Great Britain 1839 1/2 sovereign

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Ponterio sale 176, lot 20387
GB 1839 half sovereign rev P176-20387.jpg

This specimen was lot 20387 in Ponterio sale 176 (Chicago, August 2013), where it sold for $5,581. The catalog description[1] noted, "GREAT BRITAIN. Victoria, 1837-1901. Half-Sovereign, 1839. NGC PF-64 ULTRA CAMEO. First young head left by William Wyon, unsigned. Rv. Crowned shield, simple mantle by Merlen. Plain edge. Rated as “Scarce” in W&R, this proof was issued in proof sets and has a reported mintage of 1,200 pieces. Superb frost over the glimmering mirror surfaces. Ex: Stack’s, 1995." The reform of 1817 terminated all guinea-denominated issues in favor of the sovereign. The half sovereign (ten shillings) replaced the half guinea (ten shillings sixpence) and was issued in some numbers starting in 1817 tho this is the first really common type. The 1839 is, however, a proof only date.

Recorded mintage: 1,230 proofs.

Specification: 3.99 g, .917 fine gold, .117 troy oz AGW.

Catalog reference: S-3859; Fr-389a; KM-735.1. Wilson & Rasmussen-343.


  • Friedberg, Arthur L. and Ira S. Friedberg, Gold Coins of the World, From Ancient Times to the Present, 7th ed., Clifton, NJ: Coin and Currency Institute, 2003.
  • Bressett, Kenneth E., A Guide Book of English Coins, Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, 2nd Ed., Racine, WI: Whitman Publishing, 1962.
  • Cuhaj, George S., and Thomas Michael, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1801-1900, 7th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2012.
  • Lobel, Richard, Mark Davidson, Allan Hailstone and Eleni Calligas, Coincraft's Standard Catalogue of English and UK Coins, 1066 to Date, London: Coincraft, 1995.
  • Skingley, Philip, ed., Standard Catalogue of British Coins: Coins of England & the United Kingdom, 46th edition, London: Spink & Son, 2011.
  • [1]Ponterio, Richard, Ponterio sale 177: The August 2013 Chicago ANA Auction, World Coins, Irvine, CA: Stack's Bowers, LLC, 2013.

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