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.
This design is slightly larger than the Type I reverse and shows the designer's initials, B.P. Marsh refers to the 1904 Perth also being sighted with this reverse, however, I have not come across any (Marsh, M, A, 2004) .
The entire Edward VII run is very difficult to acquire beyond
The Perth Mint types are the scarcest, with the 1908 Perth being very difficult to source beyond EF 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 obverse master dies has a
The average grade in the series is EF though 1908 and 1910 Sydney half sovereigns do often turn up in AU, while the 1906 Melbourne is generally found in VF to EF, frequently with a better reverse.
The 1906 Melbourne is the key date for the Melbourne Mint issues in the series, and is considered by many to be scarcer than the Perth Mint half sovereigns, at least in the lower grades. Though I feel that this reputation is without foundation, with the date turning up from time to time in dealer's bullion piles. The date is definitely quite scarce above the EF range and becomes very rare at the AU levels; there are under 10 identified examples in mint state. There would be an estimated 1000 to 1500 surviving examples of this date, mostly in the VG to Fine range, much lower than the average range of the series.
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