and by the positioning of the obverse designer's
initials, JEB. The mint can be determined by a
, or absence of underneath the shield on the reverse. An S indicates
this issue, the Sydney mint, an M indicates Melbourne while the London mint issues do not display a
S mintmark for Sydney (this issue)
M mintmark for Melbourne
No mintmark on London mint issues
The three varieties of designer's initials are wide, medium and narrow, also known as Small Spread, Normal and Close respectively.
The Wide spaced variety features short or crushed characters while the Medium and Narrow feature full sized characters with
varying spacing between them.
Wide or Short Spread Spacing
Medium or Normal Spacing
Narrow or Close JEB
The Medium JEB is the toughest of all the 1887 varieties with an estimated survival count of about 300. Considering the
mintage of 64,000, shared with the Young Head type and with two much more common Jubilee head varieties, it's not hard to
imagine how so few have survived, they just weren't around to begin with. The type is scarce in any grade and gets particularly
tough in mint state.
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