United Kingdom: Coin Type Half Sovereign (Pre-decimal, Shield) - detailed information

United Kingdom: Coin Type Half Sovereign (Pre-decimal, Shield) (issued 1817 - 1893)
Coin TypeHalf Sovereign (Pre-decimal, Shield)

Half sovereigns of 1823-25 are very scarce, as is the superseding bare head type of 1826-28. Half sovereigns were not minted in large numbers until the 1840's.

Die numbering was an experiment done at the Royal Mint between 1863 and 1880 apparently in an attempt to gather data on die life. Die numbers are also noted on sixpences, shillings, florins and sovereigns.

Composition: fineness 22 carats (11/12 fine gold and 1/12 alloy). Millesimal fineness 916.66.

Obverse

Effigy of the ruling British monarch, legend (in Latin).

Obverse Inscription
Reverse

Reverse Inscription
EdgeMilled
Edge InscriptionNone
Notes

References to additional information:

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

All Coins of Type: Half Sovereign (Pre-decimal, Shield) (70)
Coin NameMintageEffigyLegend
Half Sovereign 1817 2,080,197 Portrait by Benedetto Pistrucci (Laureate Head) GEORGIUS III DEI GRATIA 1817
Half Sovereign 1818 1,030,286 Portrait by Benedetto Pistrucci (Laureate Head) GEORGIUS III DEI GRATIA 1818
Half Sovereign 1820 35,043 Portrait by Benedetto Pistrucci (Laureate Head) GEORGIUS III DEI GRATIA 1820
Half Sovereign 1821 231,288 Portrait by Benedetto Pistrucci (Laureate head) GEORGIUS IIII D: G: BRITANNIAR: REX F: D:
Half Sovereign 1823 224,280 Portrait by Benedetto Pistrucci (Laureate head) GEORGIUS IIII D: G: BRITANNIAR: REX F: D:
Half Sovereign 1824 591,538 Portrait by Benedetto Pistrucci (Laureate head) GEORGIUS IIII D: G: BRITANNIAR: REX F: D:
Half Sovereign 1825 761,150 Portrait by Benedetto Pistrucci (Laureate head) GEORGIUS IIII D: G: BRITANNIAR: REX F: D:
Half Sovereign 1826 344,830 Portrait by Jean Baptiste Merlen GEORGIUS IV DEI GRATIA 1826
Half Sovereign 1827 492,014 Portrait by Jean Baptiste Merlen GEORGIUS IV DEI GRATIA 1827
Half Sovereign 1828 1,244,745 Portrait by Jean Baptiste Merlen GEORGIUS IV DEI GRATIA 1828
Half Sovereign 1831 (Proof only) unknown Portrait by William Wyon GULIELMUS IIII D:G: BRITANNIAR: REX F: D:
Half Sovereign 1834 133,899 Portrait by William Wyon GULIELMUS IIII D:G: BRITANNIAR: REX F: D:
Half Sovereign 1835 772,554 Portrait by William Wyon GULIELMUS IIII D:G: BRITANNIAR: REX F: D:
Half Sovereign 1836 146,865 Portrait by William Wyon GULIELMUS IIII D:G: BRITANNIAR: REX F: D:
Half Sovereign 1837 160,207 Portrait by William Wyon GULIELMUS IIII D:G: BRITANNIAR: REX F: D:
Half Sovereign 1838 273,341 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1838
Half Sovereign 1839 (Proof only) 1,230 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1839
Half Sovereign 1841 508,835 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1841
Half Sovereign 1842 2,223,352 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1842
Half Sovereign 1843 1,251,762 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1843
Half Sovereign 1844 1,127,007 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1844
Half Sovereign 1845 887,526 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1845
Half Sovereign 1846 1,063,928 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1846
Half Sovereign 1847 982,636 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1847
Half Sovereign 1848 410,595 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1848
Half Sovereign 1849 845,112 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1849
Half Sovereign 1850 179,595 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1850
Half Sovereign 1851 773,573 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1851
Half Sovereign 1852 1,377,671 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1852
Half Sovereign 1853 2,708,796 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1853
Half Sovereign 1854 1,125,144 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1854
Half Sovereign 1855 2,391,362 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1855
Half Sovereign 1856 2,391,909 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1856
Half Sovereign 1857 728,223 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1857
Half Sovereign 1858 855,578 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1858
Half Sovereign 1859 2,203,813 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1859
Half Sovereign 1860 1,131,500 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1860
Half Sovereign 1861 1,130,867 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1861
Half Sovereign 1862 unknown Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1862
