Mintage:231,000 Mint:Sydney MintMonarch:Edward VIIReverse Designer:Benedetto PistrucciObverse Designer:G. W. De SaulesSize:19mmWeight:3.99gEdge:ReededComposition:91.67% Gold 8.33% Copper
The first half sovereigns struck under King Edward VII were struck in 1902 following His Majesty's coronation. This series
was the fifth half sovereign series to be struck at Australian mints
. The obverse, designed by George William De Saulles, features the uncrowned
bust of Edward VII on the obverse, facing towards the right. The
reads EDWARDVS VII D: G: BRITT: OMN: REX F: D: IND: IMP:.
The Type Ireverse, designed by Benedetto Pistrucci, is featured on
Edward VII half sovereigns from 1902 to 1905, with Australian mint
s struck bearing the date of 1906. It shows St. George, helmed and caped, riding a long-tailed horse and slaying a dragon.
The ground bears a broken lance on the left, as well as the
('M' for Melbourne, 'S' for Sydney, 'P' for Perth) in the centre. The date is positioned in the
Reverse: Sydney Mint 'S' mintmark on the centre of the ground, below the horse's hooves and above the
Reverse: Melbourne Mint 'M' mintmark on the centre of the ground, below the horse's hooves and above
Reverse: Perth Mint 'P' mintmark on the centre of the ground, below the horse's hooves and above the
The Type I design is slightly smaller than the Type II reverse and
lacks the designer's initials, B.P.
Type I Reverse (Small): St George's cape is far from the rim.
Type II Reverse (Large): St George's cape is close to the rim.
Type I Reverse (Small): Designer, Benedetto Pistrucci's, initials do not appear.
Type II Reverse (Large): Designer, Benedetto Pistrucci's, initials do appear.
Approximately 375,000 half sovereigns were struck for the Type I series making it quite difficult to acquire for the type set collector, especially if sought in better condition. Typical
mint state examples grade MS61 to MS62, with examples above MS62 practically impossible to source in any date other than
the 1902 Sydney; the Quartermaster sale did offer a 1903 Sydney, which would have likely certified at MS64 or higher, that
Of the series, the 1904 Perth is by far the toughest date to acquire, being extremely rare at AU or better; while the
1903 Sydney is the most common date, although the 1902 Sydney is much easier to acquire in mint state. This is due to a large
of mint state 1902 Sydney half sovereigns distributed by Noble Numismatics. The 1902 Sydney has been sighted with two
different finishes: a brilliant finish and a matte finish. The brilliant finish is slightly scarcer
in the upper grades, while no distinction can be made between the two in the circulated grades. Coming from a
of only 84,000, it is quite difficult to acquire with lower grade examples very rarely appearing on the market.
The 1903 Sydney comes from a mintage of 252,000. While it is estimated that around 2,500 to 3,000 examples have survived,
this date has a majority grade from VG to Fine with only a small number surviving in the upper grades. The coin is especially
and practically impossible to source in the higher
grades. The date is often struck from damaged reversedies
with die cracks
The Type II run from 1906 to 1910 is very difficult to acquire in higher
grades with most types being difficult to find well struck up. In addition, they are typically seen with very rough fields.
grade for this type is MS61 to MS62, with examples occasionally turning up in MS63.
The Perth Mint types are the scarcest with the 1908 Perth being very difficult to source in AU and the 1909 Perth also
being very scarce in such grades. The 1906 Melbourne and 1907 Melbourne half sovereigns are also quite rare in
mint state, though they do turn up
from time to time.
One of the Melbourne Mint obversemaster dies
from the top
and down the middle of the bust, which has resulted in a fine incuse line often mistaken for a pin scratch. This is found
on approximately half the Melbourne Mint half sovereigns of the series.
The average collected grade in the series is XF though 1908 and 1910 Sydney half sovereigns do often turn up in AU while
the 1906 Melbourne is generally found in XF, frequently with a better lookingreverse.
The Sydney Mint struck over one million half sovereigns during 1908 and 1910, making these two years the most common dates
in the series. It is estimated that there are approximately 15,000 to 20,000 surviving examples distributed roughly equally
between the two years. The typical collected grade for each type is XF to AU, though they often appear in lower grades. The
1908 date is frequently sighted in mint state with examples up to MS64 known but these are quite scarce.
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