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
All three Sydney mint issues are of similar scarcity in lower grades though the wide spaced letters are quite scarce in
higher grades; Seemingly less have managed to survive.
Find out what dealers are paying with a subscription.