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Australia Victoria Jubilee Head

1887-M Narrow JEB Half Sovereign reverse 1887-M Narrow JEB Half Sovereign obverse

1887-M Narrow JEB Half Sovereign

Figure shared with:
Medium JEB
Victoria Shield Large Head
Wide JEB
Mint:Melbourne Mint Monarch:Victoria Reverse Designer:J. B. Merlen Obverse Designer:Sir J. E. Boehm Size:19mm Weight:3.99g Edge:Reeded Composition:91.67% Gold
8.33% Copper


Sales History


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 mintmark , 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 mintmark.

S mintmark for Sydney (this issue) S mintmark for Sydney (this issue)

M mintmark for Melbourne M mintmark for Melbourne

No mintmark on London mint issues 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 Wide or Short Spread Spacing

Medium or Normal Spacing Medium or Normal Spacing

Narrow or Close JEB Narrow or Close JEB

The narrow JEB is the most common of the three 1887-M varieties, particularly if sought in better grades with most of the very high grade examples of this date being the Narrow variety. In lower grades it appears to have scarcity on par with the Wide JEB variety; This disparity in survival condition between the two varieties would seem to indicate that the Narrow JEB variety was more likely to be hoarded possibly indicating it formed the first batch of this variety with the public hoarding it as a keepsake for Queen Victoria's Jubilee, this would seem to complement the high survival rate of the date.

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