Great Britain 1860 1/2 sovereign

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Heritage sale 3010, lot 21207
Great Britain 1860 half sovereign rev Heritage 3010-21207.jpg
This specimen was lot 21207 in Heritage sale 3010 (Boston, August 2010), where it sold for $4,140. The catalog description[1] noted,
"Victoria gold Half Sovereign 1860, Young Head, MS65 PCGS, a superb Gem Uncirculated and slightly prooflike specimen, just about fully struck with bold details in the shield and a lovely, lovely portrait set against a reflective field, the surfaces almost totally free of even tiny contact marks, and sheathed in an exquisite, delicate golden patina, obverse having something of the orange-peel texture normally seen only on proofs, reverse satiny and smooth as silk. A hint of die-clashing is evident. Legends and date are ghosted, and there appears to be another, tiny "8" within this digit in the date. A faint diebreak winds through the legend of the reverse. All in all, this is a rarely seen date in wonderful condition, clearly among the finest known of its type, also one of only a few of any date of this type given this exalted technical grade. Beyond the grade, however, the glittering eye appeal of this very special gold coin captivates the viewer and can carry the imaginative collector right back to the heady days of Victoria's influence on the British world. From the Guilford Courthouse Collection."
This bust was used on the half sovereign, or ten shilling coin, 1838-85. This date is somewhat common. Die numbering was an experiment done at the mint 1863-80 apparently in an attempt to gather data on die life. Die numbers are also noted on sixpences, shillings, florins and sovereigns.

Recorded mintage: 1,131,000.

Specification: 3.99 g, .917 fine gold.

Catalog reference: KM 735.1; S.3859A.


  • [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.
  • Cuhaj, George S., and Thomas Michael, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1801-1900, 7th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2012.
  • Skingley, Philip, ed., Standard Catalogue of British Coins: Coins of England & the United Kingdom, 46th edition, London: Spink & Son, 2011.

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