Great Britain 1881 half crown

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Heritage sale 3037, lot 31149
Great Britain H3037-31149r.jpg

This specimen was lot 31149 in Heritage sale 3037 (New York, January 2015), where it sold for $17,625. The catalog description[1] noted, "Victoria Proof 1/2 Crown 1881 PR64 PCGS, Royal mint, reeded edge. Very rare; there have been only four examples of proof 1881 halfcrowns that have sold publicly in the past decade or so. The most recent one was in a Baldwin's sale in 2008 (Baldwin's 57, lot 616), where a PCGS PR64 sold for a hammer price of 2,400 GBP ($4,426 at the time). The market has changed so much since then, however, that it is basically useless to use that result as the basis for any sort of estimate. This coin is beautifully toned, with light gray surfaces and subtle underlying blue hues. A choice piece in hand." This type was struck in substantial numbers 1839-50, then only proofs were offered 1851-53 as the mint attempted to circulate the florin (two shillings). In 1874, production of this denomination resumed with a modified bust and continued until the end of sterling coinage in the 1960's.

Recorded mintage: 2,301,000 plus proofs.

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

Catalog reference: KM 756, S-3889.


  • Cuhaj, George S., and Thomas Michael, Standard Catalog of World Coins, 1801-1900, 7th ed., Iola, WI: Krause Publications, 2012.
  • Bressett, Kenneth E., A Guide Book of English Coins, Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries, 2nd Ed., Racine, WI: Whitman Publishing, 1962.
  • Lobel, Richard, Mark Davidson, Allan Hailstone and Eleni Calligas, Coincraft's Standard Catalogue of English and UK Coins, 1066 to Date, London: Coincraft, 1995.
  • Rayner, P. Alan, and Maurice Bull, English Silver Coinage from 1649, 6th Ed., London: Spink & Son, 2015.
  • Skingley, Philip, ed., Standard Catalogue of British Coins: Coins of England & the United Kingdom, 46th edition, London: Spink & Son, 2011.
  • [1]Bierrenbach, Cristiano, Warren Tucker and Scott Cordry, Heritage Signature Auction 3037, featuring the Empire, the Santa Catarina, the Law and the Santa Maria Collections, Dallas, TX: Heritage Auction Galleries, 2014.

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