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1855 Sydney Mint Type I Half Sovereign Fair

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1855 Sydney Mint Type I Half Sovereign Fair

Arguably the most affordable 1855 half sovereign available.

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Australia Half Sovereign 1855 Sydney Mint

Obverse: Type I portrait of Queen Victoria

Reverse: Australia within wreath

Arguably the most affordable example of this incredibly rare and historic available, it is the cheapest way of finishing a complete set of Australian half sovereigns.

The 1855 Sydney half sovereign is unequivocally Australia's rarest circulating coin.

While there are other Australian coins that are regarded as being rarer, they are not standard coins issued for circulation - patterns, proofs, errors and varieties aren't considered for this exercise.

Current numismatic research indicates that there are perhaps only fifty 1855 half sovereigns remaining available to collectors today.

That is an incredibly low number when we consider that some 21,000 were struck for use in the colonial economy of New South Wales.

This particular example was obviously actively in circulation for many years - it is heavily worn, and has been variously punched, bent and buckled.

Despite this ignominious condition, it remains incredibly rare. Not only is it one of just fifty known examples, it is actually incredibly rare in this condition.

Most 1855 Sydney Mint half sovereigns in lower condition are evenly worn, and only have minor contact marks either side (if any at all). Very few are seen as banged up as this one, which means that there are very few opportunities for the date collector of Australian half sovereigns to acquire one of these historic coins for significantly less than $20,000.

Our auction records indicate that this coin has only turned up for sale publicly once, that was in July 2012. You'd have to go back to November of 2000 to see one at auction cheaper!

While it won't win any beauty contests, this hardy example of Australia's rarest circulating coin is incredibly affordable, and will plug the gap in an album of Australian halves as easily as one that is three times the price.