Mintage:278,000 Mint:Sydney MintMonarch:George VReverse Designer:Benedetto PistrucciObverse Designer:Sir E. B. MacKennelSize:19mmWeight:3.99gEdge:ReededComposition:91.67% Gold 8.33% Copper
Half sovereigns were struck at the Sydney, Melbourne and Perth mints from 1911 to 1920. Despite the relatively high proportion
of surviving coins in AU or better, in recent times they have become difficult to acquire in true mint state condition, and beyond that very difficult, often being the victim of harsh cleaning or jewellery mounting.
The George V half sovereign series (1911-1918) was the sixth and final half sovereign series to be struck at Australian mints. The obverse, designed
by Sir Edgar Bertram MacKennal, features the uncrowned bust of King George V facing left, with
denticles in the
s. The designer's initials, B.M., appear on the truncation of the bust. The
reads GEORGIVS V D. G. BRITT: OMN: REX F. D. IND: IMP:.
Obverse: Note the designer's initials, B.M., on the truncation
The reverse, designed by Benedetto Pistrucci, 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
('S' for Sydney, 'M' for Melbourne, 'P' for Perth) in the centre.
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 date is positioned below and the designer's initials, B.P., appear on the far right below the ground.
Reverse: Note the designer's initials, B.P., below the ground.
Although over one million half sovereigns were struck at Australian mints
during the reign of George V, few were used in circulation due to the introduction of treasury notes
and, as a result, most remain in AU or better condition.
PCGS have certified fourteen coins from the George V series into MS66 and one MS66
(PCGS Population Report, 2016)
which command very strong premiums over pieces in lower grades, often up to double MS65 values. Many coins, especially
those from the Perth and Melbourne mints, are often very softly struck
and are difficult to obtain above MS64.
The obverse of the coin is very hard-wearing, with the highest point
being the end of George V's moustache which typically wears off below the AU grading. The
reverse wears much more easily, but due to the frequency of weakly struck examples and the superior
obverse, AU pieces are often mistaken as being
half sovereign of George V makes MS62 to MS64 for the later dates, though may drop down to MS63 occasionally. Coins graded
below this have almost always been circulated but due to their hard-wearing nature still make the
grades. Most dates are quite common below
but still in demand due to the scarcity of
examples and because they are generally quite pleasing to the eye, even in AU.
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