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Detailed information about Coin: Half Sovereign 1887 Jubilee head from United Kingdom

Coin: Half Sovereign 1887 Jubilee head
Description

A gold coin (19 mm diameter with plain edge) featuring the Jubilee bust of Queen Victoria wearing imperial crown and facing left, a long veil falls behind the head, the bust is draped and decorated with the Star of the Garter, and also the badge of the Imperial Order of the Crown of India; around, VICTORIA DEI GRATIA, the artist's initials J.E.B. below the shoulder.

On the reverse, a garnished shield, crowned and lined, around, BRITANNIARUM REGINA FID: DEF: and below 1887, the mint mark (if any) at the middle of the date.

CountryUnited Kingdom CurrencyPound Sterling (pre-decimal)
Face value1/2 (x Pound) TypeHalf Sovereign (Pre-decimal, Shield)
Year1887 CurrentNo (demonetised 1971)
Mintage1,070,567 (1.1 million)
Mints
NameMint markMintage
Royal Mint London No mint mark 872,567 (872567), Rarity: N (Normal)
Sydney Mint Letter S 134,000 (134000), Rarity: N (Normal)
Melbourne Mint Letter M 64,000 (64000), Rarity: S (Scarce)
Material0.9167 Gold DesignerJean Baptiste Merlen
MonarchQueen Victoria EffigyPortrait by Joseph Edgar Boehm (Jubilee head)
Production technologyMilled (machine-made) ShapeRound
Size (mm)19.3000 Thickness (mm)0.9900
Mass (g)3.9940
Obverse

The obverse features the Jubilee bust of Queen Victoria wearing imperial crown and facing left, a long veil falls behind the head, the bust is draped and decorated with the Star of the Garter, and also the badge of the Imperial Order of the Crown of India; around, the legend VICTORIA DEI GRATIA, the artist's initials J.E.B. below the shoulder.

Obverse inscription VICTORIA DEI GRATIA
Reverse

Crowned and garnished shield quartered with the arms of England (1 & 4), Scotland (2) and Ireland (3); around, the monarch's legend BRITANNIARUM REGINA FID: DEF:, the date 1887 is below divided by the bottom of the shield.

Royal Mint London coins do not have a mint mark. The mint mark for branch mints (S for Sydney Mint or M for Melbourne Mint) is below the shield dividing the date. No die number, unlike earlier coins of the type.

Reverse inscriptionBRITANNIARUM REGINA FID: DEF: 1887
EdgeMilled Edge inscriptionNone
Notes

Mintage figures for the Melbourne Mint and the Sydney Mint are totals for "Young Head" and "Jubilee Head" half sovereigns minted in 1887 in these mints; the mint reports do not distinguish mintage between these types.

The Royal Mint London only produced "Jubilee Head" half sovereigns this year.

The "ordinary" Royal Mint London sovereigns for 1887 with the "Jubilee head" obverse are taken to be of the type listed in Spink as 3869 (normal designer's initials JEB).

The "ordinary" Sydney Mint sovereigns for 1887 with the "Jubilee head" obverse are taken to be of the type listed in Spink as 3871A (small close JEB), same as "Normal JEB" in McDonald (?): McD 032a

The "ordinary" Melbourne Mint sovereigns for 1887 with the "Jubilee head" obverse are taken to be of the type listed in Spink as 3870 (small spread designer's initials JEB), same as McDonald 033 (?).

References to additional information:

[Book] Marsh, Michael A. The Gold Half Sovereign. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Coins, 1982. pp. 13-40.

