Great Britain 1840 half crown

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Heritage sale 3010, lot 21187
Great Britain 1840 half crown rev Heritage 3010-21187.jpg
This specimen was lot 21187 in Heritage sale 3010 (Boston, August 2010), where it sold for $1,725. The catalog description[1] noted,
"Victoria Halfcrown 1840, Young Head, rare early date, MS65 PCGS, Gem UNC and very close to superb, the surfaces showing just a few stray ticks or contact marks, bold strike that is fully detailed except for one tiny face of a lion on reverse shield, obverse legend and date ghosted, smooth as silk satiny luster, toned in very light golden hues over original silvery surfaces. Victorian specialists might take note of the date, which is uneven, and the final digit distant from the others, meaning that each digit was hand-cut into the working die. The earliest issues of Victoria are rife with variants and peculiarities like this, providing opportunities for study and discovery. Almost all the early dates of this type, of all silver and gold denominations, went to banks and experienced heavy commercial use, and then perished. The present coin is the best 1840 halfcrown this cataloguer has seen or even heard of, subtle in its eye appeal but decidedly beautiful, and very rare in this condition! From the Guilford Courthouse Collection."
The type was struck for circulation 1839-50 and features the bust of the young queen Victoria. A slightly revised bust was used 1874-87. The bust strongly resembles the one used on the crown but the half crown was issued in much larger numbers.

Recorded mintage: 386,000.

Specification: 14.14 g, .925 fine silver, .420 troy oz ASW.

Catalog reference: KM 740; S.3887.


  • [1]Tucker, Warren, Scott Cordry and John Kraljevich, Heritage Sale 3010: World Coins, Dallas, TX: Heritage Auction Galleries, 2010.
  • Lobel, Richard, Mark Davidson, Allan Hailstone and Eleni Calligas, Coincraft's Standard Catalogue of English and UK Coins, 1066 to Date, London: Coincraft, 1995.
  • Bressett, Kenneth E., A Guide Book of English Coins, Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, 2nd Ed., Racine, WI: Whitman Publishing, 1962.
  • Michael, Thomas, and Tracy L. Schmidt, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1801-1900, 9th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2019.

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