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.
While the 1909 Melbourne actually turns up far less frequently than its mintage would seem to imply, it certainly is more common than the 1906 or 1907 Melbourne half sovereigns. The 1909 Melbourne generally turns up around VF, though they are often seen as low as Fine. Like most Melbourne Mint Edward half sovereigns, they are difficult to acquire in Uncirculated and probably impossible beyond that due to typical worn and damaged dies, with an obverse die crack down the bust often seen in higher grade specimens.
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