Half Sovereign 1887 Jubilee head: Known varieties
VarietyMintageDetails
Proof FDC (Royal Mint London) 797 (included in main number) (hover mouse for text)
Proof, normal JEB (Melbourne Mint) McD 033 unknown
Proof, small spread JEB (Melbourne Mint) S-3870 unknown, Rarity: R3 (Extremely Rare)
Proof, close JEB (Melbourne Mint) S-3870A unknown, Rarity: R3 (Extremely Rare) (hover mouse for text)
Normal JEB (Melbourne Mint) McD 033a unknown (included in main number) (hover mouse for text)
Close JEB (Melbourne Mint) S-3870A unknown (included in main number) (hover mouse for text)
Small Spread JEB (Sydney Mint) S-3871 unknown (included in main number) (hover mouse for text)
Close JEB (Sydney Mint) McD 032b unknown (included in main number) (hover mouse for text)
Platinum pattern (Melbourne Mint) McD 033b unknown, Rarity: R7 (Highest rarity possible, 3 or less examples known) (hover mouse for text)
Close JEB (Royal Mint London) S-3869A unknown (included in main number)
No JEB (Royal Mint London) S-3869C unknown (included in main number) (hover mouse for text)
Proof, normal (Sydney Mint) S-3871A unknown, Rarity: R3 (Extremely Rare)
Proof, plain edge (Sydney Mint) unknown
Half Sovereign 1887 Jubilee head: Photos
Half Sovereign 1887 Jubilee head: Photo Great Britain 1887 1/2 sovereign
Great Britain 1887 1/2 sovereign
Copyright: CoinFactsWiki / CC BY-SA
Author:
Notes: Royal Mint London. Proof.
source
Half Sovereign 1887 Jubilee head: Photo Great Britain 1887 1/2 sovereign
Great Britain 1887 1/2 sovereign
Copyright: CoinFactsWiki / CC BY-SA
Author:
Notes: Royal Mint London. Proof.
source
Half Sovereign 1887 Jubilee head: Photo Gold 1/2 sovereign, London (England)
Gold 1/2 sovereign, London (England)
Copyright: American Numismatic Society / CC BY NC
Notes: Royal Mint London.
source
Half Sovereign 1887 Jubilee head: Photo Gold 1/2 sovereign, London (England)
Gold 1/2 sovereign, London (England)
Copyright: American Numismatic Society / CC BY NC
Notes: Royal Mint London.
source
Half Sovereign 1887 Jubilee head: Photo Proof Coin - Half Sovereign, Australia, 1887
Proof Coin - Half Sovereign, Australia, 1887
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: Sydney Mint. Proof, plain edge.
source
Half Sovereign 1887 Jubilee head: Photo Proof Coin - Half Sovereign, Australia, 1887
Proof Coin - Half Sovereign, Australia, 1887
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: Sydney Mint. Proof, plain edge.
source
Half Sovereign 1887 Jubilee head: Photo Coin - Half Sovereign, Victoria, Australia, 1887
Coin - Half Sovereign, Victoria, Australia, 1887
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Notes: Melbourne Mint.
source
Half Sovereign 1887 Jubilee head: Photo Coin - Half Sovereign, Victoria, Australia, 1887
Coin - Half Sovereign, Victoria, Australia, 1887
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Notes: Melbourne Mint.
source
Half Sovereign 1887 Jubilee head: Catalogue Reference IDs
SourceReference ID
Marsh, The Gold Half Sovereign478 (Royal Mint London)
Friedberg, Gold Coins of the WorldGreat Britain 251 (Royal Mint London)
Krause, Standard Catalog of World CoinsGreat Britain KM# 766 (Royal Mint London)
Spink, Coins of England and the United Kingdom3869, 3869A, 3869C (Royal Mint London)
Marsh, The Gold Half Sovereign485 (Sydney Mint) and 48 (Melbourne Mint)
Friedberg, Gold Coins of the WorldAustralia 22 (Sydney Mint) and 21 (Melbourne Mint)
Krause, Standard Catalog of World CoinsAustralia KM# 9 (Melbourne Mint and Sydney Mint)
Spink, Coins of England and the United Kingdom3871A, 3871 (Sydney) and 3870, 3870A (Melbourne)
McDonald, Australian Coins and BanknotesMcD 032a (Sydney), McD 032 (SS), McD 032b (Close)
McDonald, Australian Coins and BanknotesMcS 032c (Sydney Mint, Proof plain edge)
McDonald, Australian Coins and BanknotesMcD 033a (Melbourne), McD 033 (SS IEB)
McDonald, Australian Coins and BanknotesMcD 033b Platinum Proof (Melbourne Mint)