Half Sovereign 1863 1,371,574 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1863
Half Sovereign 1864 1,758,490 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1864
Half Sovereign 1865 1,834,750 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1865
Half Sovereign 1866 2,058,776 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1866
Half Sovereign 1867 992,795 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1867
Half Sovereign 1869 1,861,764 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1869
Half Sovereign 1870 1,159,544 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1870
Half Sovereign 1871 2,242,970 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1871
Half Sovereign 1872 3,604,627 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1872
Half Sovereign 1873 2,092,084 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1873
Half Sovereign 1874 1,884,432 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1874
Half Sovereign 1875 768,240 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1875
Half Sovereign 1876 2,785,187 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1876
Half Sovereign 1877 2,337,482 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1877
Half Sovereign 1878 2,081,941 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1878
Half Sovereign 1879 255,201 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1879
Half Sovereign 1880 1,089,049 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1880
Half Sovereign 1881 104,000 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1881
Half Sovereign 1882 158,000 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1882
Half Sovereign 1883 3,090,457 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1883
Half Sovereign 1884 1,181,756 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1884
Half Sovereign 1885 4,479,871 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1885
Half Sovereign 1886 120,000 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1886
Half Sovereign 1887 Young head 198,000 Portrait by William Wyon (Young Head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1887
Half Sovereign 1887 Jubilee head 1,070,567 Portrait by Joseph Edgar Boehm (Jubilee head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA
Half Sovereign 1888 (Proof only) unknown Portrait by Joseph Edgar Boehm (Jubilee head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA
Half Sovereign 1889 64,000 Portrait by Joseph Edgar Boehm (Jubilee head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA
Half Sovereign 1890 2,266,023 Portrait by Joseph Edgar Boehm (Jubilee head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA
Half Sovereign 1891 1,233,286 Portrait by Joseph Edgar Boehm (Jubilee head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA
Half Sovereign 1892 13,680,486 Portrait by Joseph Edgar Boehm (Jubilee head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA
Half Sovereign 1893 Shield 4,536,649 Portrait by Joseph Edgar Boehm (Jubilee head) VICTORIA DEI GRATIA
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Half Sovereign (Pre-decimal, Shield): Details
CountryUnited Kingdom
CurrencyPound Sterling (pre-decimal)
Sub-type ofHalf Sovereign (Pre-decimal)
From1817
To1893
Face Value1/2 (x Pound)
CurrentNo (demonetised 1971)
Material0.9167 Gold
DesignerJean Baptiste Merlen
TechnologyMilled (machine-made)
ShapeRound
Size (mm)19.3000
Thickness (mm)0.9900
Mass (g)3.9940
Half Sovereign (Pre-decimal, Shield): Photos
ImageDetails
Coin - Half-Sovereign, George IV, Great Britain, 1821
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Source
Coin - Half-Sovereign, George IV, Great Britain, 1824
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Source
Proof Coin - Half-Sovereign, William IV, Great Britain, 1831
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Source
Great Britain 1887 1/2 sovereign
Copyright: CoinFactsWiki / CC BY-SA
Author:
Source
Coin - Half-Sovereign, George IV, Great Britain, 1824
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: King George IV, portrait by Pistrucci (1817 - 1825).
Source
Proof Coin - Half-Sovereign, William IV, Great Britain, 1831
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Source
Coin - Half-Sovereign, George IV, Great Britain, 1828
Copyright: Museums Victoria / CC BY
Author:
Notes: King George IV, portrait by Merlen (1826 - 1828).
Source
Great Britain 1883 1/2 sovereign
Copyright: CoinFactsWiki / CC BY-SA
Author:
Notes: Queen Victoria, Young Head (1838 - 1887).
Source
Great Britain 1887 1/2 sovereign
Copyright: CoinFactsWiki / CC BY-SA
Author:
Notes: Queen Victoria, Jubilee Head (1887 - 1893).
Source