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1883 Sydney Young Head Half Sovereign Unc (PCGS MS62)

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1883 Sydney Young Head Half Sovereign Unc (PCGS MS62)

Among the finest known examples of this date.

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Queen Victoria 1883 Half Sovereign Sydney Mint

Obverse: Young Head

Reverse: Coronate shield within wreath, mintmark below

Top of cross buried in border. 148 denticles 

Uncirculated (PCGS MS 62) S# 3862E Mc 023a

Among the finest known examples of this date.


Australian half sovereigns were generally stuck in incredibly low numbers, reflecting the size of the Australian economy during the late 18th and early 19th century. Most Australian half sovereigns have either been melted down or heavily worn through circulation; most are rare in top condition.

Quality and Rarity:

Australian half sovereigns issued between 1871 and 1887 are very seldom seen in anything approaching mint state – most coins were used in circulation for an extended period of time, and as such are extremely rare if they are devoid of any signs of wear. It is probably accurate to estimate that less than six mint-state examples of this type of half sovereign are offered for sale in Australia each year.

A comparable example of this coin has not been sighted at public auction since June 2009.

The finest examples of the 1883 Sydney Half Sovereign that we have sighted at auction in recent years were lots 262 and 263 in the famed Quartermaster collection, auctioned by Monetarium in June of 2009. Lot 262 had the 5/3 die combination, while lot 262 had the 5/4 die combination (similar to this example).

In "raw" Uncirculated condition, it made a $13,000 hammer price, against a pre-sale estimate of $12,000. It was originally lot 194 in the auction of the Reserve Bank of Australia archive auction.

This coin features a superb, straw-yellow patina, has vivid surfaces and sharp detail in the hairline and shield.

Click the PCGS icon below to verify the certificate details for this coin directly on the PCGS website.

PCGS Certificate Verification 29531017