Renniks, Australian Coin and Banknote ValuesH32 (Sydney Mint) and H33 (Melbourne Mint)
Half Sovereign 1887 Jubilee head: References to Information Used
SourceEditionAboutLinkNotes
Museums Victoria Collections 2016 Coin description link
Remick, Catalogue of British Commonwealth Coins 1971 Mint Royal Mint London
Renniks, Australian Coin and Banknote Values 1965 Mint Sydney Mint and Melbourne Mint
Remick, Catalogue of British Commonwealth Coins 1971 Mintage Royal Mint mintage
Renniks, Australian Coin and Banknote Values 1965 Mintage Sydney Mint and Melbourne Mint mintage
McDonald, Australian Coins and Banknotes Varieties Varieties on the spacing of the designer's initials; Platinum proof
Remick, Catalogue of British Commonwealth Coins 1971 Varieties Proof (Melbourne and Sydney)
Museums Victoria Collections 2016 Varieties link Plain edge proof Sydney
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Half Sovereign 1887 Jubilee head: Links to sites that (may) sell similar coins
Tax Free Gold: Half Sovereigns For Sale: Victoria 1837 - 1901 1887M Victoria Australian Gold Half Sovereign (Jubilee head) - Silveragecoins.com
1887S Victoria Australian Gold Half Sovereign (Jubilee head) - Silveragecoins.com
Half Sovereign 1887 Jubilee head: Some useful external links
Museums Victoria: Proof Coin - Half Sovereign, Australia, 1887 (Sydney Mint) Museums Victoria: Coin - Half Sovereign, Victoria, Australia, 1887 (Melbourne Mint)
Cruzi's Coins: Gold Half Sovereigns: 1887 Royal Mint Proof Great Britain 1887 1/2 sovereign - CoinFactsWiki
American Numismatic Society: Gold 1/2 sovereign, London (England)
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List of all (100) coins of type: United Kingdom / Half Sovereign (Pre-decimal)
Half Sovereign 1817 Half Sovereign 1818 Half Sovereign 1820 Half Sovereign 1821 Half Sovereign 1823 Half Sovereign 1824
Half Sovereign 1825 Half Sovereign 1826 Half Sovereign 1827 Half Sovereign 1828 Half Sovereign 1831 (Proof only) Half Sovereign 1834
Half Sovereign 1835 Half Sovereign 1836 Half Sovereign 1837 Half Sovereign 1838 Half Sovereign 1839 (Proof only) Half Sovereign 1841
Half Sovereign 1842 Half Sovereign 1843 Half Sovereign 1844 Half Sovereign 1845 Half Sovereign 1846 Half Sovereign 1847
Half Sovereign 1848 Half Sovereign 1849 Half Sovereign 1850 Half Sovereign 1851 Half Sovereign 1852 Half Sovereign 1853
Half Sovereign 1854 Half Sovereign 1855 Half Sovereign 1856 Half Sovereign 1857 Half Sovereign 1858 Half Sovereign 1859
Half Sovereign 1860 Half Sovereign 1861 Half Sovereign 1862 Half Sovereign 1863 Half Sovereign 1864 Half Sovereign 1865
Half Sovereign 1866 Half Sovereign 1867 Half Sovereign 1869 Half Sovereign 1870 Half Sovereign 1871 Half Sovereign 1872
Half Sovereign 1873 Half Sovereign 1874 Half Sovereign 1875 Half Sovereign 1876 Half Sovereign 1877 Half Sovereign 1878
Half Sovereign 1879 Half Sovereign 1880 Half Sovereign 1881 Half Sovereign 1882 Half Sovereign 1883 Half Sovereign 1884
Half Sovereign 1885 Half Sovereign 1886 Half Sovereign 1887 Young head Half Sovereign 1887 Jubilee head Half Sovereign 1888 (Proof only) Half Sovereign 1889
Half Sovereign 1890 Half Sovereign 1891 Half Sovereign 1892 Half Sovereign 1893 Shield Half Sovereign 1893 St George Half Sovereign 1894
Half Sovereign 1895 Half Sovereign 1896 Half Sovereign 1897 Half Sovereign 1898 Half Sovereign 1899 Half Sovereign 1900
Half Sovereign 1901 Half Sovereign 1902 Half Sovereign 1903 Half Sovereign 1904 Half Sovereign 1905 Half Sovereign 1906
Half Sovereign 1907 Half Sovereign 1908 Half Sovereign 1909 Half Sovereign 1910 Half Sovereign 1911 Half Sovereign 1912
Half Sovereign 1913 Half Sovereign 1914 Half Sovereign 1915 Half Sovereign 1916 Half Sovereign 1918 Half Sovereign 1923 (Proof only)
Half Sovereign 1925 Half Sovereign 1926 Half Sovereign 1937 (Proof only) Half Sovereign 1953 (not released)