The Coin Cabinet
Auction 69  16 Aug 2022
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Lot 83

Starting price: 170 GBP
Price realized: 250 GBP
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Good very fine | UNITED KINGDOM. Victoria, 1837-1901.
Gold half-sovereign, 1887. London. Hooked J DISH L503.
The issues the mint encountered with the Jubilee coins are well documented and were exacerbated by the pressure for the coins to be ready for the Queen's Golden Jubilee on 20 June 1887. Records show that 1,771,425 half-sovereigns were struck in 1887, but only 871,770, less than 50% of the total, were fit for circulation. The Jubilee head series-in all denominations-provides collectors with a unique insight into the workings of the Mint. Due to time restraints the Jubilee head designer Joseph Edgar Boehm's initials JEB were individually punched onto six master dies for each mint (London, Sydney and Melbourne) by Royal Mint employee William Poplett, creating no less than 23 varieties of 1887 Jubilee Head half sovereigns.

All 1887 half sovereigns with hooked J are extremely rare. In their publication 'The Jubilee Head Gold Half Sovereign 1887-1893' (Sovereign Rarities, 2019), David Iverson and Steve Hill estimate that the average output from each pair of dies was only 3,397 coins, indeed making this one of the greatest half sovereign rarities.
Crowned and veiled Jubilee bust facing left; small, spread JEB on truncation, hooked J, second stop higher than first, third stop at junction of truncation and field; inscription: VICTORIA DEI GRATIA BRIT: REGINA F: D:. / High, crowned and embellished shield-of-arms; date in exergue; BRITANNIARUM REGINA FID: DEF:.
Good very fine.

Reference: Marsh-478A; S-3869A; DISH-L503
Diameter: 19.3 mm.
Weight: 3.99 g. (AGW=0.1176 oz.)
Composition: 917.0/1000 Gold.

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