|Coin||Half Sovereign 1881|
A gold coin (19 mm diameter with milled edge) featuring a young head of Queen Victoria facing left, hair filleted; around, VICTORIA DEI GRATIA, below, 1881. On the reverse, a garnished shield, crowned and lined, around, BRITANNIARUM REGINA FID:DEF:.
Head of Queen Victoria facing left wearing ribbon in her hair; around, VICTORIA DEI GRATIA; below, 1881.
Obverse 2 by Marsh: The bust is slightly larger than on earlier coins, the Queen's hair is noticeably nearer to the G in GRATIA, and the small strand of hair that came out from behind the bun has been removed.
No designer's initials W.W. at the truncation of the Queen's neck (unlike on full sovereigns).
||VICTORIA DEI GRATIA 1881
Crowned and garnished shield quartered with the arms of England (1 & 4), Scotland (2) and Ireland (3); around, BRITANNIARUM REGINA FID: DEF:.
A small dot is shown just above the centre of the crossed lines that divide the Ensigns Armorial (unlike coins before 1859).
Below the shield is the mint mark, M for Melbourne Mint or S for Sydney Mint.
||BRITANNIARUM REGINA FID: DEF:
The "ordinary" Sydney Mint coins for this year are taken to be S-3862E (or McD 21a).
Krause (and no other new source) lists a "Proof" but does not say from what mint. Remick 1971 lists a Melbourne Mint proof.
References to additional information:
[Book] Marsh, Michael A. The Gold Half Sovereign. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge Coins, 1982. pp. 13-40.