Great Britain 1728 1/2 guinea

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Heritage sale 3030, lot 24147
photo courtesy Heritage Auction Galleries

This specimen was lot 24147 in Heritage sale 3030 (New York, January 2014), where it sold for $23,500. The catalog description[1] noted, "Perhaps the Finest Known First Proof Half Guinea George II gold Proof Half Guinea 1728, Young laureate Head, 2-year type, plain edge with fillet lines, PR65 Cameo NGC, an amazing proof for a coin struck 286 years ago, having glittering, reflective mirrored fields, full details from the proof impression, spot-on choice surfaces, and delightful bright yellow-gold color. The obverse rim is fully beaded, while the beading is nearly complete on the reverse. This is a great rarity among Half Guineas, engraved by John Croker toward the end of his tenure at the Royal Mint, some might say at the height of his talent. It is the earliest known proof of this denomination, although at least one variety of Cromwell's Half Broad was struck as a proof (dated 1656 but actually minted in 1738 using J.S. Tanner's dies). The only comparable 1728 Proof Half Guinea sold at auction in the past decade has been the Jacob Y. Terner Collection coin, which passed to the Millennia Collection (graded by NGC as PR64 Cameo) and sold for $18,500 excluding buyer's fees six years ago in 2008. Thus this appears to be the highest graded and surely is among the finest known." The SCWC lists this type for 1728-39 and is fairly available in circulated condition. This is the only date for which proofs are mentioned.

Recorded mintage: unknown.

Specification: 4.175 g, .917 fine gold.

Catalog reference: S-3681, WR-75 (R4: 11-20 known), KM 565.1.


  • Michael, Thomas, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1701-1800, 7th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2016.
  • Lobel, Richard, Mark Davidson, Allan Hailstone and Eleni Calligas, Coincraft's Standard Catalogue of English and UK Coins, 1066 to Date, London: Coincraft, 1995.
  • [1]Tucker, Warren, and Scott Cordry, Heritage Signature Auction 3004: World Coins, Dallas, TX: Heritage Auction Galleries, 2009.

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